All-Time Trade Teams: The Tumultuous Transactions for Every NHL Franchise

We are now reaching the stretch run in the NHL season. With over 50 games in the books it is fairly evident what teams are in the upper echelon of the league and which teams will be participating in the ‘Fallin for Dahlin’ sweepstakes. This also gives us an idea of who the buyers and sellers will be at the trade deadline on February 26th. To me, trades are one of the most debate provoking aspects of professional sport. The Pittsburgh Penguins back-to-back championships have been greatly influenced by trades that filled the holes in their lineup and bolstered their depth. While success is nice, for the purpose of this piece I want to look at the trades that have agonized fan bases. I want to see the people that moved onto greener pastures and began tearing the league up. I want to see what draft picks have been traded and turned into superstars and what teams have given up on players far too early in their careers.

I am going to be constructing every team’s best all-time lineup out of players and draft picks the organization has traded. For the purpose of this article I will only be using trades that have happened since 1975. I will also only be using players that were traded at the age of 29 or younger. It is unfair to put Ray Bourque on the Bruins all-time team or Mats Sundin on the Leafs all-time team because those players were moved in the twilight of their careers. I will include the age the player was traded at in brackets beside the name. If it was a draft pick that was traded I will put the overall of the pick in brackets beside the name. In certain cases, there have been picks or players that were traded twice. Those players will show up for the various teams at different ages or the draft pick will show up on multiple teams. I understand that this leads to some overlap but if I confined them to one team it would noticeably shrink the player pool. Likewise, I understand the discrepancies some may have involving draft picks. Who is to say Team A would have picked the same player as Team B with the traded pick? For the purpose of this project we are suspending realism and assuming that the picks were constant for each team. I will also be combining rosters for relocated/defunct teams (e.g. the Hurricanes and Whalers will be combined). Finally, I have provided what I deem to be the most lopsided trade for each franchise (along with honourable mentions). This is completely subjective and I would be happy to hear other opinions. Without further ado, let us jump into the All-Time Traded Teams.

Anaheim Ducks

Bobby Ryan (25)

William Karlsson (21) Jordan Eberle (22nd OVR)

Chris Kunitz (28)

Valtteri Filppula (95th OVR) Petr Sykora (28)
Kyle Palmieri (23) Matt Cullen (25)

Patrick Maroon (27)

Joffrey Lupul (21) Mike Sillinger (24)

Curtis Glencross (23)

 

Travis Hamonic (53rd OVR)

Tyler Myers (12th OVR)
James Wisniewski (25)

Jake Gardiner (21)

Oleg Tverdovsky (19)

Ryan Whitney (25)

 

Frederik Andersen (25)

Patrick Lalime (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Jake Gardiner, Joffrey Lupul, and 2013 conditional 4th round pick (117th overall – Fredrik Bergvik) for Francois Beauchemin. 

Having this trade as the team’s worst is a testament to how well Anaheim’s management has done when making deals. Gardiner was a prospect out of Wisconsin (NCAA) at the time and has turned into a useful offensive defenseman for the Leafs. Lupul was a three-time 20 goal scorer who put up 67 points for Toronto in 2011-12 and represented them at the all-star game. Beauchemin was still effective for the Ducks in a top-4 role but he was 30 years old when they traded for him with his best years in the rear-view mirror.

Analysis: Again, Anaheim has been fantastic on the trade front throughout the franchise’s history and it shows on this roster. While there are some decent pieces at each position there is a general lack of star power up front. Frederik Andersen would have to put together a Vezina-caliber season in order for this offensively-starved team to compete.

Arizona (Phoenix) Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets

Brad Marchand (71st OVR)

Dale Hawerchuk (27) Teemu Selanne (25)
Olli Jokinen (29) Daniel Briere (24)

Keith Tkachuk (28)

Brian Mullen (24) Jeff Carter (11th OVR)

Kyle Turris (22)

Brandon Dubinsky (60th OVR) Kris Draper (21)

Paul Stastny (44th OVR)

 

Roman Josi (38th OVR)

Keith Yandle (27)

Keith Ballard (25)

Phil Housley (29)

Dennis Seidenberg (25)

Andrej Sekera (71st OVR)

 

Patrick Roy (51st OVR)

Devan Dubnyk (28)

 

Most lopsided trade: Teemu Selanne, 1996 4th round pick (92nd overall – Kim Staal), and Marc Chouinard to Anaheim for Chad Kilger, Oleg Tverdovsky, and 1996 3rd round pick (62nd overall – Anton Lundstrom).

Honourable mentions:

  • 1984 3rd round pick (51st overall – Patrick Roy) to Montreal for Robert Picard.
  • Kris Draper to Detroit for $1 CDN.

Obviously, this is one of the worst trades in NHL history as Selanne continued to be a superstar in Orange County. He was one of the greatest scorers of his era and played at a high level all the way up until he retired at 43. Tverdovsky was a serviceable defenseman but he was only with the Jets/Coyotes for 4 seasons before heading back to Anaheim while Kilger scored a paltry 13 points in 63 games for the franchise.

Analysis: This Winnizona team is well balanced. With some high-skill forwards, a stout defense, and a fantastic goaltending tandem this team would certainly cause some problems. The Jets traded Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk two seasons before Selanne showed up and ‘The Finnish Flash’ still managed to score 76 goals in his rookie year. This team allows us to see how many goals he would have scored with Hawerchuk feeding him the puck.

Boston Bruins

Jamie Benn (129th OVR)

Joe Thornton (26)

Blake Wheeler (24)

Jere Lehtinen (88th OVR)

Tyler Seguin (22)

Phil Kessel (21)

Milan Lucic (26)

Jozef Stumpel (24)

Rickard Rakell (30th OVR)

Ales Hemsky (13th OVR)

Michael Peca (40th OVR)

Kris Versteeg (21)

 

Ken Daneyko (18th OVR)

Dougie Hamilton (22)

Dennis Wideman (26)

T.J. Brodie (114th OVR)

Robyn Regehr (19th OVR)

Johnny Boychuk (29)

 

Mike Vernon (56th OVR)

Martin Jones (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button to Dallas for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser. 

Honourable mentions:

  • Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to Atlanta for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik.
  • 2007 5th round pick (129th overall – Jamie Benn) to Columbus for Adam McQuaid.
  • 1980 2nd round pick (39th overall – Steve Konroyd) and 1981 3rd round pick (56th overall – Mike Vernon) to Calgary for Jim Craig.
  • Joe Thornton to San Jose for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and Brad Stuart.

The Bruins franchise has a plethora of horrible trades, so it was hard to single out just one. I decided to go with the Seguin trade because the entire premise of it was completely ridiculous. As seen in the video below the Bruins management team felt as though Seguin “didn’t fit their culture” due to the fact he lacked physicality and toughness. The former second overall pick went to Dallas and turned into one of the league’s premier point getters while Loui Eriksson was a massive disappointment in Beantown. Similarly, the Blake Wheeler trade was another that leaves Bruins fans scratching their heads. Rich Peverley filled a role on the 2010-11 Stanley Cup winning team, but Wheeler has become one the preeminent point scorers in the league. Surely Peter Chiarelli has learned his lesson after moving on from these skilled, young forwards.

