1918 - 2017 (98 years)
||Milton Conrad "Milt" Schmidt |
||5 Mar 1918
||Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada 
||Hockey Hall of Fame member |
||sports, hockey, life story, |
||Milt Schmidt |
||Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada 
||130 Shanley St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada 
||Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA 
|Eby ID Number
||4 Jan 2017
||Westwood, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States
||1 Dec 2019 |
||Carl Christian Frederick "Charles" Schmidt, b. 27 Apr 1857, , Prussia, Germany , d. 6 Jan 1941, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada (Age 83 years) |
||Emma Warnholtz, b. 13 May 1882, Kellinghusen, , Schleswig-Holstein, Germany , d. 15 May 1962, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada (Age 80 years) |
||30 Nov 1907
||Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||Marie Petersen, b. 18 Mar 1921, Soest, , Denmark , d. 9 Oct 1999, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA (Age 78 years) |
||2 Dec 2019 |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
14 year old Milt Schmidt playing street hockey on Shanley St., Kitchener, Ontario 1928
- Schmidt's early years were spent in Kitchener, where he attended King Edward Public School. In high school, he briefly attended Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, but dropped out at age 14 in order to work in order to support his family. He played hockey with the Kitchener Empires and Kitchener Greenshirts.
Schmidt played junior hockey with Dumart and Bauer in Kitchener, Ontario before their rights were all acquired by the Bruins in 1935. After playing a final year of junior hockey in Kitchener, Ontario, and half a year with the Bruins' AHL Providence Reds farm team, Schmidt would be called up to the Bruins during the 1937 season. He would quickly prove himself as a hardnosed centre, a skilled stickhandler and smooth playmaker.
Schmidt and his childhood friends Bauer and Dumart would be teamed together in the NHL as well. They formed the famous Kraut Line, and were a strong and dependable line for the Bruins for most of the following fifteen seasons. They were a key ingredient to the Bruins' success as they rampaged to the regular season title and a hard fought Stanley Cup victory in 1939. The following season would be Schmidt's true coming out party, as he led the league in scoring and guided the Bruins to another first place finish and the third most goals in team history to date.
The 1941 season saw Schmidt spearhead the Bruins to their second Cup win in three years. However, the powerhouse Brown and Gold were decimated by World War II the following year as Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart enlisted in the Canadian military and superstar American goaltender Frank Brimsek enlisted with the United States Coast Guard. The Kraut Line found success playing hockey for the Ottawa RCAF team by winning the Allan Cup before heading overseas. Schmidt, Bauer and Dumart would end up missing three productive NHL seasons due to their service in the War.
Schmidt returned for the beginning of the 1946 season. He resumed his starring ways and finished fourth in league scoring in 1947. Named captain in 1951, Schmidt won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player that year. He retired as a player partway through the 1954'961955 to take over head coaching duties, replacing Lynn Patrick.
He coached the Bruins up to the 1966 season with a year and a half hiatus. He also was Boston's assistant general manager. After coaching the Bruins for 11 seasons Schmidt was promoted to the general manager position in 1967 just as the league ushered in six new franchises, doubling in size. Schmidt proved to be a great architect in the new era of the NHL, acquiring and drafting several key players to build a Bruins team that won two more Stanley Cups titles in 1970, 1972. His biggest deal was a blockbuster as he acquired youngsters Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago Black Hawks in exchange for journeymen Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris.
After his long and loyal career in the Bruins organization, Schmidt left the team to become the first General Manager of the expansion Washington Capitals for the start of the 1975 season. Unfortunately for Schmidt, the Capitals set a benchmark in futility that still stands as an NHL record today, as the new franchise finished the year with a minuscule 21 points with the worst record in the 18 team league (8 wins - 67 losses -5 ties).
Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. After his retirement from hockey management, Schmidt remained involved with the Bruins through their alumni team and as manager of the Boards and Blades Club at the Boston Garden. Milt Schmidt's jersey #15 was retired by the Boston Bruins on March 13, 1980. On October 6, 2010 the Bruins celebrated Schmidt's 75 years with the team during Milt Schmidt Night. On this night he received 2 commemorative Stanley Cup miniatures to represent the two cups he had brought to the club, plus he personally raised his number to the rafters inside TD Garden.
Milt Schmidt: 'One of the luckiest guys in the world'
Kitchener The reunion will surely begin with a friendly ribbing.
Kitchener's Milton Conrad Schmidt, who died at 98 on Wednesday, will take his rightful place between long-departed Kitchener-Waterloo pals Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer.
