One of the biggest debates in any group of hockey fans is the biggest trade in a team's history. One person might say that the final piece of a Stanley Cup run would be the biggest. Another might say it's the first trade in a rebuild that got the team on the road to success was bigger.
Well, I'm here to solve those debates. I have compiled the biggest trades in each NHL team's history. Some might surprise, some are blindingly obvious, but each trade made a big impact for either one or both of the teams.
Here they are.
Trade: Anaheim sent Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, 2007 first-round pick (Nick Ross), 2008 second-round pick (Travis Hamonic), 2008 conditional first-round pick (Jordan Eberle) to Edmonton in exchange for Chris Pronger
The trade to acquire Teemu Selanne from Winnipeg was pretty big, but the acquisition of Pronger gave the Ducks even more leadership than they already had and more playoff experience, which helped the Ducks win the 2007 Stanley Cup.
You can't argue that Edmonton didn't get a good piece in the deal as Eberle will be a fixture in Edmonton for a long time.
Trade: Boston sent Gilles Marotte, Pit Martin and Jack Norris to Chicago in exchange for Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge Sr. and Fred Stanfield
Let's put it this way: While Hodge and Stanfield were good players for Boston, Esposito was the prize of this deal. He was the first player in NHL history to have more than 100 points in a season, doing it five more times in his career. He was the top scorer in the league for six straight seasons.
Can you ask for a better return in a trade?
Trade: Buffalo sent Stephane Beauregard and 1993 third-round pick (Eric Daze) to Chicago in exchange for Dominik Hasek
Buffalo acquired the goaltender that would lead them to their greatest successes. Hasek was acquired for next to nothing and if it weren't for a controversial goal in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, the Sabres would have a Stanley Cup on their resume.
Trade: Calgary sent Joe Nieuwendyk to Dallas in exchange for Jarome Iginla and Corey Millen
Quite simply, this was a trade with one Hall of Famer going one way and a future Hall of Famer heading the other way.
Trade: Carolina sent Krystofer Kalonos, Niklas Nordgren and a 2007 second-round pick (Kevin Marshall) to Pittsburgh in exchange for Mark Recchi
Another trade that brings a team that final piece towards a Stanley Cup run. Recchi won another Cup while giving up players that have only played 151 NHL games since then, 15 of them in Pittsburgh.
Trade: Chicago sent Hank Bassen, Forbes Kennedy, Bill Preston, Johnny Wilson to Detroit in exchange for Ted Lindsay and Glenn Hall
I think it's fair to say that Chicago fleeced Detroit in this deal. Even though Lindsay only played four seasons in the Windy City, Chicago got Hall, a fixture in their net for the next 10 years after the trade.
Trade: Quebec sent Eric Lindros to Philadelphia in exchange for Peter Forsberg, Steve Duschesne, Ron Hextall, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, 1993 first-round pick (Jocelyn Thibault), 1994 first-round pick (Nolan Baumgartner), $15 million cash
Do you think that Philadelphia wanted Lindros? He was a great player and all, but all that in return for him?
Maybe this is the type of return that Scott Howson is looking for.
Trade: Columbus sent Jeff Carter to Los Angeles in exchange for Jack Johnson and a conditional 2012 or 2013 first-round pick
Well, when you have only existed for about a decade, the big trades are going to be hard to come by. Since Rick Nash wasn't moved, I have to go with this one.
Columbus actually got a great return for a player in Carter who has struggled this season. Oh, what a hat trick can do for you.
Trade: Dallas sent Jamie Langenbrunner and Joe Nieuwendyk to New Jersey in exchange for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a 2002 first-round pick (Daniel Paille)
This trade may not have have been a top trade in terms of results, but it's a pretty big because of the players that were involved. All of the players had been instrumental in their respective team's Cup run years prior.
Trade: Detroit sent Paul Henderson, Norm Ullman, Floyd Smith and Doug Barrie to Toronto in exchange for Frank Mahovlich, Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and the rights to Carl Brewer.
This is one of the few trades on this list where the other team might just have got the better of the deal. None of the players sent to Detroit spent a long amount of time there, but at least two players sent to the Leafs in Henderson and Ullman went on to become household names for them.
Trade: Edmonton sent Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley to Los Angeles in exchange for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, 1989 first-round pick (Jason Miller), 1991 first-round pick (Martin Rucinsky), 1993 first-round pick (Nick Stajduhar) and cash
Well, you had to see this one coming. The one thing is, with Peter Pocklington saying that he'd trade Gretzky again, I'd try to get a better return.
Trade: Florida sent Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish to the New York Islanders in exchange for Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo
Even though Luongo was the big piece of this deal, one cannot discount the contributions of Jokinen to Florida. He still remains the Panthers leader in goals, assists and points.
Trade: Los Angeles sent Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, 1989 first-round pick (Jason Miller), 1991 first-round pick (Martin Rucinsky), 1993 first-round pick (Nick Stajduhar) and cash to Edmonton in exchange for Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley.
There's no way this isn't on the list twice.
Trade: Minnesota sent Martin Havlat to San Jose in exchange for Dany Heatley
The Minnesota Wild have only made two big trades in their decade of existence and they both took place last offseason. The Heatley trade was just a little bigger.
Trade: Montreal sent Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky and Jocelyn Thibault
The forced trade can really hurt a team and such was the case with Patrick Roy. After telling his owner that he had played his last game as a Hab, he was shipped out for anything they could get. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad return, but you never get full value for a superstar player.
