The first round of voting in the Bruins Daily ‘Greatest Bruin of All-Time‘ went fan vote as expected. Yes, a few upsets happened, including 10th seeded Torey Krug outvoting 7th seeded Don Sweeney in the defensemen bracket, yet the notable Bruins both past and present made it through last week without any hiccups.
Now we’re here kicking off Round 2 with eight former and current Bruins defensemen taking center stage. Here’s a breakdown of each matchup.
Bobby Orr vs. Art Ross
Orr, as we all know, changed the position — and the game of hockey — with his amazing talent on both ends of the ice. Ross, a standout blue-liner from his playing days in the early 20th century, has his namesake on a trophy given to the NHL’s top point producer for the season. The former earned two Art Ross Trophies during his brief, but stellar career.
Indeed, these two greats were the best at their position during their era.
Eddie Shore vs. Brad Park
Shore, like Ross, was one of the original greats in the early decades of the franchise. The four-time Hart Trophy winner spent 14 illustrious seasons with the Black and Gold highlighted by the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup triumph in 1929.
Park arrived in Boston in the Phil Esposito trade with the Rangers. The former Broadway Blueshirt became an instrumental piece to the Bruins in the aftermath of the Orr era producing some triumphant moments in his eight years in Boston, including the overtime clincher against the Sabres in the 1983 Adams Division Final.
The second matchup in this bracket between two Hall of Fame defensemen. I personally expect this to be one of the closest votes in the Round of 32.
Zdeno Chara vs. Mike Milbury
Say what you want about the outspoken Milbury following his tenure in Boston, but he certainly belongs in this discussion. Like Park, Milbury provided stability to the blue-line after arriving on the NHL scene in the 1976-77 season.
Yet, Milbury has a tall task ahead (no pun intended). Even his memorable moment of beating a fan up with his own shoe at MSG on that faithful night in 1979 will likely fall short against one of the cornerstones of the current day Bruins in Zdeno Chara.
The 6-foot-9 Chara earned his spot right behind Orr and Ray Bourque in the seeding process. He’ll join the two greats in Toronto whenever he hangs up the skates for good.
Oh and there’s the whole thing about Milbury trading Chara as part of the Alexi Yashin deal between the Islanders and Senators back in the early 2000s. That, alone, provides enough intrigue for this second-round vote.
Ray Bourque vs. Torey Krug
A unique matchup here featuring the franchise’s all-time leading point producer and one of the more talented offensive defensemen in today’s NHL.
Bourque thrived in his role as a franchise defenseman for nearly two decades in Boston before ending his career in Colorado where he finally hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2001.
Krug arrived on the scene over a decade later becoming an unheralded stud in Boston’s second-round playoff win over the Rangers in 2013. The former Michigan State standout never missed a beat following that aspiring performance in their five-game series win over New York.
Bourque had to go elsewhere to fulfill his Cup dream. Krug, a pending unrestricted free agent, told reporters doesn’t know if he played his last game in Boston following the postponement of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both, however, left their mark in the illustrious history of the Boston Bruins.
You can cast your vote for these intriguing Round 2 matchups on here or on Twitter @BruinsDaily. We’ll continue the process in our ‘Greatest Bruin of All-Time’ fan vote tomorrow featuring the eight remaining wingers.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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