Trade for Phil Esposito marks Bruins’ best one-year turnaround


One of the Original Six teams, the Boston Bruins have suffered their share of ups and downs. But it’s been mostly successful for the Bruins, who once again made the playoffs this season, but fell in the second round. 

However, it hasn’t been all bright for the B’s. If you’re around for 97 years, you’re going to struggle at points, and some of the very early teams for the Bruins certainly had those struggles. 

What was the worst season in Bruins history?

The Boston Bruins entered the NHL as the first U.S.-based team in 1924. The five Canadian teams did not give the Bruins a warm welcome in the 1924-25 season. 

Boston went 6-24-0, finishing with a win percentage of .200. It would appear that only Jimmy Herbert decided to show up that season for Boston, with 23 points in 30 games. He was the only Bruins player to have double-digit points that season. 

Having a poor inaugural season is expected, so you can make the argument that their worst season ever came in 1961-62. The Bruins finished 15-47-8, a win percentage of .271. In that season, Boston went 20 consecutive games without a win, which included the entire month of February. 


At the time, it was just the Original Six teams in the league, so they played each other 14 times. The Bruins did not beat a single team more than four times.

What was the Bruins’ best one-year turnaround in history?

The best turnaround for the Bruins in one year came after their tough introduction into the league. In 1925-26, the team went from a win percentage of .200 to .528, going 17-15-4. It looked like it would be another disappointing season for Boston, but the team won 13 out of its last 17 games to get over .500.

After struggling during most of the 1960s, the Bruins pulled off a trade that ended up being one of the most lopsided in history, getting future Hall of Famer Phil Esposito from the Chicago Blackhawks. With Esposito, the Bruins went 37-27-10 in the 1967-68 season, improving upon their previous year record of 17-43-10, seeing an increase in win percentage of .254. It snapped an eight-year span where Boston missed the playoffs, and just five years later, the Bruins had won two Stanley Cups.