Blog: The best and worst trades of 2009-10

Edward Fraser


July 3, 2009: The Kings acquire Ryan Smyth from the Avalanche for Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a ’10 fifth round pick.
Heads were scratched when L.A. gave up 24-year-old Quincey, who had a breakout season in 2008-09, for a not-getting-any-younger Smyth. But the 34-year-old, 14-season vet has provided much-needed experience on a young Kings team and been a boon playing on Anze Kopitar’s right side on the top line.

Nov. 23, 2009: The Wild acquire Guillaume Latendresse from the Canadiens for Benoit Pouliot.
One of those rare deals that instantly turns out boffo for both clubs, two struggling players found new homes and rediscovered their scoring touch. Latendresse improved his PPG from .13 to .73; Pouliot from .29 to .75.

Feb. 9, 2010: The Thrashers acquire Ivan Vishnevskiy and a ’10 fourth round pick from the Stars for Kari Lehtonen.
Atlanta GM Don Waddell is consistent, and justly, carved for his trade record, but this one gets a positive grade. Despite the fact Lehtonen was a top five pick (2002 No. 2 overall), he’d fallen to third on the goalie depth chart after showing no ability to stay healthy during his five seasons. Getting a quality prospect in 22-year-old Vishnevskiy (51st overall in Future Watch ’10) deserves credit.

March 3, 2010: The Coyotes acquire Wojtek Wolski from the Avalanche for Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter.
One of those rare deals that instantly turns out boffo for both clubs, the 24-year-old Wolski has five points in seven games for the surging Yotes while Mueller has 11 in eight Colorado contests. Most deadline pundits – including this one – gave the first-blush nod to Phoenix, but the Avs get the slight edge so far.

March 3, 2010: The Coyotes acquire Lee Stempniak from the Leafs for Matt Jones, and ‘10 fourth and seventh round picks.
In only seven games in the desert, Stempniak already has seven goals, which will very likely be more than any of the assets Toronto got in return will achieve in their entire career.


June 30, 2009: The Canadiens acquire Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto from the Rangers for Christopher Higgins, Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko and Doug Janik.
Although Gomez has certainly been better of late, cap space is as important as production in the new-CBA world and the 30-year-old will be eating up $7.3 million of the Habs room for the next four years.

Sept. 12, 2009: The Senators acquire Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a ’10 second round pick from the Sharks for Dany Heatley and a ‘10 fifth round pick.
The 25-year-old Michalek has been OK this season and projects to get better over the next couple of seasons, but the gamble on Cheechoo, who, along with his $3 million salary for this year and next is currently toiling in the American League, was a huge miscalculation. To make matters worse, Heatley continues to score like a fiend on the West Coast.

Sep 18, 2009: The Maple Leafs acquire Phil Kessel from the Bruins for first round picks in ’10 and ’11 and a second round pick in ’10.
Though Kessel has been excellent, his purchase will likely cost the Buds a crack at a blue-chip future superstar in Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. And with little available to improve Toronto’s woeful forward corps this summer, Boston may get another lottery pick in 2011.

81 Responses to Blog: The best and worst trades of 2009-10

  1. mojo19 says:

    a 2nd rounder for Antropov did sting a bit more though, especially considering a lesser player in Jokinen went for a 1st + Lombardi (granted, Jokinen was not a rental). But ya, I hear you. Stempniak should have been at least a 2nd round pick, but what can you do.

  2. mojo19 says:

    That wasn't a good trade. Rask has tons of potential, Raycroft became a journeyman backup.

    The best trade in recent NHL history has to be Iginla for Nieuwendyk. Dallas got their superstar, conn smythe winner, who put them over the top, and Calgary got the face of their franchise for the next 2 decades. They weren't in a position to win another cup with Nieuwy so that trade worked out great for both teams.

  3. mojo19 says:

    ya, i was thinking about that possible Atlanta – New Jersey series too. That would be pretty cool. Especially if the Thrashers were to upset Kovie, that would be crazy. Imagine Jonny Oduya just shuts him down, lol.

    And I think the biggest nightmare for the Sharks would be to face Detroit in the first round. That's the last thing they need, they'll take Colorado, LA, Nashville, Calgary all way ahead of Detroit. I hope it happens.

