During this era of no sports, I’ll be doing a series of the best and worst trades from every GM in both the NHL and MLB since 2010. Today, We’ll start with the Pacific Division.
Vegas Golden Knights
Best: Vegas acquires Mark Stone and Tobias Lindberg from Ottawa for Erik Brannstrom, Oscar Lindberg, 2nd round pick
Worst: Vegas acquires Tomas Tatar from Detroit for 2018 1st round pick, 2019 2nd round pick, 2021 3rd round pick
GMGM did a lot of good to build Vegas from the ground up to a powerhouse in each of their first 3 seasons in the NHL as an expansion team. He stole Alex Tuch from Minnesota and Shea Theodore from Anaheim as part of expansion trades, but nothing will top getting one of the NHL’s top players at a marginal cost, and then signing him for 8 years. Lindberg played 20 games for Ottawa and bolted to the KHL. Brannstrom has a bright future as just a 20 year old, but he’s still magic beans, and the fact that he didn’t have to give up a 1st was a miracle. Safe to say this was a fleecing by GMGM, and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing this trade again with the GM on the other side of this.
One of the few mistakes made in the Knight’s historic first season. Tatar was controllable and not having a good year in Detroit, but not only did Vegas overpay, it didn’t work out at all. He scored just 6 points in 20 regular season games and was a healthy scratch for much of their run to the finals. Tatar was dealt as part of the package to acquire Max Pacioretty and has been great for the Habs.
Best: Vegas acquires Robin Lehner from Chicago for Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin, 2020 2nd
Worst: Vegas acquires Alec Martinez from LA for 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 2nd round pick
McPhee accepted a promotion to President of hockey operations in order to keep McCrimmon as part of the Golden Knights and promoted him to GM in May. The sample size is small, but getting Robin Lehner for the playoff run is a huge get, and worth the risk of a rental. They won’t miss Subban, Demin was a 4th rounder in 2018 and currently a sophomore at Denver, and the second was well worth the season Lehner has had. If they make a run, this trade will be a big reason why.
The Martinez trade was an overpayment for a player who doesn’t have great underlying numbers. Again, this will depend on Vegas’ run this year, but as of now, it’s McCrimmon’s worst of a small sample.
Best: Edmonton acquires Colton Teubert, 2011 1st round pick, 2012 3rd round pick from LA for Dustin Penner
Worst: Anaheim acquires Andrew Cogliano from Anaheim for 2013 2nd round pick
I thought I remembered Tambellini’s tenure as being much worse than it was. He really didn’t do that much, which was probably the problem. Penner was a force and they got a decent haul for him. Unfortunately, Teubert didn’t work out, but he was the 13th pick in 2008. The 3rd rounder didn’t pan out either, but the Oilers took Oscar Klefbom with the first, so that made the deal worth it.
Trading a 23 year old Andrew Cogliano wasn’t smart, as he’s gone on to be a really effective player for the last decade. Seeing that the Oilers have lacked quality wingers for the past decade, they certainly could have used Cogliano.
Best: Edmonton acquires David Perron from St. Louis for 2014 2nd round pick, Magnus Paajarvi
Worst: Montreal acquires Jeff Petry from Edmonton the for 2015 2nd round pick, 2015 5th round pick
Getting a 57 point season out of David Perron for very little and then flipping him for a first a little more than a year later is a win, especially considering Paajarvi went on to do nothing. However, considering this was McTavish’s best move probably isn’t a good sign, especially looking at the young core he had.
There was nothing egregious on McTavish either way, again, but trading 27 year old Jeff Petry and then seeing the success he had in Montreal isn’t a great look. McTavish got off better than his successor, however.
Best: Edmonton acquires Pat Maroon from Anaheim for Martin Gernat, 2016 4th round pick
Worst: The trade is one for one
He got Pat Maroon for next to nothing at the 2016 trade deadline. That’s a good trade! But what was his best? Oh no… that can’t be right.
