Every Bruins fan out there should send the Maple Leafs a thank you card. Toronto has arguably set up the B's franchise for continued success over the next 10 seasons. Two trades have done this:
Boston trades 2003-04 Calder Trophy winner G Andrew Raycroft to Toronto for G Tuukka Rask, the 21st overall pick in the '05 draft.
At first the Raycroft-Rask trade didn't seem so lopsided, in his first year in Toronto the former Bruins rookie of the year put up some decent numbers. He went 37-25-9 with a 2.99 goals against average and a .894 save percentage while Rask spent '06-07 in Finland playing in the FNL.
But since then its been all Tuukka. In his short career with the B's, the 25 year old Rask is 47-35-11 with a 2.20 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Raycroft? Well he only lasted two seasons in Toronto and has won 33 games in the past five years jumping around the NHL.
Boston trades former 5th overall pick RW Phil Kessel to Toronto for a 2010 first round pick (2nd overall, C Tyler Seguin), a 2010 2nd round pick (32nd overall, C Jared Knight) and a 2011 first round pick (9th overall, D Dougie Hamilton).
This trade has the chance to go down as one of the most lopsided in NHL history. Now I know people are going to say "Kessel's a 30 goal scorer" and "look at Kessel and Seguin's rookie years, their identical" but if you watch hockey you know those are empty stats. Kessel is a me-first kind of player who never attempted to adapt to Claude's style of play and after leaving Boston was target number one for B's players.
Seguin, on the other hand, after receiving 11 straight healthy scratches in the 2010-11 playoffs, responded with three goals and three assists in games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. That's the type of player you build your team around, a guy who knows how immensely talented he is yet doesn't moan and groan about playing time, instead thrives when he gets the chance.
Seguin, 20, finished his sophomore season with an impressive 29 goals and 38 assists, giving him 67 points on the season.
And then comes Dougie Hamilton. Honestly I don't know if there's a better hockey name than "Dougie", just rolls off the tongue like a Chara slap shot off his stick. Hamilton is only 19 and is expected to compete for a starting job after spending last season on the OHL's Niagara IceDogs. The 6-5 205 pound defensemen put up an astounding 72 points in only 50 games.
So you may ask are the Bruins really set for 10 more seasons? Well come 2023 Rask will be 35 (Tim Thomas won Vezina Trophy's at 34 and 36), Seguin will be 30 and Hamilton will be 29. That's a cornerstone forward and defensemen and a solid goalie whose shown flashes of brilliance. I'd say I like their chances.