January 4, 2017 / 10:59 PM / 9 months ago

Former league most valuable player Schmidt dead at 98

Former Boston Bruins greats Bobby Orr (L) and Milt Schmidt participate in the 'First Skate at Fenway Park' in Boston, Massachusetts December 18, 2009, in advance of the NHL's Winter Classic game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers to be played January 1, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

(Reuters) - Former National Hockey League most valuable player Milt Schmidt, who won the Stanley Cup as both a player and manager, has died, the National Hockey League said on Wednesday.

He was 98 and had been the league’s oldest living player, according to the Boston Globe.

Hall of Famer Schmidt played 16 seasons in the NHL, all with the Boston Bruins, leading the team to Stanley Cup championships in 1939 and 1941.

Just this past weekend as part of the NHL’s Centennial celebrations Schmidt was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL players of all-time.

”It would be a challenge to find anyone who took greater pride in being a Boston Bruin than Milt Schmidt did – be it as a player, an executive or an ambassador over the 80-plus years he served the franchise, the City of Boston and the National Hockey League,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

“An ultimate competitor, a mainstay of two Bruins Stanley Cups as a player and architect of two more as the Bruins’ general manager, Milt was a landmark presence in Boston’s sports landscape.”

The career of the Kitchener, Ontario native was interrupted by World War II when he missed three seasons to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

He returned to win the NHL Hart Memorial Trophy that goes to the league’s most valuable player in 1950-51.

Schmidt scored 229 goals and had 346 assists in 776 games.

He later had two stints as the Bruins’ head coach, and also a period as general manager.

(Fixes dropped word in first para)

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Keating

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