The Boston Bruins are one of the NHL's original six teams, and they've had so many fantastic goalies throughout their long storied history. In the 1930s they had the legendary Cecil "Tiny" Thompson. In the 1940s they had the Hall of Famer Frank Brimsek. In the 1950s they got a couple of great seasons out of Terry Sawchuk. In the 1960s and '70s they had Gerry Cheevers. In the 1980s they had the very dependable Pete Peters. In the the 1990s they had both Andy Moog and Byron Dafoe. In the 2000s they had Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas. Last but not least, they currently have one of the best goalies in the NHL in Tuuka Rask. As you can see, the Bruins have had some amazing goalies tend their crease throughout the years. However, they had almost as many terrible goalies as good ones.
Some of these players who earned a spot on this list were promising rookies, some of them were established veterans, some of these were former Vezina Trophy winners, and one was even a future Hockey Hall of Famer. These players may have had different levels of experience, but they all had one thing in common: their time with the Boston Bruins is something they wish they could forget.
Here are the top 15 worst goalies in Boston Bruins history.
17 Hannu Toivonen
Hannu Toivonen was the third goalie taken in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins were hoping he was their long term answer for their goaltending future. In his first two seasons in the AHL, he posted stellar numbers. It was looking like the Bruins made a great selection by taking Toivonen. His future was looking very bright with Boston. Toivonen made his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season, posting fairly good numbers in twenty games. He spent the next season as a backup to veteran Tim Thomas, where he struggled mightily, compiling a record of 3-9-1, with a terrible 4.23 GAA and a horrendous .875 save percentage. It was an absolute collapse after his solid rookie season. Unfortunately for Toivonen he wasn't given another chance to redeem himself with the Bruins. That season was end of Toivonen’s time in Boston, as he was traded to the St. Louis Blues. He again struggled in his short time with the Blues and has since spent the rest of his career in the minors and in Europe.
16 Daniel Berthiaume
Daniel Berthiaume was a small man at just 5-9, and a 155lbs, but that didn't stop him from having a decent NHL career. He broke out during the late 1980s with the Winnipeg Jets, starting a career high 56 games for them in 1987-88. After leaving the Jets, Berthiaume would be a fairly solid backup with the Minnesota North Stars and the Los Angeles Kings. It was at this point where Berthiaume's NHL career started to fall apart, and it all started with a stint with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins acquired him hoping he could be a solid backup to their starter, Andy Moog, but he simply wasn't the answer. He would appear in eight games with the Bruins during the 1991-92 season, posting a 1-4-2 record, with a terrible .865 save percentage. Berthiaume would finish his NHL career with the expansion Ottawa Senators, where the team mightily struggled and so did he. His final NHL season came during the 1993-94 season with the Senators, where he played just one minute and let in two goals for a downright embarrassing 120.00 GAA. What a terrible way to end a career.
14 Peter Skudra
Petr Skudra may not have had the most memorable NHL career, but the fact they he even made it was impressive enough. The undrafted netminder played in his native homeland of Latvia for a couple of seasons before he made the trip over to North America in 1994. Skudra started all the way down in the ECHL, before finally earning a shot in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1997. Skudra would be a solid depth goaltender for the Penguins until he signed with the Bruins in 2000.
Skudra would actually have two separate stints with the Bruins during the 2000-01 season. Before he was even able to suit up for a game with Boston, he was claimed on waivers by the Buffalo Sabres. He played just one game with the Sabres, before the Bruins claimed him back on waivers. This time Skudra was able to keep on a spot on the Bruins as a backup. He appeared in 25 games with the Bruins, where he struggled with a 6-12-1 record, and a dreadful 3.33 GAA and .879 save percentage. The Bruins did not offer him another contract after the season for obvious reasons.
13 Cleon Daskalakis
Cleon Daskalakis was fortunate enough to spend the majority of his hockey career in his home state of Massachusetts. He played four great seasons for Boston University, earning multiple awards and honours. His best season in college came during his final year in 1983-84, when he posted a 25-10-1 record, with a 2.92 GAA.
His play was impressive enough that the Boston Bruins signed him as a undrafted free agent right after his graduation. Daskalakis started his pro career in the minors, but he did manage to get some action with the Bruins in his very first season. In eight games with the Bruins, he had a dreadful 4.98 GAA, and a terrible .830 save percentage. It's safe to say that Daskalakis' NHL career did not get off to the best start. Unfortunately for him it didn't get any better. He played two games for the Bruins the following season in the 1985-86 season, where his goals against average hit the 5.00 mark. He would play two more terrible games with the Bruins in 1986-87, before leaving the organization, and never playing another NHL game.
