Bruins to retire number of star winger Rick Middleton

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Boston Bruins have announced they will retire the number of star winger Rick Middleton, who is among the team’s all-time leaders in goals, assists, and points.

Middleton, who played 12 seasons with the Bruins from 1976-1988, put up the third-most goals in team history (402), the sixth-most assists (496), and the fourth-most points (898).

The winger led the Bruins in scoring in four straight seasons and had the most goals on the team in six straight campaigns.

“Mr. Middleton’s number 16 has long deserved to be raised to the TD Garden’s rafters,” said Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs in a statement.

During his time wearing the spoked B, the team made the playoffs in 11 of 12 seasons, where he had 45 goals and 55 assists for 100 points — the third-most in team history.

Middleton also holds the NHL record for most points in a single playoff series, scoring 19 (5 goals and 14 assists) in 1983 versus Buffalo.

On Tuesday, the Bruins announced that Middleton’s No. 16 would be the 11th number to be raised to the Garden rafters.

The ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 29 in a game against the New York Islanders.

“It was a great honor to call Rick today and let him know that he will join the group of retired veterans in the TD Garden rafters,” said Bruins president Cam Neely. “As a player and a person Rick embodies what it means to be a Bruins, and we are excited to celebrate his career with his family, friends, and our fans on Nov. 29.”

The other players whose numbers have been retired by the Bruins include Lionel Hitchman (3), Dit Clapper (5), Eddie Shore (2), Milt Schmidt (15), Bobby Orr (4), Johnny Bucyk (9), Phil Esposito (7), Ray Bourque (77), Terry O’Reilly (24) and Neely (8).

Middleton was originally drafted by the New York Rangers with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the 1973 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Bruins for Ken Hodge in 1976.

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