The Canucks and Bruins have had similar roads to where they are now. Both have dealt with playoff disappointment over the years, but have been building for this moment ever since passing the torch to different/younger leaders after the lockout. Let’s take a look at how these teams have been built.
First, here are a couple basic graphs to show how these two teams have been built in recent years…
(Note: Only players who played in at least one playoff game included)
VANCOUVER CANUCKS Draft- Kevin Bieksa… 5th round pick (151st overall) in 2001 Alexander Edler… 4th round pick (91st overall) in 2004 Jannik Hansen… 9th round pick (287th overall) in 2004 Cody Hodgson… 1st round pick (10th overall) in 2008 Ryan Kesler… 1st round pick (23rd overall) in 2003 Mason Raymond… 2nd round pick (51st overall) in 2005 Cory Schneider… 1st round pick (26th overall) in 2004 Daniel Sedin… 1st round pick (2nd overall) in 1999 Henrik Sedin… 1st round pick (3rd overall) in 1999
Trade- Andrew Alberts… acquired on 3/3/10 from Carolina for third-round pick Keith Ballard… acquired on 6/25/10 from Florida (along w/ Victor Oreskovich) for Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier and first-round pick. Christian Ehrhoff… acquired on 8/28/09 from San Jose (along w/ Brad Lukowich) for Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi. Chris Higgins… acquired on 2/28/11 from Florida for Evan Oberg and a 2013 third-round pick Maxim Lapierre… acquired on 2/28/11 from Anaheim (along w/ MacGregor Sharp) for Joel Perrault and 2012 thrird-round pick Roberto Luongo… acquired on 6/23/06 from Florida (along w/ Lukas Krajicek and sixth-round pick) for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld. Victor Oreskovich… see: Ballard Sami Salo… acquired on 9/21/02 from Ottawa for Peter Schaefer
Free Agency- Alexandre Bolduc… signed on 7/9/08 Alex Burrows… signed on 11/8/05 Tanner Glass… signed on 7/1/09 Dan Hamhuis… signed on 7/1/10 Manny Malhotra… signed on 7/1/10 Aaron Rome… signed on 7/1/09 Mikael Samuelsson… signed on 7/3/09 Jeff Tambellini… signed on 7/1/10 Chris Tanev… signed on 5/23/10 Raffi Torres… signed on 8/24/10
In the summers of 2006, 2008 and 2009, respectively, the Canucks said goodbye to mainstays Todd Bertuzzi, Markus Naslund and Mattias Ohlund. During that time, the organization slowly passed the torch to the current core, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, as well as Roberto Luongo.
Under GM Mike Gillis, the Canucks have made the postseason in three straight years. Gillis has made some very wise moves since taking over in 2008. He has used trades and free agency to build around a solid core assembled via the draft. Gillis has helped the Canucks take the next step and become a perennial contender that isn’t going away anytime soon.
BOSTON BRUINS Draft- Patrice Bergeron… 2nd round pick (45th overall) in 2003 David Krejci… 2nd round pick (63rd overall) in 2004 Milan Lucic… 2nd round pick (50th overall) in 2006 Brad Marchand… 3rd round pick (71st overall) in 2006 Tyler Seguin… 1st round pick (2nd overall) in 2010
Trade- Johnny Boychuk… acquired on 6/24/08 from Colorado for Matt Hendricks Gregory Campbell… acquired on 6/22/10 from Florida (along w/ Nathan Horton) for Dennis Wideman, first-round pick and 2011 third-round pick Andrew Ference… acquired on 2/10/07 from Calgary (along w/ Chuck Kobasew) for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau Nathan Horton… see: Campbell Tomas Kaberle… acquired on 2/18/11 from Toronto for Joe Colborne, first- and second-round pick Chris Kelly… acquired on 2/15/11 from Ottawa for second-round pick Adam McQuaid… acquired on 5/17/07 from Columbus for fifth-round pick Daniel Paille… acquired on 10/20/09 from Buffalo for third-round pick Rich Peverley… acquired on 2/18/11 from Atlanta (along w/ Boris Valabik) for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart Tuukka Rask… acquired on 6/24/06 from Toronto for Andrew Raycroft Mark Recchi… acquired on 3/4/09 from Tampa Bay (along with second-round pick) for Martins Karsums and Matt Lashoff Dennis Seidenberg… acquired on 3/3/10 from Florida (along with Matt Bartkowski) for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and a second-round pick
Free Agency- Zdeno Chara… signed on 7/1/06 Shane Hnidy… signed on 2/26/11 Michael Ryder… signed on 7/1/08 Tim Thomas… signed on 9/14/05 Shawn Thornton… signed on 7/1/07
Following the lockout, the Bruins possessed an array of veterans. None are still in Boston. In fact, only Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas were on the 2005/06 Bruins. They hit the reset button in 2005 with the shocking trade of Joe Thornton. That deal allowed the B’s to bring in other talent, including Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard (currently sidelined with a concussion).
Peter Chiarelli took over as the Bruins’ GM in May of 2006, and has pushed a lot of right buttons – but it’s been a process. Chiarelli has done most of the dirty work for this Bruins club, slowly building the B’s into what they are now, including acquiring 12 current players via trade.
As you can see, the Canucks and Bruins have had similar paths to getting to the Cup final. Vancouver’s route took a little longer, considering they’ve kept most of the core together in the years since the lockout. Boston did a little more work on the trade front; same with Vancouver in free agency and the draft. But both teams tore down what was not working in the playoffs around the lockout, and were re-built into the Cup contenders they are today.
In the end, Mike Gillis and Peter Chiarelli deserve a pat on the back for their efforts in putting together these Stanley Cup final participants.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.