Breaking Bad: Unceremonious Boston Sports Breakups

Just one season after leading the charge as the Bruins ended a 39-year Stanley Cup drought, Tim Thomas' career with the Black and Gold is over, as the Bruins traded him to the NY Islanders. As a result, many fans have turned on the man who was a sports hero just a year ago.

While Thomas' tale is interesting, he's far from the only athlete to have an unceremonious breakup with Boston. Whether it was a crowd favorite-turned-villain, whether a franchise player never ever should have left, or whether the player or coach fell quickly into the bad graces of the front office, here's a look at some notable Boston sports departures. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins, 2013 Just one season after leading the charge as the Bruins ended a 39-year Stanley Cup drought, Tim Thomas' career with the Black and Gold is over, as the Bruins traded him to the NY Islanders. As a result, many fans have turned on the man who was a sports hero just a year ago. While Thomas' tale is interesting, he's far from the only athlete to have an unceremonious breakup with Boston. Whether it was a crowd favorite-turned-villain, whether a franchise player never ever should have left, or whether the player or coach fell quickly into the bad graces of the front office, here's a look at some notable Boston sports departures. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players in history. He could have been remembered as a great Boston Red Sox player, but instead he became synonymous with the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Babe Ruth, Boston Red Sox, 1919 Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players in history. He could have been remembered as a great Boston Red Sox player, but instead he became synonymous with the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player to ever lace up a pair of skates, never should have left the Boston Bruins. Thanks to his sneaky agent, Alan Eagleson, he did, though only for two injury-plagued seasons with the Blackhawks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, 1976 Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player to ever lace up a pair of skates, never should have left the Boston Bruins. Thanks to his sneaky agent, Alan Eagleson, he did, though only for two injury-plagued seasons with the Blackhawks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Carlton Fisk was and still is a Red Sox legend, but a "mistake" by Haywood Sullivan in offering Fisk a contract allowed the Hall of Fame catcher to leave via free agency. Those 13 seasons with the White Sox remain as a painful reminder for all Red Sox fans. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox, 1981 Carlton Fisk was and still is a Red Sox legend, but a "mistake" by Haywood Sullivan in offering Fisk a contract allowed the Hall of Fame catcher to leave via free agency. Those 13 seasons with the White Sox remain as a painful reminder for all Red Sox fans. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Red Sox GM Dan Duquette famously declared Clemens to be in the "twilight" of his career, but the flamethrower went on to win 162 more games and four Cy Young Awards after leaving the Red Sox. Of course, some of that (or all of it) was with the help of some chemicals (allegedly), so it's hard to fault the organization too much for letting Clemens go. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty)
Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox, 1996 Red Sox GM Dan Duquette famously declared Clemens to be in the "twilight" of his career, but the flamethrower went on to win 162 more games and four Cy Young Awards after leaving the Red Sox. Of course, some of that (or all of it) was with the help of some chemicals (allegedly), so it's hard to fault the organization too much for letting Clemens go. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty)
Head coach Rick Pitino arrived as coach and president of the storied Celtics organization with much fanfare (and a $70 million contract). And he tried to rewrite the story completely. From forcing Red Auerbach out of the basketball operations to some truly lousy basketball, the Pitino era was one of the worst in Celtics history. (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rick Pitino, Boston Celtics, 2001 Head coach Rick Pitino arrived as coach and president of the storied Celtics organization with much fanfare (and a $70 million contract). And he tried to rewrite the story completely. From forcing Red Auerbach out of the basketball operations to some truly lousy basketball, the Pitino era was one of the worst in Celtics history. (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
Laywer Milloy may not have been the biggest star on the Patriots, but when he was cut just before the 2003 season began, it sent shockwaves throughout New England. Some fans and media said Bill Belichick had lost his mind, while others said Milloy wanted too much money and was expendable. Milloy would go on to play eight more seasons, while the Patriots would win the next two Super Bowls. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Lawyer Milloy, New England Patriots, 2003 Laywer Milloy may not have been the biggest star on the Patriots, but when he was cut just before the 2003 season began, it sent shockwaves throughout New England. Some fans and media said Bill Belichick had lost his mind, while others said Milloy wanted too much money and was expendable. Milloy would go on to play eight more seasons, while the Patriots would win the next two Super Bowls. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Nomar Garciaparra, 2004, Boston Red Sox (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
