"It hit me like a sledgehammer. It's a special, special honor...it's such a great day for me."— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 31, 2018
Hear from Rick Middleton as he reacts to the announcement that his No. 16 will be retired by the #NHLBruins this fall: pic.twitter.com/Cs408kCq5H
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Long-time NHL right-winger Rick Middleton spent the first two of his 14 seasons with the Rangers but, after a 1976 trade for Ken Hodge, he became a career Bruin. Now, he's a Bruin for life.
The B's announced they'll retire Middleton's Number 16 prior to their game with the Islanders November 29th. Nifty will be the 11th player in franchise history to have his number in the rafters.
Just in case you're wondering why they called him Nifty. pic.twitter.com/qEzaLcyMbn— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 31, 2018
He said on a conference call he didn't see that coming, especially 20 years after he last played.
"I'm getting up there in age, a little bit," he said, laughing. "And especially in the month of July, it's not really the type of call that you think you're gonna get. And when Cam called me, because, you know, every once in a while we talk about different alumni stuff, he just caught me so off guard with it that I actually got emotional when he said it, because it's just a dream come true."
Middleton's 64. He ranks third in Boston history with 402 regular season goals, and he added another 45 in the playoffs to help him to 998 total points in 992 games in Black and Gold.
The Bruins haven't retired a jersey since Cam Neely's Number 8 in 2004.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports