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: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kikW4VNS0G0)
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