Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grantland: Eight Great NHL Trade Breakouts

If you’re an NHL general manager pulling the trigger on a trade, there are a few ways the move can blow up in your face. Maybe the star player you get back has nothing left. Maybe the deal messes up your team chemistry. Maybe somebody gets hurt. Maybe your owner panics and forces you to overpay.

Or every once in a while, maybe you get what has to be a GM’s worst nightmare: when an established player you’ve traded away suddenly takes his game to the next level.

We’re not talking about the long shot prospect who develops into a star down the road. We mean the guy you had on your roster and thought you knew pretty well, who almost immediately transforms into one of the league’s elite players. Suddenly, a deal that might look defensible or even downright smart at the time it's made ends up haunting a franchise for a generation.

Here are eight deals that saw teams give up on a player who turned out to be a year or less away from making the leap to superstardom...

>> Read the full post at Grantland


  1. Your transition into a serious hockey writer is going well. But please don't forget the funny.

  2. It's personal prejudice, but the Esposito / Pit Martin trade in between the Bruins & Blackhawks so many years ago ... that one was probably the most lopsided trade in hockey history, if not all pro sports history.

    But the "what were they thinking..." issue. It was Gilles Marrotte who was the guy the Blackhawks really wanted. Gilles was going to be a big part of the Bruins going forward, but this kid, 18 years old, named Orr, showed some potential and Marrotte became expendable. Pit Martin was a good shooter, but a physical liability. Marrotte was a fire hydrant. Trouble was, fire hydrant also described Gilles' mobility.

  3. The Esposito trade is definitely the worst in North American sports history. Don't forget that the Hawks also gave the Bruins two other players who were important pieces of two Stanley Cup champions, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield. The Chicago Cubs were involved in two of the worst trades in baseball history - Lou Brock to St. Louis for Ernie Broglio (1964) ; Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa from the Phillies for Ivan DeJesus (1982). Not sure which one was worse but neither compares to the Hawks trading away Esposito.

  4. Just wanted to say, nice job finding that picture with Adam Foote in a Nords uni (the one with LeClair). The Last Nordique in the NHL salutes you.