Sunday, March 5, 2017
In January of this year, the hockey world mourned the passing of Boston Bruins icon Milt Schmidt.
Today, the Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame would have celebrated his 99th birthday.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Schmidt for a project I was working on. During our conversation, I asked him to the name the player he looked up to when he was a youngster. "My favourite hockey player was in Kitchener," Schmidt began. "His name was Vic Ripley a centre ice man. I use to sell peanuts in the old Kitchener Auditorium. He was fantastic, a great stickhandler and a great playmaker. He played centre ice and I sort of tried to copy him. But I din't think I came close," Schmidt said while chuckling. "He played for the Kitchener Millionaires."
Upon reviewing Ripley's stats for the one season (1927-28) he skated with Millionaires in Kitchener, it isn't difficult to see why Milt Schmidt was impressed. In 39 games, Ripley scored 26 goals and added 14 assists for 40 points. Ripley went on to skate in 283 NHL contests and recorded 51 goals and 47 helpers.