Five Greatest Nicknames, How They Got Them In Bruins History

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Sometimes your given name just isn’t enough and the Boston Bruins have had some great nicknames in their 100-year history and on the All-Centennial team.

Sure, there are the easy ones that are a play on the name on the back of the sweater but then there are some that you have to dig a little deeper to get to the meaning.

Here are some of the best unconventional nicknames in Bruins history.

Frank Brimsek — Mr. Zero
All Frank Brimsek did to earn the “Mr. Zero” nickname was record six shutouts in his first seven games for the Bruins during the 1938-39 season. He won two Stanley Cups with the Bruins, in 1939 and 1941. He also won the Calder Trophy in 1938-39 and was awarded the Vezina twice in 1938-19 and 1941-42.

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Derek Sanderson — Turk
Derek Sanderson got his nickname for a mistake he had made on the ice while playing youth hockey. He was in the midst of a puck battle when he heard someone yell out his name. Sanderson would drop the puck to the opposing player that called his name. From then on out, the team started to use sounds instead of names when calling for a puck. Sanderson was tasked with yelling “Gobble, Gobble” for a turkey, and thus ‘”Turk” was born.

Terry O’Reilly — Taz
Terry O’Reilly was dubbed “Taz” by former teammate Phil Esposito. Esposito gave O’Reilly the name because of his reckless, come-at-you style of hockey that reminded the prolific goal scorer of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character. He spent 14 years wearing the Spoked-B where he was a warrior on the ice for the Bruins, not only protecting his teammates but being an offensive threat in front of the net as well.

Rick Middleton — Nifty
Rick Middleton was coined “Nifty” by his teammates by combining superb quickness and stickhandling with an instinct that simply moves swiftly up the ice. Middleton one-on-one could turn on a dime and cause the opposing player to turn inside out and a genuine threat to create a goal at any moment when he was on the ice. While Middleton didn’t have the burst of speed to outskate his opponents, the way he weaved effortlessly on the ice set him apart on the ice.

Brad Marchand — Little Ball of Hate
Brad Marchand has a lot of nicknames. From the play on his last name, Marchy to Nose Face Killah, but the nickname that stands out was given to Marchand during the Bruins’ celebratory trip to the White House following their 2011 Stanley Cup championship. President Barack Obama coined Marchand during his speech stating “Brad Marchand went into the season playing on the fourth line but the little ball of hate shrugged off the rookie jitters and scored five goals in the last five games of the final series.”

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Here are some of the more conventional nicknames in Bruins history.

Patrice Bergeron — Bergy
David Pastrnak — Pasta
Marc Savard — Savvy
Zdeno Chara — Big Z
Phil Esposito – Espo
Glenn Murray — Muzz
Andrew Raycroft — Razor
Brian Roloston — Rolly
Milan Lucic — Looch
Shawn Thornton — Thorty
Nathan Horton — Horty
Johhny Bucyk — Chief
Gerry Cheevers — Cheesie
Gregory Campbell — Soupy
Andy Brickley — Brick
Bob Sweeney — Swoops

While those are some of the best nicknames in Bruins history, there are obviously many more to choose from. Especially when some players have more than one.

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