Analysis: This Bruins team has one of the more balanced forward cores in this project. They have supreme skill with guys like Thornton, Seguin, Kessel, and Rakell along with dependable power forwards in Benn, Wheeler, Lucic, and Lehtinen. The defense is solid albeit unspectacular, but this team can score with the best of them. If Mike Vernon and Martin Jones can play at a suitable level this team should be at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Buffalo Sabres

Keith Tkachuk (19th OVR)

Pierre Turgeon (22) Alexander Mogilny (26)

Daniel Briere (24th OVR)

Dave Andreychuk (29)

Mathieu Perreault (177th OVR)

Mikael Renberg (40th OVR)

Derek Roy (28)

Tyler Ennis (28)

Clarke MacArthur (24) Jarett Stoll (36th OVR)

Benoit Hogue (25)

 

Phil Housley (25)

Tyler Myers (24)

Brian Campbell (28)

Rob Scuderi (134th OVR)

Uwe Krupp (26)

Andrej Sekera (27)

 

Tom Barrasso (23)

Martin Biron (29)

 

Most lopsided trade: Craig Muni and 1996 1st round pick (24th overall – Daniel Briere) to Phoenix for Michal Grosek and Darryl Shannon.

The trades that moved Tkachuk, Housley, and Turgeon were all fairly even deals so this Briere trade takes the cake. Grosek was a productive top-9 forward for the Sabres registering 126 points in 247 games and Shannon was a hardnosed defenseman that ate a lot of minutes. With that being said, Daniel Briere was an electric player in Drummondville and he clearly ended up the best player in the deal. Luckily for the Sabres, after a couple good seasons with the Coyotes he came back to Buffalo and blossomed into an elite playmaker.

Analysis: A potent top-six is hampered by a lesser roster elsewhere. While this team isn’t necessarily bad it has an average defense core and a mediocre goaltending tandem. The Sabres will be hard pressed to win the fantasyland Stanley Cup (although Turgeon setting up Mogilny while Tkachuk drives the net will be a treat to watch).

Calgary Flames

Brandon Saad (43rd OVR)

Doug Gilmour (28)

Brett Hull (23)

Chris Drury (26)

Brad Richards (64th OVR)

Marc Savard (25)

Michael Nylander (26) Joe Nieuwendyk (28)

Andrew Brunette (174th OVR

Willi Plett (26) Robert Reichel (25)

David Booth (53rd OVR)

 

Jay Bouwmeester (29)

Marc-Edouard Vlasic (35th OVR)

Sheldon Souray (71st OVR)

Dion Phaneuf (24)

Brad Marsh (23)

Gary Suter (29)

 

Martin Brodeur (20th OVR)

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (22)

 

Most lopsided trade: Steve Bozek and Brett Hull to St. Louis for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley.

Honourable mentions:

  • 1990 1st round pick (20th overall – Martin Brodeur), 1990 2nd round pick (24th overall -David Harlock), and 1990 2nd round pick (29th overall – Chris Gotziaman) to New Jersey for 1990 1st round pick (11th overall – Trevor Kidd) and 1990 2nd round pick (32nd overall -Vesa Viitakoski).
  • Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Kent Manderville, Ric Nattress, and Rick Wamsley to Toronto for Craig Berube, Alexander Godynyuk, Gary Leeman, Michel Petit, and Jeff Reese.
  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere to Anaheim for 2000 2nd round pick (43rd overall – Matt Pettinger).

As one can see, Calgary has had their fair share of trade gaffes in the past. While an argument can be made that any one of these trades is the most appalling, I had to go with their decision to ship off Brett Hull. Wamsley was the back-up to Mike Vernon in 1988-89 when the Flames won the Stanley Cup and Ramage was a key contributor in that playoff run; however, both of their Flames careers were short-lived. Hull is undoubtedly one of the best pure goal scorers in the league’s history and he would have been the focal point of the Flames offense for the next decade. After leaving the ‘C of Red’ Hull would score 714 goals en route to a Hall of Fame career.

Analysis: The Flames have an embarrassment of riches down the middle especially when you consider I put natural centers Chris Drury and Marc Savard on the wing. A deep forward core, dependable defense, and two of the greatest goalies from the past two decades means Calgary should be one of the better squads in the West.

Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers

Brendan Shanahan (28)

Ron Francis (27) Bobby Holik (21)

Justin Williams (27)

Keith Primeau (27)

Jiri Hudler (58th OVR)

Michael Nylander (21) Ray Ferraro (26)

Andrew Cassels (27)

Andrew Ladd (22) Ron Sutter (4th OVR)

Viktor Kozlov (4th OVR)

 

Mark Howe (27)

Chris Pronger (21)

Jack Johnson (20)

Marc Methot (168th OVR)

Ulf Samuelsson (26)

Dana Muryzn (21)

 

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (19)

Manny Legace (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Ron Francis, Grant Jennings, and Ulf Samuelsson to Pittsburgh for John Cullen, Jeff Parker, and Zarley Zalapski.  

The Hurricanes are allowed to play the blame game as the Whalers are responsible for a great deal of the names on this roster. While John Cullen enjoyed a 77-point season his first full year in Hartford he shortly fizzled out. Parker was a career minor leaguer and Zalapski was effective in his two full seasons with the Whalers, but all of these players failed to amount to what Ron Francis accomplished with the Penguins. Francis put up 613 points in 533 games in the Steel City while winning back-to-back championships in 1990-91 and 1991-92 (Cup wins that Samuelsson had a large role in too).

Analysis: Aided by the star power of Shanahan, Francis, and Pronger the Hurriwhalers look to be a fringe playoff team in this scenario. The lineup has no glaring holes, although the Samuelsson/Murzyn pairing is not the prettiest. If Jean-Sebastien can get ‘Giggy’ with it at the right time perhaps this team could upset a squad or two in the playoffs.

Chicago Blackhawks

Artemi Panarin (26)

Jeremy Roenick (27) Steve Sullivan (29)

Brandon Saad (22)

Denis Savard (28) Teuvo Teravainen (21)

Andrew Ladd (25)

Ed Olczyk (21) Brock Nelson (30th OVR)
Dan Cleary (21) Nik Antropov (10th OVR)

Scott Mellanby (27th OVR)

 

Nick Leddy (22)

Dustin Byfuglien (25)

Christian Ehrhoff (106th OVR)

Bryan McCabe (24)

Jaroslav Spacek (27)

Stephane Robidas (26)

 

Dominik Hasek (27)

James Reimer (99th OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: Dominik Hasek to Buffalo for Stephane Beauregard and 1993 4th round pick (90th overall – Eric Daze).

The only saving grace for the Blackhawks with this move was that they actually received solid value from the 4th round pick. Daze was a career Blackhawk who had a respectable 398 points in 601 games while Beauregard was a lowly backup. In the Blackhawks defense, they had Ed Belfour manning the crease when they made this trade but Hasek went on to be one of the all-time greats. He is the only goalie to win back-to-back Hart trophies as league MVP and he captured two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings in 2001-02 and 2007-08. Hasek is widely regarded as one of the most dominant goalies of his generation and the return the Hawks received certainly doesn’t measure up. 

Analysis: The Hawks are lucky they have Hasek in net because this defense core is severely lacking. Relying on Nick Leddy and Dustin Byfuglien to play 23+ minutes a night against some of the stacked forwards groups on other teams looks like a recipe for disaster. While the Hawks have a nice balance of grit and skill up front the defense really holds them back. ‘The Dominator’ will have to play up to his M.V.P form to deliver a playoff berth to Chi-town.