  4. mojo19 says:

    Well, I don't like the idea of every team, even the last place teams getting a chance to play in the post season.

    Personally I like it the way it is, but if they had to expand the playoff picture and were to allow more teams to make it, i think they should expand it to no more than 10 in each conference, with the top 6 seeds in automatically, and 7 and 10, 8 and 9 each having a best of 5 wild card series to determine the two bottom seeds in the playoff picture.

  5. bbruins37 says:

    I'm talking about lopsided trades though. Other ones that come to mind are Luongo to the Canucks, Naslund to the Canucks, any Milbury trade, the niedermayer pick to the devils from toronto…

    It's not often you see a trade work out for both teams like it did with that Dallas/Calgary one.

  6. bbruins37 says:

    If the Thrashers actually had a decent fanbase I couldn't even imagine what the atmosphere in game 3 of that series would be like in Atlanta.

    Yeah like I said JT and co. would be shitting their pants if they had to face the two time defending Conference Champs (this time with a goalie) and still didn't have the "benefit" of being the underdog. I think another first round loss would have to mean major changes (although Mareau probably leaving would mean that anyways).

  7. leafmeister says:

    Well all the Kessel trade has done so far for the Bruins is turn a conference champ into a middle of the pack team fighting for their playoff lives. Lets just wait and see who they draft.

  8. zackman13 says:

    didnt eklund create thatr idea?

  9. DannyLeafs says:

    Yes, that is what I said. Drafting in the first round is bad. Uh-huh. No wonder you can never win an argument.

    I was simply pointing out that if a team held onto 6 first round picks and drafted 3 players of Kessel's calibre that would be considered a success, so trading two of those picks for Kessel makes sense. I never said you should always look to trade your picks, just that it makes sense if the right players are available. If the Leafs held onto 6 years worth of picks and drafted players that were  Kessel, Carter and Ryan's equal, the consenus would be that the Leafs did very well at the draft table.

    I am quite aware of who is available next year, and it doesn't bother me in the least. Like I said, there very well could be some good players available, but that doesn't make the draft an overly strong one.

    Reindeau,M. Perrault, Bochard, Radulov, J.Perrault all household names obviously. Not to sell Couturier short, but the Q doesn't exactly have a history of its top scorers going on to be elite NHL'ers. The fact that the Q's leading scorer is vying for next years number one draft position is actually an illustration of the lack of depth of next year's draft. Finally, before you try and point out Crosby was a former Q scoring champ, you have to realize that he was an exception. He didn't just win the scoring title, he could have won it while playing about 30 less games than second place.

    Like I said, not to say that these guys won't be very good players, but I don't think they are franchise guys.

    Lastly, I know that it is exciting to have the possibility of drafting a potential superstar, and I am fully willing to admit that while I believe the trade made sense when it happened, and I would actually rather have the picks back and draft this year, that still doesn't mean I that the trade was a bad one. I say this because you have to keep in mind that you can't base the trade on information that was not available at the time.

    Also, part of the reason I would take the trade back right now is the Bobby Ryan situation. Obviously having Kessel this year didn't put us in a dog fight for a playoff spot, so having that draft pick would be great, but another bonus would be having next years first to give us a threat of an offer sheet to swing a deal for Ryan. If we could basically just do what we did with Kessel but instead draft Hall or Seguin, then add Ryan, the Leafs would be better off. But as I said, that is 20-20 hindsight, and doesn't effect the trade as it was made at the time.

    Finally, I am not quite sure as to your objection. I admit that the bruins are likely to win the deal, but you have done nothing to counteract my argument that the deal made sense. You can't argue that if the Leafs drafted 3 players of Kessel's calibre out of 6 first round picks that it wouldn't be considered successful. So why argue that it doesn't make sense to trade two picks for Kessel? Everyone looks at this deal as only being successful if Boston drafts poorly, when really, it is irrelevant who Boston drafts. Kessel doesn't magically become more valuable if Boston fails to draft a better player. My point is simple, Hockey analysts are good at eying talent, but are often poor at simple logic and business sense. They look at this deal and may talk about how dumb it was based on Hall being projected to be better than Kessel because the logic is easy to follow. Leafs trade pick to boston, boston drafts Hall, Hall > Kessel, Burke stupid. But if it were to happen that the leafs drafted 7th this year, and 7th next year, nobody would be talking about how the leafs were stupid for not trading the picks, even though it would be just as much a loss as the way it turned out now. Anyway, if you are going to reply, then fine, but at least try to point out a flaw with my logic instead of trying to twist the argument to being about something its not.

