After coaching the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 1970, Harry Sinden served as the team’s general manager and president. Steven Senne/Associated Press, file

Harry Sinden played an educated hunch that created an iconic image in Boston Bruins history.

The former coach, general manager and club president was made available for a Zoom conference call to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the Bruins four-game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins secured their first NHL title in 29 years.

The Bruins took the first three games, but the expansion Blues, led by Coach Scotty Bowman, took the Bruins to overtime in Game 4 at the Boston Garden on May 10.

The Bruins had two of the NHL’s most prolific scoring lines, centered by Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield, but Sinden elected to open the overtime with his third line, anchored by Derek Sanderson.

Sanderson was behind the Blues’ net when he executed a give-and-go pass to Bobby Orr, who scored 40 seconds into the frame for a 4-3 victory.

“We were so excited to be one goal away from winning a Stanley Cup and I was nervous that we would be over anxious to score that goal,” said Sinden.

“Great lines like Esposito’s line and the Stanfield line, if there is a fault to them, it’s that once in a while, they will get overexcited and take chances and take risks, and I think that was going on with me at the time.

“I would prefer a line that would make sure, or try and make sure, the other team didn’t score. I wanted to play a line that would make sure they didn’t score, and the longer the game went, the better chance we had.”

The all-encompassing image of Orr flying through the air was captured by legendary Boston Record American photographer Ray Lussier and is recognized as one of the most famous sports’ photographs ever taken.

The image portrayed the entire sequence in one still. Lussier captured St. Louis future Hall of Fame goalie Glenn Hall falling awkwardly after missing the puck while Orr was sent airborne across the slot by Blues defenseman Noel Picard.

The Record American would evolve through a series of mergers into today’s Boston Herald. The Orr photo has a prominent place at the Herald’s home office in Braintree. The Bruins erected a stature of the “Flying Orr” based on Lussier’s image outside the TD Garden in December 2009.

“Fortunately, because I had a good look at it, I can actually recall it any time I want and I’ve recalled it a million times in my head,” said Sinden.

There were two major trades during Sinden’s tenure in Boston that were signature developments in franchise history. Sinden took over the team in the 1966-67 season, the same year Orr came aboard as the highest paid rookie in league history.

The Bruins were on an upward trajectory with Orr, but the nucleus was created by a trade with Chicago executed by Bruins GM Milt Schmidt.

The Bruins acquired Esposito, Stanfield and Ken Hodge for defenseman Gilles Marotte, center Pit Martin and goalie Jack Norris. The trade is considered one of the greatest fleecings in sports history.

The Bruins were further bolstered with the arrival of Sanderson and Wayne Cashman, a rugged winger who would play on the first line with Esposito and Hodge.

Stanfield centered the second line with Hall of Fame left wing John Bucyk and Johnny “Pie” McKenzie. That culmination of transactions resulted in the birth of the Big Bad Bruins.

“Players make teams and we made a trade for Esposito, Hodge and Freddy Stanfield that gave us two solid lines,” said Sinden. “Sanderson broke into the league as one of the great rookies to ever break into this league.

“Now we had a team and it was a time for an identity to be established, an attitude to be established, and a personality was established.”

Sinden was serving as the Bruins’ GM when he snookered the Vancouver Canucks in June 1986. The Bruins acquired Cam Neely and the Canucks’ first-round pick, which they used to select Glen Wesley, in exchange for Barry Pederson. Neely enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in Boston and currently serves as team president.

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