 

Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques

Todd Bertuzzi (23rd OVR)

Mats Sundin (23) Filip Forsberg (11th OVR)

Matt Duchene (27)

Eric Lindros (19)

Owen Nolan (23)

Chris Drury (25) Denis Savard (3rd OVR)

Tyler Toffoli (47th OVR)

Brian Rolston (26) Ryan O’Reilly (24)

Alex Tanguary (26)

 

Kevin Shattenkirk (22)

Johnny Boychuk (25)

Keith Ballard (22)

Sandis Ozolinsh (28)
David Savard (94th OVR)

Tom Gilbert (22)

 

Craig Anderson (29)

Jocelyn Thibault (21)

 

Most lopsided trade: Garth Butcher, Mats Sundin, Todd Warriner, and 1994 1st round pick (10th overall – Nolan Baumgartner) to Toronto for Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson, and 1994 1st round pick (22nd overall – Jeff Kealty).

Wendel Clark was an intense competitor and he played with a blazing passion anytime he stepped onto the ice. This hellish style of play did not age well as he ran into a multitude of injury problems throughout his career. This makes the trade even more baffling from a Nordiques perspective as they moved 23-year-old Mats Sundin, one season removed from a 114-point year, for a fragile power forward rapidly approaching 30 years of age. As we all know Sundin went on to become one of the greatest players in Maple Leafs franchise history while Clark only spent a single season in Quebec. Likewise, the stay-at-home defenseman Lefebvre had a few good years for the franchise while Wilson and Kealty only combined to play in nine NHL games for the Avalanche making this trade the biggest blunder in the team’s history.

Analysis: Unfortunately for ColoQuebec there may be an avalanche of goals going into their net. While Craig Anderson has had a respectable NHL career he has the misfortune of playing behind a defense grouping that leans on Kevin Shattenkirk as their leader. The AvNords have an enviable forward group that will be responsible for the team’s success. Opposing defenseman must shudder at the thought of lining up against a top-six that boasts the 6’3 Bertuzzi, 6’5 Sundin, 6’4 Lindros, and 6’1 Nolan. Their center depth is remarkable which bodes well since they also have talented wingers.  This team will have no trouble scoring goals, but it all depends on how many times the red light goes off in their end.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Jamie Benn (129th OVR)

Ryan Johansen (23) Jakub Voracek (22)

Brandon Saad (24)

Jeff Carter (27) Rick Nash (28)
Antoine Vermette (29) Sean Couturier (8th OVR)

Jonathan Marchessault (23)

Loui Eriksson (33rd OVR) Derick Brassard (25)

Artem Anisimov (26)

 

Francois Beauchemin (25)

Jay Bouwmeester (3rd OVR)

Marc Methot (26)

Nick Leddy (16th OVR)

Kris Russell (24)

Adam McQuaid (23)

 

Robin Lehner (46th OVR)

Steve Mason (24)

 

Most lopsided trade: Jakub Voracek, 2011 1st round pick (8th overall – Sean Couturier), and 2011 3rd round pick (68th overall – Nick Cousins) to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter.

The reason this trade ranks as the worst for Columbus is because Jeff Carter only lasted 39 games with the Blue Jackets franchise before being shipped off to Los Angeles. First off, Voracek has been the 17th highest scorer in the league since joining Philly due to his strong rapport with fellow ginger Claude Giroux. In addition, Sean Couturier (another ginger), who was once heralded as one of the better shutdown centers in the league has blossomed into an offensive dynamo this season. To make matters worse, when Columbus traded Jeff Carter to Los Angeles he went on to become an integral part of their 2011-12 and 2013-14 Stanley Cup winning teams. Columbus received Jack Johnson and a 2013 first round pick (Marko Dano) for Carter which looks to be another trade that does not seem favourable for the Blue Jackets.

Analysis: Columbus will go as far as Lehner and Mason can take them. They have a surprisingly formidable group of forwards considering the team has only been around since 2000-01. Johansen, Carter, Couturier, and Brassard give the Blue Jackets a deep group of centers which compliments the size and skill they have on the wings. The top duo of Beau and Bo will be leaned on heavily as the third defense pairing will be a concern. Personally, I think this team will fall short of the playoffs just due to inferior goaltending as it looks like Mason’s Calder Trophy winning days are long behind him.

Dallas Stars/Minnesota North Stars

Jarome Iginla (19)

Mark Messier (48th OVR) Dino Ciccarelli (28)
Corey Perry (28th OVR) Joe Nieuwendyk (27th OVR)

Glenn Anderson (69th OVR)

Brian Bellows (27)

Dennis Maruk (23) James Neal (23)
Mark Stone (178th OVR) Dirk Graham (28)

Scott Gomez (27th OVR)

 

Alexander Edler (91st overall)

Larry Murphy (29)
Sandis Ozolinsh (30th OVR)

Matt Niskanen (24)

Jamie Oleksiak (25)

Shawn Chambers (24)

 

Mike Smith (25)

Don Beaupre (27)

 

Most lopsided trade: 1979 4th round pick (69th overall – Glenn Anderson) to Edmonton to ensure Edmonton does not make Paul Shmyr one of their priority selections in the 1979 NHL Expansion Draft. 

Honourable mentions:

  • Dave Semenko and 1979 3rd round pick (48th overall – Mark Messier) to Edmonton for 1979 2nd round pick (42nd overall – Neal Broten) and 1979 3rd round pick (63rd overall – Kevin Maxwell).
  • 2003 1st round pick (27th overall – Corey Perry) to Anaheim for 2003 2nd round pick (36th overall – Vojtech Polak) and 2003 2nd round pick (54th overall – B.J. Crombeen).
  • James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for Alex Goligoski. 

This trade is actually kind of hilarious. For some reason Minnesota coveted Paul Shmyr – a below average defenseman who joined the North Stars when he was 34. He enjoyed success with Cleveland, San Diego, and Edmonton in the WHA, but it never translated to the NHL level. He played two seasons for the North Stars while Anderson went on to become a key fixture in the Oilers dynasty. He won five Stanley Cups in Edmonton and added another with the Rangers in 1993-94 while tallying 1099 points in his career. The North Stars got two seasons from a bottom-pairing defenseman while the Oilers enjoyed ten years from a Hall of Famer.

Analysis: The Stars arguably have the best group of forwards in this make-believe scenario especially when you consider the fact I had to leave Jamie Langenbrunner, Stephane Matteau, Bobby Smith, Alexander Semin, Travis Zajac, Jussi Jokinen, Loui Eriksson, Jake Guentzel, and Chris Drury off of the team. They have a gluttony of heavy power forwards that possess a scoring touch and would be a nightmare to match up against. While Edler and Murphy make up a nice first pairing, the wheels fall off after that. Their bottom four defenseman are as ugly as it gets and although Mike Smith is a competent goalie he can only do so much. Keeping this in mind, I still believe the Stars will make the playoffs based on the strength they have up front.

Detroit Red Wings

Brian Bellows (2nd OVR)

Marcel Dionne (24) Patrick Sharp (95th OVR)
John Ogrodnick (27) Adam Oates (26)

Mike Foligno (23)

Adam Graves (21)

Keith Primeau (24) Petr Klima (25)
Murray Craven (20) Calle Jarnkrok (21)

Dallas Drake (24)

 

Mike Green (29th OVR)

Larry Murphy (4th OVR)
Brendan Smith (27)

Reed Larson (29)

Jakob Chychrun (19th OVR)

Bryan Watson (24)

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th OVR)

Tim Cheveldae (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Bart Crashley and Marcel Dionne to Los Angeles for Terry Harper, Dan Maloney, and 1976 2nd round pick (31st overall – Jim Roberts).

Honourable mentions:

  • Paul MacLean and Adam Oates to St. Louis for Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney.
  • Sebastien Piche and 2012 1st round pick (19th overall – Andrei Vasilevskiy) to Tampa Bay for Kyle Quincey.