So maybe Joe Thornton wasn't the best captain in the world, and maybe the Bruins needed a roster shakeup to become a contending team. But when Mike O'Connell shipped Thornton to San Jose and got just Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart in return, it was both shocking and embarrassing for the Bruins. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Joe Thornton, Boston Bruins, 2005 So maybe Joe Thornton wasn't the best captain in the world, and maybe the Bruins needed a roster shakeup to become a contending team. But when Mike O'Connell shipped Thornton to San Jose and got just Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart in return, it was both shocking and embarrassing for the Bruins. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Johnny Damon was a fearless, gutsy player, and he laid it all out on the line in his four memorable seasons in Boston. Had he left the Sox for more dollars elsewhere, most fans would have understood. However, spurning the Sox for an extra few million from the Yankees was deemed unforgivable for a long time in Boston. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Johnny Damon, Boston Red Sox, 2006 Johnny Damon was a fearless, gutsy player, and he laid it all out on the line in his four memorable seasons in Boston. Had he left the Sox for more dollars elsewhere, most fans would have understood. However, spurning the Sox for an extra few million from the Yankees was deemed unforgivable for a long time in Boston. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Mike Vrabel was most certainly nearly finished as an NFL linebacker when the Patriots threw him in as part of the Matt Cassel trade, but it was his comments about Patriot Place and the owners making money off the players that made the departure interesting. Did Robert Kraft push to move a highly influential player like Vrabel out after the Patriot Place comments? Whether he did or not, a three-time Super Bowl champion was sent packing in a rather abrupt fashion.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Mike Vrabel, New England Patriots, 2009 Mike Vrabel was most certainly nearly finished as an NFL linebacker when the Patriots threw him in as part of the Matt Cassel trade, but it was his comments about Patriot Place and the owners making money off the players that made the departure interesting. Did Robert Kraft push to move a highly influential player like Vrabel out after the Patriot Place comments? Whether he did or not, a three-time Super Bowl champion was sent packing in a rather abrupt fashion. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
For years, Manny could get away with almost anything he wanted to. Being one of the best right-handed hitters ever gives you that leeway. However, in 2008, when he shoved then-64-year-old Jack McCormick in a hissy fit, and when he slapped Kevin Youkilis in the dugout, it was finally time for the Sox to move on. A World Series MVP and a man who hit 274 homers for the Red Sox was shipped out at the deadline, and it was a move that very few Sox fans seemed to mind. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox, 2008 For years, Manny could get away with almost anything he wanted to. Being one of the best right-handed hitters ever gives you that leeway. However, in 2008, when he shoved then-64-year-old Jack McCormick in a hissy fit, and when he slapped Kevin Youkilis in the dugout, it was finally time for the Sox to move on. A World Series MVP and a man who hit 274 homers for the Red Sox was shipped out at the deadline, and it was a move that very few Sox fans seemed to mind. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
An integral member of three Super Bowl-winning teams and still just 29 years old at the time, Richard Seymour was shipped out of town one week before the 2009 season began. Seymour had held out in the past and, as evidenced by the trade, had fallen out of Bill Belichick's good graces. He found out the hard way what happens when you're no longer in Belichick's good graces. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Richard Seymour, New England Patriots, 2009 An integral member of three Super Bowl-winning teams and still just 29 years old at the time, Richard Seymour was shipped out of town one week before the 2009 season began. Seymour had held out in the past and, as evidenced by the trade, had fallen out of Bill Belichick's good graces. He found out the hard way what happens when you're no longer in Belichick's good graces. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Terry Francona was arguably the best manager in Boston Red Sox history, but his departure from the club was as ugly as it gets. While the exact facts were a bit jumbled, the appearance was that ownership forced Francona to step aside and, after he didn't fully cooperate, stories of his broken marriage and prescription drug problems were shared in a Boston Globe story. That's hardly a fitting farewell for the man who led the team to two World Series. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox, 2011 Terry Francona was arguably the best manager in Boston Red Sox history, but his departure from the club was as ugly as it gets. While the exact facts were a bit jumbled, the appearance was that ownership forced Francona to step aside and, after he didn't fully cooperate, stories of his broken marriage and prescription drug problems were shared in a Boston Globe story. That's hardly a fitting farewell for the man who led the team to two World Series. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Wes Welker took a several hundred hard hits for the Patriots for six seasons, but joined forces with Peyton Manning and the Broncos when he hit free agency. Welker took less money to go to Denver, and put up very Welker-like numbers in his first season with Manning, hauling in 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Wes Welker, New England Patriots, 2013 Wes Welker took a several hundred hard hits for the Patriots for six seasons, but joined forces with Peyton Manning and the Broncos when he hit free agency. Welker took less money to go to Denver, and put up very Welker-like numbers in his first season with Manning, hauling in 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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