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02-14-2013, 02:25 PM
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JOHNNY BUCYK, LW


- Member of the HHOF
- Stanley Cup (1970, 1972)
- Stanley Cup Finalist (1956, 1958, 1974, 1977)
- NHL 1st All-Star Team (1971)
- NHL 2nd All- Star Team (1968)
- Top-5 in NHL LW All- Star voting six other times (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 5th) - only seasons with significant votes are counted
- Top-20 in Goals 11 Times (2nd, 6th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 11th, 14th, 15th, 15th, 17th)
- Top-20 in Assists 17 Times (3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 11th, 12th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 19th)
- Top-20 in Points 18 times (3rd, 7th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 13th, 14th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th)
- Top-10 in Playoff Goals 4 Times (1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th)
- Top-10 in Playoff Assists 4 Times (4th, 4th, 8th, 10th)
- Top-10 in Playoff Points 4 Times (3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th)

Basic Online Sources:

Quote:
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey.net
A member of the so-called Uke Line in Boston with fellow Ukrainian-Canadians Bronco Horvath and Vic Stasiuk, Bucyk set an astounding number of Bruins records (some of which have now been surpassed By Ray Bourque) - for the most seasons (21), the most games (1,436), the most goals (545), the most assists (794) and the most points (1,339).

Bucyk's seasonal scoring totals got better as he got older. Unfortunately, his career almost ended when he was in his mid-30s because of a back injury. From then on he had to wear a harness, but he continued to play left wing well into his forties. It wasn't the only extra bit of equipment he wore, either. Bucyk also sported a special medallion for good luck that four of his teammates gave him after his 500th goal.

In 1976, as he neared the end of his playing career, Bucyk was aware that his age was showing. But it didn't seem to be affecting his game as he continued his streak of 10 straight seasons of more than 20 goals. Bucyk ended his career with the Bruins as the fourth-leading scorer in NHL history at the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Given lots of ice time, Bucyk immediately stepped in and established himself as the star the Bruins had hoped for. Starring on the "Uke Line" with fellow Ukrainian-descent players Vic Stasiuk and Bronco Horvath, a former junior teammate. For six years their line was as good as any in the National Hockey League, however team success would not follow. The Bruins only made the playoffs twice.

The 1960s were a bad time for the Bruins, finishing last overall in 5 consecutive seasons. Bucyk, much like Marcel Dionne with the L.A. Kings in the 1980s, was the lone star but he could not carry the team on his back despite physically being the biggest player in the league. Yet "The Chief," as he was tagged due to his appearing to be more Native Canadian than Ukrainian, garnered respect around the league. Johnny toiled with some awful teams in Boston through the 1960s. He was almost the only bright spot on a team that lacked a supporting cast for their star. He average an impressive 20 goals a year during that time. In fact Bucyk scored 20 or more goals in 16 of 23 years in the NHL.

By the late 1960s the Bruins fortunes began to change. Captain Bucyk witnessed the arrival of superstars like Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers and a strong supporting cast. Despite being the old man on the team, Bucyk remained a top player. That's in spite of the fact he mostly played on what was considered to be the Bruin's second line. When he was teamed with Fred Stanfield and Johnnie MacKenzie, Bucyk was at his most dangerous. He scored 51 goals as a 35 year old in 1970-71. The Bruins finally emerged as the class of the league, winning Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972.