All three of these trades were horrible for Detroit. Federko, who enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in St. Louis, played a single season in Mo-Town before retiring and McKegney only managed 14 games in the Winged Wheel (although he did have a solid career elsewhere). MacLean scored 67 points his first year with the Blues and Oates went on to become of the great centers of his era. Likewise, Quincey was the ire of Red Wings fans the entire time he was with the team and Vasilevskiy looks like a perennial Vezina candidate. While those trades were brutal, I find that the Dionne trade was worse. ‘Little Beaver’ was blossoming into a legitimate NHL superstar as he recorded 121 points in the 1974-75 season with the Wings. Detroit traded him to L.A. that summer and he became one of the greatest scorers of his era recording five straight seasons of 107 points or more between 1978-79 and 1982-83. Detroit got minimal production from the pieces they received in the deal aside from Maloney’s 66-point season during his first year with the team making this move the worst in franchise history.

Analysis: Top to bottom this team is fairly ugly. Once you look past Dionne, Oates, and Vasilevskiy there really isn’t much to be excited about. It is almost a guarantee that the faux Red Wings would finish at the bottom of the standings.

Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall (24)

Wayne Gretzky (27) Jordan Eberle (26)
Zach Parise (17th OVR) Vincent Damphousse (24)

Jason Arnott (23)

Miroslav Satan (22)

Mathew Barzal (16th OVR) Brian Gionta (82nd OVR)
Martin Rucinsky (20) Neal Broten (42nd OVR)

Milan Lucic (50th OVR)

 

Paul Coffey (26)

Roman Hamrlik (25)

Travis Hamonic (53rd OVR)

Eric Brewer (25)

Steve Smith (27)

Justin Schultz (25)

 

Devan Dubnyk (27)

Andy Moog (27)

 

Most lopsided trade: Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski, and Marty McSorley to Los Angeles for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, 1989 1st round pick (18th overall – Jason Miller), 1991 1st round pick (20th overall – Martin Rucinsky), 1993 1st round pick (16th overall – Nick Stajduhar), and $15 million USD.

 

Honourable mentions:

  • Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter, and Wayne Van Dorp to Pittsburgh for Dave Hannan, Chris Joseph, Moe Mantha, and Craig Simpson.
  • 2003 1st round pick (17th overall – Zach Parise) to New Jersey for 2003 1st round pick (22nd overall – Marc-Antoine Pouliot) and 2003 2nd round pick (68th overall – Jean-Francois Jacques).

 

All due respect to the honourable mentions but trading away the best player of all-time under dubious circumstances makes the Gretzky trade an automatic worst (although Peter Chiarelli is trying his best to usurp this move). This transaction was an unexpected devastation for Oilers fans and brought to light the idea that no player is ever truly “untouchable”. The return Edmonton received was minimal; Jimmy Carson put up 100 points during his first, and only, season in Edmonton while Gelinas and Rucinsky were fine middle-six wingers. Although Wayne Gretzky is undoubtedly irreplaceable one must think the Oilers would have been able to get a legitimate star in a trade for ‘The Great One’. Gretzky continued to set the NHL record book ablaze in California and singlehandedly expanded the NHL’s market in the United States.

Analysis: Any team that boasts Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey in their primes will be a force to be reckoned with. I can only imagine how many goals Taylor Hall would score playing alongside Gretz. Somehow, the modern-day Oilers are missing the playoffs with the best player in the NHL on their team. I don’t think that happens with this squad as the Dubnyk/Moog tandem is capable enough to get this team into the dance.

Florida Panthers

Ray Whitney (28)

Vincent Lecavalier (1st OVR) Rick Nash (1st OVR)
Kris Versteeg (27) Vinny Prospal (25)

Josh Bailey (9th OVR)

Michael Frolik (22)

Mike Sillinger (29) Mark Parrish (23)
Kristian Huselius (27) Jason Zucker (59th OVR)

Pat Maroon (161st OVR)

 

Ed Jovanovski (22)

Dan Boyle (25)
Shayne Gostisbehere (78th OVR)

Keith Ballard (27)

Dennis Seidenberg (28)

Filip Kuba (24)

 

Marc-Andre Fleury (1st OVR)

Roberto Luongo (26)

 

Most lopsided trade: Dan Boyle to Tampa Bay for 2003 5th round pick (162nd overall – Martin Tuma).

Honourable mention: 

  • Dave Lowry and 1998 1st round pick (1st overall – Vincent Lecavalier) to San Jose for Viktor Kozlov and 1998 conditional 5th round pick (117th overall – Jaroslav Spacek).

The main reason the Lecavalier trade fails to take home the top dishonour is due to the fact that the Sharks also moved Vinny’s pick in an ugly trade. For this reason, I chose to go with Florida’s inept decision to give up on Dan Boyle just three seasons into his NHL career. Boyle blossomed into one of the premier offensive defensemen in the league after being traded to the Lightning. He had a strong playoff in Tampa Bay’s run to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup and was voted to the Second All-Star Team by the Professional Hockey Writers Association in both 2006-07 and 2008-09. Tuma, also a defenseman, never played in an NHL game and spent time in eight different professional leagues throughout his career.

Analysis: The Sunrise squad boasts an impressive goaltending duo and a solid collection of blueliners. The problem with the Panthers is that they lack an offensive punch up front aside from Lecavalier and Nash. The lack of production will make this team lose a lot of close, low-scoring games and ultimately outside of the playoff picture despite the best efforts of their goalies. Nevertheless, it is quite surprising to see that the Panthers have traded three 1st overall picks.

Los Angeles Kings

Luc Robitaille (27)

Olli Jokinen (27) Wayne Simmonds (22)
Claude Lemieux (26th OVR) Ed Olczyk (3rd OVR)

Mike Cammalleri (25)

Jason Blake (27)

Brayden Schenn (19) Glen Murray (29)

Taylor Pyatt (8th OVR)

Jozef Stumpel (29)

Nick Bjugstad (19th OVR)

 

Ray Bourque (8th OVR)

Phil Housley (6th OVR)
Larry Murphy (22)

Kimmo Timonen (23)

Tyler Myers (12th OVR)

Darryl Sydor (23)

 

Braden Holtby (93rd OVR)

Martin Jones (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: 1979 1st round pick (8th overall – Ray Bourque) to the Bruins for Ron Grahame. 

Honourable mention:

  • 1982 1st round pick (6th overall – Phil Housley) to Buffalo for Jerry Korab.

This one really hurts for the Kings. Only so much can be said about the greatness of Ray Bourque. He is the all-time leader in points by a defenseman, a five-time Norris Trophy winner, and one of the greatest players to ever grace the blueline. On the other hand, Grahame was a back-up goalie who started 66 games for the Kings over the course of three seasons. He never posted a winning record.

Analysis: This is arguably the best defense core in the entire league. Bourque and Housley were two of the best in their era and the Murphy-Timonen pairing is a fantastic second unit. While the forwards are a little lackluster, the defense and goalie tandem is strong enough to push this team into the playoffs.

Minnesota Wild

Pascal Dupuis (27)

Jake Guentzel (77th OVR) Alex Tuch (20)
Benoit Pouliot (23) Patrick O’Sullivan (21)

Joonas Donskoi (99th OVR)

Torrey Mitchell (29)

Trevor Lewis (17th OVR) Devin Setoguchi (26)
Brandon Yip (239th OVR) Eric Nystrom (27)

James Sheppard (22)

 

Brent Burns (25)

Nick Leddy (19)
Nikita Zadorov (16th OVR)

Calvin de Haan (12th OVR)

Willie Mitchell (28)

Marco Scandella (26)

 

Anton Khudobin (24)

Matt Hackett (22)

 

Most lopsided trade: Brent Burns and 2012 2nd round pick (37th overall – Pontus Aberg) to San Jose for Charlie Coyle, Devin Setoguchi, and 2011 1st round pick (28th overall – Zack Phillips).

