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Why didn't the Boston Bruins make an effort to keep Glen Wesley after 1993-94?

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04-21-2017, 09:17 AM
  #1
Michael Whiteacre
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Why didn't the Boston Bruins make an effort to keep Glen Wesley after 1993-94?

In all honesty, Glen Wesley's best years from an offensive production standpoint were definitely with the Boston Bruins from his debut as a 19-year-old teenager in '87-'88 through '93-'94, totaling his first seven seasons in the NHL and with the team. After Boston dealt him to Hartford, Wesley was either never the same offensively productive blueliner, or could it have been that Wesley was told to play specific defensive-minded roles with Hartford/Carolina and Toronto.

'87-'88 had Wesley paired up with Reed Larson on the second D pairing as Gord Kluzak was paired up with Bourque on the first pair. Wesley potted 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points in 77 games with a +23 in '88-'89 for Boston.

'88-'89 saw Wesley get promoted to the first D pairing with Bourque as Kluzak was out for most of '88-'89 due to catastrophic knee injuries that proved to be eventually career-ending, and Wesley would go on to be Ray Bourque's blueline partner through '93-'94. I think Don Sweeney eventually got promoted to the first defensive pairing unit with Ray Bourque ostensibly to take Wesley's place due to Wesley being traded to Hartford.

Meanwhile, even though Wesley remained a top-two blueliner in Hartford, he didn't have a long-term blueline partner like he had with Ray Bourque in Boston, as Wesley was paired up with a young Chris Pronger, Jeff Brown and Curtis Leschyshyn in Hartford; the late Steve Chiasson and aging former NHL star Paul Coffey, before Wesley got demoted to the second unit in '99-'00 partnered up with Marek Malik, Kevin Hatcher, David Tanabe, Niclas Wallin and Mike Commodore for the rest of his career, save for '02-'03 in Toronto and '05-'06 in Carolina where he mostly served as an extra blueliner.

The silver lining for Wesley was that he would go on to win his one-and-only Stanley Cup Championship in '05-'06 with the Hurricanes after having lost his previous three Stanley Cup Finals series, twice with Boston in '87-'88 and '89-'90 and another one in '01-'02 with Carolina.

Wesley was only in his mid-20s when he was traded from Boston to Hartford. In retrospect, Boston should've found a way to keep Glen Wesley as he was a better point scoring blueliner than Don Sweeney imo, so there was no reason for Wesley's production to all of a sudden plummet to catastrophic levels when he moved to Hartford.

EDIT Update: I just found out that Harry Sinden was too cheap to think about keeping Glen Wesley after '93-'94 due to him being a restricted free agent. Sinden dealt him to Hartford in 1994, so basically he chose to keep the injury-prone Al Iafrate over the promising Wesley. What happened afterwards was that Iafrate spent the next two years ('94-'95 and '95-'96) on the sidelines dealing with serious knee injuries, to the point that Sinden probably regretted dealing away Wesley when Iafrate wasn't gonna be much help to Boston, plus Wesley had a big contract he couldn't live up to, hence his premature dip in production with Hartford, so Sinden probably opted to go with Don Sweeney as Bourque's blueline partner not because Iafrate or Wesley were gonna be impact players after 1994.


Last edited by Michael Whiteacre: 04-21-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Edit Update
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04-21-2017, 09:40 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Jim Rutherford made them an offer they couldn't refuse. It was as simple as that. It would be dumb to hold onto a Wesley type player for even more than what the Bruins got back for Phil Kessel.

The Whaler-Cane organization got very, very, very lucky that the mid-90s were such a wasteland of draft talent. That could have been a franchise crippling trade. And even then, if you look closely at those drafts Boston narrowly missed assembling a powerhouse out of that trade. They picked McLaren immediately ahead of Dvorak and Iginla, Aitken immediately ahead of Ruslan Salei, and the 2nd winger taken after Samsonov was Marian Hossa.

Carolina's not complaining, but my god Jim Rutherford could be a double-edged sword when it came to trading.

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04-21-2017, 09:50 AM
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Michael Whiteacre
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Could Hartford have taken Al Iafrate away from Boston instead of Glen Wesley though, if it was known that Iafrate would spend the next two seasons on the sidelines to mend his serious knee injuries? I'm not saying Iafrate has to suit up for at least one regular season game for the lowly Whalers at any time due to his injuries, but just for his contract.

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04-21-2017, 09:51 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Whiteacre View Post
'87-'88 had Wesley paired up with Reed Larson on the second D pairing as Gord Kluzak was paired up with Bourque on the first pair. Wesley potted 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points in 77 games with a +23 in '88-'89 for Boston.

'88-'89 saw Wesley get promoted to the first D pairing with Bourque as Kluzak was out for most of '88-'89 due to catastrophic knee injuries that proved to be eventually career-ending, and Wesley would go on to be Ray Bourque's blueline partner through '93-'94. I think Don Sweeney eventually got promoted to the first defensive pairing unit with Ray Bourque ostensibly to take Wesley's place due to Wesley being traded to Hartford.
i think david shaw was paired with bourque at least in '93. i remember clearly shaw went from playing with leetch in new york to bourque in boston.

