Welcome to Trade-iversary! In each installment I will look back on a trade that took place on random dates. Today, August 5th, we’re looking at the second time the Toronto Maple Leafs traded away goaltender Jeff Reese.
On August 5th, 1999 the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Jeff Reese and a 2000 9th round pick (#287-Milan Kopecky) to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2000 9th round pick (#265-Jean-Philippe Cote).
Jeff Reese was originally a Maple Leafs draft pick, drafted 67th overall from the London Knights in 1984 (then a 4th round pick, now a 3rd round), Reese was working his way up to a big role with the team. He joined the Leafs AHL affiliate, the Newmarket Saints, in the 86/87 season and played 50 games with a 4.10 GAA - in the 80’s, which I assume is a 1.12 GAA these days - and made his NHL debut the following season. Over the next four seasons he would bounce between the AHL and NHL. Finally, in he 91/92 season Reese would stick as the back up to Grant Fuhr to start the year. Things were looking up for his future with the Maple Leafs.
Then, just after Christmas, the biggest trade in Maple Leafs history happened:
On January 2nd, 1992 the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Jeff Reese, Craig Berube, Alexander Godynyuk, Gary Leeman, and Michel Petit to the Calgary Flames for Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Kent Manderville, Ric Nattress, and Rick Wamsley.
Jeff Reese would miss the Leafs run to two Western Conference Finals in 1993 and 1994, and the chance to back up Felix Potvin. He would last two seasons in Calgary before being traded to the Hartford Whalers in 1993, then on to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1995, then he’d be traded to the New Jersey Devils in the 1996 off season for future Maple Leaf Corey Schwab.
Reese would play a season in the IHL with the Detroit Vipers before signing with the Maple Leafs in 1998 where he would be sent to the AHL St. John’s Maple Leafs. After 27 more AHL games for the Leafs, and two NHL games, on August 5th 1999 Reese would be sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 2000 9th round draft pick in return for a 2000 9th round pick from the Lightning.
The Maple Leafs would draft Jean-Philippe Côté 265th overall - almost 200 spots lower than they originally drafted Reese - with their pick from that trade.
Côté would never be signed by the Maple Leafs. He would sign an AHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs. He earned an NHL deal with the Canadiens but would stay with the Bulldogs, winning the Calder Cup in 2007. Côté left the Bulldogs after his Canadiens contract expired, and played a season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He then played two years in Germany.
Côté brushed up against the Maple Leafs again when he was a member of the 2012 Norfolk Admirals team that defeated the Toronto Marlies for the Calder Cup. He briefly joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013/14 season, and is now playing in France.
Jeff Reese never played in the NHL again after that trade. He retired and became a consultant to the team, then was named goalie coach a couple years after. He was promoted to assistant coach in 2002 and was behind the bench for the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup victory.