To be fair to Minnesota there weren’t many trades to pick from (as you can tell from the look of this roster), so I decided to go with the Burns trade. At the time, Burns was coming into his own as a defenseman. He possessed a big frame with a heavy shot and was dependable in his own end. On the Sharks side of things Charlie Coyle was one of their top prospects. The tenacious power forward projected to be an offensive contributor for the Wild along with perennial 20 goal scorer Devin Setoguchi. While Setoguchi disappointed in a Minnesota uniform (only 63 points in 117 games) Coyle has turned into a solid top-six player. While he may not have the consistent offensive upside the Wild were hoping for he has become a fan favourite due to his tireless work ethic. While Coyle has been good, Burns has been great. Since donning the Sharks teal, the bearded wonder has blossomed into one the game’s elite defenseman. His 312 points since 2011-12 (his first season in San Jose) is good for third amongst all defenseman and he deservedly took home the Norris Trophy last season.

Analysis: This team is terrible. The Wild joined the league for the 2000-01 season so it isn’t much of a surprise that the team looks this bad. With only 15 seasons to work with (thanks to two lockouts) Minnesota has a light history in terms of trading. Burns is the only bonafide star on the team making the Wild a lock to finish in the league basement.

Montreal Canadiens

John LeClair (25)

Pierre Turgeon (27) Darcy Tucker (22)
Claude Lemieux (25) Mike Ribeiro (25)

Mikhal Grabovski (24)

Russ Courtnall (26)

Kris Draper (62nd OVR) Alex DeBrincat (39th OVR)
Paul Ysebaert (74th OVR) Lars Eller (26)

Pierre Larouche (26)

 

Chris Chelios (29)

P.K. Subban (26)
Mathieu Schneider (25)

Ryan McDonagh (20)

Eric Desjardins (25)

Rod Langway (24)

 

Patrick Roy (30)

Jaroslav Halak (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Anrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky, and Jocelyn Thibault.

Honourable mention:

  • Pavel Valentenko, Ryan McDonagh, Doug Janik, and Christopher Higgins to New York for Tom Pyatt, Scott Gomez, and Michael Busto.

I know I said in the intro that I would only include players age 29 or younger but I could not omit perhaps the most infamous trade in NHL history from this project. We all know the story: the Canadiens were getting decimated by the Red Wings and Montreal coach Mario Tremblay kept Roy in for nine goals against. The two already had a poisonous relationship and this set Roy over the edge. Once Roy was finally pulled, he told team president Ronald Corey that he would never play a game for the Montreal Canadiens again. Subsequently, four days later Roy was traded to Colorado and became the piece that put the Avs over the edge. He backstopped Colorado to two Stanley Cups and retired the leader in all-time wins by a goalie. Thibault was porous for the Habs and Kovalenko only lasted 51 games in Montreal. Rucinsky had a decent stint with the blue, blanc et rouge but this trade changed the entire trajectory of the franchise. Montreal has not made it to the Stanley Cup Finals since.

Analysis: This team is incredible defensively. Trying to score on Patrick Roy is hard enough but couple that with a stacked defense and responsible forwards in Draper, Lemieux, and Courtnall and you have a team that could shutdown anybody. Similar to the modern day Habs this team looks like it would be anemic offensively. Thankfully, they’ll be able to get boatloads of production from the blueline. This Canadiens squad would be quite troublesome in the playoffs.

Nashville Predators

Patrick Sharp (95th OVR)

Josh Bailey (9th OVR) Patric Hornqvist (27)
Andrew Brunette (26) Valtteri Filppula (95th OVR)

Scott Hartnell (25)

Jonathan Cheechoo (29th OVR)

Travis Konecny (24th OVR) Colin Wilson (27)
Dale Weise (111th OVR) Jarret Stoll (36th OVR)

Jimmy Vesey (22)

 

Seth Jones (21)

Erik Karlsson (15th OVR)
Brad Stuart (3rd OVR)

Dan Hamhuis (28)

Cody Franson (23)

Clayton Stoner (79th OVR)

 

Semyon Varlamov (23rd OVR)

Devan Dubnyk (27)

 

Most lopsided trade: 2008 1st round pick (15th overall – Erik Karlsson) to Ottawa for 2008 1st round pick (18th overall – Chet Pickard) and 2009 3rd round pick (70th overall – Taylor Beck).

Yikes, who knew trading down three spots could be so costly. Clearly the Predators felt that their guy would still be available at the 18th pick. Unfortunately for them, ‘their guy’ was Chet Pickard, a successful WHL goalie with the Tri-City Americans who could never translate that success to the higher level. Pickard never appeared in an NHL game and he currently plays for the Mannheim Eagles in the Deutsche Eishockey League (DEL). Taylor Beck was another junior standout, this time in the OHL for the Guelph Storm. He also put up some impressive numbers in the AHL which normally bodes well for one’s NHL potential, but Beck languished in Nashville and now plays overseas in the KHL. To be fair, 14 other teams also missed on Karlsson but that doesn’t give Nashville an excuse. Karlsson is one of the most gifted players the league has seen in some time and is a delight to watch. He has two Norris Trophies to his name (although some feel as though he could have as many as five) and is unquestionably a top-ten player in the NHL. Nashville is normally the gold standard for drafting and developing great defenseman, but they most definitely missed the mark on EK65.

Analysis: Sorely lacking star power up front. Jones would act as the best partner Karlsson has ever had but aside from those two this team is below average. I think the current Predators are better than this team.

New Jersey Devils/Colorado Rockies

Kirk Muller (25)

Pat LaFontaine (3rd OVR) Lanny McDonald (28)
David Perron (26th OVR) Jason Arnott (27)

Bill Guerin (27)

Brian Rolston (26)

Bo Horvat (9th OVR) Pat Verbeek (25)
Kevin Hayes (24th OVR) Adam Henrique (27)

Wilf Paiement (24)

 

Mathieu Schneider (44th OVR)

Sheldon Souray (23)
Adam Larsson (23)

Eric Weinrich (26)

Willie Mitchell (23)

Johnny Oduya (28)

 

Kirk McLean (21)

Sean Burke (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: 1983 1st round pick (3rd overall – Pat LaFontaine) to New York for Dave Cameron and Bob Lorimer.

Before the Rockies relocated they made sure to help out New Jersey’s geographical rival. Pat LaFontaine was a dynamic center who had proficient passing abilities. He recorded 566 points in 530 games with the Islanders proving to everyone that he was the offensive dynamo scouts saw in Verdun. The return for the 3rd overall pick was insignificant. Lorimer was a stay-at-home defenseman who was a whopping -74 during his time with the RockDevils franchise. Cameron was also underwhelming as he only lasted three years in the league.

Analysis: LaFontaine and Lanny would be a fun combination on the top line, but the meagre goalie pairing and unsightly defense will hold the team back. This roster is wholly underwhelming.

New York Islanders

Brad Marchand (71st OVR)

Pat LaFontaine (26) Todd Bertuzzi (22)
Nino Niederreiter (20) Jason Spezza (2nd overall)

Ziggy Palffy (27)

Wendel Clark (29)

Pierre Turgeon (25) Tim Connolly (19)
John Tonelli (28) Olli Jokinen (22)

Fredrik Modin (64th overall)

 

Zdeno Chara (23)

Wade Redden (19)
Mathieu Schneider (26)

Niklas Hjalmarsson (108th OVR)

Travis Hamonic (26)

Bryan McCabe (22)

 

Roberto Luongo (21)

Tommy Salo (27)

 

Most lopsided trade: Zdeno Chara, Bryan Muckalt, and 2001 1st round pick (2nd overall – Jason Spezza) to Ottawa for Alexei Yashin.

