Back in 2008, I did a post about how the infamous Cam Neely trade keeps on haunting the Vancouver Canucks.
Fast-forward three years later to today, and with the Canucks set to face Neely’s Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, it’s perhaps appropriate to once again re-visit this trade.
To expand on that original post in 2008, the Bruins have since traded Dennis Wideman (along with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft) to the Florida Panthers for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell. Horton’s 17 points currently leads the Bruins in playoff scoring and Campbell is a good part of their bottom-six.
Also, Milan Lucic is indeed blossoming into one of the better, young power forwards in the league. He led the Bruins in scoring this regular season with 62 points and was the only Bruin to hit the 30-goal mark. He also became just the 10th player in NHL history to record 30 goals, 30 assists and over 100 PIM.
Likewise, Brad Marchand had a breakout season, hitting the 20-goal mark and recording 41 points in 77 regular season games. He’s kept it up in the playoffs too; after 3 rounds, he sits 4th in team playoff scoring – 20th in the league – with 12 points.
It’s been 25 years since the Canucks traded Neely and their 1st round pick (Glen Wesley) for Barry Pederson, but it’s easy to see the Bruins are still reaping the benefits of this trade. (For what it’s worth, Pederson is also back in Boston working for NESN.)
The Canucks may never, ever get full payback for this trade. And a Bruins Cup win – especially with a roster littered with key players acquired due to the Neely trade – will be the ultimate kick in the ass. On the other hand however, a Stanley Cup win against them will do a hell of a lot to soothe the pain.