Bucyk continued to play an important role until his retirement in 1978, tallying some of his most productive statistical seasons. Though he retired with 556 goals and 1369 points, then the 4th highest total of all time, it should be noted Bucyk was far more than finesse player. He was tough as nails and a heavy body checker especially noted his devastating hip checks. Despite his aggressive physical play, he was a clean player, as evidenced by his twice being twice named as the NHL's most gentlemanly player.
Published Sources:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit Red Wings Greatest Moments and Players
A left-wing par excellence...
Quote:
Originally Posted by THN Top 100 NHL Players of All Time
"it breaks your heart when the club lets your buddies go," Bucyk once told the writer. "But you can't be soft about it. It's a hard game and a hard life and you do the best you can." Bucyk did the best he could for as long as he could and he was a champion on both counts. 21 Boston seasons, 545 goals, both club records.… Blessed with good size, Bucyk willed himself into being an NHL player. "It's an old saying, but if you want something badly enough, you'll get it," said Ken McCauley, one of Bucyk's minor hockey coaches. "Johnny Bucyk wanted it a little more than the next guy."… In Bucyk's first 10 years in Boston, he tasted defeat often and with unfailing reluctance. In 1967, at 32, Bucyk found himself on the winning club and posted his first 30 goal season. "Management had to weed out in trade-off the guys who couldn't stop thinking like losers, said Derek Sanderson. "They had to have guys who think of winning and nothing else. The chief always have that, never will lose it."… The offense of element of his game never changed. Bucyk, 6 foot one and 215 pounds, operated within spitting distance of the crease. "Johnny Bucyk," wrote Toronto Star columnist Milt Dunnell, "is as obvious as a goalpost." "I thought of myself as a spear carrier, not a star, really, "Bucyk once said. "I'm not a glamour guy and I've just gone along getting what I could out of every game. It has added up."… When his career ended at 43, Bucyk stood as the fourth leading NHL goalscorer and point producer of all time. The kid from Edmonton had proven again that the race to the Hall of Fame goes not always to the fastest, but to the steadiest in body and heart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey All-Stars
in six different seasons, Johnny Bucyk came first or second in Lady Byng trophy voting. Yet despite his gentlemanly demeanor, Bucyk was also an important member of the "Big Bad Bruins". Veteran defenseman Alan Stanley saw the left-wingers other side. "The guy is deceptive, "he said. "he's much heavier than he looks, and he hits low, with his hip. Whenever he's on the ice, you can never afford to stand admiring your passes. Not the way Bucyk hits." Bucyk was named team captain for 1966-67, but after one season, he requested an A for assistant captain instead of the C. however, there was never any doubt that The Chief was a team leader. "Bucyk has been Boston's most talented individual over the past decade," wrote Dan Proudfoot in the Canadian magazine, "even though he's never been voted the seasons All-Star and he's never one of the trophy." That soon changed. Dusek notched his first 30 goal season in 1968 and added 39 assists to join the top 10 league scorers. He placed second in Lady Byng trophy voting and made the second All-Star team. "I always knew the wheel would turn some time," said Bucyk. "I knew we'd start winning one of the seasons."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Years of Glory
a man who would become of Bruins legend and play for 21 seasons for the club… In Boston, Bucyk became one of the game's greatest left-wingers. He was a key man on three of Boston's best lines, first with Vic Stasiuk and Bronco Horvath on the Uke line, then with Murray Oliver and Tommy Williams on the BOW line, and later, with Fred Stanfield and Johnny McKenzie on Boston's Stanley Cup championship clubs of 1970 and 1972. Harry Sinden, general manager of the Bruins since 1972, rates Bucyk as "one of the best passing forwards of all-time."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Ratelle
John was the kind of player I didn't appreciate until I played on the same line with. When I played in New York, I knew he was good, but I didn't appreciate how much he did for the team on the ice with his knowledge and how much he did for the team off the ice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tales from the Boston Bruins
Bucyk was a player who like the rough, tough style of hockey, the didn't really care for fighting. It only took him manhandling a few opponents who challenged him early in his career to drastically reduce the number of opponents who dared. Johnny was capable of delivering devastating but clean body checks, and the fact that he was able to routinely dish out such punishment yet still win the Lady Byng trophy twice is a testament to his cleanliness and sportsmanship.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Searching for Bobby Orr
"hello, Mr. Bucyk," Orr said, a little startled at the sight. "It's Johnny or Chief," he six said, without getting up. "It's never Mr. Bucyk."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black and Gold – Four Decades of the Boston Bruins in Photographs
"Bronco said I took care of business. I would do all the running around, arranging things," Bucyk remembers. "I also scored goals, so he called me the chief. Hey, you get everything done, you're the chief, he said."

"Chief could do it all, on and off the ice." Says Bruins legend Milt Schmidt. "He had a great hip check. He was a solid defender. He reminded me of my teammate Woody Dumart in that area..."

"When you think of the Bruins, you think John Bucyk," says former Bruins captain Wayne Cashman. "He was a great leader, a leader on winning clubs, and he's a great guy on and off the ice. To this day, he helps Bruins players and ex-players."