His worst? There are a lot of options. Trading the Mathew Barzal pick and a second round pick for Griffin Reinhart, who contributed 30 games to the team is up there. Trading Jordan Eberle for what turned into basically nothing is up there too, but nothing will top trading Taylor Hall straight up for Adam Larsson may never be topped. Taylor Hall won an MVP in his second year in New Jersey, and Larsson has been what he’s been, a solid, defensive middle pair defenseman. The impacts don’t compare.
Best: Edmonton acquires Sam Gagner from Vancouver for Ryan Spooner
Worst: Edmonton acquires Sam Gagner from Vancouver for Ryan Spooner
Gretzky was on interim GM for a short period, and I refuse to acknowledge trading Cam Talbot for Anthony Stolarz who combined for 10 appearances with their teams and then walked as free agents, so this is what we have to work with. Sam Gagner was useful, and Spooner was bought out by Vancouver. Chalk it up as a minor W.
Best: Edmonton acquires James Neal from Calgary for Milan Lucic, 3rd round pick
Worst: Pittsburgh acquires John Marino from Edmonton for 6th round pick
Ken Holland found a way to get out of the Milan Lucic contract, which meant taking back the James Neal contract, and James Neal has been what he’s been his whole career. He went on an early-season tear and has 31 points through 55 games, while Lucic just isn’t the player he once was.
Holland doesn’t have anything egregious on his resume thus far, and realistically Marino wasn’t likely to sign with the Oilers, but he’s gone on to become a great defenseman for the Penguins, and the Oilers lost him for nothing but a 6th. A tough look for a team that could use a guy like Marino, but it wasn’t really Holland’s fault.
Best: Calgary acquires Roman Horak, 2 2nd round picks from the Rangers for Tim Erixon, 5th round pick
Worst: St. Louis acquires Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary for Reto Berra, Mark Cundari, 1st round pick (Emile Poirier)
Once upon a time, Tim Erixon was a highly rated prospect, but they clearly foresaw that it wasn’t going to work, and got a good haul for a prospect who didn’t end up panning out. We don’t see a ton of trades like this, so Feaster gets points for creativity here.
Bouwmeester was a pending free agent, so a deal was likely, but the return here is far too low. Berra was a 26 year old who’d never played in the NHL, and Cundari was a 22 year old undrafted AHLer. They did get a 1st rounder, which they ended up using on Emile Poirier 22nd overall. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester has played 8 seasons for the Blues at a high level.
Best: Colorado acquires Reto Berra from Calgary for 2nd round pick
Worst: Calgary acquires Kevin Westgarth from Carolina for Greg Nemisz
Sandwiched between Feaster and Treliving, Burke made 3 deals as interim GM. He got a good deal for Berra, getting a 2nd for a goalie who did not prove himself to stick in the league.
Nemisz was nothing, but the fact that he felt any need to trade for Kevin Westgarth automatically makes this his worst deal.
Best: Calgary acquires Dougie Hamilton from Boston for 1stround pick, 2 2nd round picks
Worst: Calgary acquires Travis Hamonic from the Islanders for 1st round pick, 2 2nd round picks
There’s some irony here, trading the same package for two very different players. He stole 22 year old Dougie Hamilton from Boston for an underwhelming package of draft picks. That will go down as one of the most lopsided deals of the last 10 years. Hamilton has turned into a Norris caliber defenseman and turning around and trading Hamilton 3 years later would have been his worst if it wasn’t for Elias Lindholm’s breakout. His worst thus far has been trading the exact same package for a far inferior defenseman. Hamonic is a fine 3rd pairing stay at home guy but was overrated at the time of his availability and the Flames far overpaid for him. It’s actually been the lack of a bona fide starter that Treliving has failed to acquire that has probably been his worst (non) move.
