Barry Pederson
Position Centre
Shot Right
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams Boston Bruins
Vancouver Canucks
Pittsburgh Penguins
Hartford Whalers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born March 13 1961 (1961-03-13) (age 59),
Big River, SASK, CAN
NHL Draft 18th overall, 1980
Boston Bruins
Pro Career 1980 – 1992

Barry Pederson (born March 13, 1961, in Big River, Saskatchewan), is a retired professional centre who played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League between 1980 and 1992. While he was for a time one of the top playmaking centers in NHL, he may be best remembered as the player traded by Boston for Cam Neely, in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.

Playing CareerEdit

Pederson was drafted 18th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft after a glittering junior career with the Victoria Cougars. He would return for one more season in Victoria after being drafted, putting up a dazzling 147 points in 55 games, and another 5 points in a 9 game stint in Boston.

He would break into the NHL in exceptional style in the 1981–82 season, setting Bruin rookie records for goals (44, which still stands) and points (92) and finishing runner-up to Dale Hawerchuk for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. Included in his 92 points was a 7 point effort against the Hartford Whalers which also remains a Bruin rookie record. Pederson and star winger Rick Middleton had instant chemistry, and would be one of the league's most dangerous duos for several seasons.

In 1982–83, he emerged as a full-fledged star, finishing with 46 goals and 107 points. He led the Bruins in assists and points, and finished 5th in league scoring (the only player in the top 8 not to eventually make the Hockey Hall of Fame). In the playoffs, he would take his game to another level, as he and Middleton wreaked havoc combining for 65 points in just 17 games before losing out to New York Islanders in the conference finals. Pederson finished 3rd in playoff goals and points despite not reaching the finals.

Pederson would continue his exploits in 1983–84, posting 39 goals and 77 assists for 116 points. His assist and point totals again led the Bruins, and his point total placed him 6th in the NHL. His 77 assists were 3rd in the league behind only Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey. He would play in his second consecutive NHL All-Star Game, and was selected to represent Canada at the 1984 Canada Cup tournament that summer.

At this point Pederson, despite being only 23, was one of the brightest young players in the game, and his career was on par with players like Denis Savard, Michel Goulet, Ron Francis and Dale Hawerchuk, all of whom have gone on to the Hall of Fame. However, his career would take a turn in the summer of 1984 when he was diagnosed with a benign tumor in his shoulder. He would return for 22 games in the 1984–85 season, posting only 12 points, before a second more serious surgery had to be performed on his shoulder. This procedure required surgeons to remove part of his shoulder muscle, and forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

Pederson returned to Boston's lineup for the 1985–86 season, but didn't perform at the level he had prior to his injury. He finished the season with respectable totals of 29 goals and 76 points, good for 4th on the team but a 40-point drop from his last healthy year two seasons previous. At the conclusion of the season, Boston GM Harry Sinden, fearing that he wouldn't return to form, dealt him to the Vancouver Canucks for Cam Neely and a first-round draft pick.

Sinden's hunch would prove correct, although Pederson was still a fine player in his first couple of seasons in Vancouver. In 1986–87, he finished with 24 goals and team-leading 52 assists for 76 points, and was named Canuck MVP by both the team's media and fans. In 1987–88, he would again lead the team in assists with 52, and added 19 goals for 71 points. He remains one of only 4 player in Canuck history (André Boudrias, Thomas Gradin and Henrik Sedin the others) to record back-to-back 50-assist seasons.

In 1988–89, Pederson would slump to just 16 goals and 41 points while missing almost 20 games due to injury. Dogged by comparisons to Neely, the Canucks would deal him to the Pittsburgh Penguins 16 games into the 1989–90 season. He would continue to struggle in Pittsburgh, finishing the season with just 6 goals and 31 points in 54 games between the Canucks and Penguins. Now primarily a utility player, he would appear in just 46 games in 1990–91, but was a member of the Penguin team that won the Stanley Cup Championship that year.

Released by the Penguins that summer, he signed with the Hartford Whalers but was released after only 5 games. He would sign with the Bruins and finish out his career where he started. At the end of the 1991–92 he retired at the age of only 31.

In recent years, Pederson has worked for NESN as a studio analyst during Bruins telecasts.

