Just for the sake of making it, I compiled this – The Boston Bruins All-Time Team

The idea when I composed this roster was to formulate a team that would have balanced, role-playing lines, taking an idealist stance whilst also functioning in the same manner as the coach and GM would want. Here ya go, feel free to disagree strongly. I am curious…

LINE 1
LW: John Bucyk
C: Phil Esposito
RW: Ken Hodge
There’s a strong emphasis on the early 1970’s here, but for good reason. This makes for a great power play unit in itself.
LINE 2
LW: Milt Schmidt
C: Jean Ratelle
RW: Cam Neely
I moved Neely to the second line so he could have a good set-up man in Gentleman Jean. Fair enough, right?
LINE 3
LW: Don Marcotte
C: Derek Sanderson
RW: Terry O’Reilly
The embodiment of two-way play, with Taz more than willing to drop the gloves when provoked. Sanderson great for all special teams play.
LINE 4
LW: Stan Jonathan
C: Patrice Bergeron
RW: Johnny McKenzie
Every good team needs an enforcer, so putting Jonathan on this line was a safe move. I was reluctant to put Bergeron on the team, but he IS making history and is only going to improve (within the next 3 years anyways). By merit of accomplishment, he does deserve to be on line 3 but he doesn’t have the same amount of aggressiveness as those mentioned. Pie is Pie, so go with it.
Defensive pairs:
PAIR 1
LD: Robert Gordon Orr
RD: Raymond Jean Bourque
This was a given, and it could well have happened. The number of Cups delivered by this duo would have been jaw-dropping.
Pair 2
LD: Eddie Shore
RD: Zdeno Chara
The largest player in the history of the NHL combined with a guy who will start brawls at the slightest provocation makes this fearsome.
Pair 3
LD: Brad Park
RD: Don Sweeney
A more than decent stay at home man in Sweeney who is also capable of moving the puck combined with Paul Coffey minus the defensive mediocrity is swell.
Goaltenders
Gerry Cheevers
Tim Thomas
Thomas was a subject that I found myself gritting my teeth over, but I eventually found myself unable to overlook his accomplishments. Cheevers is still the best big game goalie in team history, but they make a good tandem.
Coach
Don Cherry
Grapes is always a source of controversy and maybe he did make a couple of mental lapses behind the bench, but this team needs a colorful personality to be its boss. I feel this is the right pick.

Thank you, ladies and gentleman, and remember to spay and neuter your pets.

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9 responses to “Just for the sake of making it, I compiled this – The Boston Bruins All-Time Team

  1. No Poulin, no peace. I know he spent little time in Boston but he was an awesome penalty killer and forechecker. ND grad, articulate, and I believe a stock broker in off season. Tough competitor on ice, class act off.

  2. I’d put Bergeron and Krejci on the team. Bergy’s their best all-around forward since I’ve been watching them, except Neely. Krejc ain’t far off that, either, although he goes into a fog sometimes. They’re both really clever offensively and terrific defensively. And, both are top faceoff men. If I were the GM, I’d ditch Crowder and Linesman for Bergy and Krejc.

    During the lockout, it’s nice to have some hockey to debate!

  3. Melissa – For me, it feels like LB was a great fighter for the Bruins of his particular era, but didn’t have the same tenacity as Jonathan – He was ferocious and also showed to be a skilled player in his early years before the coaching encouraged him to give fighting precedence. LB definitely holds a special place in my heart, though.

  4. Totally agree with the first lines (forwards and Defense) I quizzed my husband before showing him the list and those were his picks too. Cashman was a wing, not a center on Espisito’s line. In my opinion, O’Reilly gets moved up to line lne two because he is my all time favorite, besides Bobby Orr of course. A sentimental favorite for my Dad, Jean Rattelle would be a good addition to this team. We also think that the list needs to include a few more of the recent Stanley cup team in addition to Chara – Bergeron and Tim Thomas at a minimum. Not a Thomas fan either, but could not have won it without him I hate to say. All this hockey take is depressing, lets hope the strike ends soon!

    • Cashman bit was fixed and replaced with Derek Sanderson. Bergeron is a franchise player but hasn’t been top form since ’07 in my opinion. As for Thomas – even if he had kept his Cup winner form, he wouldn’t overcome the shadow cast by Cheevers. No one else comes close.

  5. Kathleen sent this my way so I had to chime in.

    I think it’s hard to ignore Adam Oates. While he only spent 6 seasons with the Bruins and may never have his number retired by the team, he was just inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame and has over 1,000 assists: 350+ of those with the Bruins. He is one of the best passing centers in the history of the NHL, and perhaps THE best passing center in the history of the Bruins. Espo is a sentimental pick as the #1 center, but he was a scorer, not a passer. Who is going to pass Neely the puck?

    It is always fun to debate different players in different eras, but the players of today are so much more skilled and better conditioned than the older Bruins on this list. As such, Bergeron has to be on this team. He is one of the best two way centers in the game and is a proven winner — Stanley Cup, Gold Medal, World Junior Gold Medal — that isn’t just luck and the kid is only 27 years old. His number will be up in the rafters in 10-15 years. Oates is my #1 center, Espo #2, and Bergeron centers my 3rd line and pushes Schmidt to 4th line duty. Sanderson is out just because he’s not in the top 4 centers (not in the Hockey HOF, B’s number is not retired, so he doesn’t meet basic qualifications as an “all-time great”). Linseman was a fine player, but he is not worthy of an “all-time” Bruins team based on the fact that he was a relative short-timer (5.5 seasons) with the Bruins and his overall status is not Hall of Fame worthy like Oates who spent a similar amount of time with the team.

    We like to bash Joe Thornton around here, but based on today’s game, many of the Bruins legends wouldn’t be able to compete at the level that Thornton does. His size and skill is tremendous and he will end up in the HOF based on his career numbers.

    Rick Middleton should be on here somewhere. By the time Segin’s contract is up he will belong on this roster as he may be the most skilled scorer the team has ever had.

    Keith Crowder? Seriously? Decent player, but I’ll take Lucic out there to bang on the 4th line over Crowder (I know he is a LW and Crowder is a RW, but he or Stan Jonathan can adjust to the off wing). Nobody feared Crowder. Lucic, when he plays with urgency, scares opponents and changes the game. On the 4th line on this roster, he would be hungry like he was in his first couple seasons, and that would be fun to see him on an energy line.

    Don Sweeney — nice player, but no way is he an “all-time” great. Way too much weight is put on his 15 years with the B’s to be on this roster. I hate to say it, but Hal Gill has had a better career than Sweeney, and so did Glen Wesley — both spent at least 7 seasons with the B’s so they meet the “time served” threshold. For my money though, I’ll take Dennis Seidenberg. Although he has only been on the B’s for 3 years, he is a warrior out there: blocking shots, penalty kill, power play, 25 minutes per night. He makes Chara better when they are a pair. Not as offensively skilled as Bourque, but defensively it’s close.

    Adjusting for the skill level of today’s players, Tim Thomas’ Stanley Cup MVP & Vezina winning season is the best of any goaltender ever, and that cannot be ignored despite his recent behavior. The recent Stanley Cup win doesn’t happen without him. Over the past 5 years he has been one of the top goalies in the league and won two Vezina’s. He makes it over Thompson.

    I’d let Milbury coach the team. That would be more fun than boring Harry Sinden.

  6. Bergy: Although I don’t feel like his play has declined and he’s finally getting more widespread recognition for his all-around superior play (e.g. the Selke Award), he’s not ready for this list. Love the guy; our car is named after him, but let’s wait a few years to review his career. Sweeney (Don): Too many Bruins fans discount his performance. U

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