What’s In a Number? #2 – The Russian Bear: BoBo

( ‘What’s In a Number?’ is a new series on Oil On Whyte, taking a jersey number and looking back on a player who once donned it for the Oil. It won’t always be the obvious choice or the most notable player, nor will the series be in numerical order.)

Name : Boris Olegovich Mironov

DOB: March 21st, 1972

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Ht: 6′ 3″ Wt: 220 lbs

Position: Defence

NHL Playing Career: 1993 – 2004

NHL Career Numbers: 716GP  76G – 231A – 307P  891 PIMS

Seasons in Edmonton: 6 (’93-’94 to ’98-’99)

Back in a time when hockey players had nicknames that weren’t just shorted versions of their last name with “s” or “sie” added on the end, the Oilers had a Russian defenceman nicknamed “BoBo”. Boris Mironov was a fixture on the Oilers blueline during the mid-to-late nineties, acquired along side Mats Lindgren and a couple of picks (Jason Bonsignore and Adam Copeland) in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for Dave Manson and a 6th round pick (Chris Kibermanis).

Boris was one of the better all-around defenceman I’ve seen play for the Oilers in the post-glory days; possibly not the greatest praise given that those years since the Cups have either featured the Oilers as a small market team, struggling to keep talent in a cap-less NHL or the Oilers as one of the most mis-managed (if not most mis-managed) team in a cap-era. That said, Boris did it all while being a fixture on the Oilers top pairing, able to chip in offensively both even-strength and on the power-play, with a cannon of a slap shot; as Jason Arnott can unfortunately attest to. By no means was he a scoring fiend, but he did have his most productive years in Oiler silks; scoring 160 points over 320 regular season games, and another 16 points in 24 playoff games.

Skip to 1:17 to see what BoBo was capable of.  By the way, that’s his brother, Dimitri, on the ice for the Caps when he scores that goal. That probably gets brought up every time they meet up for lunch.

He also had the ability to crush opponents in open ice. Unfortunately, good YouTube videos from the 90′s are hard to come by but here’s a barely watchable clip where he eliminates Sam’s dad, Dave Gagner:

Can’t help but think how many games that would be in today’s NHL.

Unfortunately for Mironov, since he played for the Edmonton Oilers, along with the Jets, Blackhawks, and Rangers, he’d never see the Stanley Cup Final. He was never in the running (or of the ability) to win a Norris, but his career was not entirely without accolades. He was named to the NHL All Rookie team in his first year in the league, and would go on to capture Olympic Silver in Nagano and Bronze in Salt Lake with the Russian National team.

His career in Edmonton ended when on March 20th, 1999, he was dealt in a package to Chicago that saw the Oilers get Chad Kilger, Ethan Moreau, Daniel Cleary, and Christian Laflamme in return. He would spend six more years in the league, but his production dropped after leaving Edmonton, a large part due to injury as he would only play over 70 games once in his final six seasons. 2003-’04 would be his final year in the league, playing for the New York Rangers, following that by spending his final seasons in Russia, before retiring for good.

Other Notes: Boris Mironov originally wore #20 when he came to the Oilers, as #2 belonged to Bob Beers, he switched the following season when Beers departed in free agency.

Topics: Boris Mironov, What's In A Number

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