On July 4, 2013, the Boston Bruins ignited fireworks across the NHL with a seven-player trade just 10 days after Boston lost the Stanley Cup to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The big shocker? The trade of center Tyler Seguin, an upcoming-and-coming star center who was with the Bruins for three years. Seguin had won a cup with the Bruins his rookie season, but the mix of a disappointing postseason and concerns about his behavior off the ice is what most believe ultimately led to him being traded.
The Bruins traded Seguin, forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson and prospects Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. The trade was hard to comprehend then and four years later, it’s still shocking.
Since the Bruins officially bought out Jimmy Hayes, the remaining piece of the Seguin trade, this offseason, it seemed like the perfect time to reflect on how and where the Bruins ended up with nothing.
Let’s start with the first player the Bruins lost from the Seguin trade – Fraser. When Fraser came to Boston he had been going back and forth between the AHL and NHL, so the Bruins seemed like the perfect place to make a name for himself. However when Fraser got the chance to do so his game was weak. He averaged 10 minutes per game and managed only five goals in 38 game across two seasons. By the time the holiday roster freeze occurred he was placed on waivers and soon picked up by the Edmonton Oilers.
Then we have the trade of Reilly Smith on July 1, 2015. The Bruins had just missed the playoffs, which seemed to call for a roster change. Hayes was initially promising. He wasn’t a star, but he could definitely add depth where it was needed and get his hands a little dirty, too. The Bruins signed him to a three-year, $6.9 million deal with the high expectations that were unfortunately never met. I could go into detail about the ups and downs of Hayes’ time with the Bruins, but we’d be here for a while.
Next is Loui Eriksson. Eriksson was a decent player, but his first two seasons weren’t great with 32 goals and 84 points in 142 games. By the 2015-2016 season, Eriksson finally seemed to find his game which happened to be the year he became an unrestricted free agent. Instead of trading Eriksson before the deadline the Bruins held onto him until the end of the season, hopeful they would make a deal before free agency. They didn’t. Barely an hour into free agency Eriksson signed a six-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks and the rest was history.
And finally we have Joe Morrow, another player who failed to meet expectations. Morrow went back and forth between the AHL and NHL, never making it above the third line. Morrow skated in 65 games as a Boston Bruin, averaging around 16 minutes per game and only scoring 11 total points (two goals and nine assists). He signed a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens at the start of free agency this summer.
The Bruins ultimately lost this trade because of underwhelming performances by almost everyone they acquired, both in the initial trade and the trades that followed. It’s beyond fair to declare this one of the most disappointing trades in Boston Bruins history.