Wednesday, December 24, 2014

1940-41 Boston Bruins Herb Cain Jersey

After beginning his path to the NHL with the Newmarket Redmen of the junior Ontario Hockey Association and then the Hamilton Tigers of the OHA senior level, Herb Cain made his NHL debut during the 1933-34 season with the Montreal Maroons. He appeared in 31 games that season, scoring 4 goals and 9 total points.

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Cain made his NHL debut with the Maroons

His first full NHL season in 1934-35 saw him play 44 of the Maroons 48 games, scoring an impressive 20 goals to lead the club in goals while finishing second in scoring with 27 points. The Maroons then won a spectacular two-game total-goals series against the Chicago Black Hawks 1-0, with the first game ending in a 0-0 tie and Game 2 going to overtime after regulation again finished scoreless! Baldy Northcott finally won the series with a goal at 4:02 of overtime following 120 scoreless minutes over two games. The Maroons then defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 before a 3-3 tie gave them a 5-4 series win to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals where they swept the Toronto Maple Leafs in three straight to win the Stanley Cup, the last team for 17 years to go through the playoffs undefeated and the last non-Original 6 team to win the cup until 1974.

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The 1935 Stanley Cup champion Montreal Maroons

Cain, born on this date in 1913, would play three additional seasons for the Maroons, raising his personal best in scoring to 30 points in both 1937 and 1938 before the Maroons, facing great financial difficulties from the Great Depression of the 1930's, suspended operations.

Cain simply changed dressing rooms and became a member of the Montreal Canadiens for the 1938-39 season following his purchase by the Canadiens from the Maroons. After one season with the Canadiens, Cain was dealt to the Boston Bruins just before the start of the 1939-40 season.

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Cain was dealt to the Bruins in 1939

He set new career highs with 21 goals and 31 points in his first season in Boston. While his point production dropped during the 1940-41 regular season, Cain contributed 3 goals and 5 points during the playoffs that season as the Bruins defeated Toronto in seven games before sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in four to capture the second Stanley Cup of Cain's career.

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Cain's second Stanley Cup came with Boston in 1941

After another 18 point season in 1941-42, Cain regained his previous scoring touch in 1942-43 with 36 points, edging his career best five points higher. Cain then shocked the NHL with an outstanding 1943-44 season when he set a career best with 36 goals, two off the league lead and equal to his point total from the previous season. He also finished third in assists with 46, three back of the league leader. His combined 82 points won Cain the league scoring title by five points and established a new league record which would set the standard for seven seasons until broken by Gordie Howe in 1951.

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Cain in the short-lived Bruins gold jerseys

In 1944-45, Cain again topped the 30 goal mark with 32. He would play one more season for Boston until being sent to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League for the 1946-47 season. Cain fit right in with Hersey, finishing second in team scoring with 36 goals and 66 points in 59 games before adding 9 goals and 15 points in 11 games as the Bears won their first Calder Cup as AHL champions.

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The Hersey Bears receiving the 1947 Calder Cup

Cain would play three additional seasons with Hersey before retiring after the 1949-50 season, the last active player to have skated for the Maroons.

His final NHL totals were 571 games played with 206 goals and 400 points and he remains the only eligible former scoring champion from the first 75 years of the NHL not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Today's featured jersey is a 1940-41 Boston Bruins Herb Cain jersey as worn during the season the Bruins won the first Stanley Cup of Cain's career. From 1932-33 to 1935-36 the Bruins wore a large capital B on the front and the player number on the back of their sweaters. In 1936-37 the B crest moved to the sleeves (as there were no sleeve numbers back then) and they began wearing the player number on both the front and back of their sweaters in black outlined in gold.

Things changed in 1940-41, as the striping on the white jerseys, the only ones worn up to this point, remained the same, but the colors of the B logo on the sleeves and the numbers were reversed to gold outlined in black. The Bruins also added a second jersey for the first time in their history, a gold sweater with black shoulders and a black waist stripe adorned with a script Bruins crest, complete with a baseball-style underline coming off of the final "s".

When the gold jersey was dropped for the 1944-45 season, the white jersey continued on through the 1947-46 season. For the Bruins 25th anniversary, a change to the striping added a second black sleeve stripe and the front number was finally replaced by the first appearance of the now-famous spoked B logo. Additionally, the first black jersey in Bruins history was introduced.

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