The NHL's legendary Kraut Line, all hallowed Hall of Famers together again in the Great Beyond, will share a few backslapping laughs before tearing up ice and slipping the puck past an astonished St. Peter.
"When I join them, Woody's going to say, 'Milt, you still can't see out of your left side,' " Schmidt told The Record after Dumart's death in 2001.
"He used to kid me a lot that I couldn't see out of my left eye because, of course, Woody was on the left side. That was all said jokingly. Then Bobby would say, 'I thought it was the right side you couldn't see out of.' But, for a guy that couldn't see. We did all right."
Actually, they did great together.
Bobby was the brains of the on-ice operation, Schmidt always said. Woody was the defensive fire. And Milty, who always played it clean but tough? He had a strong back and a weak mind, Schmidt always joked.
The Krauts led the Boston Bruins to Stanley Cups in 1939 and 1941. They finished 1-2-3 in league scoring in 1940. They all served overseas in the Second World War. They were inseparable, until time's cruel touch pulled them apart.
Bauer died of a heart attack in 1964. Dumart fell into a coma and died in 2001. Now, Schmidt has joined them.
"I count my blessings every day," Schmidt said back when he turned 90. "I'm sorry my two linemates aren't here to help me celebrate. But that's the way the world goes."
For so long, the world went wonderfully for the Krauts, who got their hockey handle in 1936 when Providence Reds coach Albert Leduc asked where the three pals were from. Kitchener-Waterloo, they all replied.
"Ahh, the German town," said Leduc, before giving the trio their famous nickname. "The Krauts!"
Dumart grew up on Queen Street and went to Margaret Avenue school. Bauer had lived on King Street in Waterloo. And Schmidt a skinny, drainpipe-shaped kid from Shanley Street, who once made three or four cents a day selling Daily Records around his neighbourhood played his grammar school hockey at King Edward.
Oh, how Schmidt's eyes sparkled when he recited the King Edward cheer into his 90s.
"Purple and gold! Purple and gold!" Schmidt, a hockey Hall of Famer who managed Boston to Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972, would sneer with fierce pride.
"These are the colours that we will hold. Zim-boom-bah. Zim-boom-bah. King Edward! King Edward! Rah-rah-rah!"
Schmidt, whose father Carl worked at Lang Tannery, was the baby of six Schmidt kids who grew up on Shanley. Milt, Carl Jr. and Albert were the boys. Martha, Bertha and Elsie, who lived to 97, were the girls.
But his mother, Emma, must have baked some durability and longevity into all the chicken dinners and schnitz pies, made with dried apples, which she fed her youngest child, Milt. He seemed indestructible on the ice and would have been 99 in March.
Maybe the five cents she sometimes gave him for each goal he scored helped build his determination. Or perhaps it was selling peanuts at the old Queen Street Aud, where he used to root for speedy Vic Ripley of the old Kitchener Millionaires as a boy.
But the Queen Street Aud is long gone, felled by fire and a wrecking ball. Only Charles Street asphalt remains.
And on Wednesday, Milt Schmidt left us, too. He yearned to rejoin his beloved wife Marie, once a spunky softball catcher from New Hamburg. She died of cancer 17 years ago.
With Schmidt's death, a living link to hockey's glorious past is lost. No, not just a link. A pillar. A player. A captain. A coach. A scoring champ. An MVP. A manager. All that, and more, at the NHL level form a gentle Kitchener soul with a sturdy spine and bright twinkle in his eye.
When Rocket Richard and Gordie Howe died, you called Milt Schmidt for wisdom and perspective from the hockey ages. When Milt Schmidt dies, who can you call? No one. He was the last man standing from hockey's beautiful, brutal era.
He was one of the Top 10 centres of all time, legendary Bruins general manager Harry Sinden once said. He'll also go down as Kitchener's Mr. Hockey. He leaves as a father, grandfather and great grandfather, too.
"I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world," Schmidt said as he turned 95.
"Many times, I think of Lou Gehrig and how he said he was one of the luckiest men in the world when he was sick and wasn't expected to live too long. I put myself in his place, I can honestly say."
Waterloo Region Record, July 5, 2017
- [S2264] Census - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - 1921, Sub Dist. 21 Page 1.
- [S74] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Kitchener-Waterloo Record (1948-1994), Obituary of Carl N. (Gunboat) Schmidt - December 19, 1981.
|Born - 5 Mar 1918 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
|Religion - Lutheran - 1921 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
|Residence - 1921 - 130 Shanley St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
|Residence - 1981 - Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
|Died - 4 Jan 2017 - Westwood, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States