Friday, November 28, 2008

Former Bruin Bep Guidolin passes away

A name long associated with the Boston Bruins, Bep Guidolin, has passed away in Ontario at the age of 82.

Guidolin first joined the Boston Bruins in 1942, at sixteen one of the youngest players ever to lace up the skates for the B's and person that would have an ongoing effect on the franchise long after his playing days had finished.

From his days in the NHL, he would move on to coaching first in the junior ranks and then in the NHL itself for those very Bruins he once skated with in the forties.

His connection with the Bruins would seem to take on a good portion of his time with hockey, from his junior coaching days in Oshawa he would watch the development of a young man named Robert Gordon Orr, a shooting star of a defenseman who would go on to share much of the history of the Boston Bruins and their greatest championship season.

Guidolin would follow Orr to Boston taking over the reins of the NHL team during the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons, getting them close to a Stanley Cup championship only to watch the Philadelphia Flyers claim the magical cup in six games.

His playing days also saw him play for the Red Wings and Black Hawks, while he coached Colorado for a while and was a GM in Edmonton during their WHA days.

But it will be his time with the Bruins that will forever mark his place in Bruins and NHL history, whether as a player, a coach or the guardian of the talent to come in Orr, Guidolin will no doubt be thought of first and always as a Bruin.

It's of interest to note that the Oshawa Generals retired Bobby Orr's number in a ceremony on Thursday night, we suspect that as they were showering Orr with the long overdue recognition of his contribution to hockey in Oshawa, they more than likely took a moment or two out to remember the coach who nurtured that talent on its way to the NHL.

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