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04-21-2017, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Whiteacre View Post
Could Hartford have taken Al Iafrate away from Boston instead of Glen Wesley though, if it was known that Iafrate would spend the next two seasons on the sidelines to mend his serious knee injuries? I'm not saying Iafrate has to suit up for at least one regular season game for the lowly Whalers at any time due to his injuries, but just for his contract.
Why would the penny-pinching Whalers be taking on contracts from the deep-pocketed Bruins in the cap-free world?

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04-21-2017, 10:01 AM
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Michael Whiteacre
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Glen Wesley never again recaptured his offensive point production once he was dealt from Boston to Hartford in 1994. That was it for him, despite remaining a first-pairing blueliner through '98-'99. Like I said, there was no reason for Glen Wesley's offensive production levels to drastically plummet like it did from '94-'95 onwards since the guy was in his mid-20s at the time. He should've been in his peak prime years, but never happened from an offensive point production standpoint that would've helped him put up better point totals with Hartford/Carolina than he ever did with Boston. Instead, Wesley's peak years were when he began his NHL career.

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04-21-2017, 10:21 AM
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Wesley was wildly inconsistent in Boston. He'd have a good year, sign a 2-year contract and have a lousy year, only to have a good contract year.

At least that's how I remember it

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04-21-2017, 10:29 AM
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Michael Whiteacre
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Wesley was wildly inconsistent in Boston. He'd have a good year, sign a 2-year contract and have a lousy year, only to have a good contract year.

At least that's how I remember it
Even if Glen Wesley was wildly inconsistent throughout his time in Boston from '87-'88 through '93-'94, he wasn't that horrid on offense as he proved to be a solid scoring D-man. It was his move to Hartford that downgraded his point scoring totals IMO even if the guy was only in his mid-20s. Wesley could've been the number one scoring blueliner in Hartford now that he was out of the shadows of Ray Bourque in Boston, but never happened.

And now I'm starting to think that infamous '94-'95 NHL Lockout must've played a big factor in Wesley's premature decline from an offense standpoint. Either that or the NHL rule changes prior to '94-'95 must've hurt Wesley's production for good. What was the rule that was legal from '87-'88 to '93-'94 that allowed Wesley to be a solid point producer for Boston prior to the lockout and rule changes that made it illegal for Wesley to post points from certain areas.

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04-21-2017, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Whiteacre View Post
Could Hartford have taken Al Iafrate away from Boston instead of Glen Wesley though, if it was known that Iafrate would spend the next two seasons on the sidelines to mend his serious knee injuries? I'm not saying Iafrate has to suit up for at least one regular season game for the lowly Whalers at any time due to his injuries, but just for his contract.
The Bruins foolishly traded Joe Juneau for Al (The Planet) Iafrate. If Iafrate were 6-7 years younger with better knees it would've been fine but basically after that years playoffs I don't think that Iafrate played again for Boston. What a waste of talent (Juneau) for a burnt our "Planet."

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04-21-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Why would the penny-pinching Whalers be taking on contracts from the deep-pocketed Bruins in the cap-free world?
Honestly, the penny pinchers were the Bruins. Harry Sinden's picture is in the dictionary under "penny pinchers."

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04-21-2017, 10:57 AM
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Wesley got demoted to the second unit in '99-'00 partnered up with Marek Malik, Kevin Hatcher, David Tanabe, Niclas Wallin and Mike Commodore for the rest of his career, save for '02-'03 in Toronto and '05-'06 in Carolina where he mostly served as an extra blueliner.
This is a pretty serious overstatement. The only times Wesley wasn't the #1 LHD in Carolina was when they had Ozolinsh from 2000 through the trade deadline in 2002, and for three-quarters of a year in 2003-2004 when Danny Markov was #1 on the roster. In 2005-2006 when it was "defense by committee", he certainly was not an "extra"...Wesley played in every game in the playoffs and 64 games during the year (missing time due to injury). I believe Sean Hill was his most frequent partner during this time, not this list of #5/6/7 defensemen you've given.

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04-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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wesley was crap in hartford

but then again, pretty much everyone was during those years

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04-21-2017, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Whiteacre View Post
EDIT Update: I just found out that Harry Sinden was too cheap to think about keeping Glen Wesley after '93-'94 due to him being a restricted free agent. Sinden dealt him to Hartford in 1994, so basically he chose to keep the injury-prone Al Iafrate over the promising Wesley. What happened afterwards was that Iafrate spent the next two years ('94-'95 and '95-'96) on the sidelines dealing with serious knee injuries, to the point that Sinden probably regretted dealing away Wesley when Iafrate wasn't gonna be much help to Boston, plus Wesley had a big contract he couldn't live up to, hence his premature dip in production with Hartford, so Sinden probably opted to go with Don Sweeney as Bourque's blueline partner not because Iafrate or Wesley were gonna be impact players after 1994.
That's pretty much the whole story right there.

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04-21-2017, 12:20 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Honestly, the penny pinchers were the Bruins. Harry Sinden's picture is in the dictionary under "penny pinchers."
I get what you're saying, but Hartford was hardly the team to take on bloated contracts from a successful Original Six team looking to shed salary. Sinden was cheap by choice, Hartford was cheap by default.

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04-21-2017, 03:12 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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i think the difference is boston was too cheap to pay the escalating going rate for a very good #2. hartford was happy to pay a high #2 dman price and play him as their #1.

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