Today’s Slapshot’s Cat Silverman had me chuckling when she offered this tweet after Edmonton traded forward Nail Yakupov to St. Louis last week for forward Zach Pochiro and a conditional third-round pick in 2017.
In a little more than three months, the Oilers have traded the top overall pick in 2010 (Taylor Hall) and the top overall pick in 2012 (Yakupov) for defenseman Adam Larsson, Pochiro and that conditional pick. That’s 182 career goals and 307 career points for a second-pairing defenseman, an ECHL forward and a conditional pick.
If Edmonton had really wanted to give away its top picks, 29 other teams would have gladly accepted on draft day. We can only guess what the asking price would be for Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Of course, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has a history of poor moves dating back to his time as Boston’s GM.
We’ll have to wait to determine where that Yakupov deal ranks among the worst trades of the last ten years, but here are five other deals that merit consideration, along with some notable or potential contenders (we left out cap-induced trades because one side had the other over a barrel).
1. Washington trades forward Filip Forsberg to Nashville for forward Martin Erat and Michael Latta, April 3, 2013
Forsberg has become a creative and dynamic offensive presence with 59 goals and 127 points in his last two seasons with the Predators. Latta has four goals and 17 points the past three seasons. Erat was shipped to Arizona at the 2014 trade deadline and is out the NHL. He played last season in the KHL and is playing in the Czech league this season with Kometa Brno.
2. Montreal trades Christopher Higgins and rights to Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko and Doug Janik to New York Rangers for center Scott Gomez, forward Tom Pyatt and rights to Michael Busto, June 30, 2009
Don’t worry about the ancillary pieces here. The Rangers got a top-pairing defenseman in McDonagh. The Canadiens got a declining and slowing center in Gomez, who was gone after the 2011-12 season.
Advantage: New York
3. Philadelphia trades forwards Patrick Sharp and Eric Meloche to Chicago for forward Matt Ellison and a third-round pick, Dec. 5, 2006
If you’ve never heard of Ellison, it’s probably because he hasn’t played in the NHL since a two-game cameo in the 2006-07 season. He’s in the KHL now. Sharp? Well, he won three Stanley Cup and scored 239 goals with the Hawks before they traded him to Dallas in the summer of 2015 in a cap-induced move.
4. Boston trades center Tyler Seguin, forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button to Dallas for left wing Loui Eriksson, forwards Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser, and defenseman Joe Morrow, July 15, 2013
Eriksson finally regained his scoring form with 30 goals last season for Boston. Then he signed a free-agent deal with Vancouver. Reilly Smith is blossoming in Florida (the Bruins got Jimmy Hayes for him). Seguin has become the franchise center everyone knew he would become, averaging better than a point per game in three seasons in Dallas. Lesson learned — you don’t trade franchise centers.
5. New York Rangers trade forwards Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, defensive prospect Tim Erixon and a first-round pick in 2013 to Columbus for forward Rick Nash, July 24, 2012
You can certainly argue that Columbus didn’t do much with all those pieces, but they did turn Anisimov (along with Mark Dano and spare parts) into forward Brandon Saad in a trade with Chicago. New York got a 42-goal season out of Nash in 2014-15 and it was hard to see this coming since he had been an elite scorer, but the Rangers are largely stuck with his albatross of a contract and his slow feet.
Think there’s a Rangers fan out there that wouldn’t do a Nash for Saad deal straight up? Think there’s an NHL executive alive who would deal Saad for Nash (OK, maybe Peter Chiarelli)?
Other notables and still-to-be-judged deals
— Boston trades center Joe Thornton to San Jose for defenseman Brad Stuart and forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau, Nov. 30, 2005: You can make a strong argument this belongs in the top five.
— Toronto trades goaltender Tuukka Rask to Boston for goalie Andrew Raycroft, June 24, 2006: Rask has declined recently, but he backstopped Boston to a Cup and was once considered the NHL’s top goalie.
— Columbus trades right wing Jakub Voracek and two draft picks in 2011 to Philadelphia for center Jeff Carter, June 23, 2011: Voracek had an off-year last year but has been very productive. Carter didn’t rediscover his form until he was traded to L.A.
— Boston trades defenseman Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for a first- (Zachary Senyshyn) and second-round pick (Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson) in 2015 and Washington’s second-round pick (Jeremy Lauzon) in 2015, June 26, 2015: You don’t trade potential top-pairing defensemen when they are 22 years old.
— Montreal trades defenseman PK Subban to Nashville for declining defenseman Shea Weber, June 30, 2016: As Subban told Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated: “People said it was a hockey trade. I think it’s the furthest from that. I think it was a personality trade.”
— Edmonton trades Hall for Larsson (noted above): SMH.
— Speaking of head-scratching Oilers moves, Edmonton signed defenseman Kris Russell to, ahem, bolster its shoddy defense, and the Oilers gave him $3.1 million for a year. Edmonton has a history of overpaying free agents to lure them to the frozen tundra, but shouldn’t they at least be worthwhile signings?
— NHL executives fretted over the possibility of injuries at the World Cup of Hockey. It turns out the NHL’s lengthy preseason was more costly.
The Florida Panthers lost budding star forward Jonathan Huberdeau to a leg laceration that sounds like a partially torn Achilles tendon. The injury will sideline him three to four months. Huberdeau, 23, finished third on the team in points last season with 59, one behind Jussi Jokinen.
It’s a major blow for a team that is clearly all in for a Stanley Cup after an active offseason, but at least he should be back for the stretch run. The Panthers will also be without forward Nick Bjugstad for four weeks due to a broken hand.
— The truth may finally be out on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. He is one of the NHL’s most cowardly cheap-shot artists. Gudas escaped a suspension for a questionable hit on the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey recently, but the NHL’s Department of Player Safety was expected to rule Sunday on his shoulder-to-head hit on Boston rookie Austin Czarnik.
Gudas was suspended one time last season, but he escaped other infractions that might have warranted action, including a similar shoulder to the head of Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who was in a prone and vulnerable position. Fans and the league may not be aware of it, but Gudas has a bad reputation among the NHL’s rank and file.
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