It might be hard to believe when the Bruins' most recent deal consisted of sending last year's leading goal-scorer Marco Sturm to Los Angeles for what general manager Peter Chiarelli admitted was "nothing," but the Bruins have had their share of memorable deals in franchise history.
They landed Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from Chicago in 1967 for the low, low price of Gilles Marotte, Pit Martin and Jack Norris, and Espo and Co. helped bring the last two Cups to Boston in 1970 and 1972.
The Bruins later flipped Esposito and Carol Vadnais to the Rangers for Brad Park and Jean Ratelle in 1975, and that may have led to more Cups had injuries not prevented Park and Bobby Orr from playing more than a handful of games together.
And more recently, the Bruins have enjoyed fleecing the Leafs, stealing Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft, then getting two first-round picks and a second in exchange for Phil Kessel. Out of that haul, Tyler Seguin is already with the big club, Jared Knight is a promising prospect and the final first-rounder next year could be another lottery selection with Toronto struggling mightily again this season.
But as good as all those trades were, one deal stands above all others when it comes to ranking the Bruins' greatest heists.
On June 6, 1986, Harry Sinden landed a budding young power forward named Cam Neely, plus a first-round pick, for aging playmaker Barry Pederson.
Pederson went on to play parts of four seasons with the Canucks. He posted solid 60-137-197 totals in 233 games, but never played in a postseason contest with Vancouver.
Neely fared just a bit better in Boston, where he had 344-246-590 totals in 525 games, plus another 55-32-87 in 86 playoff games en route to being enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The numbers don't tell the whole story though, as Neely's toughness and tenacity continued a proud tradition in Boston and forever endeared him to the club's fan base.
And that first-round pick produced defenseman Glen Wesley, who added another 77-230-307 in 537 games in Boston, plus 47 points in 105 playoff games.
The Wesley part of this transaction also gives this trade much of its continuing legacy, as Wesley was in turn traded to Hartford for three first-round picks in 1994. Those picks yielded a longtime defensive stalwart in Kyle McLaren, a far more forgettable blueliner in Johnathan Aitken and speedy scorer Sergei Samsonov.
Samsonov collected 164-212-376 totals in 514 games in Boston before he in turn was traded to Edmonton in 2006 for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and the second-round pick that produced the latest Bruins power forward and this year's leading goal-scorer Milan Lucic.
Add in the fact that Neely returned to the organization as a vice president in 2007 before being named the club's president this past July, and this truly is the trade that never stops giving.
That's also why there's never been a better deal for the Bruins than that transaction with the Canucks 24 years ago that turned a burly winger from Comox, British Columbia into a Bostonian.
Do you think that the Neely deal was the best trade in Bruins' history? Share your thoughts below.