Happy Trade Deadline Day everyone!
It’s going to be an exciting day of rumors and gossip and most likely nothing of substance occurring! Just like every year! However, sometimes good things happen around the trade deadline, and today I’m going to contrast last weeks article about the Toronto Maple Leafs worst trade deadline moves with a bunch of moves that were pretty good. None of them ended in a Stanley Cup, but they were still okay.
March 3, 1973
To Toronto: 1973 1st, Eddie Johnstone
To Boston: Jacques Plante, 1973 1st
First off we go back almost 50 years and sees Hall of Famer Jacques Plante traded away from the Maple Leafs as his career comes to a close and a first round pick to the Boston Bruins in exchange for the rights to Eddie Johnstone who was playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers, and the Bruins first round pick. Essentially this would just be a swap of first rounders, as Johnstone never played for the Leafs and Plante only played two games for the Bruins. The Leafs moved up two spots in the 1973 draft and picked fan favourite Lanny McDonald, while the Bruins would take Andre Savard.
March 21st, 1994
To Toronto: Mike Gartner
To NY Rangers: Glenn Anderson, Scott Malone, 1994 4th round pick
Twenty years later, the Maple Leafs swung hard to try and get the Stanley Cup they missed out on in 1993 by bringing in Mike Gartner from the New York Rangers who was having a +60+ point season, and would put up 11 points in 18 games on the Leafs second consecutive trip to the Western Conference Final. It did cost them Glenn Anderson, who would win the cup with the Rangers, but this was his last big season and he’d be off to Europe soon enough.
To Toronto: Phil Housley, Glen Wesley, Owen Nolan
To Chicago: 2003 9th round pick, 2004 4th round pick
To Carolina: 2004 2nd round pick
To San Jose: Brad Boyes, Alyn McCauley, 2003 1st round pick
Jumping ahead another 20 years, the Leafs go all in on the playoffs by bringing in three huge names in the NHL. The Leafs got two defenders cheap from the Blackhawks and Hurricanes when they brought in Glen Wesley and Phil Housley, and they paid a high price to bring in Owen Nolan from the Sharks. The first round pick would go to the Bruins and become Mark Stuart, and Boyes would have a long NHL career.
While a great trade, the playoffs wouldn’t pan out as the Leafs lost in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers. Nolan would stick around for another season before the cancelled season, and leave for the Coyotes after the Leafs denied they had an agreement about an extension for the 05-06 season. Housley would retire after playing four games for the Maple Leafs, and Wesley would return to the Hurricanes after this season.
Brad Boyes would get to live out his dream playing for the Maple Leafs in the Auston Matthews tank job 2015-16 season before retiring.
March 9th, 2004
To Toronto: Ron Francis
To Carolina: 2005 4th round pick
March 3rd, 2004
To Toronto: Brian Leetch
To NY Rangers: Jarkko Immonen, Maxim Kondratiev, 2004 1st, 2005 2nd
With Owen Nolan still hanging around, the Leafs would once again make a huge push for a Stanley Cup before the CBA expired and they decided to cancel the 2004-05 season. Joining the Leafs were Hall of Fame players Brian Leetch and Ron Francis, and all it cost them were some picks and go nowhere players. Francis was on his last NHL legs but played pretty well in his 24 games with the team - 10 points in 12 regular season games, eight in 12 playoff games - and would be one of the many victims of the cancelled season.
Brian Leetch was under contract for one more season after this and would have been a huge boost to the Leafs blueline if he were around for an entire season. A point per game defender for the team, he joined Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe in their primes and if it wasn’t for the Philadelphia Flyers once again eliminating the Leafs in the second round - the last time the Leafs played a second round game - who knows how far they could have gone.
Will we see a game changing trade today? Or will we end up on the much longer list of “very boring trade deadlines”?
Now, the news.
Things didn’t get better yesterday morning...
Hockey Novice in Canada felt the same.
The Leafs Beat is a little more up beat.
Centre of Leafs Nation also has thoughts.
Mackinaw Stats gets down to business.
The insiderrrrs say Tyson Barrie is on the move.
And oh yeah: TRADES! SCUTTLEBUTT! Za
It’s deadline day baby. You know what this means. Time to fall for exactly one fake tweet and call 9-1-1.