The Trade That Wouldn’t Die

Friday, March 12th, 2004 @ 1:52 am | Sports

With the NHL trading deadline come and gone, a friend and I decided to examine some of the Bruins‘ deals. We both agreed that getting Sergei Gonchar was a good thing. However, it was the swap of Jeff Jillson to Buffalo in a three-way deal with San Jose that really got us talking.

It’s not that the loss of Jillson, nor the expection of great things from Andy Delmore or Brad Boyes this season. It was more the excitement of the latest chapter The Trade That Wouldn’t Die (TTTWD).

TTTWD began in January of 1986, when the Bruins sent center Barry Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for a right winger named Cam Neely and Vancouver’s first-round draft pick in 1987.

Cam Neely, one of my all-time favorite Bruins, played parts of 10 seasons in Boston before injuries forced him to retire. Over those 10 years, Neely scored 363 goals, breaking the 50 goal barrier on three different occasions. Remarkably, the final time he topped 50 goals playing in only 49 games.

10 years of Cam Neely in exchange for Barry Pederson probably would have been acceptable to most Bruins fans. However, there’s was still that first-round draft pick… which became defenseman Glen Wesley.

Wesley made the Bruins in his first training camp and is still playing today. He spent the first 7 years of his now 17-year career on the Bruins blue line before being traded to the Hartford Whalers for 3 first-round draft picks.

Wesley didn’t exactly put the Whalers over the top, as the three picks the Bruins acquired ended up being the 9th pick in 1995 and the 8th picks in ’96 and ’97. With those three picks, the Bruins took Kyle McLaren, Johnathan Aitken, and Sergei Samsonov.

Aitken never really panned out, but he’s currently playing for Chicago after several years out of the NHL

Samsonov is currently in his 7th season with the Bruins. During his time in Boston, he was named the NHL Rookie of the Year and has appeared in the All-Star game.

McLaren was a productive member of the Bruins from 1995 until 2001, when he was sent to San Jose in another three-way deal that sent the Jeff Hackett and the aforementioned Jeff Jillson to Boston.

Hackett played out the year before heading to Philadelphia as a free agent, where he was forced into retirement after dealing with bouts of vertigo. Jillson was in the Boston system for slightly more than a year before shuffling off to Buffalo in exchange for Delmore and Boyes.

What little I know about Delmore is limited to his initial burst onto the playoff scene a few years back and the subsequent failure to live up to his promise. Boyes is a bit more of an unknown and I don’t expect to hear much about him until next season.

Anybody who’s made it this far is probably begging me to wrap this up, but I’m just continually fascinated that a trade made 18 years ago is still directly impacting a professional sports franchise. I’ve gone through this in my head several times over the years, occasionally confusing the players and the dates, so this is really the first time I’ve sat down and made sure I’ve got everything correct.

Before I finish this missive, I just want to point out the Hockey’s Future web site, whose article The Trades That Keep On Giving helped me firm up the dates and that one player I always forgot (Aitken) before committing digital ink to screen.

Comments are closed.