Honourable mentions:

  • Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, and 1998 3rd round pick (68th overall – Jarkko Ruutu) to Vancouver for Trevor Linden.
  • Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo to Florida for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish.

The Islanders have had plenty of bad trades throughout the years but the Yashin one has to be the worst. Yashin was a well-known headache who had refused to honour his contract during the 1999-00 season in Ottawa. The embattled superstar could look like the best player in the league at times, and then look invisible a week later. Attitude problems coupled with Yashin’s outrageous salary demands were seemingly no problem for Isles GM Mike Milbury (who is responsible for this trade as well as the honourable mentions). Chara became one of the best defenseman of the 2000s ascending to an elite status almost the second he left Long Island. He won his only Norris Trophy in 2008-09 and was a rock during the Bruins Stanley Cup win in 2010-11. Similarly, the slick Spezza was electrifying for the Senators. Their top line of Heatley, Spezza, and Alfredsson struck fear into the hearts of NHL defenders. Between 2005-06 and 2007-08 Spezza scored 90, 87, and 92 points respectively while helping the Senators reach their only Cup Final appearance. Yashin was signed to a massive ten-year contract worth $87.5 million when he came to New York and was eventually bought out with four years left on his deal.

Analysis: A deep group of forwards (especially down the middle) and an above average defense unit shows how ineffective the Islanders have been in trade negotiations throughout the years. While Luongo and Salo form a competent duo perhaps Mike Milbury will come back in the fold to handcuff this team to an oft-injured goalie at the tune of 15 years for $67.5 million. Here’s to you Rick Dipietro, who will be getting $1.5 million annually from the Islanders until 2029.

New York Rangers

Alexander Mogilny (89th OVR)

Doug Weight (22) Alex Kovalev (25)
Michael Nylander (59th OVR) Petr Nedved (23)

Rick Middleton (23)

Tomas Sandstrom (25)

Marc Savard (21) Tony Amonte (23)

Ulf Dahlen (23)

Derek Stepan (26)

Artem Anisimov (24)

 

Brad Park (27)

Sergei Zubov (25)
Fedor Tyutin (25)

Michael Del Zotto (23)

Mark Tinordi (22)

Robert Bortuzzo (78th OVR)

 

Jean-Sebastien Giguere (13th OVR)

Cam Talbot (28)

 

Most lopsided trade: Rick Middleton to Boston for Ken Hodge Sr.

Honourable mentions:

  • Mike Donnelly and 1988 5th round pick (89th overall – Alexander Mogilny) to Buffalo for Paul Cyr and 1988 10th round pick (202nd overall – Eric Fenton).
  • Doug Weight to Edmonton for Esa Tikkanen. 

The only reason I won’t subject the Mogilny trade to the top spot is due to the fact he was passed on 88 times before being selected. For this reason, I decided to go with the Rangers decision to swap super sniper Rick Middleton for the 32-year-old Hodge. The Rangers had traded for Phil Esposito the season prior and Hodge was on Espo’s line when the two played in Boston. The Blueshirts felt that the reunited duo would rekindle their chemistry in New York, but Hodge only played 96 games for the Rangers before his career ended due to injury. Middleton, who was only 22 at the time he was traded, went on to score 898 points over the course of 12 seasons in Boston. Every season between 1979-80 to 1983-84 Middleton scored at least 40 goals and was known as one of the games great goal scorers.

Analysis: The Rangers have actually had a decent amount of success on the trade front lately as a lot of the names on this roster are from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Having the Russian connection of Mogilny and Kovalev on the top line would be an offensive display every night. The defense is severely lacking aside from the solid top pairing of Park and Zubov so Giggy and Talbot will have to be at their best.

Ottawa Senators

Marian Hossa (27)

Alexei Yashin (28)

Vladimir Tarasenko (16th OVR)

Pavol Demitra (22)

Mika Zibanejad (23) Dany Heatley (29)
Jakob Silfverberg (23) Kyle Turris (28)

Martin Havlat (25)

Patrick Eaves (23)

Vinny Prospal (25)

Nick Foligno (25)

 

Bryan Berard (19)

Lubomir Visnovsky (118th OVR)
Andrej Meszaros (23)

Sami Salo (28)

Douglas Murray (241st OVR)

Jordan Leopold (44th OVR)

 

Ben Bishop (26)

Brian Elliott (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay for Cory Conacher and 2013 4th round pick (102nd overall – Tobias Lindberg).

Honourable mention:

  • 2010 1st round pick (16th overall – Vladimir Tarasenko) to St. Louis for David Rundblad.

The Senators have had a bad history with Russian players so the chances that they would have selected Tarasenko are low. Furthermore, Ottawa turned the incapable Rundblad into Kyle Turris so we will give them a pass. For this reason, the Bishop trade ranks as the worst for the Sens. Ottawa had a bit of a goaltending jam in the 2012-13 season. Veteran Craig Anderson was the starter, while Ben Bishop and the up-and-coming Robin Lehner were battling for backup starts. The Senators felt that Lehner was the goalie of the future and decided to move the 6’7 Bishop. Big Ben went 131-64-20 with the Bolts and finished second in Vezina Trophy voting in 2015-16. The Sens received rookie Cory Conacher in return, but the speedy winger couldn’t replicate the success he had during his time in Tampa. Conacher only tallied 25 points in 72 games for the Sens while Tobias Lindberg is now in the Maple Leafs organization.

Analysis: Large portions of this squad just go to remind you how good the early 2000s Sens teams were. While the spunky Maple Leafs always seemed to get in their way come playoff time, there was a load of talent in the nation’s capital. It seems as though there are a lot of teams that have a strong forward core, but a mediocre defense. Ottawa follows that trend.

 Philadelphia Flyers

Joe Pavelski (205th OVR)

Peter Forsberg (19) Mark Recchi (26)
Daniel Briere (24th OVR) Rod Brind’Amour (29)

Rick Tocchet (27)

Patrick Sharp (24)

Jeff Carter (27) Justin Williams (22)

James van Riemsdyk (23)

Brayden Schenn (26)

Kevin Dineen (56th OVR)

 

John Carlson (27th OVR)

Steve Duchesne (27)
Brad McCrimmon (28)

Joni Pitkanen (24)

Tim Gleason (23rd OVR)

Scott Hannan (23rd OVR)

 

Sergei Bobrovsky (24)

Ron Hextall (28)

 

Most lopsided trade: Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus for 2012 4th round pick (117th overall – Taylor Leier), 2012 2nd round pick (45th overall – Anthony Stolarz), and 2013 4th round pick (103rd overall – Justin Auger). 

Honourable mention:

  • James van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Luke Schenn.

This one has to hurt for a team that hasn’t had a stalwart ‘tender since the 1980s. The Flyers gambled on some draft picks and decided to move on from Bobrovsky who was backing up Ilya Bryzgalov at the time. With the first of the picks they took Stolarz, who was a highly touted prospect coming out of junior. He has since run into injury problems which have stalled his career. On the other hand, Leier has managed to crack the Flyers lineup 35 times this season and offers some youthful exuberance in the bottom-six while Auger has disappeared into obscurity. All three of these players pale in comparison to what ‘Bob’ has done in Columbus. The lanky Russian netminder has been one of the best goalies in the NHL during his time in Ohio evidenced by the two Vezina Trophies he has captured.

