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John Paul ''Chief'' Bucyk (born on May 12, 1935, in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Hockey Hall of Famer who spent most of his career with the Boston Bruins.
Bucyk was a skilled left winger who was (at 6', 215 lb) the largest of his day. While he never was regarded as the best at his position, he had a long and stellar career and retired as the fourth leading point scorer of all time and having played the third most games in history. Despite his reputation for devastating hip checks, he was a notably clean player who won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship in 1971 and 1974.
Bucyk played junior hockey for four seasons for his hometown Edmonton Oil Kings before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in 1955. Two modest years later in 1958, he was traded to the Bruins in a surprising deal for Terry Sawchuk, one of the greatest goaltenders of the day. To this day, the deal is considered one of the most one-sided trades in NHL history.
Bucyk more than justified the deal by becoming an immediate star in Boston with his Uke Line partners of Vic Stasiuk and Bronco Horvath, helping Horvath to finish fifth in the league in scoring in 1958 and second in 1960, tying with Bobby Hull of Chicago in goals. However, thereafter the team fell on hard times in the sixties, finishing in last place five straight seasons, during which time Bucyk generally paired with center Murray Oliver and winger Tommy Williams led the team in scoring several times. When the Bruins became a powerhouse in the late Sixties, Bucyk by then the team captain rose with the pack, with great production including a 51 goal season in the 1970 - 1971 season in his mid-thirties, and helping the Bruins to win two Stanley Cup titles in 1970 and 1972. Bucyk was particularly effective playing on the left side on Boston's greatly feared power play unit, which featured Phil Esposito, John McKenzie, Bobby Orr and Fred Stanfield.
Bucyk was an effective player into his penultimate season, and retired after the 1978 season, after which the Bruins retired his number #9 jersey. He scored 545 goals as a Bruin, the most in franchise history. Only Ray Bourque scored more points (goals and assists). Bucyk remains affiliated with the Bruins, serving on various occasions as a broadcaster and in the front office. He is currently the team's director of road services. Bucyk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.
Achievements and facts
Remains in the top twenty of all time National Hockey League goal and point scorers.
Retired as the leading career point scorer among left wings, a record recently surpassed by Luc Robitaille.
Remains in the top ten of all time NHL games played.
Recorded sixteen twenty goal seasons.
Named a First Team All Star in 1971 and a Second Team All Star in 1968.
Won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship in 1971 and 1974.
Won Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to hockey in the United States in 1977.
Played in the All-Star Game in 1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970 and 1971.
Leads the Bruins in career goals and longest consecutive game streak; second to Ray Bourque in career games, assists and points.
Known as the ''Chief'' due to presumed Native American looks; in fact, he was of Ukrainian ancestry.
When the Bruins ended their twenty-nine year championship drought in 1970, Bucyk was given the honor of being the first player of the team to hoist the Stanley Cup around the Boston Garden.
His nephew Randy Bucyk played for the Northeastern University Huskies and the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames organizations, playing in 19 NHL games total and playing for the Canadian national team in 1989.
Oldest player to score 50 goals (51 goals in 1970 - 1971) at age 35.
Also oldest player scoring 50 or more for 1st time in career. (1970 - 1971).
In 1998, he was ranked number 45 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.