Remembering…..Bobby Schmautz

by Denis Lemieux on February 22, 2009

Periodically, we’ll look back on past Bruins. Not always the superstars, but more often the niche players, characters or oddballs that made their way through town.

In February of 1974, the Bruins sent Fred O’Donnell, Chris Oddleifson and the NHL rights to Mike Walton to Vancouver for little known winger Bobby Schmautz. Schmautz had become something of an offensive force way out west and was brought in to add some scoring punch to the Bruins’ wing.

From his arrival in late season 1974 until his exit from Boston in mid season 1979 – 1980, Schmautz scored 134 goals.

But, Schmautz was most noticed in Boston for his canon-like, high rising head hunter of a slap shot. Schmautz had an absolute canon. Unfortunately, Schmautz had absolutely no idea where it was headed once it left his stick. Goaltenders and Gallery Gods alike prepared to duck any time Schmautz wound to shoot. I once saw Schmautz take a shot from the offensive blue line which went straight up into the balcony without touching anything in between. The “Len Barker” of slapshots. On another occasion, I saw Tony Esposito duck to avoid an incoming Schmautz missile, which hit the crossbar and went into the stands.

Schmautz had two more physical incidents which added to his legend. His first occurred when he was the recipient of an accidental high stick from “Needham’s Own” Robbie Ftorek. Schmautz bled like a stuck pig. Unfortunately for Ftorek, the incident occurred toward the end of the first game of a home and home between the Nordique and Bruins. “Needham’s Own” Robbie’s return to the Garden was a sell out – all the locals came out in hopes of seeing him beaten bloody by the Broons.

Schmautz other bit of physical infamy came from getting dropped like a bad habit by noted pugilist….Mario Tremblay. The video of that fight is still on You Tube: (

Schmautz was a Don Cherry disciple who didn’t take well to Cherry’s departure. A few months later, he was gone and the balcony was again safe for fans

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ben 02.22.09 at 5:49 am

Great stuff. I remember schmautz more for his name. Too young at the time to recall his game. Didn’t realice he would have been on the “too many men on the ice” team. Thought he was gone earlier.

Corner Blitz 02.22.09 at 8:33 am

Schmautz brings back a lot of memories. He carried his stick very high when he joined the B’s, and relished playing here. I seem to remember him scoring a very big OT goal against the Habs in 78. He also was one of 2 players who played with Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky, the other being the late Ace Bailey. When he was asked the differences between the two players, he said that “One was a target, and the other was protected”. Hockey misses colorful players like Bobby Schmautz.

ozzy 02.22.09 at 11:01 am

The funny thing about that Ftorek story is that I doubt the high stick was “accidental”. Schmautzie had quite the reputation as a surgeon with the stick. Many opposition players left in stitches and they were not amused. I forget the name of the Bruins player who said he was gonna invite Bobby over for Thanksgiving to carve up his turkey.

Dryheave 02.22.09 at 7:37 pm

Excellent read…..Schmautz used to drive me crazy with his high and wide shots. His own teammates must have been scared s_itless. How would you like to be standing in front of the net trying to screen the goalie when Schmautz wound up? He was a fun player though.

ChiChi 02.23.09 at 12:16 am

HTG I remember Schmautz hitting the 2nd balcony one night with a rocket

Al Tomlinson 06.10.09 at 7:10 am

When I was a Bruins fan back in the 70’s, I had the opputunity to meet Bobby Schmautz when the Bruins had training camp in Danvers. For at least three years I would bring my son to their training camp and meet up with Schmautzie, he is a great guy and a real gentleman and a great hockey player to watch and wouldn’t back down from anyone on the ice. I have this great picture of my son who at the time was only three years of age and Bobby was holding him in his arms, it’s just a great picture that I will always cherish. Thanks Bobby you will never be forgotten.

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dave ringo 08.05.10 at 10:58 pm


Denis Lemieux 08.09.10 at 12:55 am

Like a lot of “revenge games” with lots of build up, the rematch of the home and home involving the Nordiques and Ftorek was anticlimactic. The papers ran wild with the story that there would be blood all over the ice. The Nordique called up a handful of goons. And not much happened. Ftorek took his regular shift and manned up. He got knocked on his ass a couple of times, some legal some not. The mood passed and everyone moved on.

sttos 01.23.13 at 7:42 pm

Great article but being a stickler for the English language I must say that you should have said that Schmautz had an absolute “cannon”, not canon.

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