Buyer beware

The trade deadline is the passion that divides us all. The various NHL clubs are spit into Buyers and sellers. In theory the buyers get a short term jolt into their lineup for a stanely cup run (short term gain) while giving up picks and prospects to the sellers (long term gain).

However, I have always believed that buyers lose much more often then thay win.


Montreal traded Vladimir Malakhov to New Jersey for Sheldon Souray, Josh DeWolf, and a 2nd round pick in 2001.

New Jersey won the cup, but not because of Malakhov who racked up 1 goal and 5 points in 23 playoff games for New Jersey. Malakhov left after the season. The trade also featured Souray who blossomed into a top NHL defenseman for the habs.

Boston traded Ray Bourque and Dave Andreychuk to Colorado for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Sami Pahlsson, and a 1st round pick in 2000 or 2001 Draft.

This trade was done at the 2000 trade deadline, and Colorado kept Bourque and won the Cup in 2001. Bourque was an instrumental part of the Cup winning squad, however Brian Rolston and Sami Pahlson were sent to Boston.

Los Angeles traded Rob Blake and Steve Reinprecht to Colorado for Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller Colorado’s 1st round pick in 2001 and a cond. pick. The Kings could also choose a player off Colorado’s prospects list.

This is a rare case of the buyer winning. The kings ended up with very little to show for Rob Blake, who had many productive seasons in Colorado. (not to mention winning the stanely cup that year).

Detroit Red Wings — Acquired defenseman Jiri Slegr from the Atlanta Thrashers for center Yuri Butsayev and a 2002 third-round draft pick.

The Detroit Red Winds did little tinkering en Route to a Stanely cup.

Atlanta traded Richard Smehlik and a conditional pick in 2004 to New Jersey for a 4th round pick in 2003.

Columbus trades Grant Marshall to New Jersey for a conditional pick in 2004

More tweaking as New Jersey wins its second cup in four years.

Columbus traded Darryl Sydor and a 4th round pick in 2004 (Mike Lundin) to Tampa Bay for Alexander Svitov and a 3rd round pick in 2004.

Tampa is lucky svitov never turned out as this could have been a disastrous trade.

Nashville traded Stan Neckar to Tampa Bay for a 6th round pick in 2004 (Kevin Schaeffer).

Sydor and Neckar were insignificant parts of Tampa’s Stanely cup win.


January 30: To Carolina Hurricanes :Doug Weight and Erkki Rajamaki
To St. Louis Blues : Jesse Boulerice, Mike ZigomanisMagnus Kahnberg1st round pick in 2006, Toronto’s 4th round pick in 2006 (Reto Berra), Chicago’s 4th round pick in 2007 (Cade Fairchild)

March 9, 2006 : To Carolina Hurricanes : Mark Recchi
Pittsburgh Penguins : Niklas Nordgren, Krystofer Kolanos and a 2nd round pick in 2007

The Canes made some elaborate trades that helped them win the cup. Having said that, they gave up a lot of picks and players (most of whom we’ll have to wait and see if they pan out).

To Tampa Bay Lightning : Shane O’Brien and a 3rd round pick in 2007 (Luca *****i)
To Anaheim Ducks : Gerald Coleman and a 1st round pick in 2007

The ducks were actually bigger sellers than buyers en route to a stanley cup win.


Phoenix traded Keith Tkachuk to St. Louis for Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, the rights to Jeff Taffe, and a 1st round pick in 2001 or 2002.

Nagy Later blossomed into a very good player with Phoenix. St. Louis never won the Stanely Cup.

San Jose traded Owen Nolan to Toronto for Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes, and a 1st round pick in 2003.

Nolan was decent in Toronto, but the Team never won the cup, and Brad Boyes was sent to blossom on another team (not to mention Mark Stuart who was selected with the draft pick.

Buffalo traded Chris Gratton and a 4th round pick in 2004 to Phoenix for Daniel Briere and a 3rd round pick in 2004.

Imagine what kind of shape Phoenix would be in if they’d developed Briere.

Washington traded Robert Lang to Detroit for Tomas Fleischmann, a 1st round pick in 2004 (Mike Green) and a 4th round pick in 2006 (Luke Lynes).

Washington is set for years, and Lang never won a cup in a Red Wings uniform.

To Atlanta Thrashers : Keith Tkachuk
To St. Louis Blues: Glen Metropolit,a 1st round pick in 2007, a 3rd round pick in 2007 (
Brett Sonne), a 2nd round pick in 2008 and a conditional 1st round pick in 2008

Atlanta was eleminated in the first round and hasn’t made the playoffs since. That 2007 1st round pick turned out to be Micheal Backlund, who just happens to be tearing it up in the WJC.


Rangers Acquired right wing Pavel Bure from the Florida Panthers for defensemen Filip Novak and Igor Ulanov, first-round and fourth-round picks in the 2002 draft and a switch of 2003 second-round picks.

Bure played fewer than 60 games with New York, none of them in the playoffs. However, the assortment of goodies sent to Florida didn’t work out that well either.

Philadelphia Flyers — Acquired center Adam Oates from the Washington Capitals for goaltender Maxime Ouellet and first- , second- and third-round picks in the 2003 draft.

Oates had 2 assits in 5 playoff games, as Philly was eliminated in the first round. The picks and prospects never blossomed.

While historicly, some buyers have had sucess pulling off the big trade, most are better off doing some monor tweaking. As for the sellers, while picks and prospects are a risk, it is one that can clearly have great returns.