The 10 Best Boston Trades in My Lifetime

With the play of Nathan Horton in this year’s NHL playoffs, I have been left wondering how in the world the Bruins were able to acquire such a great talent at a young age for arguably the worst hockey player the sport has ever seen.  Realizing the Bruins pulled off one of the memorable heists in recent memory it got me thinking…what were the best trades in Boston sports in my lifetime?

In the interest of full disclosure I was born on June 25, 1985.  I probably didn’t really start becoming a die-hard Boston fan until 1995 because I freely admit I would root for who it was “cool” to root for to fit in with friends.  Therefore I was obsessed with Ken Griffey Jr, the San Francisco 49ers, Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and Wayne Gretzky.  Therefore you won’t see how Red Auerbach was able to deal for Parrish and McHale, how the Bruins were able to acquire Cam Neely from the Canucks, or even the horrible Red Sox trades (Bagwell, Brady Anderson, etc.)

Below are the ten most beneficial trades in my lifetime for Boston sports.

10) Boston Bruins trade Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 2 first round picks (Tyler Seguin, and TBD)

September 9, 2009

This trade has a “remains to be seen” quality to it. Phil Kessel fell out of favor with Bruins fans because of his lack of toughness. Bruins fans were given a glimpse of what Tyler Seguin brings to the table during the Tampa Bay series. In Game 2 against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals, Seguin notched 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists).  He looked far and away the most skilled player on the ice at that time.  I don’t know whether the punch line is that Seguin is 19-years-old or the Bruins have another top 10 pick because of this trade.

9) New England Patriots trade 4th round pick (John Bowie) to the Oakland Raiders for Randy Moss

April 30, 2007

The 2007-2008 season was a record-setting one for the Patriots as Moss set the record for most touchdowns in a single season.  Tom Brady set the record for most touchdowns thrown in a season.  They went undefeated that year up until the Super Bowl when they lost to the Giants.  Every Sunday from 2007-2010 Patriots fans were treated to a weekly air show on Sundays.  This would have obviously been ranked a lot higher up had the Patriots won anything with Moss, but the fact is they didn’t.

8) New England Patriots trade 2nd round pick (Madieu Williams) to the Cincinnati Bengals for Corey Dillon

April 20, 2004

The Patriots sorely needed a running back going into the 2004-2005 season.  Cincinnati was dying to get rid of its problem child in Corey Dillon.  Bill Belichick hates draft picks.  He loves veterans.  In hindsight it was a match made in heaven.  Corey Dillon rushed for 1,635 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004.  The Patriots would win the Super Bowl in 2004 and 2005 thanks in large part to Corey Dillon.

7) Boston Bruins trade Dennis Wideman to the Florida Panthers for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell

June 22, 2010

The motivation behind the post.  No one hates Dennis Wideman more than my colleague, Tazzi.  In fairness, Wideman was atrocious with the Bruins and seemed to turn the puck over more often than not.  In Horton, the Bruins acquired the sniper they sorely desired and he rewarded them by leading the Spoked B to the Stanley Cup Finals his first year with the team.  Gregory Campbell was also a scrappy player that provided a spark for the fourth line.  To be honest, I probably would have been happy just to get Campbell for Wideman, but Horton was the crown jewel.

6) Boston Red Sox trade Heathcliff Slocumb to the Seattle Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe

July 31, 1997

Heathcliff Slocumb had an ERA of 5.79 with the Boston Red Sox as their closer when they shipped him off to Seattle and acquired prospects Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe.  Varitek went on to play 15 seasons and counting with the Sox and was named captain of the team as well.  Derek Lowe did it all for the Sox as a closer and starter.  Lowe started every series clinching game in the 2004 World Series run.


5) Boston Celtics trade Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and two first round picks (Wayne Ellington and Nikola Pekovic ) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett

August 1, 2007

Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics would have been in basketball purgatory for a very long time, not good enough to win it all, not bad enough to get a franchise changing draft pick.  Garnett brought to Boston an unmatched intensity, an emphasis on defense, and most importantly raised Banner 17.  The argument that they would have won in 2008 also had he not got hurt is a plausible one, but Celtics fans have to settle with the fact that he made basketball in Boston relevant again.

4) Boston Red Sox trade Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge De La Rosa, and a player to be named later (Michael Goss) to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Curt Schilling

November 30, 2003

Theo Epstein traveled to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Schilling family in order to convince him to waive his no trade clause.  Whatever Theo said  worked and Schilling announced he was coming to Boston to win a World Series.  Many thought he was just a blowhard saying things to endear himself to the fan base.  But Schilling proved to be a man of his word leading the Red Sox to their first World Series crown since 1918.  Schilling and his bloody sock will forever live on in Red Sox lore.

3) Boston Celtics trade the fifth pick in the 2007 NBA draft (Jeff Green), Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak to the Seattle Sonics for Ray Allen

June 28, 2007

This isn’t a mistake.  I have the Ray Allen acquisition listed as more beneficial to the Celtics than the Garnett trade because without this trade, the Garnett one doesn’t happen.  Remember, Danny Ainge had a trade in place prior to the 2007 NBA draft that would have landed Garnett but Garnett wouldn’t wave his no trade clause because he didn’t feel that the Celtics could win a championship with the roster they had.  Once Allen was on board KG happily accepted a trade to Boston, promptly won an NBA championship, and changed the landscape of the NBA for the foreseeable future.

2) Boston Red Sox trade Carl Pavano, Tony Armas Jr., to the Montreal Expos for Pedro Martinez. 

November 18, 1997

Yes, Pedro helped bring 2 World Series championships to Boston during the time he was in town.  But almost more important than that, from 1997-2002, Pedro was must see TV.  I don’t know any Red Sox fan that didn’t make every effort to get tickets to a game Pedro was on the hill, or at least try to get home and be tuned into NESN right at 7 o’ clock.  He may very well be the best pitcher to ever take the ball and he pitched right here in Boston because Dan Duquette was willing to part with top prospects Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, Jr.

1) New England Patriots give up first round pick in 2000 (Shaun Ellis) to the Jets in order to retain Bill Belichick as head coach

January 4, 2oo0

There isn’t a day that goes by that New York Jets fans can even pretend they are happy with how Belichick’s one day tenure with the team went.  Since Belichick scribbled his resignation on a napkin, the Patriots have been to four Super Bowls, winning three of them, and were the dynasty in the NFL from 2000-2010.

In 10 years with the Jets, Ellis has played in 170 games and recorded 72.5 sacks. Nice numbers but I think I prefer the 3 rings.

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF


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