Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rick Middleton
Rick Middleton began his professional hockey career as the first-round draft pick for the New York Rangers in 1974. He finished off the season with a flourish as rookie of the year in the American Hockey League, and then played left wing with the Rangers for two years before he was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1976 for Ken Hodge. After a few years, sportswriters began calling it one of the most lopsided deals in recent hockey history, in favor of the Bruins. Things were looking pretty bright right from the start of Middleton's arrival in Boston, as he scored a hat-trick in his first-ever game as a Bruin.

Middleton was born in Toronto. He played his junior hockey for the Oshawa Generals and led the Ontario Hockey Association in goals his last season as an amateur. By 1985, Middleton had earned his place as captain of the Bruins. Middleton credits much of his success in hockey to Cherry, who very early in his career encouraged him to work on his defense. Without a doubt, Middleton was one of very few players in the NHL who was strong on both the power-play and as a penalty killer.

Middleton also gave credit to his wife and family for nurturing and maturing him, especially after he suffered a serious injury in mid-career after getting hit in the head with a puck in the days when not many NHL players wore helmets. "I used to lose my concentration a lot," he once admitted in reference to his maturing as a player. "And that became a big problem for me. Now I'm into the game more and I bear down harder."

In 1981 and 1984 Middleton was a member of the Canadian team in the Canada Cup. But his biggest success in international hockey, he claimed, happened in 1984 while he was a member of coach Scotty Bowman's team. Middleton played on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Gilbert Perreault. Gretzky himself was amazed at Middleton's abilities on ice.

In 1987-88 Middleton played his last of his twelve seasons with the Bruins. He retired from the game after recording 448 goals, 540 assists for 988 in 1005 games.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Toronto Nationals ON-Jr.B
1971-72 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 53 36 34 70 24 12 5 5 10 2
1972-73 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 62 67 70 137 14
1973-74 Providence Reds AHL 63 36 48 84 14 15 9 6 15 2
1974-75 New York Rangers NHL 47 22 18 40 19 -6 3 0 0 0 2
1975-76 New York Rangers NHL 77 24 26 50 14 -38
1976-77 Boston Bruins NHL 72 20 22 42 2 +2 13 5 4 9 0
1977-78 Boston Bruins NHL 79 25 35 60 8 +40 15 5 2 7 0
1978-79 Boston Bruins NHL 71 38 48 86 7 +33 11 4 8 12 0
1979-80 Boston Bruins NHL 80 40 52 92 24 +31 10 4 2 6 5
1980-81 Boston Bruins NHL 80 44 59 103 16 +15 3 0 1 1 2
1981-82 Canada Can-Cup 7 1 2 3 0
1981-82 Boston Bruins NHL 75 51 43 94 12 +15 11 6 9 15 0
1982-83 Boston Bruins NHL 80 49 47 96 8 +33 17 11 22 33 6
1983-84 Boston Bruins NHL 80 47 58 105 14 +26 3 0 0 0 0
1984-85 Canada Can-Cup 7 4 4 8 0
1984-85 Boston Bruins NHL 80 30 46 76 6 +2 5 3 0 3 0
1985-86 Boston Bruins NHL 49 14 30 44 10 +17
1986-87 Boston Bruins NHL 76 31 37 68 6 +7 4 2 2 4 0
1987-88 Boston Bruins NHL 59 13 19 32 11 +3 19 5 5 10 4
1988-89 EHC Bulach Swiss-2
NHL Totals 1005 448 540 988 157 114 45 55 100 19


OMJHL Second All-Star Team (1973)
OMJHL MVP (1973)
AHL First All-Star Team (1974)
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award (Rookie of the Year - AHL) (1974)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1982)
Lady Byng Trophy (1982) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1981, 1982, 1984)
Traded to Boston by NY Rangers for Ken Hodge, May 26, 1976.
Played w/ MRHL's Toronto Tornados in 1998 (3-0-2-2-1).