Friday, December 23, 2016

1940-41 Boston Bruins Woody Dumart Jersey

During the 1934-35 season, Woody Dumart scored 17 goals and 28 points in 17 games for his hometown Kitchener Greenshirts. Following the season, Dumart and his childhood friends and Greenshirts linemates Bobby Bauer and Milt Schmidt were all signed by the Boston Bruins.

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Woody Dumart

Schmidt remained with Kitchener for the 1935-36 season, while Dumart and Bauer spent the year with the Boston Cubs in the Can-Am league. While Bauer outscored Dumart with 15 goals and 28 points to Dumart's 11 goals and 21 points in 46 games, it was Dumart who made his NHL debut first, playing in one game for the Bruins that season.

For the 1936-37 season, the trio was reunited with the Providence Reds of the International-American Hockey League. After 23 games, Schmidt was called up by the Bruins for 26 games and Dumart joined him after 34 games, seeing action in 17 games for Boston, which included scoring his first NHL goal on his way to 4 total goals and 8 points. Bauer also made his NHL debut that season with one regular season and one playoff game for the Bruins.

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Dumart made his Bruins debut in 1935-36

By 1937-38, all three were now full time members of the Bruins, with right wing Bauer leading the way with 20 goals and 34 points. Left winger Dumart and center Schmidt each had an identical 13 goals and 27 points. At 6' 1" and among the largest wingers of his day, Dumart was the checker and defensive component of the line, which was known as The Kraut Line due to their shared German heritage.

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The Kraut Line of Schmidt #15, Dumart #14 and Bauer #17
meet with Bruins head coach Art Ross

Dumart, born on this date in 1916, would have 14 goals and 29 points in 1938-39. The Bruins finished first in the NHL that season with a 36-10-2 record and then win one of the most dramatic playoff series in NHL history. After winning the first three games against the New York Rangers, the first of which was a 2-1 triple overtime thriller on the road. Game 2 in Boston also required overtime. The Rangers then came back to win Game 4 at home 2-1 and Game 5 in Boston 2-1 in yet other overtime game. The Rangers then became the first team in league history to force a Game 7 after losing the first three of the series with a 3-1 win at home. The Bruins finally prevailed in triple overtime in Game 7 by yet another 2-1 game, the fourth of the hard fought series. Of note, Mel Hill had all three overtime winners for the Bruins.

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Dumart sharing a laugh with Frank Brimsek

The Bruins, behind the goaltending of Frank Brimsek, held the Toronto Maple Leafs to 6 goals in the five game series, won by the Bruins 4 games to 1 to make the childhood friends Dumart, Bauer and Schmidt Stanley Cup champions.

1938-39 Boston Bruins team, 1938-39 Boston Bruins team
The 1939 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins

Dumart would set new career highs in scoring in 1939-40 with 22 goals and 43 points. Due to missing eight games in 1940-41, his point total would drop to 33. The Bruins again finished first in the league that season and again had to survive a seven game Semifinal series against the Maple Leafs, a back and forth series that required the Bruins to win the final two games, before a four game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings to claim their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

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The Stanley Cup champion 1940-41 Boston Bruins

After 36 games of the 1941-42 season, Dumart, Bauer and Schmidt all enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force due to World War II. After their final game before leaving, they were honored by being carried off the Boston Garden ice by the Montreal Canadiens players.

While in the military, the line joined the Ottawa RCAF Flyers team in time for the team's playoffs. After winning the Ottawa City Hockey League, they advanced to the national Finals, where they defeated the Port Arthur Bearcats 3 games to 2 to win the Allan Cup as senior champions of Canada. During the Allan Cup playoffs, Dumart had 14 goals and 23 points in 13 games.

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The 1942 Allan Cup champion RCAF Flyers

In 1942-43, Dumart found the time to play in 6 games for the Flyers, scoring 6 goals and 11 points before being shipped overseas for the duration of his time in the military.

After four seasons away from the NHL, Dumart returned to the Bruins for the 1945-46 season along with Schmidt and Bauer. Dumart picked up right where he left off by equaling his personal best of 22 goals. During the playoffs, the Bruins would make it to the Finals during the Kraut Line's return season before falling in five games to the Canadiens.

Dumart would set career highs with 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points in 1946-47. Following the season, Bauer, despite having just completed a career year of his own with 30 goals and 54 points in 58 games, would announce his retirement from the NHL, bringing to an end the era of the Kraut Line after seven seasons together with Dumart and Schmidt.

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Bauer and Schmidt leap over Dumart, showing the playful spirit
of the line that made them so popular with the Bruins fans

He would again score 20 goals in 1947-48 with 21. Three seasons later in 1950-51, Dumart would reach the 20 goal level for the fifth and final time of his career as he totaled 41 points for the season, his third time with 40 or more.

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Dumart in 1948-49 wearing the Bruins first Spoked B jersey

He would play three more seasons for the Bruins, including one more trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Despite Boston finishing fourth in the regular season, they upset the first place Red Wings to advance to face Montreal, who again won in five games.

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Schmidt and Dumart were teammates for Dumart's entire career

With his time with the Bruins now over, Dumart played 15 games of the 1954-55 season wtih the Providence Reds before retiring.

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A 1953-54 Parkhurst Dumart hockey card

His final NHL totals were 772 games, 211 goals and 218 assists for 429 points, numbers which would have been higher had he not had to miss three full seasons while away in the military. At the time of his retirement, Dumart was the leading scoring left wing in Bruins history and still remains in fourth place, as well as in games played. He also played in the first two of the annual NHL All-Star Games in 1947 and 1948.

Dumart would win a pair of Stanley Cups and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Today's featured jersey is a 1940-41 Boston Bruins Woody Dumart jersey. This jersey was worn during Dumart and the Kraut Line's second Stanley Cup championship season.

After this striping pattern first arrived in 1939-40 with black numbers for one season, the team swapped the colors of the numbers and logos for the 1940-41 season. This style remained in use through the 1947-48 season until the Bruins introduced their now famous Spoked B logo for their 25th Anniversary in 1948-49.

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photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

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