1) St. Louis Blues (34-14-7) – July 4, 1994, the Blues traded Phil Housley, a 1996 second-round pick and a 1997 second-round pick to the Calgary Flames for Al MacInnis and a 1997 fourth-round pick. While they gave up a tremendous defenseman in Housley and two draft picks, MacInnis went on to play 10 seasons for the Blues and become one of the most important players in the team’s history. Of those 10 seasons, MacInnis tallied 40 or more points in seven of them and won the Norris Trophy during the 1998-99 season.
As the trade deadline draws closer, more and more speculation will begin to surface, most of which will be rumors and conjecture based on what the pundits think each team needs. Before we look forward to the future, though, let’s look back at the past and at each team’s top trade of all time.
2) Detroit Red Wings (38-17-2) – June 30, 1993, the Detroit Red Wings acquired Kris Draper from the Winnipeg Jets for a single dollar. Draper would go on to play 17 seasons for the Red Wings, win four Stanley Cups and win the Selke Trophy in 2003-04. The dollar? Well, hopefully that soda tasted pretty darn good.
3) New York Rangers (36-13-5) – October 4, 1991, the Rangers traded Louis DeBrusk, Bernie Nichols, Steven Rice and future considerations that became David Shaw for Mark Messier and future considerations that would become Jeff Beukeboom, both of whom would play a large part in the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup run and, with the team in general until both players retired with the team.
4) Pittsburgh Penguins (32-19-5) – March 4, 1991, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski to the Hartford Whalers for Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson, all three of whom would help the Penguins surge to their back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
5) Vancouver Canucks (34-15-6) – June 23, 2006, the Canucks made a trade that would change the direction of their franchise and bring them into a permanent spot within the league’s elite. Trading Bryan Allen, Alex Auld, Todd Bertuzzi and a conditional sixth-round pick, the Canucks got Lukas Kraijcek and a sixth-round pick in return, but the biggest part was Roberto Luongo, who backstopped the Canucks within one win of the Stanley Cup last season and is having another terrific run this year.
6) Nashville Predators (32-18-6) – February 15, 2007, the Predators got a late Valentine’s gift, acquiring Peter Forsberg for Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall, a first-round pick and a third-round pick. Forsberg might have played just 17 games for the Preds, but the trade signified that Nashville was finally ready to do what they had to do to be a contender.
7) Florida Panthers (27-17-11) – June 24, 2000, the Florida Panthers traded the dynamic duo of Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish to the New York Islanders for Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo, two players that would become the cornerstones of their franchise for the years to come. While they didn’t necessarily bring much success to Florida, the fleecing of Mike Milbury certainly makes it stand out as the best return.
8) Boston Bruins (34-17-2) – June 6, 1986, the Bruins traded Barry Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for Cam Neely and a first-round pick that would turn into Glen Wesley. Now, Barry Pederson went on to have a couple solid years with the Canucks but Neely and Wesley pretty much made any argument to the contrary invalid by being Neely and Wesley.
9) New Jersey Devils (31-20-4) – October 16, 1989, the Devils would trade Tom Kurvers to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Leafs’ 1991 first-round draft pick. Kurvers would have one fine season with the Leafs, but that first-round pick would turn into Scott Niedermayer, who would spend the next 13 seasons being Scott Niedermayer for the Devils.
10) Phoenix Coyotes (27-21-8) – August 16, 1996, Jeremy Roenick had his number retired by the Coyotes recently, but he wouldn’t have if they wouldn’t have traded Craig Mills, Alexei Zhamnov and a 1997 first-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for him. Roenick may have played onlyfive seasons for the Coyotes, but he ranks in the top-ten all-time for points, assists and goals.
11) Los Angeles Kings (27-19-11) – August 9, 1988, the Kings put Los Angeles on the map as a hockey town by trading for Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley. They gave up Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas and three first-round draft picks, as well as some cash, but they got Wayne Gretzky, so we’d call it fair.
12) Philadelphia Flyers (31-18-7) – May 15, 1973, the Flyers made a seemingly innocuous trade, trading their first-round pick for that year, as well as Doug Favell and Willie Brossart (in the form of future considerations) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 1973 second-round pick and the rights to Bernie Parent. We’re pretty sure you know how that turned out.
13) San Jose Sharks (30-17-6) – October 26, 1995, the Sharks would send Sandis Ozolinsh to the Colorado Avalanche but, in return, they would get a player that would define their team for the next nine seasons. Owen Nolan never captured a cup for the Sharks, but he made them a bona fide contender while he was there.
14) Chicago Blackhawks (29-20-7) – June 9, 1979, the Blackhawks agreed not to claim Real Cloutier in the 1979 NHL reclaim draft. In exchange, they got the third pick in the 1980 Entry Draft, which they proceeded to use to pick Denis Savard, who would go on to become one of the most iconic Blackhawks in team history.
