With the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks set to begin Wednesday, it is time to look back on how the Bruins got to this point. But not in terms of who they beat to get to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Since the 2000-01 season, the Bruins have missed the playoffs three times, won the President's Trophy, blew a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and are playing in their first Stanley Cup Finals since 1990. These peaks and valleys have facilitated several changes within the organization, most notably the roster. Current general manager Peter Chiarelli and his predecessor, Mike O'Connell, spent the last nine seasons making the necessary moves to build a champion and the Bruins are just four wins away.
Let's take a look at the players that have made the most impact for the current Bruins that joined the team within the last decade:
As you can see, Chiarelli and O'Connell built the 2010-11 Eastern Conference champion Bruins without giving up anyone or anything of incredible value. Timely trades, smart draft picks and steal-worthy free agent signings have made the Bruins one of the most formidable teams in the NHL. And even if they do not win the Stanley Cup this year, the Bruins are sure to compete for years to come.