Oates spent just under six seasons as a member of the Bruins and compiled the most productive year of his career during his first full season with the team, recording 45 goals and 97 assists for a total of 142 points in 84 games played in 1992-93.
He was acquired by the franchise via trade on Feb. 7, 1992, when Oates became entangled in a disagreement with the St. Louis Blues over his contract. The Bruins sent Craig Janney and Stephane Quintal to St. Louis in exchange for Oates. In 368 games with the team, he registered 142 goals and 357 assists for 499 points.
In 1996-97, Oates criticized the Bruins' management group for the team's disappointing season. He was quickly traded to the Washington Capitals with Bill Ranford and Rick Tocchet in exchange for Anson Carter, Jason Allison and Jim Carey.
Oates played in over 1300 career games, which included stops with the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, Bruins and Blues. He recorded 341 goals and 1079 assists for 1420 career points.