Former Boston Bruins player Dave Forbes, with the years 1948-2024
Photo credit: Markerzone

Former Bruin and Capital tragically passes away at 75

Published May 14, 2024 at 5:52 PM

Dave Forbes, a former member of the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals organizations tragically passed away at 75 years old.

The NHL Alumni Association announced that Forbes, an undrafted player who made his way to the NHL and ended up playing 362 NHL games between 1973 and 1979, passed away on March 25th.

Take a look at their official announcement here:

"The NHL Alumni Association is saddened to learn that Dave Forbes has passed away at the age of 75.

Dave made his @NHL debut with the @NHLBruins in the 1973-74 season as an undrafted winger. After four seasons, he would find himself wearing the
@Capitals jersey for a season and two games. Forbes totalled for 362 regular-season games-played, scoring 128 points.

After his hockey career ended, Forbes devoted his life to his family, his second career as a financial advisor, and his work in and around his church.

We send our deepest condolences to Dave's family, friends, and former teammates during this difficult time."

The Bruins announced his passing shortly after it happened, back in April:

"The Boston Bruins are saddened by the passing of Dave Forbes, a forward for the club from 1973-77. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates."

Back in the days, Forbes was quite the enforcer, and even faced charges for an incident that occured in 1975, when he was coached by Don Cherry.

Here's an article published in 1975 about that incident:

"Witnesses testify that Forbes speared, then beat' Boucha

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (AP) — Three witnesses testified Friday that they saw Boston hockey player Dave Forbes congratulated by the Bruins bench after he attacked Minnesota North Stars player Henry Boucha.

"I saw the coach (Boston's Don Cherry) put his arm around Forbes and pat him on the back," said Robert Utecht, the public address announcer for the North Stars.

Utecht and two spectators told of Forbes' alleged assault on Boucha during a National Hockey League game between Boston and Minnesota on Jan. 4 at Bloomington, Minn.

Forbes is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon—his hockey stick—in the incident. Boucha required stitches and an operation on his eye, and still at times suffers from double vision.

Utecht and two season ticket holders, Roger McCabe and Mark Zelenovich, said they saw Forbes jab Boucha's eye with his hockey stick and then beat Boucha with his fists as the Minnesota player lay on the ice clutching his head.

After Forbes was hauled away from Boucha by several North Stars players, Zelenovich said, Forbes returned to the Boston bench and was congratulated by another Boston player, Ken Hodge. "Hodge shook his hand and patted him on the back," said Zelenovich, who said he has played hockey in high school and Minneapolis recreational leagues.

Questioned by Hennepin County Atty. Gary Flakne, Zelenovich said he has witnessed and been involved in "hundreds of fights" in hockey games. Zelenovich said players drop their sticks and usually their gloves before punching each other.

Utecht testified that Forbes "jabbed his stick at Henry's eyes," and he said Boucha fell to the ice with his hands over his face and then Forbes began hitting "the back of Boucha's head, which was up with hair and pounded on the ice."

Zelenovich all said Forbes was holding the stick with both hands about shoulder height and jabbed it at Boucha's head.

Testimony Friday afternoon centered on the hearing Forbes allegedly gave Boucha, who had fallen to the ice.

Roger Erickson, a Minneapolis radio announcer, said Boucha fell to the ice, and "blood splattered all over."

"Forbes jumped on top of him and began punching him with his fists," Erickson said.

A New Brighton man, Roger Low, said of Forbes, "He hit Boucha several times with his fists while Boucha's head with hair and pounded on the ice.""

We send our thoughts to his friends and family during these difficult times.
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