Editor's Note: The best commenter named after Dapper Dan Daoust has put together an amazing look at the Leafs' trade history since 1999 with a special emphasis on the draft picks moved. Part one is available here.
Part 1 established that yes, Leafs GMs have in fact moved a fair number of picks via trades over the years. Part 2 will look at what kind of picks they were, who was picked with them, and how Cliff Fletcher managed to have the standard "You must bring back Yanic Perreault" clause removed from his interim-GM contract.
UPDATE: I attempted to update this post, reflecting the 4 or 5 trades that I missed in my initial one, but the additional transactions have proven too much for the sbnation platform to handle, and I'm too lazy to try to figure it out. If you're interested in the truth, you can download the full file here:'
More important than just the number of picks traded is obviously the quality of the pick – ie what rounds were being traded? So here’s a summary of each GMs pick-trading record, on a per round basis:
So in terms of the money picks (1sts and 2nds) you can see that Quinn was down one 1st (Nolan) and two 2nds (Berg, Khristich); JFJ was down two 1sts (Toskala, Leetch) and three 2nds (Toskala, Leetch, Perreault); and Cliff was even on 1sts and down one 2nd (Grabovski). It's also worth noting that Quinn was the master of stocking up on 7th round picks. Like getting Cory Cross wasn't bounty enough.
When a trade involves picks, the players that are selected with those picks are a big factor when that trade is judged in the future. With that in mind, the chart below summarizes the players selected with traded picks, organized by round and by GM. (Note: I think this exercise is a bit misleading, since there's no guarantee that the other team would have selected the same player with that pick. But that's how the masses generally do it, so who am I to argue with them.)
|1st||Mark Stuart||Kris Chucko||Luke Schenn||Colin Wilson|
|2nd||Karel Pilar||Ivan Huml||Roman Josi||Jimmy Hayes||TBD (2009)|
|Mike Camalleri||Michael Sauer||TBD (2010)|
|Kyle Wharton||Aaron Palushaj|
|3rd||Mikael Tellqvist||Cory Campbell||(J Livingston - FLA)||(J Livingston - FLA)|
|Nicolas Corbeil||S Lalonde - CHI|
|4th||Miguel Delisle||Kevin Nastiuk||Matt Frattin||Reto Berra||TBD (2010)|
|Vladimir Gustev||R Kukumberg||Jared Boll|
|5th||Pavel Sedov||J Champagne||Nick Sucharski||(TBD 2009)||(TBD 2009)|
|6th||Jan Sochor||Fedor Fedorov||Leo Komarov|
The first thing I noticed when I pulled this together is how few of the picks involved turned into players of any consequence. There’s no doubt picks are valuable, especially with a salary cap, but I think a lot of people mistake picks for ‘sure things’. The data above would suggest that unless it's a 1st or 2nd going out the door, there's no point getting yourself all worked up. There's a 90% that it won't amount to anything.
I'm sure some of you are pissed about Cammaleri's pick being traded away (besides Neidermayer and Luongo, his is the name I hear most often when trading away picks is discussed.) The thing is, Quinn already had a 2001 2nd round pick (acquired in the Sylvain Cote trade) when he traded TO's 2001 2nd for Aki Berg. TO picked Karel Pilar at 39th, LA took Cammaleri at 49th. That's right, we could have had Cammaleri, we just passed. We could have had Derek Roy (32nd) instead of Colaiccovo too, but no point getting worked up about it. Saying "with the benefit of hindsight we could have had X…" is bullshit. It's like saying "Damn it - I could have picked those!" after they announce the winning Lotto numbers (drafting clearly isn't as random as a lottery, but you get my point).
The more important point though is that Pilar was a good pick. He made his way into the lineup the season following the draft (the only player chosen in the 2nd round to play that season), and even played in the playoffs that year. In 90 games over 3 seasons, he had a respectable 30 pts and averaged over 17 minutes of ice time. His career was cut short by a heart condition (a storyline, bizarrely, repeated with Luca Cereda I think) but if it hadn't, there's every reason to believe he was on his way to a successful NHL career.
Moving on, here’s my final list, summarizing all of the players each GM moved via trades during their tenure. Note the columns don’t line up based on each trade – it’s just a list of the players in / out.
|Bryan Berard||Felix Potvin||Drake Berehowsky||Ric Jackman||Jamal Mayers||Hal Gill|
|Yanic Perreault||Sylvain Cote||Andrew Raycroft||Tukka Rask||Ryan Hollweg||Wade Belak|
|Dimitri Kristich||Jason Podollan||Alexander Suglobov||Ken Klee||Mike Van Ryn||Chad Kilger|
|Darcy Tucker||Mike Johnson||Luke Richardson||Nathan Perrot||Mikhail Grabovski||Bryan McCabe|
|Bryan McCabe||Marek Pomsyk||Jeff O'Neill||Maxim Kondratiev||Lee Stempniak||Greg Pateryn|
|Tom Barrasso||Adam Mair||Brian Leetch||Jarko Immonen||Carlo Colaiccovo|
|Owen Nolan||Alyn McCauley||Ron Francis||Mikael Tellqvist||Alex Steen|
|Aki Berg||Brad Boyes||Tyson Nash||Brendan Bell|
|Doug Gilmour||Todd Warriner||Yanic Perreault|
|Robert Svehla||Igor Korolev||Vesa Toskala|
|Robert Reichel||Dimitri Yushkevich||Mark Bell|
|Travis Green||Dany Markov|
|Craig Mills||Frederik Modin|
|Glen Wesley||Kris Vernarsky (rights)|
What's my 2 cents on all this? Well, I think Quinn did a better job than he’s given credit for. He made some good trades and some bad ones, but given that he was operating in a non-salary cap environment, and the Leafs were “close” (to use Burke’s expression), I don’t fault him for making trades to try to make a run. We were never a juggernaut like Detroit, New Jersey, Colorado, or Dallas, but we were a pretty competitive team under Quinn, probably the most consistently competitve in the east besides Jersey and Philly. I miss those days.
JFJ was obviously a nightmare, but looking at his trading record, I really don't think it was his trading of picks necessarily that hurt the team. His biggest problems were his disastrous goaltending moves, his insistence on bringing in aging veterans (o'neill, lindros, allison, perrault, richardson) and the fat contracts with NTCs he gave out to just about anyone who asked. But let's not dwell on this painful recent history. Let's just pick up the pieces and move on with our lives, and hope that we never have to endure anything like it again.
Cliff gets an A in my book just for moving McCabe’s “unmovable” contract, not to mention ridding the Leafs of a bunch of aging locker-room problems and replacing them with younger players. Signing Cujo was a mistake that's been excacerbated by the poor play of Toskala, which no one was really expecting. But if one of Mayers or Hollweg can turn things around and actually be a productive member of this team, and if any of his picks from the 08 draft pan out, his short stint here will have been a success. At the very least he provided Burke with a pretty clean slate.
As for Burke... I can't f-in wait to see what he has up his sleeve. Hopefully it's big on entertainment and success, and low on soul-crushing disappointment. I can't take much more of that.