Guy Lafleur recalls "Bucyk was late in his career when I played against him but he was strong, a scorer, and a real gentleman on the ice. He was very good with the younger guys. He'd help of the younger guys a lot, I remember."

"He was very sneaky," adds Pierre Bouchard. "You wouldn't chase him up and down the wing or anything; he'd just know where the puck was going to be."

Known for his hip checks and lower body strength… For the most part, rather than fists, Bucyk preferred to leave the physical impression with his hips. He had a devastating old-fashioned hip check… Even during the time when they didn't have a formal captain, chief was the unnamed, de facto captain...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey's Glory Days – Stories from the Original Six Era
during the 1968 season, the Boston Bruins held the night for one of their most popular players, veteran Left-winger Johnny Bucyk. Bucyk had played spectacular hockey for the Bruins for the past decade as a member of the uke line. Now it appeared as though he was beginning to lose his touch: his goal production had slipped to 18 in 1967. Perhaps he should consider retirement while he was still on top, but some observers. Bucyk was given a new car, and hope Ford Motor and other gifts, as well as much praise for serving the Bruins so well and for so long. At the end of the on ice ceremony, it seemed that everyone expected Bucyk to announce that he was in his final year of hockey.

But that was never his intention. At the age of 32, Bucyk had no plans to buy a rocking chair, to fish from his new boat or to what golf balls into the sunset. In 1968 he recorded a 30 goal season. Then, playing as if rejuvenated, he scored 24, 31 and, incredibly, 51 goals at the age of 35. He became the only player of that vintage to score 50 or more goals in a season, and in the 33 season since then, no one older has ever scored 50.

Even then, Bucyk gave no thought to retirement. Five years after that 51 goal campaign, he connected from 36 goals only when he turned 43, more than a decade after his night, did he decide it was time to step aside – after a "disappointing" season in which he scored a mere 20 goals. by that time, the car and the boats motor had long since worn out… When it comes to durability, the man they called the chief ranks right up there with Gordie Howe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rangers, the Bruins, and the End of an Era
Orland Kurtenbach: "… Another guy like that is Johnny Bucyk. When I played with Johnny in Boston, I would say the two or three years I was there, Johnny, when he was going, he was like 220 pounds, 6 foot, 6 foot one, he hit guys, put 'em out for the year, scored 20 goals in a month. He was fantastic. He played what? 22 years?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Bruins – Celebrating 75 Years
only a few truly gentlemanly players who disdained rough stuff won the Boston hearts. Hall of Famers Jean Ratelle and John Bucyk were among the best examples, both being near technically perfect players and so fundamentally sound they were in another orbit... Bucyk's niche can be undervalued. When he was at his physical peak he played for a lousy team. When the team got good, he was overshadowed by more explosive and colorful comrades. It's instructive that he could not have cared less. Among hockey people, Bucyk's stature is monumental. He lasted 23 seasons and 1540 games; only Gordie Howe and Alex Delvecchio played more. And yet stats don't do him justice either, for they don't convey how sound he was in every aspect of play at both ends of the ice while also being indestructible. Built like a minivan, the chief was more durable than any other player. The subtle works hockey people consider beautiful were his specialty: digging the puck from the corner, tipping shots at the goalmouth, feeding the point man on the power play, tying up an opponent, delivering thunderous body checks that were also exquisitely clean, which scholars say he did better than any other winger who ever played the game. That's so physical a player could win the lady Byng trophy for gentlemanly play twice was astounding as well is a measure of his perfection of basic technique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings of the Ice
the modesty is probably how Bucyk got the reputation as being one of the game's classic nice guys – and a hard worker to boot.… Bucyk seasonal scoring totals got better as he got older. Again, the modest Bucyk said it was all because he played on better teams. "Don't forget the quality of the team we had, with Orr and Esposito and the rest," he liked to remind people. But his fans argued that it was only because Bucyk picked up his game a notch when paired with those other high-quality players that the Bruins rose to into Stanley Cup victories.