12 Bernie Parent
When you mention the name Bernie Parent to Philadelphia Flyers fans, they will tell you he is one of, if not the greatest Flyers goaltender of all time. When you mention his name to Boston Bruins fans, they will have nothing good to say about his time in the black and yellow. Parent started his NHL career with the Bruins in the 1965-66 season, and he had a rough start to his NHL career to say the least. He played 39 games in his rookie season, and posted a record of 11-23, with a 3.69 GAA. His second and final season with the Bruins wasn't any better. In eighteen games he had a 4-12-2 record with a slightly better, but still terrible 3.64 GAA. The Bruins would lose Parent to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Intraleague Draft. The Bruins probably didn't think losing Parent was much of a loss, but what was the Bruins trash was the Flyers treasure. Parent would play ten seasons for the Flyers and was eventually inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984.
11 Bob Perreault
Bob Perreault played an astounding 23 seasons of professional hockey. He had many fantastic seasons. However, his one season as a Boston Bruin was definitely not one of them. Perreault had only played a combined nine NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings before joining Boston for the 1962-63 season. His numbers in those nine games were decent, but his time in Boston would change his career NHL stats for the worse. Perreault would play a career high 22 games for the Bruins that season, but it was clear that it was too much of a workload for him to handle. He posted a 3-12-7 record, with a 3.82 GAA. After that terrible season Perreault wouldn't get another NHL shot for the rest of his career. Although his time as Bruin was forgetful, his 978 career professional games is an accomplishment to be proud of.
10 Kay Whitmore
Kay Whitmore was a journeyman goaltender if there ever was one. During his lengthy hockey career he played for 17 different professional teams, including four NHL teams. By far his best time came with the Hartford Whalers. His top NHL season came with the Whalers during the 1991-92 season where he appeared in a career high 45 games. Although he would never be a starter in the NHL again, he played a couple solid seasons as a backup with the Vancouver Canucks. After last playing for the Canucks in 1995, Whitmore wouldn't get another shot in the NHL until six years later with the Boston Bruins. Clearly there was a reason why he was stuck in minors all that time as he just wasn't an NHL calibre goalie anymore. He appeared in just only games with the Bruins where he was just plain awful posting a 5.32 GAA, and a .809 save percentage.
9 Bob Ring
There not much that can be said about Bob Ring's hockey career, because it didn't last too long. Ring had a decent junior career playing for the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association. In the 1965-66 season at the age of nineteen, Ring made his one and only NHL appearance with the Bruins. Ring replaced Boston's injured starter Eddie Johnston in the second period. In 33 minutes of action, Ring allowed four goals on sixteen shots. That would be the only NHL action he would get in his career. His final career NHL numbers were a 7.27 GAA and .750 save percentage. If you thought those numbers were bad, Ring had a goal against average of 9.00 while playing for the Springfield Falcons of the AHL that same season. Ring gave up his professional career and instead would play four years at Acadia University, before calling it a career in 1970.
8 Paxton Schafer
Paxton Schafer had a very good junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. During his draft year of 1994-95 he recorded a solid 32 wins. His play was good enough for him to be taken 47th overall by the Bruins. The goalies who were drafted after him include the likes of Miikka Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala, and Chris Mason. While those three goalies played a combined 1207 career NHL games, Schafer played just three career NHL games with the Bruins. All three of his games took place during the 1996-97 season, and they were all relief appearances. While Schafer never recorded a loss, his numbers were nothing to be proud of. He had a terrible 4.68 GAA and very low .760 save percentage. Although Schafer never amounted to any NHL success, he managed to carve out a decent minor league career until retiring in 2003. Schafer earns a well deserved spot on this list especially considering he was fairly high draft pick by the Bruins.
7 Hec Fowler
Hec Fowler is very significant to the history of the Boston Bruins, having been the first goalie in franchise history. The Bruins entered the NHL back in the 1924-25 season, and they acquired Fowler from the Victoria Cougars of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association just ahead of the season. Fowler had played five seasons for Victoria where he was one of the top goalies in the league, his 16 wins in the 1922-23 season was the most in the league. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Fowler's previous success didn't not translate to the NHL. He would only last seven games with the Bruins where he had a miserable record of 1-6, and a very ugly 6.16 GAA. Fowler would never play for another NHL team, and would finish his career in the Californian league in 1931.
Fowler may have been the first goalie in Boston Bruins history, but he also earned a well deserved spot as one of the worst goalies in Bruins history.