Analysis: The Flyers follow a recurring pattern in this project – fantastic forwards with a disappointing defense (perhaps showing why it is so difficult to acquire top defenseman in the NHL). Philly is full of big body forwards who love running the net (Forsberg, Recchi, Pavelski, Tocchet, JVR) so opposing defenders have to be up to the task. As long as the forwards are scoring and the goalies are standing on their heads this team should be fine, however; if either group has an off night it may get ugly at the Wells Fargo Center.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Luc Robitaille (28)

Petr Nedved (26) Jaromir Jagr (29)
Markus Naslund (22) Jordan Staal (23)

Mark Recchi (23)

Brian Gionta (82nd OVR)

Bryan Smolinski (25) Alex Kovalev (29)
Nathan Horton (3rd OVR) John Cullen (26)

James Neal (27)

 

Randy Carlyle (27)

Sergei Zubov (26)
Ryan Whitney (25)

Alex Goligoski (25)

Justin Braun (201st OVR)

Andrew Ference (23)

 

Mike Condon (26)

Rick Tabaracci (21)

 

Most lopsided trade: Markus Naslund to Vancouver for Alek Stojanov.

Honourable mention:

  • Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera to Washington for Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk, Michal Sivek, and future considerations.

The return Pittsburgh received for Jaromir Jagr was downright terrible. All three of the prospects were massive busts who ended up playing more games for Wilkes-Barre in the AHL than they did for the Penguins. That being said, Jagr forced management’s hand by demanding a trade out of Pittsburgh which is the sole reason this deal doesn’t take the top spot. Instead, that distinction belongs to one of the more lopsided trades in NHL history. There is no debate Markus Naslund was underperforming in Pittsburgh. His inconsistency irritated management for three seasons before they decided to move him to Vancouver. This change instantly sparked Naslund’s career as he dominated with the Canucks. From 2001-02 to 2003-04 Naslund was a lock on the NHL’s First All-Star Team. In 2002-03 Naslund was truly at his best. He scored 48 goals and 56 assists en route to winning the Lester B. Pearson Trophy (now known as Ted Lindsay Award – voted most outstanding player by the NHLPA) and finishing second in Hart Trophy voting (most valuable player). While Naslund excelled, Stojanov crumbled. Injuries took their toll and the power forward only managed to score seven points in 107 NHL games before bowing out of the league for good.

Analysis: The Pens give Minnesota a run for their money in the terrible goaltending category as two career backups will be donning the pipes for Pittsburgh. Thankfully, any team with Robitaille, Nedved, Jagr, Naslund, Recchi, and Kovalev should be just fine at putting the puck in the net. With the offensive-minded Zubov and Carlyle leading the charge on the backend this team will be able to run-and-gun with the best of them. 

San Jose Sharks

Mark Stone (178th OVR)

Vincent Lecavalier (1st OVR)

Max Pacioretty (22nd OVR)

Alex Tanguay (12th OVR)

David Krejci (63rd OVR) Milan Michalek (25)
Marco Sturm (27) David Legwand (2nd OVR)

Charlie Coyle (19)

Brad Boyes (22)

Viktor Kozlov (22)

Craig Smith (98th OVR)

 

Chris Pronger (2nd OVR)

Alexander Edler (91st OVR)
Marc Staal (12th OVR)

Christian Ehrhoff (27)

Josh Gorges (22)

Brad Stuart (26)

 

Miikka Kiprusoff (27)

Anders Lindback (207th OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: Josh Gorges and 2007 1st round pick (22nd overall – Max Pacioretty) to Montreal for Craig Rivet and 2008 5th round pick (146th overall – Julien Demers).

The Sharks have mainly fallen victim to trading away draft picks that turn into gems for other teams. It is hard to fault them for this but trading away Gorges and a 1st round pick for Craig Rivet is inexcusable regardless of the fact that Max Pacioretty was the one selected. Gorges and Rivet have had similar career paths with neither one of them being known as an offensive blueliner. Rivet was a rental playoff piece for the Sharks in an effort to bolster their defense. While he was effective in spurts, Rivet was not the answer for the Sharks playoff woes and he was traded to Buffalo the next season. Gorges became a durable shutdown defenseman in Montreal who was consistently near the top of the league in blocked shots while Pacioretty has become a reliable sniper for the Habs. Since 2011-12, he has scored 205 goals which puts him sixth in the league over that span.

Analysis: This team will rely heavily on stars Lecavalier, Pronger, and Kiprusoff to guide them to a playoff spot. San Jose is deep although perhaps a bit unmemorable. If their secondary scoring options can produce, then perhaps they sneak into the dance.

St. Louis Blues

Rod Brind’Amour (21)

Doug Gilmour (25) Brendan Shanahan (27)
John LeClair (33rd OVR) Adam Oates (29)

Joe Mullen (28)

Logan Couture (9th OVR)

Guy Carbonneau (44th OVR) Petr Nedved (23)

T.J. Oshie (29)

Kris Draper (62nd OVR)

Stephane Richer (29th OVR)

 

Erik Johnson (22)

Kevin Shattenkirk (28)

Kris Russell (26)

Dennis Wideman (23)
Rob Ramage (29)

Patrice Brisebois (30th OVR)

 

Curtis Joseph (28)

Ben Bishop (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Adam Oates to Boston for Craig Janney and Stephane Quintal. 

The Blues broke up one of the most dynamic duos in hockey history due to this trade. Oates and Brett Hull were a match made in heaven and in the process of terrorizing NHL goalies. Oates had 228 assists in just 195 games playing alongside Hull but a contract dispute in 1992 brought the pairing to a premature end. The two and a half seasons Hull had with Oates were the most productive of his career, but Oates was demanding to renegotiate his contract and Blues management was not willing to budge. Janney was a nice piece who recorded 233 points in 186 games for the Blues while Quintal never accomplished much in St. Louis. The reason this trade ranks as the worst is due to the fact that Blues fans got robbed of seeing how much the Hull and Oates combination could accomplish together.

Analysis: This team is one of the better groups up front. I had to leave Maxim Afinogenov, Shayne Corson, Mikael Backlund, Geoff Courtnall, and David Perron off of the team because of how lethal the lineup is. The Blues have an underwhelming group of defensemen but Cujo and Bishop have the talent to carry them. One thing that stands out to me with this roster is how many good young forwards the Blues moved in the 1980s and 1990s.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Simon Gagne (22nd OVR)

Brad Richards (27) Justin Williams (28th OVR)
Jonathan Drouin (22) Derek Roy (32nd OVR)

Darcy Tucker (24th OVR)

David Backes (62nd OVR)

David Legwand (2nd OVR) Jussi Jokinen (25)
Kyle Palmieri (26th OVR) Daymond Langkow (22)

Alexei Ponikarovsky (87th OVR)

 

Joni Pitkanen (4th OVR)

Tim Gleason (23rd OVR)
Matt Carle (24)

Andrej Meszaros (25)

Adrian Aucoin (28)

Kyle Quincey (27)

 

Pekka Rinne (258th OVR)

Jacob Markstrom (31st OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to Dallas for Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith, and a 2009 4th round pick (99th overall – Kyle Bigos).

