Eddie Shore was the first of the Bruins' legendary defensemen.
He was a brilliant player and a great skater for his era and perhaps the toughest player who ever lived. His ability to endure pain and the extraordinary lengths he would go to compete have made him an NHL legend.
Shore played with the Bruins from 1926 through 1940 and he exceeded the 100-minute mark in penalties in five of his first seven seasons, even though those seasons were 48 games or less.
When Shore first joined the Bruins, Bruins coach Art Ross had tough guy Billy Coutu test Shore at a practice session. According to Boston reporter Clark Booth's "Boston Bruins: Celebrating 75 Years" (Tehabi Books), by the time Coutu got done pummeling Shore, the side of his face was drenched in blood and his ear was nearly severed.
At the hospital, Shore was told the ear would have to be amputated. Shore wouldn't go along with it and found one surgeon who sewed his ear back on his head.
Shore refused to take anesthesia for the procedure and held a mirror so he could see what the doctor was doing.
On the ice, Shore was known for inflicting punishment. He did it with his fists, elbows and his stick. He was not above taking every chance to deliver a cheap shot that he could. He fractured the skull and ended the hockey career of Toronto star "Ace" Bailey in one of his most vicious displays.
He was as big a name in hockey as the sport had during the late 1920s and early '30s. In some circles, he was compared to Babe Ruth in baseball for his fame and notoriety.
However, a more apt comparison would have been with baseball's Ty Cobb, because Shore was so unpopular with his fellow players.
While Shore is not known for his racist tendencies as Cobb was, both athletes conducted themselves with viciousness and effectiveness rarely seen in their respective sports.