Looking back on the Boston Bruins trade for Horton

Published August 21, 2023 at 11:54 PM
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Back on May 5, 2010, the Boston Bruins faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and secured an impressive 4-1 victory, pushing them ahead with a strong 3-0 lead in the series.

With just one win needed from their next four games to secure a spot in the Conference Final against the rival Montreal Canadiens, it appeared that a showdown between the Bruins and the Canadiens for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final was in the cards.

However, the anticipated storyline took an unexpected twist, as the Bruins found themselves in a page of NHL history they'd rather forget. After a heartbreaking overtime loss of 5-4 in Game 4, the team went on to suffer three more defeats, culminating in a devastating Game 7 loss at home, despite initially leading 3-0.

This unfortunate turn of events marked the Bruins as only the third team in league history to squander a 3-0 series advantage.


In the aftermath of this major setback, the Bruins' general manager, Peter Chiarelli, took action to strengthen the team's roster.

Recognizing the need for more scoring power, particularly after the struggles of the 2009-10 season and playoffs, Chiarelli made a trade with the Florida Panthers on June 22, shortly before the annual Entry Draft in Los Angeles.

The trade involved sending defenseman Dennis Wideman, the Bruins' 2010 first-round draft pick, and their 2011 third-round pick to the Panthers in exchange for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell.

Horton, who had been selected as the third overall pick by the Panthers in the 2003 Entry Draft, brought with him a track record of consistent scoring, having netted 142 goals and contributed 153 assists over six seasons with Florida.

Despite his reputation for questionable work ethic, the 25-year-old right-winger's physical style and ability to consistently put the puck in the net were exactly what the Bruins were seeking.

Meanwhile, Gregory Campbell, initially seen as a mere add-on to the deal, turned out to be a more significant asset than anticipated. While his stats in 2010 were modest, with two goals and 15 assists, Campbell proved to be more than just an afterthought.

Upon joining the Bruins, Horton seamlessly integrated into the top line alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic. His immediate impact was evident as he tallied 26 goals during the season, trailing only Lucic by four goals.

Horton also contributed six power-play goals, sharing second place with Mark Recchi and closely trailing Michael Ryder and Zdeno Chara.

Horton's presence was particularly felt in the playoffs, where he delivered crucial goals at crucial moments. In the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against arch-rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, Horton's overtime goals in Game 5 and Game 7 played a pivotal role in securing the Bruins' advancement.

Further solidifying his clutch status, he scored the lone goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, leading the Bruins to a 1-0 victory at the TD Garden.

While Horton's performance in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks was less prominent, he experienced a harrowing moment in Game 3 when he suffered a concussion from a blindside hit by Aaron Rome during the Bruins' dominant 8-1 win.

Although unable to continue in the series, Horton joined his teammates in Vancouver for Game 7 and celebrated their championship victory that ended a 39-year drought.

Horton's journey with the Bruins continued for two more seasons, but unfortunately, he faced setbacks due to concussions. Despite these challenges, he returned to the ice after the lockout in January 2013, contributing 13 goals in 43 games.

His playoff performance that year included seven goals and 12 assists, though the Bruins fell short in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Following the season, Horton parted ways with the Bruins, opting to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets, marking the end of his impactful chapter with Boston.

Source: Thehockeywriters
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August 21   |   23 answers
Looking back on the Boston Bruins trade for Horton

Do you think Nathan Horton's arrival and performance have a significant impact on the Boston Bruins during his time with the team?

Yes1773.9 %
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