In 1976, Bucyk was aware that his age was showing. But it didn't seem to be affecting his game as he continued his streak of 10 straight seasons of more than 20 goals. "It's hard to believe. I just keep going. I guess it helps that I'm a positional player, "he explained. "I skate up and down my wing, doing the most I can with the least amount of effort. I get tired at times and stuff to go on at times, especially by the end of the season. By the start of the new season, after a summer of rest, I'm ready to go again. I can still go – I got a good legs. I'm old enough to be a father to some of these kids, but if they call me pop, I'll lay one on them! I take the cuts and bruises in stride by now. But I've been lucky. It takes longer to recover from injuries than it used to. But if you're going to get goals, you got to get in where the action is."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Who's Who in Hockey
John Bucyk, one of the most unobtrusive players on a strong and flashy Bruins squad, spanned two decades of Boston hockey history, performing his tasks on left wing through some of the best and worst years that team ever witnessed… It was Horvath who coined Bucyk's nickname,, the chief, after his straight ebony hair, swarthy complexion, and stoic visage... In 1959, Bucyk was so good at digging the puck out of the corners for linemate Horvath that bronco came within two points opening the scoring title, behind Bobby HUll... Bucyk life then became more about setting records well his more spectacular teammates, or and Esposito, broke bigger ones or more of them, leaving the chief in the shadows, which he seemed to prefer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fischler's Hockey Encyclopedia
"I always work the corners and get the puck out," Bucyk explained. "You can't score from the corners. If you pass off and the other guy scores, what's the difference? A goal is a goal."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
despite a lousy supporting cast, he managed to average more than 20 goals a season. It was said he could "mine the puck out of the crowd." His needle threading passes on the power play are the stuff of Beantown legend. The big, stocky winger earned a reputation for hanging tough around the enemy net. "Lady Byng or not, I never knew anyone who could hit a guy harder than chief, especially with a hip check," said teammate Bobby Orr.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Trail Of The Stanley Cup, Vol. 3
6 feet tall and weighing 215 pounds, Bucyk have the build of the defensemen but he was a forward and probably the biggest left-wing in the game. He was remarkably agile and fast for such a big man and his rotund figure was somewhat reminiscent of Didier Pitre, a speedy star of an earlier era. After a couple of years with Edmonton of the WHO, Bucyk joined Detroit shortly after the start of the 1956 season and, 20 years later was still out skating younger players… Although very potent offensively, the Uke Line was not the best back checking combination. In 1961, coach met did some juggling and tried Bucyk centering Stasiuk and Toppazzini with Horvath on other lines. By the next year, Horvath and Stasiuk had been traded and, Bucyk played with McKenney and Mohns... When expansion came, Bucyk was the only one of the old guard left but he would more than hold his own when Boston became a powerhouse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Orr and Big, Bad Bruins
thanks to Horvath, Bucyk was given an identity immediately. Bronco linked Bucyk start complexion without of some Indians he once seen and promptly knighted him "chief". Horvath also ladled several hundred excellent passes to Bucyk, who for the first time in his NHL life enjoyed a 20 goal season. Horvath was repaid by Bucyk's diligent "infighting", which produced loose pucks from the sideboards were angels fear to tread… The hitting has brought destruction to opponents for years and has also dented Bucyk's armor; more than 200 stitches punctured his anatomy. His most debilitating injury, however, was a slipped disc in his back.… His phlegmatic exterior – he's often related how nervous he is before again – has often led bring fans to believe that Bucyk doesn't care whether his team wins or loses and doesn't try hard enough. It is a mistaken impression that he was have had other big players whose loping style is deceiving. "Besides," Bucyk has replied in legitimate self-defense, "how many players are fired up all the time? Hull isn't. Frank Mahovlich isn't." … While Esposito and Orr were capturing the ink and climbed to second place in 1969, Bucyk was unobtrusively going about getting the job done. Despite threats of a back operation he showed up at camp and skated in uke line form. "From what I've seen," enthused Sinden, "he couldn't be playing any better. He skating hard, he's checking, he digging the puck out of the corners. He's doing everything a coach could ask of a man sometimes a lot more."
Autobiography:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey In My Blood - Intro By Bobby Orr
John Bucyk: One of the Reasons for My Success


You don't feel nervous around chief. He makes you feel like you're one of the guys right away and it doesn't matter who you are. Rich or poor, great or not great, he's like that with everybody.

