DOY staff member Robb participated in Movember, and to meet his goal we promised anyone that donated at least $50 that we'd write an article on the topic of their choosing. One of the requests was a post explaining why Rob Dimaio was the greatest Bruins player to wear #19. This request was probably the easiest, because it's not hard to write about a Legend.
Many great players have worn #19 while with the Bruins. Joe "Whip Out Your Cock" Thornton. Tyler "Shit I Have Crabs Again" Seguin. Overlooked and underrated defenseman Doug "Not Dougie Because I'm An Adult" Mohns. Johnny "Putang Pie" McKenzie. Normand Leveille.
All of them, however, pale in comparison to the great Rob Dimaio
Dimaio burst onto the NHL scene in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft when he was drafted by the New York Islanders. The internet didn't exist back then so we can't verify this, but we assume he was immediately traded by Mike Milbury after scoring two goals in practice. Milbury, who wasn't even GM at the time, reportedly used a time machine to go back to 1987 and make himself GM.
Milbury was reportedly quoted as saying "Dimaio showed promised, and that is something I knew the Islanders organization didn't want so I traded him!"
Dimaio was also the first ever hockey/basketball star, playing for the NBA's Utah Grizzlies before they moved from Memphis to Vancouver to nobody cares.
If you didn't get what we purposely did just then, Rob Dimaio hates you.
Before being called up to the NHL, Dimaio led the Springfield Indians to a stunning victory on Thanksgiving Day over those dirty, mean Pilgrims to win the Calder Cup in 1990. Dimaio was the chief of the Indians and was the main key to their victory. Inspired by Dimaio's courage, Bruins great Johnny Bucyk would then change his nickname to The Chief. Dimaio was the last Springfield Indian to be in the NHL before their lands were unjustly ravaged by settlers.
In 1992, Dimaio experienced his first career obstacle when former Bruin and new Lightning owner Phil Esposito, incredibly jealous that Rob had much better hair, took Dimaio from the Islanders in the Expansion Draft. Dimaio was thus considered the founding father of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He would later apologize profusely for bringing hockey to Florida, saying only that he had to do what Esposito said in case he wrote a second book where Esposito once again needlessly sold out his teammates (for the greatest screw job since Hart-Michaels, read Esposito's book Thunder and Lightning).
Dimaio reached the pinnacle of his great career in 1996 when the Boston Bruins, before their bWo days, sent a 5th round pick to the Flyers to acquire Dimaio's legendary services. The Bruins, completely devoid of any talent at all (don't bother looking it up we're totally not lying for realz), needed Rob to get them back to the top of the league, but despite Rob's legendary talent, carrying an entire organization on his back was too much and the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in 30 years in 1997.
Before leaving the Bruins in a trade that brought Boston the much beloved and revered Mike Knuble, Dimaio provided the Bruins and the NHL with perhaps the greatest gift of all time. In a true story we made up, Dimaio created the best jerseys in NHL history… the great POOH BEAR JERSEYS!
Rob proudly wore this jersey under all his future uniforms until the day he was forced to retire. His Pooh Bear jersey now proudly hangs in the Bruins locker room, providing great inspiration to future generations of Bruins.
Among his many career highlights, one of his finest was doing what 99% of NHL players wanted to do and beating the piss out of the less than marginally talented Sean Avery:
Dimaio's storied career came to a screeching halt in 2006 against the Montreal Canadiens. Despite Montreal media claiming the Boston Bruins are the only team in the history of the world to ever have made a dirty play, Rob Dimaio was on the receiving end of one of MANY dirty hits from a Canadiens player.
After jokingly saying that he hopes Howie Morenz breaks a leg during a pre-season game, Montreal forward Guillaume Latendresse watched Dimaio release the puck and then slammed him into the boards from behind.
Dimaio ended up with a severe concussion and never played in the NHL again. Because of the filthy Canadiens, we were robbed of a great talent who was still in his prime. Montreal is an awful organization.
We salute you Rob Dimaio, and eagerly wait the day your #19 hangs from the rafters of the TD Garden.