Twenty years ago today, Wayne Gretzky was sold to the Los Angeles Kings for $15 million dollars by then Oilers owner, Peter Pocklington. Oh yeah, some other players were involved also. With that in mind I thought I'd relive some other noteworthy trades in NHL history.
First a classic, in 1989, 9 games into the season, Harold Ballard thought that Russ Courtnall's previous three seasons were not good enough for the Leafs. Despite goal outputs of 22,29, and 23 in each of those three seasons Ballard wanted Courtnall to play "tougher". When that didn't happen, Courtnall was traded to arch rival Montreal for goon, John Kordic and a 6th round draft pick who turned out to be a nobody. That year, Kordic scored one goal and had 185 penalty minutes.
Another classic is the Penguins trading of Jaromir Jagr. In this case neither side really got the better of the deal. Jagr went to Washington, along with Frantisek Kucera for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk. Beech, being the only player to eventually earn a regular NHL spot but, has never scored more than 10 goals in a season. Jagr never reached his full potential in Washington, and the Caps never got past the opening round of the playoffs with him. Thus, in January of 2004 he was traded to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter. Salary arangements were also part of the deal between the Caps, Rangers and Jagr.
Not necessarily trades, but the first overall draft picks of Alexander Daigle in 1993 by Ottawa and Patrik Stefan in 1999 by Atlanta would have to go down as some of the all time worst acquisitions. Daigle's best year was in the 96-97 season with Ottawa when he scored 26 goals and 51 points. Those numbers would be great...for a third line centre, but he was supposed to be a franchise player. Then with the arrival of Alex Yashin in Ottawa, Daigle was no longer of use to the Sens. Between 97-98 and 99-00 he played with 4 NHL teams and one AHL team. He took two seasons off to try his hand at acting...FAILED! As for Stefan, his best season was 03-04 where he only scored 14 goals and 40 points. He will probably be remembered most for this...
Speaking of the draft, 1991 first overall pick, Eric Lindros, was drafted by Quebec but refused to play there. So, a year later the Nords traded him to the Flyers for Peter Forsberg, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, a draft pick (Jocelyn Thibault), Chris Simon and $15 million.
To compare, here are Lindros' stats with Philadelphia:
(290 goals, 369 assists, 659 points)
All other players with the Nordiques/Avalanche:
(355 goals, 780 assists, 1135 points)
Those Quebec/Colorado totals do not include what Thibault and Hextall did in net.
There are plenty more, but those are just some that came to mind.