Best: Florida acquires Roberto Luongo and Steven Anthony from Vancouver for Jakob Markstrom, Shawn Mathias
Worst: New Jersey acquires Corey Schneider from Vancouver for 1st round pick
Ah, the Mike Gillis era, headlined by what is likely the biggest goaltending controversy in NHL history. With young up and comer Cory Schneider stuck behind Roberto Luongo and his mammoth contract, one of them had to move. Gillis would have liked to move Luongo first, but couldn’t, so he ended up trading 27 year old Schneider to the Devils for the #9 overall pick… and that’s it. The Canucks turned that into Bo Horvat, but he should have gotten far more for a young goalie with a very good track record. Meanwhile, Gillis was able to get out of the Luongo deal less than a year later, getting out of his contract and acquiring a goalie for the future in Jakob Markstrom. The whole situation was handled very poorly, but isolate the Luongo trade and it ended up being a big win for the Canucks, and one they likely wouldn’t have been able to rebuild without.
Best: Vancouver acquires Josh Leivo from Toronto for Michael Carcone
Worst: Vancouver acquires Erik Gudbranson, 5th round pick from Florida for Jared McCann, 2nd round pick, 4th round pick
Generously, Benning has had his ups and his downs, but stealing a seldom-used Josh Leivo out of Toronto and turning him into a key piece for the Canucks while giving up just a minor leaguer was definitely a win. He doesn’t really have a clear big win to his name though.
The Gudbranson trade was terrible from the second it happened. He was the #3 overall pick in 2010 and did not pan out, but has stuck around in the NHL as quite the bad defenseman, and Benning decided to trade a former first rounder in Jared McCann, as well as two draft picks for him. Cool. Trading a 2nd round pick for Linden Vey is also up there. Who is Linden Vey? I think you answered your own question.
The Canucks just pulled off the worst trade of the offseason and it's not even the offseason yet.
— Steve "Dangle" Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) May 26, 2016
Best: Arizona acquires 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, John Moore, Anthony Duclair from the Rangers for Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, 4th round pick
Worst: Ottawa acquires Kyle Turris from Arizona for David Rundblad, 2nd round pick
Don Maloney was around for a long time, but never really had the ability to make a big move because of the Coyotes’ internal cap. He got a haul for Keith Yandle at the 2015 deadline with a year left on his contract. The 1st and 2nd were good value on its own, but getting 19 year old Anthony Duclair and a young NHL defenseman in John Moore was an excellent added bonus. He didn’t have to trade Yandle that season, but capitalized on the value he got.
The Kyle Turris situation was unique, as he held out and requested a trade from the Coyotes. They drafted him #3 overall, so understandably, Maloney didn’t want to settle for a lesser package, so instead, he settled for a lesser package. David Rundblad came the other way from Ottawa, who contributed a grand total of 26 games for the Coyotes over 3 seasons, as well as a 2nd rounder. A pressure situation that was poorly handled by Maloney with a piece that he wanted to build around.
Best: Arizona acquires Darcy Kuemper from LA for Tobias Reider, Scott Wedgewood
Worst: Montreal acquires Max Domi from Arizona for Alex Galchenyuk
A seemingly minor 2018 trade saw Chayka pick up a young, young goalie who’s posted a .925 and .928 sv% in his last 2 seasons for 2 guys that walked as free agents. Kuemper has been great for the Coyotes and finished 5th in Vezina voting last season. A true fleecing by Chayka.
Domi for Galchenyuk was a big trade at the time, and has worked out great for the Habs, seeing him score 28 goals and 72 points in 2018-19. As for Galchenyuk, he scored 41 points in Arizona, was shipped to Pittsburgh in the Phil Kessel deal, then to Minnesota in the Jason Zucker deal. He hasn’t found a consistent footing in the league, while Domi has carved out a nice top line spot with the Habs. This is a loss for Chayka.
Best: Anaheim acquires Andrew Cogliano from Edmonton for 2nd round pick
Worst: Toronto acquires Jake Gardiner, Joffrey Lupul, 4th round pick from Anaheim for Francois Beauchemin
Murray has been around for a while, but no deals really stand out either way. Acquiring Ryan Kesler could have been his best if the Ducks could have managed to get over the Game 7 hump. He traded a young Bobby Ryan, but got back Jakob Silfverberg and a 1st, which worked out. His actual best deal was a 2011 draft floor deal where he traded the #22 overall pick to Toronto for the #30 and #39 overall picks. The Leafs picked Tyler Biggs, who put 0 NHL games to his name, and the Ducks drafted their core’s backbone in Rickard Rakell and John Gibson. But since those were magic beans at the time of the deal, we’ll be conservative make Tambellini’s biggest mistake Murray’s greatest win. Cogliano played 8 seasons for the Ducks in a very useful role, missing just 2 games from a suspension. Well worth a second rounder.
