Peter Chiarelli Might Be The Most Heavily Criticized General Manager In National Hockey League History.
He did win a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011 and nearly did again in 2013 with that same Boston team. But since that time, he has made some of the most head scratching and extremely ridiculed moves of all time. But for this article, we are going to look at his moves strictly with the Bruins, and how poor those moves were for them.
Blake Wheeler To The Atlanta Thrashers
On February 18th, 2011, the Bruins dealt Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the then-Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets) for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik. Rich Peverley was 28-years-old, and during that season with the Thrashers had 34 points through 59 games, and was coming off a 55-point season the previous season. He finished the season with seven points through the final 23 games as a Bruin, and wound up hoisting the Stanley Cup that year while recording 12 points through 25 postseason games.
Over the next two years, he recorded 60 points through 104 games as a Bruin, before being dealt in the 2013-14 offseason. As for Valabik, he was not in the NHL at the time of the trade, recording nine points through 49 American Hockey League games with the Chicago Wolves. He did play for the Thrashers NHL squad in prior years, playing 80 games and recording seven points. However, he never played an NHL game for the Bruins (or any NHL franchise), and was eventually out of the league after the 2013-14 season.
Stuart, at the time, had five points through 31 games as a Bruin, and finished the season with 23 games as a Thrasher and one goal. He wound up playing for the franchise for the next six years, although the team moved to Winnipeg following the 2011 season. He finished with 367 total games with the Jets, recording 52 points and being a solid, defensive-minded rearguard.
Wheeler was only 24 at the time of the trade, and had put up 27 points through 58 games as a Bruin that year. With the Thrashers that season, he played 23 games with 17 points. He has since stayed with that franchise, and has played 594 games in a Jets jersey, with 547 points. So Stuart, the smaller portion of the trade that Boston gave up, had more games played then both Peverley and Valabik combined, and nearly as many points. Wheeler is an elite winger on a stacked team who has more games played and more points than all those players combined, including Stuart. That’s just trade number one.
That Tyler Seguin Trade…
On July 4th, 2013, Chiarelli made one of the most atrocious trades ever. He shipped off Tyler Seguin, Peverley and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. Ryan Button was the Bruins 3rd round pick in 2009 entry draft (86th overall) and he never saw a day in the NHL, and was out of the league by the 2014-15 season. He currently plays in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), where he is mediocre at best.
Peverley only played 62 games with the Stars before he was unfortunately forced to retire. For those who didn’t know what happened to Peverley, he died on the Stars bench before being revived by medical personnel, and would never be able to play hockey again. In those 62 games, he posted 30 points, and he could potentially still have been a part of the team today as a solid depth option.
As for Seguin, he has become a premier center with the Stars. He had suited up for 203 games as a Bruin through three years, recording 121 points, including 56 goals. With the Stars he elevated his game, playing in 446 games through six seasons (including this season), with 439 points, 198 of those being goals.
Solid Deal For The Bruins
On the Bruins end, Loui Eriksson wasn’t bad. Prior to the trade he had played 501 games with the Stars, with 357 points. He had proven to be a 25+ goal scorer and continued that pattern into Boston. He suited up for 224 games in Boston, recording 62 goals and 147 points. He then left as a free agent to join the Vancouver Canucks, where he has since struggled mightily and hasn’t found his goal scoring prowess.
Smith was 22 years old when he joined the Bruins and was coming off 40 games played spanning two seasons with Dallas, recording nine points. He went on to play for the Bruins for two seasons, finding his game and recording 91 points through 163 games played. He moved onto Florida, where he proved once again that he was a solid middle six forward before being left unprotected in the expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights. He remains a top player on a successful Vegas team.
As for Morrow, he was 21 at the time but hadn’t yet played in the NHL. However, he was a former first round selection (23rd overall) in 2011 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had played in 66 AHL games between the Texas Stars and the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, recording 19 points. He played in the AHL his first season in the Bruins organization with their AHL affiliate Providence Bruins. There, he recorded 29 points through 56 games while showing great improvement, getting ten more points in ten fewer games.
The following season, he recorded 12 points through 33 games with Providence before being called up to the Boston. There, he recorded one goal through 15 games. He followed that up the following season by dressing for 33 games with Boston and recording seven points, but was for the most part a healthy scratch. In 2016-17 he started with Boston, playing in 17 games with just one assist before being reassigned to Providence and playing three games, scoring once.
He was then moved to Montreal, where he recorded 11 points through 38 games. Over the last two years he has played with the Winnipeg Jets, playing solid on the bottom two defensive pair when he isn’t a healthy scratch. He has recorded 11 points through 57 games in a Jets jersey.
Finally, Fraser was 23 years old when he joined the Bruins. He played 13 games with three points in Dallas before arriving in Boston. He wound up playing just 38 games with five points before being shipped off to the Edmonton Oilers. He hasn’t played a single NHL game since finishing the 2014-15 NHL season with Edmonton, where he played 36 games with nine points. After the 2015-16 season he went to Europe to play and has stayed there ever since.
All in all, the Bruins got a decent return in Eriksson, who was solid in a Bruins jersey however he only lasted a few seasons before moving on. As for Smith, he went on to become a solid top-six forward but for other teams. Morrow isn’t a big time player but he has been a solid depth piece for Winnipeg, while Fraser wound up being nothing much.
Seguin has stayed with Dallas, and has gone on to become one of the top players in the league. Peverley would have potentially been a solid middle-six forward had it not been for the tragic accident on the Stars bench. Button was nothing and basically cancelled out Fraser in the trade.
There were many trades that could have been included, like trading two second round picks for Brett Connolly. However, those second rounders haven’t yet turned into much of anything, although those players are still young (Boris Katchouk and Matthew Spencer).
No one is saying current Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has done much better. He has offloaded Milan Lucic but he also butchered the Hamilton trade, as the first round pick he received wound up being Zach Senyshyn, who has done nothing. Sweeney also traded way too much for Rick Nash, who was less than stellar with the Bruins in the half-year he played in Boston (he gave up Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, a 2018 1st round pick which ended up being Jacob Bernard-Docker, and a 2019 7th round pick). Sweeney hasn’t been overly aggressive in trades, but when he has, he has certainly whiffed on them.
Yet the Bruins keep doing Boston things, and that’s win with what they’ve got.
All stats via hockey-reference and hockeydb
All trade info via nhltradetracker
Featured Photo Image Credit: Nikos Michals