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Bruins Vs. Canucks: How Did Boston Get To The Stanley Cup Finals?

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:

Free Agency:

  • Tim Thomas -Signed in 2002
  • Zdeno Chara - Signed in 2006
  • Shawn Thornton - Signed in 2007
  • Michael Ryder - Signed in 2008

Draft:

  • Patrice Bergeron -Drafted in the second round (45th overall) in 2003
  • David Krejci - Drafted in the second round (63rd overall) in 2004
  • Milan Lucic - Drafted in the second round (50th overall) in 2006
  • Brad Marchand - Drafted in the third round (71st overall) in 2006
  • Tyler Seguin - Drafted in the first round (2nd overall) in 2010, pick acquired in trade for Phil Kessel

Trade:

  • Tuukka Rask - Acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft in 2006
  • Andrew Ference - Acquired from the Calgary Flames with Chuck Kobasew in exchange for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau in 2007.
  • Adam McQuaid - Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2007.
  • Johnny Boychuk - Acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Matt Hendricks in 2008.
  • Mark Recchi - Acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning with a second-round draft pick in exchange for Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums in 2009.
  • Daniel Paille - Acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a third-round draft pick and conditional fourth-round pick in 2009.
  • Dennis Seidenberg - Acquired from the Florida Panthers with Matthew Bartkowski in exchange for Craig Weller, Byron Bitz and a second-round draft pick in 2010.
  • Nathan Horton/Gregory Campbell - Acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Dennis Wideman, a first-round draft pick and a third-round draft pick in 2010.
  • Tomas Kaberle - Acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Joe Colborne, a first-round draft pick and a conditional draft pick in 2011. 
  • Chris Kelly - Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2011.
  • Rich Peverly - Acquired from the  Atlanta Thrashers with Boris Valabik in exchange for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart in 2011.

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.