Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at the best Bruins to wear each jersey number from 1-99. As an original six franchise, there were plenty of options to choose from for most numbers.
Some numbers were extremely easy…. some were not.
Part 1: Numbers 1-10
Part 2: Numbers 11-20
Part 3: Numbers 21-30
31: Gerry Cheevers
As I mentioned with number 30, I went Tim Thomas over Gerry Cheevers because Cheevers wore two different numbers in Boston and that Cheevers would appear later on the list. Well, here he is. Cheevers wore number 31 in his first three seasons as a Bruin. A two-time Stanley Cup Champion in 1970 and 1972, Cheevers is one of the best the organization has seen in net for the Bruins. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985, Cheevers’ 53 playoff wins are most in franchise history, three more than Tuukka Rask who sits second.
32: Don Sweeney:
Spending all but one of his 16 NHL seasons in Boston, Sweeney played over 1000 games with the Bruins. As an undersized defenseman for his era, Sweeney was a big part of a Bruins defense that was led by Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. Finishing his Bruins career with 262 points and a plus-90 rating, Sweeney now serves as the Bruins General Manager.
33: Zdeno Chara
Signing as a free agent in 2006, Chara has spent his entire Bruins tenure as the team’s captain; and will most likely be the next number retired by the team. At the age of 42, Chara returns in 2019-20 for his 22nd season, and 14th in Boston. With 1,485 total NHL regular season games under his belt, Chara should become the sixth Bruin to play 1000 games with the franchise at some point this season. He’s currently at 955.
34: Byron Dafoe
Maybe it’s because his run didn’t last that long, but I don’t think Dafoe got enough credit for how good he was in Boston. Dafoe’s best season came in 1998-99 where he had a league-high 10 shutouts. Dafoe was the last Bruins goalie with double-digit shutouts in a single season.
35: Andy Moog
Another goalie on the list, and another good one at that. Splitting time with Reggie Lemelin during his time in Boston, the two combined for one of the best goalie tandems in franchise history. Lemelin and Moog helped the Bruins win the Jennings Trophy in 1990, a season that saw the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final.
36: Dave Reid
Another Bruin to play in Boston during two different stints, Reid wore three different numbers during his time in Boston. In 10 seasons as a member of the Bruins, Reid had 181 points. Known as a reliable two-way forward, his best season as a Bruin came in the 1995-96 season where he set a career high in goals with 23 and points with 44.
37: Patrice Bergeron
Winning himself a job with the Bruins as an 18-year old, Bergeron hasn’t looked back since. Developing into one of the best two-way forwards the NHL has ever seen; Bergeron’s number 37 will someday be hanging from the TD Garden rafters. Bergeron is tied with Bob Gainey for the most Selke trophies in NHL history with four.
38: Vladimir Ruzicka
In three seasons with the Bruins, Ruzicka was a key producer offensively with 132 points in 166 games. He led the team with 39 goals during the 1991-92 season. After leaving Boston, Ruzicka played one more season in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators, before leaving North America to continue his playing career.
39: Greg Johnston
Of the 10 Bruins to wear number 39, Johnston was the most productive of the group. Appearing in 183 games with the Bruins over six different seasons, Johnston had just 47 points. Johnston had a much better career at the AHL level than he did in the NHL.
40: Tuukka Rask
The final current Bruin on this portion of the list is another easy choice. Bursting onto the scene in the 2009-10 season, Rask led the league in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931). Rask has led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup Final appearances, and was the Vezina Trophy winner in 2014. Rask is also the franchise leader in wins with 265.