  10. cam7777 says:

    No.  Eklund's idea was to break the season into three 27 game segments, where you guarantee yourself a playoff spot by winning any one of those segments.  This idea was proposed by several of the general managers at the GM meetings, but was turned down pretty quickly, to be brought up again at a later date.

    I dunno, I don't see the harm.  As it is right now, is Edmonton really going to beat Detroit, and claw their way into the playoffs?  No.  Does Boston really deserve that final spot with how bad they've been this year?  They are where they are out of default basically.  A lot of interesting story lines come out of this too.   I think it would be very rare that a last place team actually goes the distance.

  11. reinjosh says:

    Thats what bbruins does when he can't respond logically. He just picks out one part of your response, tries to twist it so it makes you look like a tool and then tries to move on. Very rarely does he ever use logic.

    And I completely agree with you on the logic behind the trade. People are making a huge deal out of this trade and are completely overvaluing draft picks because they think that Hall might be a player like Crosby (which is false) and they are freaking out. Funny thing is, a lot of teams with high first rounders have nothing to show for it. Columbus, Atlanta, St. Louis (somewhat), Florida. Columbus has only ever drafted outside of the top 8 pick once and all they have to show for it is one player of Nash's calibre and one swept playoff series (Brassard, Voracek, Filatov are nice but not great yet). ANd don't misunderstand me here. First rounders are great to have.

    But in this deal, it was a deal worth making. We got a great player and a natural sniper for three picks, three picks that are still virtually nothing at this moment. No one knows what they will turn out to yet. No one has won or lost this trade yet.

  12. reinjosh says:

    Thats the reality of living in a media mad place like Toronto though. A players value will get diminished because the team is always so focused on in Toronto and by Toronto based media places (TSN). Its something that will always be a pain in the ass for any GM who runs the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  13. reinjosh says:

    Not just work out but work out that freaking well. Calgary gets their franchise player, Dallas gets the cup.

    And the trade that netted Perry for the Ducks was pretty key. Dallas traded away their first for two seconds and have nothing to show for it. The Ducks got Perry.

  14. reinjosh says:

    The preds will do well this year. Call it a hunch.

    And your lack of concern about the Bruins is funny. Your team can't score. In fact, it happens to be the lowest scoring team in the entire league and you have more goals scored against per game than you score per game. How do you expect to win if you can't score. Like the age old hockey saying, you goalie can't win a game if you team can't score.

  15. mojo19 says:

    On the flip side, a player like Ian White can get completely overrated and flipped in a trade for Phaneuf. So it works both ways.

  16. Dunski23 says:

    Ya good points man. Hall looks like he'll develop into a damn good player, a real nice fit playing the Wing with any of the B's Centers. Do you think Seguin could play the RW. A first line of Lucic Savard Seguin would be pretty nice, I just haven't heard anything on Seguin's ability to switch to the wing. I, also, hope Recchi comes back for another season. The line of him, Bergy, and Sturm seem to play really well together and have great chemistry.

  17. JoelJoel says:

    Yup. Bbruin is quick to bash, but his bruins are very similar to last years squad- less Kessel. Furthermore, 1st rounders are overrated. The plain fact is that the majority of picks (including those in the first) never reach their 'potential' – very few even play more than a season or two in the NHL. I would have liked to see a 4th instead of the 2nd go to Boston, but even if there are any players in the next two drafts that could eventually compare to Kessel, it will likely take years for them to reach that level.

    It is important to build from within, but people often forget about free agency. And Burke has shown what can be done with an impeccable reputation and some dipping into the NCAA and international player pools.

  18. zackman13 says:

    i actually like that idea, cuz it would elimnate takning.