15) Toronto Maple Leafs (28-22-6) – June 28, 1994, the Leafs would make at trade with the Quebec Nordiques that would shape the Leafs for years to come. Trading Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson and a first-round pick in 1994, they received Garth Butcher, Mats Sundin, Todd Warriner and a first-round pick in 1994. Sundin would go on to have his name immortalized as one of the Leafs' greats and become one of the best captains the franchise has known.
16) Calgary Flames (26-22-8) – December 19, 1995, the Calgary Flames picked up a young prospect by the name of Jarome Iginla from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Joe Nieuwendyk. While Nieuwendyk certainly helped the Stars, Iginla would go on to become the face of the Flames organization and one of the top players in the game.
17) Washington Capitals (28-22-5) – March 1, 1997, the Caps traded away Jason Allison, Jim Carey, Anson Carter and a pair of draft picks but, in return, received from the Adam Oates, Bill Ranford and Rick Tocchet from the Boston Bruins, all of whom would go on to help the Caps to their one and only Stanley Cup Finals appearance the next season.
18) Ottawa Senators (28-22-8) – June 23, 2001, embroiled in a contract dispute with Alexei Yashin, the Senators decided to let him take his talents to Long Beach, trading the enigmatic winger to the Islanders for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and a first-round pick in 2001 that would become Jason Spezza. Not a bad return for a player who always seemed to like money a bit more than hockey.
19) Montreal Canadiens (23-24-9) – May 22, 1970, the Habs made a trade on this day that changed the face of hockey. Trading Ernie Hicke and the No. 10 pick in the 1970 Entry Draft, the Habs got back cash, Francois Lacombe and the 1971 first-round pick that would turn into Guy LaFleur, who would turn into one of the best players to ever play the game.
20) Tampa Bay Lightning (24-25-6) – January 7, 2002, the Bolts traded a fifth-round pick in the 2003 draft for little-known defenseman Dan Boyle. Boyle would go on to become one of the premiere offensive defensemen in the game during his stay in Tampa and would be a key component to their 2004 run to the Stanley Cup.
21) Colorado Avalanche (28-25-4) – March 6, 2000, the Avs have made some pretty big trades over the years, but none paid off quite as well as trading for Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk in the spring of 2000. While Andreychuk didn’t stay with the team past then, Bourque would give it one more go and retire as a Stanley Cup champion, helping lead the Avs to their second Stanley Cup championship.
22) Anaheim Ducks (22-24-9) – February 7, 1996, the Ducks would trade Oleg Teverdovsky, Chad Kilger and a third-round pick in the 1996 draft for Teemu Selanne, Marc Chouinard and a fourth-round pick in the same draft, but it was Selanne that would light the Ducks’ fire, helping propel the team from obscurity to the spotlight with his star power.
23) New York Islanders (23-24-8) – March 10, 1980, the Isles traded Bill Harris and Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings in return for Butch Goring, and Goring would make an immediate impact on the squad, being a key figure in the Isles’ four straight Stanley Cup championships.
24) Buffalo Sabres (24-25-6) – August 7, 1992, the Sabres took a huge step in their development, trading Stephane Beauregard and a fourth-round pick in the 1993 draft for goaltender Dominik Hasek. The rest, as they say, is history.
25) Dallas Stars (28-24-3) – December 19, 1995, it’s pretty easy to find flaws in a deal when you give up a generational talent like the Stars did in Iginla, but when the player you get in return leads you to the Stanley Cup, it’s pretty hard to argue with the results.
26) Edmonton Oilers (22-28-5) – August 9, 1979, not only did the Oilers simply trade two picks for one of the baddest enforcers to strap on skates in Dave Semenko, but they also got a third-round pick out of the deal that turned into a little guy named Messier.
27) Winnipeg Jets (26-25-6) – July 1, 2010, the Jets were a hard one to peg, simply because of the team’s history. Instead of going with an old Thrashers trade, however, we opted to go for one a little more recent – the acquisition of Andrew Ladd from the Blackhawks for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a second-round pick in 2011.
28) Carolina Hurricanes (20-25-11) – January 30, 2006 and March 9, 2006, these two trades were difficult to separate, as both Mark Recchi and Doug Weight played integral parts in winning the ‘Canes the Cup in 2006. Both Recchi and Weight were a huge part of the reason why the ‘Canes won the Cup, so the four players and four draft picks they had to give up for the two were a fair price to pay.
29) Minnesota Wild (25-22-8) – June 12, 2000, ask us again next season and this could be a different story, but trading for Manny Fernandez before their inaugural season gave the Wild a goaltender that they could ride, and they did just that to the Conference Finals in 2003.
30) Columbus Blue Jackets (16-34-6) – June 22, 2002, the Jackets’ trade history has been pretty spotty, at best, but they did make one tremendous move in 2002, swapping first-round picks with the Florida Panthers to move up and take Rick Nash.
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