How it looks, is that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has paid the rental player rate for a player who essentially becomes just that. He's also gone out and gotten the most ill fitting player his team could have in terms of system adherence. The always defensively conscious Devils have now a player who rarely commits himself to his own end.
Sounds like a topic for a poll to me. We have one nomination, Kovalchuk to New Jersey. The comments from the Habs blog (link above) nominate Thornton to the Sharks. But I'm sure we all have our favorites. Dump yours in the comments and I'll put 'em in a poll so we can get to the bottom of this.
Here's what I have so far (alphabetical order, sorted by idiot team), but please fill in the numerous blanks. [UPDATE: lots of great suggestions have been added; thanks! Keep them coming. In a couple of days, we'll roll out the first of four polls, to select the worst trade pre-1979, to be followed by polls for 1980-89, 90-99 and 00-present, and then we'll poll the winners off each other, sort of Sweet 16 style. Then we'll finally know...]
- Atlanta Thrashers trade Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils for Johnny Oduya and Patrice Cormier.
- Boston Bruins trade Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and I forget who else, what does it matter.
- Calgary Flames trade Brett Hull to the St. Louis Blues for Rob Ramage.
- Calgary trades Doug Gilmour to Toronto Maple Leafs for Greg Leeman and several other spare parts.
- Chicago Blackhawks trade Dominik Hasek to the Buffalo Sabres for Stephen Boureguard.
- Chicago trades Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield to Boston for Pit Martin, Gilles Marotte and Jack Norris. Boston wins two cups, with Esposito winning league MVP twice, leading the league in goals and points several times and becoming the first player ever to break 100 points in a season. And as for the two "other" guys the Bruins got: Ken Hodge had four 20 goal seasons, one 30 goal season, two 40 goal seasons, and one 50 goal season before being dealt to the Rangers for the guy who would be the Bruins leading scorer for the next several years (see below); and Fred Stanfield quietly amassed six consecutive 20 goal seasons (in three of which he had over 50 assists).
- Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Kings for Martin Gelinas, Jimmy Carson, their 1989 first round pick (Jason Miller - played six NHL games), 1991 first round pick (Martin Rucinsky), 1993 first round pick (Nick Stajduhar - played two NHL games) and $15 million cash.
- Oilers trade Mark Messier for Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and Louie DeBrusk.
- Florida Panthers trade Roberto Luongo to the Vancouver Canucks for Todd Bertuzzi, who plays 7 games and leaves.
- New York Islanders trade Zdeno Chara and a 1st (Jason Spezza) to Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin.
- Islanders trade Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.
- Islanders trade Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and a pick (Jarkko Ruutu) for Trevor Linden, who later that year Milbury trades to Montreal for a 1st round pick (Branislav Mezei), who plays 24 games and is then traded for Jason Weimer, whom they waive.
- Los Angeles Kings trade 1st (Phil Housley) to Buffalo for Jerry Korab.
- Kings trade their 1st (Ray Bourque) to Boston for back-up goalie Ron Grahame. Grahame wins 23 games in the Kings net over three seasons.
- Kings trade Larry Murphy to Washington Capitals for Brian Engblom.
- Kings trade rights to Kevin Stevens (726 career pts) to Pittsburgh Penguins for Anders Hakansson (15, 12 and 4 goals for the Kings over three seasons).
- Kings trade Wayne Gretzky to the St. Louis Blues for Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, their 1996 fifth round pick (Peter Hogan) and 1997 first round pick (Matt Zultek).
- Montreal trades Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andre Kovalenko.
- Penguins trade Sergei Zubov to the Stars for Kevin Hatcher.
- Penguins trade Markus Naslund to the Canucks for Alek Stojanov.
- New York Rangers trade Rick Middleton (988 career points) to Boston for Ken Hodge, who then retires. Middleton scored about 900 points with the Bruins; Hodge had 68 for NYR.
- Rangers trade Petr Nedved and Sergei Zubov to the Penguins for Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille.
- (by popular request) Philadelphia trades Ron Hextall, Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, '93 1st round pick (Jocelyn Thibault), Chris Simon, '94 1st round pick (Nolan Baumgartner) and $15M cash to Quebec for Eric Lindros.
- Toronto trades their 1st (Scott Neidermeyer) to New Jersey for Tom Kurvers. Kurvers scores 15 goals for the Leafs over two seasons.
- Vancouver trades Cam Neely and a 1st (Glen Wesley) to Boston for Barry Pederson.