  19. bbruins37 says:

    You're ignoring opportunity cost. While off the top Hall putting up 50 goals a year doesn't directly affect the leafs, you still have to consider that you could've had that. Uness you want to argue that a Kessel-less Leafs team wouldn't have been bad enough to give the Bruins a top pick, you have to consider what you could've had if you held on to them.

    "But if it were to happen that the leafs drafted 7th this year, and 7th next year, nobody would be talking about how the leafs were stupid for not trading the picks, even though it would be just as much a loss as the way it turned out now."

    The whole thing is that the Leafs DID have a good chance of handing the Bruins top picks if the trade was made. It's not like this is the Sharks giving you no better than 25th overall or something. You make this trade based on expectations, and Burke completely miscalculated how good his roster was.

  20. cam7777 says:

    I would argue that it rarely works both ways.  The team was doing poorly, so everyone on the roster must have been absolute shit – that was the attitude of the media.  Even Ian White, how over-rated was he really?  He's likely going to hit 40 points as a defensemen, and he's been a +8 since going to Calgary.

  21. reinjosh says:

    Wow. Your already expecting Hall to put up 50 goals in the NHL. Your more deluded than I thought. Hall hasn't played a game in the NHL or against NHL ready talent and yet you have him termed as a 50 goal guy already.

    Fact is you are completely ignoring the fact that you may have given up a 50 goal scorer. In fact its already hurting you. Your judging this trade on expectations and your being completely hypocritical in your arguments. Its hilarious because you don't realize how often you do this.

    You should probably wait till you see where the Leafs finish and who you draft before you start judging how good your team is going to be and how badly you raped this deal. Better yet you should probably wait until you see whoever you draft with out pick play in the NHL before you go saying how much better we would be with whoever that pick turns out to be.

    Your honestly the most moronic person on this site and your use of logic and reason is terrible. You should be ashamed to think that your so amazingly smart. Your really not.

  22. bbruins37 says:

    50 goals was an example. Plug in anything you want there. The point of that was to say it won't effect the Leafs directy, but it would affect them in terms of the opportunity cost of not making the trade.

  23. reinjosh says:

    Thats our point though. The oppurtunity cost hasn't been found out yet. To say that it could be this or that is stupid because it hasn't happened yet. You can't say anything about this deal yet except that the Bruins are suffering from it because of there loss of a sniper. Other than that, the other parts of the deal are completely unknown. Thus, opportunity cost has no bearing on any argument for it because you cannot talk about somethings opportunity cost when it doesn't actually exist. As an econ student you should probably understand that.

  24. bbruins37 says:

    You have to factor in expectations though. If Crosby was traded straight up for say Raffi Torres what would you say about the trade? Now suppose that Torres outproduces Crosby after the trade. Possible? Yes. Likely? Absolutely not. That's the situation with the Kessel trade.

    And even if you don't take expectations into account, the opportunity cost still exists right now. Those picks are assets and the opportunity cost of not trading Kessel.

    And you guys are arguing different things. You think it matters who the Bruins draft with the picks, and he doesn't.

  25. reinjosh says:

    I don't really care anymore. And your comparing Hall to Crosby and Kessel to Torres. Those are completely ludicrous comparisons.

    Hall and Kessel are more like each other than you think. Both have good scoring and sniping talent. Both had good assist totals in their respective leagues. Both happen to be somewhat selfish players.

    Stop thinking Hall is Crosby. He isn't and never will be. Yes those picks are assets but as so many people have tried to explain and so many others ignorantly ignore, those assets are temperamental in value. Even if the pick were first overall, it could turn out bad. You can't hold value to them because the value is completely unknown.

  26. bbruins37 says:

    I don't even know what to say anymore…That was an example! I don't think Hall is Crosby, I'm just saying the trade is like a much lesser comparison to the hypothetical Crosby trade.

  27. reinjosh says:

    that comparison was ridiculous
    your comparing getting up a 15 – 20 goal scorer for a generational talent to a trade getting potential 50 goal scorer (yes, that is kessel) for 3 draft picks of unknown value.

    Tell me how that makes any sense to you as an example?

    Your a tool bbruins.