Cam Neely TradeEdit

In the summer of 1986, Barry Pederson was a valuable commodity. Still just 25, he was considered one of the best young centers in the game. He had already posted two 100-point seasons, and was only two years removed from finishing 3rd in the NHL in assists and 6th in points. To the offense-starved Vancouver Canucks, who were the 3rd-lowest scoring team in the league the previous year, he looked like a saviour and had the added attraction of being a 'local boy' - while originally from Saskatchewan, he'd played his junior hockey nearby in Nanaimo and Victoria from the age of 15 onward.

However, Boston management were convinced that, despite his age, his best years were behind him as a result of two surgeries during the 1984–85 to remove a tumor from his shoulder. On June 6, 1985, the Canucks sent young winger Cam Neely to the Bruins along with a first-round draft pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft for Pederson. The 9th overall pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Neely's development had stagnated and he finished the 1985–86 season with just 14 goals. However, Boston coveted his size and toughness, and considered him a potential heir apparent to Bruin warriors of the past such as Terry O'Reilly and Wayne Cashman.

Neely's game would take off immediately, as he scored 36 goals in his first year in Boston. The next year he scored 42 and was named a 2nd team All-Star. By the 1989–90 season, he was the most feared power forward in the game, equally respected for his natural scoring touch as for his ferocious fighting ability. At the same time, Pederson's career would go into a spiral. After a solid start in Vancouver, by the time Vancouver dealt him away in 1989 he was a marginal NHL player. He would register less than 100 points past the age of 27, and was out of the game by 1992.

While Neely's career was cut horribly short by injury, he still registered three 50-goal seasons, is a legend in Boston, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005. To add insult to injury, Vancouver poor season following the deal turned the draft pick into the #3 overall selection in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, with which the Bruins selected Glen Wesley. Wesley would develop into an All-Star defender for the Bruins, and go on to a stellar 20-year career.

The Neely-Pederson trade is, as such, regarded as one of the most lopsided deals in the history of the NHL. Most Canuck fans also consider it to be the biggest blunder in the history of the franchise, and it remains a sore topic over 20 years later.

Records and AchievementsEdit

  • Reached 50 career playoff points in only 28 games played (faster than any player in history other than Wayne Gretzky)
  • Holds the Boston Bruins record for most goals by a rookie with 44 in 1981-82

Career StatisticsEdit

                                            --- Regular season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
1976-77  Nanaimo Clippers            BCJHL  64   44   74  118   31  --  --  --  --  --
1977-78  Nanaimo Clippers            BCJHL  63   51  102  153   68  --  --  --  --  --
1977-78  Victoria Cougars            WCHL    3    1    4    5    2  --  --  --  --  --
1978-79  Victoria Cougars            WHL    72   31   53   84   41  --  --  --  --  --
1979-80  Victoria Cougars            WHL    72   52   88  140   50  16  13  14  27  31
1980-81  Victoria Cougars            WHL    55   65   82  147   65  15  15  21  36  10
1980-81  Boston Bruins               NHL     9    1    4    5    6  --  --  --  --  --
1981-82  Boston Bruins               NHL    80   44   48   92   53  11   7  11  18   2
1982-83  Boston Bruins               NHL    77   46   61  107   47  17  14  18  32  21
1983-84  Boston Bruins               NHL    80   39   77  116   64   3   0   1   1   2
1984-85  Boston Bruins               NHL    22    4    8   12   10  --  --  --  --  --
1985-86  Boston Bruins               NHL    79   29   47   76   60   3   1   0   1   0
1986-87  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    79   24   52   76   50  --  --  --  --  --
1987-88  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    76   19   52   71   92  --  --  --  --  --
1988-89  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    62   15   26   41   22  --  --  --  --  --
1989-90  Vancouver Canucks           NHL    16    2    7    9   10  --  --  --  --  --
1989-90  Pittsburgh Penguins         NHL    38    4   18   22   29  --  --  --  --  --
1990-91  Pittsburgh Penguins         NHL    46    6    8   14   21  --  --  --  --  --
1991-92  Hartford Whalers            NHL     5    2    2    4    0  --  --  --  --  --
1991-92  Boston Bruins               NHL    32    3    6    9    8  --  --  --  --  --
1991-92  Maine Mariners              AHL    14    5   13   18    6  --  --  --  --  --
         NHL totals                        701  238  416  654  472  34  22  30  52  25

Coaching StatisticsEdit

Season  Team           Lge  Type
1994-95 Boston College NCAA Assistant coach 

External LinksEdit

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