This is completely a "What if" situation that can't be proved either way, but if the Bruins had beaten the Flyers in the 2010 playoffs, would they have still landed Nathan Horton? Obviously that Bruins team had significant injuries and a dreadful offense, along with blowing a 3-0 lead in the playoffs serving as the impetus to land a top flight scorer. However, at least in my recollection, I can't recall if anything was discussed with the Bruins draft position. As many of you probably know, the teams who reach the conference finals are slotted in the last four spots of the draft regardless of regular season record. Chicago beat Philly in the finals that season, so Chicago had the 30th overall pick in the first round, Philly the 29th, and then the Sharks (who lost to the Blackhawks in the WCF) had the 28th pick and Montreal (losers in the ECF) had the 27th pick. With the Bruins losing to Philly, their first round draft selection ended up being 15th overall instead of 27th-30th had they held onto the lead.
Long story short, does Florida make the same trade if the Bruins do not blow the lead against the Flyers and do not have the 15th overall pick?
We might have had to give up more and there's a chance we would have to have gone in a different direction, but unless we went on to beat Chicago in the finals, I have a hard time believing that Chiarelli would look at that group of forwards and not think he had to add something.
Look at the forwards who made up the 2010 roster, then factor in Satan going back to Russia and Sturm expected to miss the first half of the year with a knee injury. There was no way Chiarelli was going to start the year without getting Horton.
Team had the league's worst offense that regular season.
I think Horton (or a similar player) was on Chiarelli's radar no matter what.
It's amazing how bad that team was compared to every other team we've iced since we started this run (which I'd say started game 6 against Montreal when we were the 8 seed). I know there were injuries, but by the end of that year, I'm pretty sure the lineup looked like this:
Lucic Savard Satan
Paille Bergeron Recchi
Wheeler Sobotka Ryder
Begin Whitfield Thornton