6 Marty Turco
Marty Turco took a long journey to the NHL. He was originally a fifth round draft pick of the Dallas Stars back in 1994. He played four spectacular seasons for the University of Michigan before turning pro in 1998. He would play two seasons in the minors before finally making his NHL debut with Dallas in 2001. It wasn't too long before Turco became the number one goalie in Dallas. He would play nine seasons with the Stars where became one of, if not the greatest goalie in franchise history. He currently leads the franchise in most categories including games played (509), and wins (262). Unfortunately all good things eventually come to an end, and it was no different with Turco and his time in Dallas. He would sign with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, where he would go on to have the worst statistical season of his career. Turco had no NHL suitors the following season, so he instead signed with a team in Austria. It looked like his NHL career was done, but that is when the Boston Bruins came calling. The Bruins were looking for a goaltender to help finish the regular season as a backup to Tim Thomas. It was no wonder why no NHL teams wanted to sign the aging Turco as he struggled in his five appearances with the Bruins. Those last five games would end up being the last of his hockey career.
5 Bruce Gamble
Bruce Gamble had a fantastic junior career playing in the Ontario region. He started his professional career in 1958 with the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL. It was in that first season with the Canucks where he got called up to play for the New York Rangers. Gamble only played two games for New York, but he was impressive enough for the Boston Bruins to take a chance on him during the Intraleague Draft. He would end up playing two seasons with the Bruins where he had a heavy workload, but was not able to handle all that time in the crease. His combined stats in his two seasons with the Bruins were absolutely dreadful. He had a record of 18-51-11, with a 4.02 GAA, and a .885 save percentage. Fortunately for Gamble he was able to salvage his NHL career with six good seasons in Toronto, before ending his career with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1972.
4 Benny Grant
Benny Grant was a solid minor league goaltender during 1930s and 1940s. Early on during his career, he did manage to get a shot with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, his play wasn't impressive enough for him to stick around in the NHL. After years toiling in different minor hockey leagues, Grant would get one more shot in NHL in 1943 at the age of 35. The Toronto Maple Leafs then starter and future Hall of Fame Turk Broda left the team for the military. This left Toronto scrambling to find a goalie, they signed the familiar Grant. He would start a career high 20 games with the Leafs where his numbers weren't spectacular, but were decent. This where thing get a little strange. Later on that same 1943-44 season, the Boston Bruins were in need of a goaltender, so the Maple Leafs loaned Grant to the Bruins. So which team did Grant play in first game as a Bruin? It just so happened to be the Toronto Maple Leafs. His Leafs teammates showed him no mercy, as they popped ten goals by him. That ended up being not only Grant's last as a Bruin, but was the end of his hockey career. That is definitely not ending on high note.
3 George Abbott
The NHL during the 1940s was a completely different game. Teams didn't dress backup goaltenders, and that is how we got the insane story of George Abbot. He had played goalie in junior, but a puck to the eye in practice all but ended his career. Abbott then became an ordained minister in Toronto. Not wanting to completely give up the game, Abbott would become a practice goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was on November 27, 1945 that things took a strange twist for Abbott. Boston Bruins goaltender Bert Gardiner became ill, so Abbott was loaned to the Bruins. In what turned out to be his only NHL game, Abbott let in a whopping seven goals on 52 shots. The Bruins would end up losing to the Leafs 7-3. If that wasn't bad enough for Abbott, he was actually knocked out cold for a few minutes after taking a shot to the face. It wouldn't be all that surprising if Abbott was happy to never play another NHL game, especially after a experience like that.
2 Jim Carey
The story of Jim Carey's NHL career is a strange one to say the least. He was originally taken 32nd overall by the Washington Capitals in 1992. He made his debut with the Capitals during the lockout shortened 1994-95 season. He has fantastic start to his career, going unbeaten in his first seven games. He finished the season with an impressive 18-6-3 record, to go along with a excellent 2.13 GAA. The following season in 1995-96, Carey's stellar play continued. He posted a record of 35- 24-9, with a 2.26 GAA, and a .906 save percentage. Those numbers were good enough for him to capture the Vezina Trophy and earn a spot on the eventual Gold Medal winning U.S. 1996 World Cup team.
With all that success it looked as though the young goaltender had a very bright future. Unfortunately for Carey, his third NHL season would be the start of the eventual downfall of his career. He played 40 games for Washington, where his numbers were mediocre at best, before he was traded to the Boston Bruins in a blockbuster trade. He would get into 19 games with the Bruins that season, where his numbers were horrendous. Boston was quickly regretting the acquiring of Carey. He would start the 1997-98 season with the Bruins, but he was quickly moved down the depth chart. Carey was eventually demoted to the AHL, where he became the highest paid player in the league at $2.5 million. He would play four games with the St.Louis Blues in 1998-99, before calling it a career. Carey earns the number one spot on this list because he showed so much potential in Washington before he laid a big egg in Boston.
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