Chief won the Lady Byng trophy after the 1971 season and I'm sure a lot of people, when you say Lady Byng, think it's a sissy trophy, which is wrong. It's a trophy that given to the player who shows sportsmanship play, without taking penalties, and combines it with great ability. He deserved it. In fact I thought chief should've won it long before he did. It doesn't mean that Johnny Bucyk is tough. I've seen a lot of guys get hit by chief who probably thought they'd been run over by a truck. I don't think I've ever seen anybody who can hit guys with his back or his Like chief does. For anybody who's ever watched him, you know what I mean. I've seen hit players and they just don't get up, or they crawl to the bench, and it's always a clean check.

He isn't a spectacular player but he still fantastic. We joke with him a lot of the dressing room about his style of play. We tell him right to his face: "chief, rather than give you a breakaway we'd rather see you on the one on two or one on three any time." Don't laugh. I've seen chief go through places that are just unbelievable!

The way Johnny Bucyk shoots the puck is something else. Chief will never hurt anybody with shot. But in their close to the net, chief is deadly. During the 1971 season he had the most accurate shot, percentage-wise of shots taken in goals scored, in the entire NHL. On the power play he's always in there waiting for the right moment around the net. You always know where chief is going to be so you don't have to look up before shooting or passing. He plays positional hockey and still he's up-and-down his wing getting the job done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey In My Blood – Preface by Russ Conway
when the Bruins win, and even on that rare but well remembered time when they lose, number nine somehow always sticks out in your mind. Without being spectacular, without the controversial, Johnny Bucyk gets the job done, and that's what counts.

Johnny Bucyk's play on the ice is consistently superb. He's not a fancy skater like Bobby Orr. He's not dazzling stick. He's not a rough, tough fighter like Keith Magnuson, but when you see use all of his 215 pounds crunching an opponent with an awesome hip or body check, you know he's solid.

Bucyk is a very important part of what has become the greatest power play team in the history of the NHL. He's the option player at left wing. Once the puck is worked up into the opponents and, the Bruins try to arrange it so the chief is open. Then he's got the option. He can either pass the puck behind the net to Johnny McKenzie on the right wing, passout Esposito in the slot, or to the left point. Many times he'll slide it out to Orr on the right point, a dangerous move, but Bucyk maneuvers it perfectly. The final option is to take the shot himself and he often does it 50 others are covered.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey In My Blood
some players just don't get along with others, but I can say as long as I've been in the NHL there isn't one player who might dislike or don't get along with. I don't hold any grudges. I feel that a lot of players who play cheap, dirty, rough type of hockey have to be that way. This is how they get the respect on the ice and this is why they make the various clubs. Take John Ferguson now retired, of the Montréal Canadiens. He was a good hockey player and a rough one. I didn't hold any grudges against him because I think he was an honest player. By that I mean he did his best to help Montréal. He didn't go out looking for trouble but when it came his way he would back away. I know I hit him a lot of times I got clean and fair and he never retaliated. He's that type of player. If you hit him hard but clean he wouldn't come after you, but if you gave him a butt end or speared him you're going to be in the middle of a fight.

I don't play cheap hockey. I've never played a dirty hockeygame. I know if somebody gives me cheap shots they are going to get back and they know it. Once in a while I won't do it legally, most of the time I'll be able to get back at somebody who has nailed me by catching him with his head down or something like that. You can give it back to somebody just as well equally as you can illegally. It may take a little longer but it's worth it. This is the way I've always played and this is why I think I've stayed out of a lot of trouble. Nobody's ever scored from the penalty box.

Of course, one of the biggest thrills of my career has just been playing hockey for the Boston Bruins organization. Being a captain on the Bruins gives you little something extra to be proud of and it means a lot to me. It also gives you added responsibilities. Sometimes a player isn't quite up for a game or things aren't going quite right so usually go over and give him a little tap on the behind. I say something like "come on now, you got to pick up a little because you're not checking", and that usually gives little boost to get them thinking more about the game. The players respect me on the Bruins. They know I've seen a little bit of hockey throughout my career.

... The opening game of the season came, and we were playing for keeps. I was like a new man. One of my first shifts out I drew a 5 min. major penalty. I had been hitting everybody in sight. It was against the Chicago Blackhawks and I really caught Gus Mortson and drove him into the boards. I saw him coming around the neck, he was a defenseman, and I hit him so hard that he literally bounced off the boards like a basketball. He accidentally cut his head on the board so I ended up going off for 5 min. for drawing blood.