The 2004 Conne Smythe winner was moved to Texas in 2008 with the Lightning falling out of the playoff race. Richards led the Stars to the Conference Finals during his first season with the team and ultimately rediscovered his scoring touch in Dallas. He finished 7th in league scoring during the 2009-10 season and was really the only player in this trade to make an impact for either team. Halpern played bottom-six minutes for the Bolts while Jokinen was subsequently traded after a single year with the franchise. Mike Smith battled injury in Tampa Bay and never really found his stride until he joined the Coyotes as a free agent. Tampa has done an admirable job on the trade front over the years.

Analysis: An uninspiring roster aside from Pekka Rinne. There is not much to say other than the current Lightning look miles better than this team.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Phil Kessel (27)

Tyler Seguin (2nd OVR) Lanny McDonald (26)
Alex Steen (24) Vincent Damphousse (24)

Brandon Saad (43rd OVR)

Kevin Stevens (108th OVR)

Rickard Rakell (30th OVR) Pavol Demitra (227th OVR)
Brad Boyes (21) Doug Jarvis (20)

Michael Cammalleri (49th OVR)

 

Scott Niedermayer (3rd OVR)

Roman Josi (38th OVR)

               Dougie Hamilton (9th OVR)

Al Iafrate (24)

Anton Stralman (22)

Mathieu Schneider (28)

 

Tuukka Rask (19)

Roberto Luongo (4th OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: 1991 1st round pick (3rd overall – Scott Niedermayer) to New Jersey for Tom Kurvers.

Honourable mentions:

  • The rights to Tuukka Rask to Boston for Andrew Raycroft.
  • 2010 1st round pick (2nd overall – Tyler Seguin) and 2011 1st round pick (9th overall – Dougie Hamilton) to Boston for Phil Kessel.
  • 2011 1st round pick (30th overall – Rickard Rakell) and 2011 2nd round pick (39th overall – John Gibson) to Anaheim for 2011 1st round pick (22nd overall – Tyler Biggs).

I strongly debated putting the Rask trade in the top spot, due to the fact that Leafs management essentially put their faith in Justin Pogge as the goaltender of the future, but moving the pick that turned into Scott Niedermayer is unquestionably the worst deal they have made. Kurvers only played 89 games in Toronto while Niedermayer went on to become one of the best defenseman of his era. Niedermayer won four Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, a Norris Trophy, and a Conne Smythe Trophy over the course of his sparkling career. The fact that Anaheim hit on both of the picks Toronto gave them to move up to 22nd overall is also quite indicative of Toronto’s trade woes.

Analysis: The Maple Leafs have one of the best all-around rosters in this project. They possess top-end skill on every single one of their forward lines and boast a daunting defense. This would be one of my favourites to take home the Cup. 

Vancouver Canucks

Cam Neely (21)

Ryan Kesler (29) Pavel Bure (26)
Geoff Sanderson (25) Michael Peca (21)

Wayne Simmonds (61st OVR)

Martin Gelinas (27)

Patrik Sundstrom (25) Michael Grabner (23)

R.J. Umberger (22)

Nick Bonino (27) Josh Anderson (95th OVR)

 

Glen Wesley (3rd OVR)

Bryan McCabe (24)
Alex Goligoski (61st OVR)

Christian Ehrhoff (29)

Brayden McNabb (66th OVR)

Bret Hedican (28)

 

Cory Schneider (27)

Jhonas Enroth (46th OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: Cam Neely and 1987 1st round pick (3rd overall – Glen Wesley) to Boston for Parry Pederson.

The Neely trade serves as a quintessential example of a team giving up on a player too early in their career. While Pederson was magnificent as a member of the Bruins, his statistics became miserable once he joined Vancouver. The diminutive center scored 76 points during his first season with the Canucks and only went down from there. On the flip side, Wesley was a solid offensive contributor from the blueline while Neely became one of the most beloved Bruins of all-time and turned into one of the league’s premier power forwards. His pugnacious style of play coupled with his brilliant goal scoring ability endeared him to the Boston faithful and his numbers speak for themselves. In 525 games as a member of the Bruins he recorded 344 goals and 246 assists including the 1993-94 season where he scored 50 goals in 44 games. Unfortunately, Neely had his career cut short due to his awful injury problems, but he was still inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Analysis: Neely and Bure would be a nice compliment to each other on the top line but aside from that this roster is quite ordinary. I am terrified what a McNabb and Hedican pairing would do against some of these other teams’ astounding forward cores.

Washington Capitals

Filip Forsberg (18)

Joe Sakic (15th OVR) Mike Gartner (29)
Marcus Johansson (26) Jason Allison (21)

Anson Carter (22)

Phillip Danault (26th)

Mathieu Perreault (25) Richard Zednik (25)
Dainius Zubrus (28) Cody Eakin (21)

Geoff Courtnall (28)

 

Sergei Gonchar (29)

Larry Murphy (27)
Kevin Hatcher (28)

T.J. Brodie (114th OVR)

Rick Green (25)

Alec Martinez (95th OVR)

 

Semyon Varlamov (23)

Michal Neuvirth (25)

 

Most lopsided trade: Filip Forsberg to Nashville for Michael Latta and Martin Erat.

This one is a nightmare for Caps fans. Fueled by visions of another disappointing playoff exit the Capitals were attempting to remedy their depth scoring woes at the deadline. This move was a massive failure as Erat only scored twice in the 62 games he played in Washington while the Swedish sensation they sent to Tennessee has turned into a star. Forsberg has become a lock to hover around the 30 goal, 60 point mark each year and the 23-year-old’s future looks brighter and brighter every day.

Analysis: This team will struggle to score unlike the Capitals of the past decade. Production from the blueline will be no issue as Gonchar and Murphy are two of the best in that department, but the forward core drops off noticeably after the top line. I wonder if Forsberg or Gartner will take the hallowed ‘Ovie spot’ on the Caps powerplay?

Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers

Ilya Kovalchuk (26)

Joe Pavelski (205th OVR) Dany Heatley (24)

Daniel Sedin (2nd OVR)

Mikael Backlund (24th OVR) Marian Hossa (29)
Pascal Dupuis (28) Rich Peverley (28)

Evander Kane (24)

Devin Setoguchi (8th OVR) Matt Hendricks (131st OVR)

Kevin Hayes (24th OVR)

 

Marc Staal (12th OVR)

Zach Bogosian (24)
Stephane Robidas (25)

Braydon Coburn (21)

Jon Merrill (38th OVR)

Brian Pothier (25)

 

Kari Lehtonen (26)

Jean-Francois Berube (95th OVR)

 

Most lopsided trade: Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to Pittsburgh for Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, Eric Christensen, and a 2008 1st round pick (29th overall – Daultan Leveille). 

The Thrashers rarely made good moves during their short history and this one has to be the ugliest transaction. This trade fuelled the Penguins run to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals while the Thrashers ended up with nothing significant. Hossa was approaching unrestricted free agency and it was apparent that the Slovak was not going to re-sign in Atlanta. The Thrashers tried to recoup some value for the talented winger by shipping him and Dupuis to Pittsburgh. Obviously, Hossa has put together a Hall of Fame worthy career and Dupuis was quite productive playing alongside Sidney Crosby. For the Thrashers, Angelo Esposito was the piece that put this trade together. The talented center was taken 20th overall by the Penguins in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and looked to have a bright future in the league. Esposito became a massive bust, never playing a game in the NHL while Armstrong and Christensen were mediocre, bottom-six players.

Analysis: For a franchise that joined in the league for the 1999-00 season the ThrashJets have a bevy of talent on the wings. Any top-six that includes Kovy, Heatley, Sedin, and Hossa will be capable of punishing opponents on the scoreboard. To be fair, that is about the only positive on this roster as their center depth is severely lacking, the defense lacks mobility (along with talent), and the goaltending duo fails to exude any confidence.

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