On the walls above the players’ cubicles within the Bruins dressing room at the Garden are photos of each ex-Bruins star who is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. That includes players such as Jacques Plante, Brian Leetch, Guy Lapointe and Paul Coffey, each of whom played virtually their entire careers elsewhere and had brief stints in Boston near the end of their careers.
Excluded are a handful of guys who were all-time great Bruins, notably Terry O’Reilly, who personified the B’s requisite values of hard work, toughness and over-achieving, but didn’t have the credentials to earn induction into the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Also left out is a Bruin great who does belong in the Hall: Right winger Rick “Nifty” Middleton.
“Oh, yeah, he absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame,” said former Bruin Peter McNab, now a Colorado Avalanche TV analyst. “He was a great, great player. He should be in.”
Middleton was with the Bruins from 1976-1988. His career statistics: 1,005 games, 448 goals, 540 assists, 988 points — plus 45-55-100 totals in 114 playoff games. One of the most skillful and creative Bruins ever, he was also one of the finest defensive forwards of his time.