... I was never a big fighter but I'll always remember my first battle as a Bruin. It was one of those out and out fist flying Pier 7 brawls. It was a Saturday afternoon game in Boston, televised nationally. I had the fight, a real beauty, with Claude Laforge of the Detroit Red Wings. Don Simmons was playing for us as goalie and it all started over him. He went down and made a save near our net. He was holding the puck, waiting for whistle, and Laforge came in. He was trying to break the puck loosened belt Donnie hard on the back. I moved in and bent down to see if Don was all right and all of a sudden I was belted with a stick over the back of my shoulders. I quickly spun around and there was Laforge. The idea of hitting me with a stick when my back was turned really set me off. I grabbed him and really socked him. I was much heavier and stronger than he was so there wasn't much he could do. I just kept swinging.

Bronco Horvath gave me the nickname chief when we were playing together and Edmonton because I used to dig the puck out of the corner so well and feed it back to him at center. We used to call bronco "the Col." because he parked himself in front of the net and hollered at me to go in the corner and dig the puck. So one day somebody mentioned to the Bronco and he acted like a chief bossing the two Indians around on his line. Bronco told the fellow Johnny Bucyk was the chief because I was the guy who used to sneak into the corners and lead the attack to get the puck. Bronco said I use my stick like a Tomahawk to steal the puck. Of course I've got high cheekbones and I do resemble an Indian in that way I'm also dark complexioned. This worked into the nickname that stuck ever since.

A captain has a lot of off the ice responsibilities. If a relative of a player or friend of the team passed away or there is a special function connected with the team, the captain orders the flowers and make sure they get there. Another job with the Capt. is to help out the rookies. It takes quite a bit of time, especially at training camp. When a rookie comes up it is the captain's responsibility to help them find a house and get settled. It is the captain's job to make sure the rookies have transportation and this usually means setting up some deal. You've got to make sure rookie player, or a veteran was introduced into town, gets to know his way around. It's also the Capt.'s duty to make sure the new player develops a good attitude... By finishing in the top 10 or top 15 in getting the goals I got, I don't think I took as much abuse from the fans are some of the others did during the dark days. I always gave my best even though we didn't win that often.

... My type of hockey isn't the mister nice guy style either. I believe in the rough style of hockey but at the same time try everything that's possible to stay out of that penalty box. I'm out on the ice with the feeling that if I go to the penalty box it had better be for good reason. I remember one time during the 1971 season when one of my teammates, suddenly stopped chasing the puck and went after a player on the other team. He helped him and ended up fighting. The two went off for 5 min. apiece. My teammate ended up with a 10 min. misconduct and we ended up a man short for the hooking plus the fact that we didn't have his services for most of the period. After the game I asked him why he took the hooking penalty. "Because he drove me into the boards of the body check," he said. I asked him why he got into the fight. "Because he said something I didn't like." Why the misconduct? "I swore at the referee." I just shook my head. Three great answers which took as much brains to come up with of the five-year-old. His temper got away from him and it ended up with everybody on the team paying for it, skating in checking harder on the ice while he was in the penalty box.

There are number of times during the season when a player would give me a hard check, or hook me, or cross checked me but I don't turn around and belt him. I play a rugged game, too. I wait and wait and eventually I get my chance to get back at the player who uses a little dirty stuff. That one time comes up, maybe it's in the same game or maybe it's in another game a month or two later, when that same player will have his head down just for a split second. That's all it takes. I love catching opposing players with their heads down and those body checks that I throw are perfectly legal. In keeping my temper in doing it this way I stay on the ice, don't put the team shorthanded situation, and have the chance of helping out and even scoring the winning goal.

