Here are the top 10 worst moves the Boston Bruins have done since 2000.
10) Signing Brian Leetch to a 1 year, 4 million dollar deal.
The Bruins had just lost Sergei Gonchar, had missed out on the Chris Pronger sweepstakes, and in were desperate need to have a puck moving defenseman and a veteran guy to anchor a young blue line. Leetch signed, for at the time, significant money. Leetch didn’t play awful, but he had his worst season of his career and missed 21 games due to injury, finishing with only 32 points.
9) Signing Shawn McEachern to a 2 year, 2 million dollar deal.
McEachern was supposed to add depth to the lineup, and he had had 4 great seasons in Ottawa and just came off of a 55 point season in Atlanta. McEachern looked old with the B’s, finishing with 2 goals and 8 points in only 28 games before being sent down to Providence.
8 ) Signing Dave Scatchard to a 4 year, 8.4 million dollar deal.
Scatchard actually played well for the B’s, posting 4 goals and 10 points in 16 games, but he was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes for David Tanabe only 16 games into his 4 year deal.
7) Acquired Paul Mara and a 3rd round pick from the Phoenix Coyotes for Nick Boynton and a 4th round pick.
After the Leetch experiment failed, the Bruins still needed a puck moving defenseman. The B’s dealt disgruntled blueliner Nick Boynton the ‘Yotes for Mara. Mara’s point total increased every season in the NHL, and had just come off of a 15 goal, 47 point season. For some reason, he was awful in Boston, and was traded that season at the trading deadline for Aaron Ward. Mara never regained his offensive touch, still never eclipsing the 5 goal, 21 point plateau.
6) Acquired Peter Schaefer from the Ottawa Senators for Shean Donovan.
Most thought this trade was a steal at the time. Donovan was a scrap player, while Schaefer was available due to cap issues and had come off of a 20 goal season and a 45+ point season in subsequent seasons. He was mediocre in Boston, posting 9 goals and 26 points in 63 games. He did play well in the playoffs though. He was demoted to Providence the next season, and then bought out the year after.
5) Signing Martin Lapointe to a 4 year, 20 million dollar deal.
The cheap Bruins refused to pay to bring in top talent, or keep their own guys, but owner Jeremy Jacobs got in a feud with the Red Wings owner, and decided to take one of his guys. Lapointe signed one of the biggest deals in Bruins history at the time. He had just come off of a 27 goal season, but had never cracked 20 before. He was a 2nd/3rd line scrappy player. Lapointe had a good first year, but never cracked 25 points in the next two years. He did however mentor Patrice Bergeron.
4) Trading Kris Versteeg and a conditional pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Bochenski.
This deal started off as a steal. Bochenski looked like a young Glen Murray and scored 11 goals and 22 points in 31 games. It then went the other way. Bochenski was told to bulk up in the offseason and never was the same being being traded to Anaheim for sheriff Shane Hnidy. Versteeg went on to contend for the Calder in Chicago and is one of the better young players in the league.
3) Signing Alexei Zhamnov to a 3 year, 12.3 million dollar deal.
To top off a horrid offseason, after losing out on Mike Modano and Peter Forsberg, the Bruins overpaid for an old veteran center. Slated to be the 2nd center behind Joe Thornton, Zhamnov was bad in his 24 games as a Bruin, posting 1 goal and 9 assists. Not to sound wrong, but thank got he broke his ankle or else the Bruins would have been really screwed cap wise for years.
2) Letting Mike Knuble, Sergei Gonchar, Michael Nylander and Brian Rolston walk during the lockout.
Prior to the worst offseason in Bruins history, the Bruins were being cheap in order to lineup to sign a bunch of players post lockout. They let all of these guys go for nothing, and it hurt them. Gonchar is still one of the best offensive defenseman in the league. Rolston was a beast in Minnesota. Knuble posted 20+ goal seasons with Philly. Nylander was awesome with the Rangers. The Bruins on the other hand, were not so good.
1) Trading Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau.
The Bruins made it clear they could not win with Joe Thornton as their leader, so they traded him…without shopping him around the league and got not even close to equal return back. Thornton went on to win the MVP that season…and turned the San Jose franchise around. He also helped some guy named Cheechoo score 50 goals. Sturm and Stuart were decent players, but were only under contract for 1 more year. Stuart was shipped out of town along with Primeau the next year. It is still one of the worst trades in NHL history.