  28. bbruins37 says:

    The point was not to show the disparity of value exchanged, it was to show that expectations matter at evaluating the trade.

  29. reinjosh says:

    expectations matter? How exactly? How can you actually evaluate this trade?

    The Leafs haven't been placed yet. The lottery hasn't taken place yet. The Bruins haven't picked anyone with the picks yet. The players who haven't been picked yet, do not belong to any NHL teams. The players that don't belong to NHL teams and who haven't been picked yet, haven't played in the NHL yet.

    The only part of this deal that is possible to be evaluated is the Kessel side. That side says you gave up a one time 36 goal man and a top line sniper. A sniper who is poised to break the 30 goal barrier again and who is only 22 years old. That side says it has effected you so much, that your team is now the lowest scoring team in the entire league. That side says you gave up a hell of a lot and it goes further than just one player scoring 36 goals.

    If you want to talk about expectations, here you go.  You want to know what was expectation. The fact that the Bruins gave up a 22 year old, natural sniper with 50 goal potential, a player who already had NHL experience and was already a 30 goal NHL man.

    The Bruins at the moment have nothing, because they don't know who they can pick. They might pick as high as one, they could pick as low as 6th or 7th. But they don't know who they will pick so they can't have expectations. Hey, if you pick Hall, congrats. You could be getting a really great player. You could also just be getting a player no better than Kessel. And who knows what the other picks are, because again, the Leafs have not placed yet and you havent found out who you picked. You cannot argue that you won this trade right now, because for all intents and purposes, only this year can be evaluated. And you know what, the Bruins have lost out big time this year.

    Honestly, I don't know why I bother. You refuse to see logic or reason in anything. You have the intellect and reasoning skills of a 13 year old and the stupidity and irrationality of a 4 year old.

  30. DannyLeafs says:

    Your ignoring Expected Value. There was more than one opportunity cost to consider at the time the deal was made. Hall is just one possible outcome, if you compare Kessel to all possible outcomes and take their average value, and multiply them by the probability of that outcome, Kessel is worth much more than one first round pick. If you added in the other two picks, Kessel is worth more than those as well.

    My argument is, that at the time of the deal, with the information given, the deal was a good one for the leafs based on the expected value. I am not saying that it wouldn't feel better if the Leafs didn't pick didn't result in the Bruins drafting Taylor Hall, or Tyler Seguin, but that has no bearing on the validity of the decision at the time it was made.

    Reinjosh's argument is that you can't evaluate who won or lost the deal as the Bruins still do not have any tangible assets from the deal, just the probability to obtain tangible assets.

    This does not mean we have differing opinions, we are talking about two completely different things.

    I am evaluating the decision to make the trade, which is a good one based on the information available at the time, regardless of what the Bruins end up getting from the deal.

    Reinjosh is talking about the deal itself, and the fact that you can't determine final values yet, because the Bruins do not have any assets from that deal available to them right now.

    There is a big difference between the final evaluation of the deal (which can't be made just yet) and the evaluation of the decision to make the deal (which is that it was a good decision based on expected value).

    It's no different than an investment where the possible earnings of the investment out weight the possible risk. The investment itself may turn out to be a bad one, but the decision to make the investment was the correct decision.

    Also, the opportunity cost of those picks is not simply equivalent to Taylor Hall. It's weighing all possible options the Leafs would have used those picks for. The opportunity cost of keeping them at the time of the trade was the probability they had of obtaining each pick 1 through 30, and the probability each of those picks had of being the different Levels of NHL player. You would also need to consider what else the Leafs could possibly have obtained for those picks.

    Finally, even if you do find out exactly what the opportunity cost of a deal was, it is still not a good indicator of whether or not the decision to take that course of action was a good one. Example, what do you think the chances were that Florida could have traded down in the 03 draft and got both of Anaheims firsts? If Florida traded the 3rd and 38th overall I believe that Anahiem would have given up their 19th and 28th in a heartbeat. So that makes Getzlaf and Perry a minimum opportunity cost of not trading their picks that year, but nobody would ever fault the GM for not making that deal. 

  31. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I heard…I actually went to come and say hi yesterday but then I remembered you guys were done…lol

Leave a Reply