By taking that extra stride into a player who has fired you up, it makes all the difference in the world. He knows he's been hit, you get your revenge, and 99/100 times there's no whistle from the referee. When you're over 200 pounds like I am, you can get the job done without fighting. A body checker will help the team in the long run a lot more than a fist fighter. A body checker continuously takes more out of the opposition. He give the opposition a constant physical beating but does it in a rough style of legal hockey. I won the Lady Byng trophy for the 1971 season but I was no kitten on the ice. I body checked every time I had the opportunity.
Scouting Reports:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1974
Like Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along... "He's an amazing athlete," says Bobby Orr... Big left wing excels in corners.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1976
Harry Sinden, managing director of the Bruins, calls him "The greatest left winger of the past 15 years, after Bobby Hull."
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1978
In spite of back problem last year which affected a leg, he scored no diminutive scoring touch with 20 goals in 49 gams... Has reputation as Canadien-killer because, during career, has enjoyed some of his best nights against Habs... well-liked and tremendously respected on and off the ice.
Interesting Newspaper Clippings:

Seems Bucyk had a different nickname before the chief

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene register guard, March 18, 1957
John "The Beast" Bucyk…

It's unclear what made him unique, but Milt Schmidt seemed to think Bucyk could play either side just as well:
Quote:
Originally Posted by the telegraph, March 22, 1958
Schmidt is toying with the idea of putting Bucyk on right wing… With an eye toward improving the lines scoring punch… "I I think Bucyk can play right wing because his style is a little different from that of the average wing."

There was never any doubt who the star of the Uke Line was - although he was not as consistent as some other stars:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montréal Gazette, February 8, 1960
somebody ventured the opinion that the key to the line is Vic Stasiuk. He seems to be the guy who goes into the corners and digs the puck out for bronco Horvath. "You're wrong there," broke in Lynn Patrick. "The key man on the line is Bucyk. When he's playing well the line plays well. But he doesn't always play well."

"What's the matter with him? Is he the moody type?"

"No, I wouldn't call him moody," replied Lynn. "It's just that he appears to be distracted at times and doesn't always concentrate on hockey. Sometimes it looks as if he's thinking about some movie he saw that of the game he's playing in."

A clipping about Bucyk's new found goalscoring prowess, his chemistry with his 2nd (but least-famous) longtime line, and some constructive criticism from his coach:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor Star, February 1, 1963
unlike the guy in the cigarette commercial, big, mild-mannered Johnny Bucyk of the Boston Bruins is shooting more now and enjoying it more. Once the target of scornful calls of quote shoot, shoot," from Boston fans, the 27-year-old left winger suddenly has become the big man for the Bruins.… "I'm making a more concerted effort to shoot more this season," says Bucyk. "And it's paying off. I've got to give a lot of credit to Murray Oliver and Tom Williams on my line. We work well together and they're always hollering at me to shoot when I'm in a good position."

"John is greatly improved this year," says Bruins coach Milt Schmidt. "He's working a lot harder, he's on a line that fits in with each other like a jigsaw puzzle. He has a good knack of being in scoring position a lot, he strong and he has a good shot." If the likable, 203 pound Edmonton native has any weaknesses they are a tendency to be a bit below par on defensive play and failure to utilize his strength as much as he might, says Schmidt. "But offensively, I couldn't ask anymore from John," he said. "His biggest improvement has been, I think, overcoming a tendency towards laziness in practice. Before, he never went all out in a practice session now he puts out 100% and this is carrying over to his game performances."

Imlach was very interested in Bucyk in 1965 but couldn't get him. Then the next season he no longer wanted him. Too old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor Star, November 16, 1965
Imlach Monday mentioned a three-year building program for the Maple leafs. "I'm not interested in a player over 27 years old," he said. "Maybe I would have won the cup last season if I could've got Johnny Bucyk from Boston. But I don't want Bucyk anymore. It's going to take three or four seasons for our kids to develop and by that time when we're ready to move, a fellow like Bucyk will be finished."
A quote about Bucyk's low profile:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal, February 28, 1968
the sporting public, generally speaking, doesn't recognize Bucyk because he is colorless. He is a fine hockey player; coldly efficient around the opponents nets, but he isn't a crowd-rouser.
A testament to his longevity. This is a full 5 years before Bucyk retired:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal, March 23, 1973
the years have stopped for John Bucyk. Now 38, the kid who grew up on the corner ranks of Edmonton, can still score goals. He is not on his last legs.
MOST TIMES TOP-15 IN ASSISTS:

Gordie Howe - 23
Wayne Gretzky - 19
Alex Delvecchio - 14
Johnny Bucyk - 13
Jean Beliveau - 13
Stan Mikita - 13
Adam Oates - 13
Ron Francis - 13


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