A look at regrettable trade deadline deals
That’s right, folks. Today is trade deadline day.
Trade deadline day is a time when you look to see what your favorite team will or won’t do along with how other deals will impact your club. For NHL general managers, it is probably the most stressful day on a job.
For some teams, it can either make or break their season while for other teams, it can end up costing jobs depending on how the day goes. As a team’s GM, one is responsible for not only the makeup of their hockey club, but also its current and future success.
Because of the pressure that is put on NHL franchises on this day, the NHL trade deadline has led to some questionable and regrettable moves. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some trade deadline deals:
Calgary trades the Golden Brett to the Blues
In 1987-88, the Calgary Flames had a player only known then as Bobby Hull’s son.
Brett Hull was clearly not scoring at his father’s pace, and the Flames seemed to think that there was no future for him in Calgary. As such, the club shipped Hull to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Rob Ramage and goaltender Rick Wamsley.
Yes, the Flames would go on to win the Stanley Cup the following season, but Hull, a Hall of Famer, would go on to score more than 700 goals and win two Stanley Cups in a career that spanned 18 seasons.
Dallas sends Neal packing to Pittsburgh
After putting up 55 points in 2009-10, the Dallas Stars gave James Neal a two-year contract extension worth $2.25 million.
As it turns out, the Stars ended up wasting that money because at the trade deadline the very next season, the Stars sent Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski.
While Neal did not exactly click with the Penguins last season, he has certainly turned it around in this year’s NHL campaign and has made sweet music with Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.
Sharks acquire Campbell from the Buffalo Sabres
While former all-star Brian Campbell is currently doing okay with the Florida Panthers, he certainly let San Jose Sharks fans down back during the 2007-08 season.
At the trade deadline that season, Shark’ general manager Doug Wilson was looking for an offensive defenseman to bolster the team’s blue line and add some offence. To make that happen, Wilson went out and sent Steve Bernier and first-round pick to acquire the puck-moving defenseman.
Campbell would end up contributing 19 points in 20 games with the Sharks, but he did not do his job in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ended up being a minus-3.
Devils drop everything to acquire Kovalchuk
With the Atlanta Thrashers, Ilya Kovalchuk was a scoring machine.
In eight-and-a-half seasons with the now-defunct Thrashers, Kovalchuk scored 328 goals. He was effective on even strength, on the power play, scored plenty of game-winning goals, and generally put up a silly amount of points on a consistent basis.
When the Thrashers were sinking in 2009-10 and looking to rebuild, they traded Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 28, 2010 for Johnny Oduya, two young, first-round prospects in Niclas Bergfors and Patrice Cormier, and their first two draft choices.
Since joining the Devils, Kovalchuk was never the same goal-scoring machine when he joined the Devils and now, he has not even in the NHL anymore, making that 15-year, $100-million deal look like an absolute waste.