In 1942, with World War II in full rage, 16 year-old Armand Guidolin was too young to carry a rifle but old enough and skilled enough to become the youngest player to ever make the ranks of the NHL. The Boston Bruins were in dire need of replacements to fill the roster holes created by so many players leaving for military service. Young Guidolin filled the bill with some surprising success.
In his second season, he tallied 42 points in 47 games. By then he'd become known as "Bep" because broadcaster Foster Hewitt didn't want to tangle his tongue around Guidolin's birth-given name. But by 1944, his eligibility for military service brought a one-year break from his NHL career.
In 1945, Guidolin picked up where he left off this time against stronger lineups across the league. But his 175-pounds of raw muscle was up to the task. He continued to score at a respectable pace for two more seasons with the Bruins before trades took him to Detroit and on the his final NHL stop in Chicago.
With the Blackhawks, Guidolin put up his best single-season numbers, netting 17 goals and 34 assist. But his ardent support for the formation of a player's union brought on an early demise to his tenure in the NHL.
In 1952, he embarked on a lengthy stay in the minors, skating for nine different teams over nine years. He then retired from the ice in 1961 to launch a coaching career with highlights that included: winning an Allan Cup with the Bellville McFarlands; coaching Bobby Orr with the Oshawa Generals in 1965; and coaching the Boston Bruins and the Kansas City Scouts of the NHL.
In November, 2008 Guidolin passed away at the age of 82.