On the flip side, it’s probably not a great sign when you get fleeced by the 2011 Leafs. They reacquired Francois Beauchemin, who they’d let walk less than 2 years earlier, in exchange for prospect Jake Gardiner, who was the 17th overall pick 3 years prior, and struggling and oft-injured winger Joffrey Lupul. Gardiner became a mainstay in the Leafs top 4 for 8 years, while Lupul contributed 67 points in 66 games in 2011/12 and was very productive for 5 years, when healthy. Beauchemin was also a mainstay for the Ducks, but not exactly productive and the value given up for him was significant.
Best: LA acquires Jeff Carter from Columbus for Jack Johnson, 1st
Worst: LA acquires Mike Richards, Rob Bordson from Philadelphia for Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, 2nd
Jack Johnson has been, let’s call it what it is, a bad defenseman who has managed to use his draft position to keep a spot in the league for a long time. Lombardi managed to ship him and a 1st round pick out to acquire a 26 year old star under contract at $5.2 million for 11 years. As we all remember, Carter went on to become a key cog in both of LA’s Stanley Cup runs. No question this goes down as one of the best deals of the decade.
Lombardi’s worst deal worked out for him in the sense that Richards was also a key piece of 2 cup runs, but giving up a 20 year old Brayden Schenn and 23 year old Wayne Simmonds turned out to be a major loss for the Kings as the years went on. Richards was a good and important player, and even with the cups, you can’t ignore what they gave away with Simmonds and Schenn.
Best: Vancouver acquires Tyler Tofolli from LA for Tim Schaller, Tyler Madden, 2nd, 4th
Worst: Arizona acquires Darcy Kuemper from LA for Tobias Reider, Scott Wedgewood
Another new GM, Blake got a haul for Tofolli at this year’s deadline. Madden dominated the Hockey East this season, and they get two picks to boot. A great haul for a second line winger bound for free agency.
Chayka’s best is Blake’s worst. Kuemper had a .932 in 19 games for the Kings, and they gave him away for 4 goals from Tobias Reider. Poor asset management there.
San Jose Sharks
Best: San Jose acquires Brett Burns, 2nd round pick from Minnesota for Charlie Coyle, Devin Setoguchi, 1st round pick
Worst: San Jose acquires Martin Jones from Boston for Sean Kuraly, 1st round pick
Doug Wilson has been a really good GM for a long time, and really doesn’t have a fleecing against him, which is impressive. The Joe Thornton trade doesn’t count towards here because we’re only counting since 2010, but that was his best deal bar none. Acquiring what ended up being a perennial Norris trophy candidate for pennies on the dollar is another one of the biggest fleecings of the decade. Charlie Coyle turned out to be a very useful middle 6 player, while Setoguchi ended up as a big disappointment for the Wild. They gave up a first, but also got a second a year later, so they were really just moving the pick back a year and a few picks. An incredible deal for Wilson and the Sharks that lead to a lot of their success this decade.
His worst? There aren’t many to choose from. Sure he paid too much for guys like Tyler Kennedy, Ian White, and Roman Polak and Nick Spalling, but that’s nick-picky and probably worth it when going all in to win the cup. With the way the Martin Jones era has gone, I’ll chalk that up as his worst deal. The Sharks needed a goalie after moving on from Antti Niemi, and because the Kings wouldn’t trade Jones to the Sharks, they got the Bruins to flip him after acquiring him in the Milan Lucic deal. I’m very against trading a first rounder a year in advance, which is what the Sharks did here. Again, Wilson hasn’t given me much to choose from here, and with the run Jones gave the Sharks in his first season, the deal might even be worth it, but he wasn’t the answer the Sharks needed in net and they paid a good deal to get him.
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