October 4, 2012

B's legend Middleton to be inducted into Mass. Hockey Hall

By Jesse Connolly

Rick Middleton might not have grown up in Massachusetts, but there’s no denying that the Toronto native had a tremendous impact on hockey throughout the Bay State during his 12 seasons with the Boston Bruins.

The former NHL star will be honored for his efforts on Nov. 14 at Lombardo’s in Randolph during the 18th annual induction ceremony for the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.

Middleton, 58, was a prolific scorer for the Bruins from 1976 to 1988. During that time he skated in 881 games for the Black and Gold. He ranks third on the club’s all-time list with 402 goals and fourth with 898 points.

The man known as “Nifty” for his slick stick-handling abilities and superb skating skills was also a tremendous playoff performer for the B’s, with no better example than his sensational postseason performance in 1983 when he tallied 11 times and chipped in 22 assists in a mere 17 games. In total, Middleton notched 97 points in 111 playoff games with Boston, helping the Bruins reach to Stanley Cup finals in 1977, 1978 and his final season in 1988.

During the last three years of his career, Middleton served as co-captain with Ray Bourque. Following his playing days, he was an analyst for NESN from 2002-07.

Here are the rest of the inductees for the class of 2012:

• BC All-American and 1964 Olympian Tom “Red” Martin (Cambridge, Mass.)

• Brown All-American and 1952 Olympian goalie Don Whiston (Stoneham, Mass.) 

• BC All-American Ed “Butch" Songin (Walpole, Mass.)

• UNH and U.S. women’s national team coach Karen Kay (Marlborough, Mass.)

• Salem Evening News hockey scribe Bill Kipouras

• Respected ECAC and NCAA official Tom Lynch (Norwood, Mass.)

• Massachusetts Hockey builders: Charles “Mike” Tenney (Duxbury, Mass.), Alan “Doc” Ashare (Newton, Mass.), and Billerica Youth Hockey’s Joe Ferraro

Veteran sports broadcaster and current NESN studio host Dale Arnold is scheduled to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

A limited number of tickets ($60) to the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m., are available and may be purchased by contacting Jim Prior at jimprior@easternjunior.com or (781) 938-4400.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.