To Vancouver: Daniel and Henrik Sedin
To other teams: Bryan McCabe and a bunch of draft picks that ended up being busts
Technically, the maneuvering that brought Daniel and Henrik Sedin to Vancouver involved multiple trades by former Canucks GM Brian Burke.
But are you going to argue that the moves to acquire the two best players in Canucks history shouldn’t be included on this list based on a technicality?
Try to follow along, as I do my best to explain how it all went down.
Burke made his first move a few days before the 1999 NHL entry draft, when he traded Bryan McCabe and one of the Canucks two first-round picks in 2000 to the Chicago Blackhawks for the fourth overall pick in the 1999 draft.
Then, Burke traded the fourth overall pick that he had just acquired, along with two third-round picks, to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first overall pick in the same draft.
Finally, he dealt the top pick in the draft to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for the second overall pick and a conditional third-round pick. This move came with a verbal agreement that the Thrashers would not select either of the Sedins with the top pick.
That left Burke to take with the No. 2 pick that he just acquired and the No. 3 pick, which the Canucks owned to begin with.
Are you still with me?
If not, the first 30 seconds of the video above shows Burke going over the final stages of the deal with his assistant and the other general managers involved just minutes before the 1999 draft began.
It was a brilliant series of deals that made it possible for the Canucks to draft two potential Hall of Famers, especially considering the other disappointing lottery picks in the 1999 draft such as Patrik Stefan and Pavel Brendl.