Anyone tell that to Scott Howson?
Trade: Nashville sent Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, 2007 first-round pick (Jonathan Blum) and a 2007 third-round pick (Scott Desimone) in exchange for Peter Forsberg
2007 was the year that Nashville first decided to really go for it and try to make a big push for the Stanley Cup. They made the biggest splash of that year by adding Forsberg in a blockbuster deal. Unfortunately, things didn't go well for the Preds and they were eliminated in the first round.
Trade: New Jersey sent Tom Kurvers to Toronto in exchange for a 1991 first-round pick (Scott Niedermayer)
I think it's well-known on this site that I'm a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so let me just say that this hurts. Leafs general managers have shown a talent to fleece other general managers. This is one of those times the Leafs were made to look like fools.
Trade: New York Islanders sent Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith to Toronto in exchange for Kenny Jonsson, Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty and a 1997 first-round pick (Roberto Luongo)
Another trade Leaf fans hate to look at. Sure, they got Clarke back and Schneider wasn't a slouch, but Johnsson went on to be the captain of the Islanders and, well, Luongo could have been a difference-maker in New York if it weren't for Rick DiPietro.
Trade: New York sent Louie DeBrusk, Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice and David Shaw to Edmonton in exchange for Mark Messier and Jeff Beukeboom
Another deal where where one team is severely fleeced. Messier went on to become the heart and soul of the Rangers team. Three years after the deal, he would lead them to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
Trade: Ottawa sent Alexei Yashin to the New York Islanders in exchange for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and a 2001 first-round pick (Jason Spezza)
This was a massive mistake on the Islanders' part. First they send off Zdeno Chara, who has gone on to become one of the best defensemen in the NHL. Second, they traded the second overall draft pick that became Jason Spezza. To top it all off, the Islanders are still paying Yashin's salary.
Trade: Philadelphia sent Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, 2009 first-round pick (John Moore) and a 2010 first-round pick (Emerson Etem) to Anaheim in exchange for Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle
Once again, Pronger is dealt to a team that thinks he will help them win the Stanley Cup. It worked in Anaheim; it did not work in Philadelphia, as they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Trade: Phoenix sent Craig Mills, Alexei Zhamnov and a 1997 first-round pick (Ty Jones) to Chicago in exchange for Jeremy Roenick
While Zhamnov went on to become a pretty good player, it seems like this was highway robbery for Phoenix. They acquired one of the best players ever to wear a Coyotes jersey in Roenick, who had two stints in the desert.
Trade: Pittsburgh sent John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski to Hartford in exchange for Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings
You know how I said that the previous trade was highway robbery? I take it back—this one definitely takes the crown. Pittsburgh got Francis and Samuelsson, two players that were vital to their back-to-back Stanley Cup runs. All Hartford got was a player with the best name ever in Zalapski.
Trade: San Jose sent Wayne Primeau, Brad Stuart and Marco Sturm to Boston in exchange for Joe Thornton
A theme definitely seems to be forming here, doesn't it? Another one-sided trade that sees a player that has gone on to be one of the best Sharks player of all time in Thornton in exchange for spare parts.
Trade: St. Louis sent Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, 1996 fifth-round pick (Peter Hogan) and a 1997 first-round pick (Matt Zultek) to Los Angeles in exchange for Wayne Gretzky
I have made a rule that if Gretzky is involved in a trade, it has to be the team's representation on this list. Not to mention, he was had for nearly nothing again.
Trade: Tampa Bay sent Alexander Svitov and a 2004 third-round pick (Dustin Boyd) to Dallas in exchange for Darryl Sydor and a 2004 fourth-round pick (Mike Lundin)
While this might not be a big trade, it was instrumental in the Lightning's Cup run in 2004. Had it not happened, maybe Tampa would never have the success they did.
Trade: Toronto sent Craig Berube, Alexander Godynuk, Gary Leeman, Michel Petit and Jeff Reese to Calgary in exchange for Doug Gilmour, Jamie Macoun, Kent Manderville, Ric Natress and Rick Wamsley
How I could I not pick this one? In terms of players moved, this is the biggest trade in NHL history. It also was the first example of a Leafs GM fleecing another.
Trade: Vancouver sent Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld to Florida in exchange for Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a 2006 sixth-round pick (Sergei Shirokov)
He might be the most polarizing player in Vancouver, but people have to admit that he is one of the better goalies in the NHL today. The fact that he has been traded twice, three times if you include the fact that the Islanders picked him with a pick they had acquired in a trade, is shocking.
Trade: Washington sent Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk and Michal Sivek to Pittsburgh in exchange for Jaromir Jagr and Fantisek Kucera
This might not seem like a big trade now, but the fact that these two heated rivals made a deal involving a superstar like Jagr was surprising to say the least.
Trade: Atlanta sent Ilya Kovalchuk, Anssi Salmela and a 2010 second-round pick (Jonathan Merill) to New Jersey in exchange for Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, Johnny Oduya, 2010 first-round pick (Kevin Hayes) and a 2010 second-round pick (Justin Holl)
Yeah, this was a bad one for Atlanta. They were forced to trade their only star player and now the only player remaining in this deal for the now-Winnipeg Jets is Cormier after Oduya was sent to Chicago on deadline day.