Boston Bruins: Revisiting the Nathan Horton trade

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 19: Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins skates on the ice during warm ups for Game Four of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on June 19, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 19: Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins skates on the ice during warm ups for Game Four of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on June 19, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Revisiting the Bruins 2010 trade for Nathan Horton that helped to win the 2011 Stanley Cup.

In nine years as general manager of the Boston Bruins, Peter Chiarelli made some trades that were good and some that were not so good. In his tenure as GM, his trade in 2010 that landed Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell will go down as one of his better deals.

After blowing a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in early May of 2010, Chiarelli made a trade with the Florida Panthers on June 22 prior to the Entry Draft in Los Angeles. He sent defensemen Dennis Wideman to the Panthers along with Boston’s 2010 first-round draft pick and their 2011 third-round pick.

In return, the Bruins got forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell. Little did anyone know at the time just how quickly that trade would become impactful. Adding Horton added more scoring to the Bruins, something they missed in their series with the Flyers.

Horton shined on the Bruins first line.

Horton settled in on the Bruins first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. He scored 26 regular-season goals in the 2010-11 season, four less than what Lucic scored. He tallied six power-play goals, but he took his game to another level in the playoffs.

Horton had eight postseason goals, but he had a knack for making some of them count at key times. He scored game-winning goals in Games 5 and 7 against the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

In the Eastern Conference Final, he saved his best playoff goal for last. In Game 7 at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he scored the games only goal in a 1-0 victory that sent the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks.

Horton failed to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final, mainly because he was on the wrong end of a cheap shot. Canucks defensemen Aaron Rome hit him with a blindside check that knocked him out of the remaining Stanley Cup Final in Game 3. The Bruins were trailing 2-0 in the series, but won Game 3, 8-1, on their way to finishing off the Canucks in seven games.

Horton was able to be on the ice at Rogers Arena in Vancouver following the Bruins 4-0 Game 7 win to lift the Stanley Cup.

Horton played two more seasons with the Bruins and dealt with more injuries. He finished with 56 goals and 51 assists during his time in Boston. Campbell settled in on the fourth line and was a part of the Bruins Merlot Line, which ended up being one of the most underrated Bruins with the lunch pail work he did night in and night out.

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Chiarelli’s trade for Horton played a big role in winning the 2011 Stanley Cup. Horton played only three seasons in Boston, but it was a deal that Chiarelli made to help break the 39-year Stanley Cup drought.