Being the general manager of an NHL franchise is no easy task. General managers are under an immense amount of pressure while they attempt to build a roster capable of capturing a Stanley Cup. One of the more stressful tasks for a GM is executing trades. In almost every trade that is made, there is a winner and a loser and no general manager wants to come out on the wrong side of a deal.
Over the past few years, the Boston Bruins have been accused of formulating some questionable or dangerous trades. The majority of their recent deals have been met with negative comments from the local media and fans. Due to this criticism, I decided to build a roster of players that the Bruins have traded away in recent years. Using the NHL Trade Tracker,I was able to dig through trades the Bruins have made to create the roster.
The Bruins are an Original Six franchise with a rich history in the NHL that began in 1924. As one can imagine, many trades have been executed by the Bruins since 1924. To make the rosters apply to what fans see today and to trim down the player pool, some simple rules had to be set in place before the rosters were created.
Building the Roster
The first rule established is that players must be currently active in either the NHL or AHL. Players that are currently still under contract, but have suffered career ending injuries were excluded from being selected. The second rule is an interesting one. I included draft picks that the Bruins traded away. Any player that was chosen by another team with a pick that was originally owned by the Bruins went on the roster, even if they have never played for the Bruins.
It should be noted that the trades that made this roster possible were made by three different Bruin’s general managers. The three GMs are Mike O’Connell, Peter Chiarelli, and Don Sweeney. The trades Chiarelli made show up more than the trades made by O’Connell and Sweeney. Now that we have all that out of the way let’s take a look at the Bruins’ traded player roster.
The Traded Team
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Jamie Benn||Joe Thornton||Phil Kessel|
|Milan Lucic||Tyler Seguin||Blake Wheeler|
|Joe Colborne||Valtteri Filppula||Reilly Smith|
|Benoit Pouliot||Rickard Rakell||Ales Hemsky|
|Left Defense||Right Defense|
|TJ Brodie||Dougie Hamilton|
|Mark Stuart||Johnny Boychuk|
|Matt Hunwick||Dennis Wideman|
Players just missing the cut: Carl Soderberg, Kris Versteeg, Derek Forbort, Alex Petrovic
Draft Pick Trades
A total of six players on this roster were drafted with picks that the Bruins formerly owned. The biggest name on this list of six is Jamie Benn. In 2007, the Bruins traded a fifth-round draft pick to the Blue Jackets for Adam McQuaid. That pick eventually ended up in the hands of the Dallas Stars. Since being drafted by Dallas, Benn has registered 451 points in 510 NHL games, according to HockeyDB.com.
T.J. Brodie’s draft pick was traded in a deal that brought Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew to Boston. Ales Hemsky and Valtteri Filppula’s picks were traded in two separate deals that brought Bill Guerin and Marty McInnis to the Bruins. In 2004, the Bruins swapped picks with the San Jose Sharks that resulted in the Bruins selecting David Krejci and the Sharks selecting goaltender Thomas Greiss. Lastly, Rickard Rakell’s draft pick was traded in a deal that also sent former Bruins first-round pick Joe Colborne away for Tomas Kaberle.
Young Stars Dealt
When it comes to the Bruins, there is no lack of controversial trades involving young players. Highlighting this list of young stars is Tyler Seguin. During the 2014 offseason, Seguin was traded to the Stars for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. This trade naturally upset many fans in Boston. Seguin has since flourished with the Stars and has become one of the better forwards in the NHL. The only player from this trade that is still on the Bruin’s roster is Joe Morrow.
The Seguin trade leads us to the trading of Smith. Smith was traded in July of 2015 for Jimmy Hayes. Smith struggled in his second season as a Bruin but then posted 50 points for the Panthers in his first season in Florida while Jimmy Hayes only amassed 29 points in his first Boston campaign. This trade was met with a lot of negative attention towards the Bruin’s management as it appears the trigger was pulled too early on Smith.
The Bruins also traded a young Phil Kessel in 2009. Trading Kessel helped the Bruins draft Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, and Jared Knight, but since then all three of those players have been traded. Speaking of Hamilton, he was traded to the Flames after reports of contract disputes forced the Bruins to trade him with the threat of an offer sheet looming from the Flames. Hamilton was supposed to be the next number one defenseman in Boston, but those plans obviously did not pan out.
Related – All the Details About the Kessel Trade
If we take a quick trip through time, we find Joe Thornton on the list of stars the Bruins traded away. Thornton was originally drafted number one overall by Boston and had plenty of successful seasons in a Bruins uniform. Some will argue that the deal for Thornton was one of the worst deals Boston has made, as they did not get much in return for him. Thornton is most likely going to end up in the Hall of Fame as he has accumulated over 1300 points and games in his career.
The last emerging young star dealt by the Bruins is Blake Wheeler. Wheeler came to Boston as a free agent after college and had a solid rookie season that had a lot of people excited for his future. However, his sophomore and junior seasons saw a decline in his production, so he was traded along with Mark Stuart for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik. Both Wheeler and Stuart are still on the Winnipeg Jets (then Atlanta Thrashers) and Wheeler has stepped his game up to become one of the most productive wingers in the NHL the last few seasons. Wheeler’s trade seems to be another case of the Bruins trading players much too early.
Acquired then Traded
The Bruins traded for both Dennis Wideman and Johnny Boychuk in 2007 and 2008, but both defensemen were eventually traded again. By trading Wideman, the Bruins were able to bring in Nathan Horton and Greg Campbell who worked out well for the Bruins and their 2011 Stanley Cup run. Since Wideman struggled in Boston, his trade was not met with much disapproval, but the trading of Boychuk brought the exact opposite reaction. Boychuk was moved in order to create cap space and the Bruins acquired two draft picks for him.
Milan Lucic was initially drafted by the Bruins with a pick that was acquired from the Oilers. Lucic had some very solid seasons in Boston before contract issues saw him get shipped out in 2015. One player, the Bruins got in return for Lucic was young goaltender Martin Jones. Jones was then used as a trade piece for the Bruins four days later that sent Jones to the Sharks and eventually to the Stanley Cup finals.
It is evident that this roster is stacked with talent. Some of these players were involved in deals that eventually helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, so you cannot say that every deal was bad, but there are definitely some controversial calls being made by the Bruins’ management. On top of that, contract disputes and cap issues led to the trades of some of these players as well.
A lot of good players were drafted with picks that were originally owned by the Bruins. It is impossible to tell if the team would have drafted any of these players had they kept ownership of their picks, but it will keep fans wondering what could have been.
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.