The NHL trade deadline is over for another year. Before moving on to following the final quarter of the NHL regular season, here’s a look at my favorite Deadline Day trades since 2000, the year I first covered the trade deadline on this site. Enjoy!
2000: New Jersey Devils trade Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for Alexander Mogilny.
A true “hockey trade” which worked well for both clubs. Mogilny would help the Devils win the Stanley Cup that year, while Morrison would go on to several productive seasons centering the Canucks top line of Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi.
2001: Phoenix Coyotes trade Keith Tkachuk to the St. Louis Blues for Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, rights to Jeff Taffe, and a conditional first round pick, used to select Ben Eager.
Montreal Canadiens ship Trevor Linden and a second round pick to the Washington Capitals for Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis and a first round pick in 2001.
Calgary Flames traded Cory Stillman to the St. Louis Blues for Craig Conroy and a seventh round pick.
Blues definitely got the better end of that deal. The Canadiens return helped them regain some measure of respectability in the early “naughts”. Conroy would go on to several years as a key part of the Flames, especially in their 2004 run to the Cup Final, while Stillman played only a couple of seasons with the Blues, going on to Cup glory with Tampa Bay and Carolina.
2002: New Jersey Devils trade Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first round pick to the Dallas Stars for Jamie Langenbrunner and Joe Nieuwendyk.
They don’t make deadline day blockbusters like that anymore. It was a move which, a year later, helped bring the Devils their third Stanley Cup, but did little to help the Stars.
2004: Boston Bruins trade Jeff Jillson to the San Jose Sharks for Brad Boyes, the Sharks “flip” Jillson and their ninth round pick in 2005 to the Buffalo Sabres for Curtis Brown and Andy Delmore, then the Sharks “flip” Delmore to the Bruins for future considerations.
No big names involved, I just admired the juggling act of then-first year GM Doug Wilson on this one.
2006: Pittsburgh Penguins trade Mark Recchi to the Carolina Hurricanes for two prospects and a draft pick.
The return never helped the Penguins, while Recchi would go on to help the Hurricanes win their first Stanley Cup later that year.
2007: Edmonton Oilers trade Ryan Smyth to the NY Islanders for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Mara and a first round pick.
What was fascinating for me about this one was that it was avoidable. Smyth didn’t want to leave, Oilers GM Kevin Lowe didn’t want to move him, but the two sides wouldn’t budge on the money issues dividing them. Smyth bounced from the Islanders to the Avalanche to the Kings before returning to the Oilers (at his request) last year.
2008: Atlanta Thrashers trade Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Chistensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and a first round pick.
Tampa Bay Lightning deal Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to the Dallas Stars for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern and a fourth round pick in 2009.
Chicago Blackhawks ship Tuomo Ruutu to the Carolina Hurricanes for Andrew Ladd.
This year was the best trade deadline under this CBA, and as it turned out, the last best one. Top talent like Hossa and Richards changed teams, while in a host of other trades involving notable players (Adam Foote, Brian Campbell, Sergei Fedorov, Brad Stuart), the Ruutu-for-Ladd deal stood out. Ruutu would become a core player for the Hurricanes for years, while Ladd would go on to win his second Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, then move on to become team captain of the Winnipeg Jets.
2009: The Los Angeles Kings ship Patrick O’Sullivan to the Carolina Hurricanes for Justin Williams, then the Hurricanes “flip” O’Sullivan to the Edmonton Oilers for Erik Cole.
NY Islanders trade Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional 2009 fifth round pick.
Tampa Bay Lightning deal Mark Recchi to the Boston Bruins for two prospects.
A rare “three-way” deal which brought Cole back to Carolina, where he’d help the Hurricanes march to the Eastern Conference Final. Guerin and Recchi were fading stars by this point in their careers, yet the former would help the Penguins win the 2009 Stanley Cup, while Recchi would stay with the Bruins and help then win the Cup in 2011.
2010: The Anaheim Ducks trade Ryan Whitney and a 6th round pick in 2010 to the Edmonton Oilers for Lubomir Visnovsky.
Florida Panthers trade Dennis Seidenberg to the Boston Bruins for prospects.
The first was another rare “hockey trade” on deadline day. Given Whitney’s injury woes, this deal has so far favored the Ducks. The Seidenberg move didn’t raise any eyebrows at the time, but it turned out to be a big one, as he’d become a valued member of the Bruins blueline, helping them in 2011 win the Stanley Cup.
2012: Minnesota Wild trade Nick Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers for Tom Gilbert.
Buffalo Sabres trade Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani to the Vancouver Canucks for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer.
The Schultz-for-Gilbert deal could shape up to be one which works for both teams. The Wild need a good puck-moving defenseman, while the Oilers needed a solid, “stay-at-home” blueliner.
The Sabres-Canucks deals was essentially Kassian for Hodgson, two promising young players, which could be one of those deals, years from now, we point to as either lopsided for one or the other club, or one which significantly helped both teams.