Ranking the 5 Worst Trades in Philadelphia Flyers History

Brad KurtzbergContributor IFebruary 28, 2014

Ranking the 5 Worst Trades in Philadelphia Flyers History

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    The Flyers gave up a lot to get Eric Lindros.
    The Flyers gave up a lot to get Eric Lindros.GEORGE WIDMAN/Associated Press

    As the NHL trade deadline approaches, it is a good time to review the worst trades in Philadelphia Flyers history.

    The Flyers have been a very successful franchise since entering the league in 1967, but that doesn't mean the team hasn't made its share of bad deals.

    These trades just didn't work out for the Flyers because what the team gave away ended up being much more valuable than what they received in return.

    Trades are graded on both their short-term and long-term impact. Obviously, if a deal helped either side win a Stanley Cup, that is a major consideration when arriving at a grade.

    When draft choices are involved in a transaction, who was selected with that pick gets a lot more consideration when grading rather than who was still available in the draft when the pick was actually made.

    Feel free to comment on any of the trades on this list or to mention a deal you feel belongs here but was not included. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.

5. Bernie Parent to Toronto in 1971

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    The Flyers once traded Bernie Parent to Toronto but were lucky enough to get him back.
    The Flyers once traded Bernie Parent to Toronto but were lucky enough to get him back.Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    On January 31, 1971, the Flyers traded future Hall of Famer Bernie Parent and a second-round pick in the 1971 draft to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goalie Bruce Gamble, Mike Walton and a first-round draft pick.

    The Leafs used the pick they acquired from Philadelphia to take Rick Kehoe who had six seasons in the NHL with 30 or more goals including a career-best 55 tallies in 1980-81. The Flyers drafted Pierre Plante with the pick. He played exactly two games for the Flyers. Walton was traded the same day and never played a game for Philadelphia.

    Gamble played in only 35 games over two seasons for the Flyers, going 10-14-4. His career was ended when he suffered a heart attack during the 1971-72 season during a game against the Vancouver Canucks.

    The Maple Leafs got the better draft choice in this deal and the better goaltender if you look at it in the short term.

    Over the long haul, however, this deal did have its redeeming features for the Flyers. Walton was traded to the Boston Bruins in the trade that netted the Flyers Rick MacLeish, a key part of Philadelphia's two Stanley Cup-winning teams.

    Meanwhile, Parent learned a lot about goaltending during his tenure in Toronto where he played with Jacques Plante. The goalie the Flyers acquired from Toronto two years later was much better than the one they traded to the Leafs in 1971.

    So while this trade was horrible for the Flyers on paper, there was some long-term benefit to the franchise after additional moves were made.

4. Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus

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    Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina for Columbus.
    Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina for Columbus.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    On June 22, 2012, the Flyers traded goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a second-round and fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft and a fourth-round pick in 2013.

    With the first two selections, Philadelphia selected Anthony Stolarz and Taylor Leier. The 2013 pick was subsequently dealt to the Los Angeles Kings who used it to take Justin Auger.

    Bobrovsky went on to win the Vezina Trophy in 2013 as the league's top goalie. He posted a GAA of 2.00 and a save percentage of .932 last season and nearly led Columbus to a playoff berth with his strong play down the stretch.

    This season, Bobrovsky has not played as well, but he is still considered one of the best goalies in the league and has Columbus in the thick of the playoff hunt, despite the team's constant struggle to score goals.

    At 25, Bobrovsky has not yet entered his prime and should have plenty of great hockey ahead of him. He would certainly be ranked higher by most scouts than the Flyers' current duo of Steve Mason and Ray Emery.

    Stolarz has put up outstanding numbers this season with the London Knights of the OHL but is still at least a few seasons away from making any potential impact at the NHL level.

    Leier has 32 goals in 53 games thus far playing for Portland of the WHL. Like Stolarz, he is at least two seasons away from any possible NHL experience.

    Future performances by Stolarz and Leier may change the equation eventually, but as of now, the Flyers gave up a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie for two prospects who may never pan out.

3. Pat Falloon from San Jose

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    Pat Falloon was very average in Philadelphia.
    Pat Falloon was very average in Philadelphia.Denis Brodeur/Getty Images

    On November 16, 1995, the Philadelphia Flyers acquired forward Pat Falloon from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a first-round and fourth-round pick in the 1996 draft and Martin Spanhel.

    The first-round pick was later traded to the Phoenix Coyotes who used it to select Daniel Briere. The fourth-round pick became Mike Martone, a defenseman who played only four career games in the AHL.

    Falloon spent parts of three seasons with the Flyers. He scored 22 goals and 48 points in 62 games in 1995-96 but never topped the 23-point mark in his other two seasons in Philadelphia.

    More importantly, Falloon wasn't productive for the Flyers in the playoffs. In 26 postseason games, Falloon scored only six goals and nine points in 26 games.

    Briere went on to play 826 career NHL games and scored 286 goals and 659 points. He was considered a clutch player who raised his production in the playoffs. Briere played in two NHL All-Star Games and was MVP of the 2007 contest.

    On July 1, 2007, Briere did sign with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent. He led Philadelphia with 30 points in the 2010 playoffs, a new franchise record for points in one playoff season.

    Falloon was nothing more than a depth player for the Flyers. Briere had four 30-goal seasons and had a career-high 95 points in 2006-07. The Flyers clearly gave up a lot more than they got back in this deal.

2. Patrick Sharp to Chicago

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    Patrick Sharp became a key part of the Blackhawks' Cup runs.
    Patrick Sharp became a key part of the Blackhawks' Cup runs.Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    On December 5, 2005, the Flyers traded forwards Patrick Sharp and Eric Meloche to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Matt Ellison and a third-round choice in the 2006 NHL draft.

    Ellison played a total of seven games for the Flyers and was credited with one assist. The pick was later traded to the Montreal Canadiens who used it to select Ryan White who is a depth player for the Habs.

    Meloche spent most of his career in the AHL and never played a game for the Blackhawks. But Sharp developed into a top-six forward who has had three seasons with 30-or-more goals and is on pace for a fourth this season. Sharp was also a key cog for Chicago in their Stanley Cup wins in 2010 and 2013.

    In 2010, the Blackhawks defeated the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final. Sharp scored four goals and added two assists during the six-game series.

    During the 2013 playoffs, Sharp scored 10 goals, tops among all NHL players.

    The Flyers had nothing to show for this trade while they gave up an All-Star who contributed to a pair of Stanley Cup championships so far and won a gold medal for Canada at Sochi this year.

1. Eric Lindros Trade

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    The Flyers paid too much to get Eric Lindros.
    The Flyers paid too much to get Eric Lindros.WAYNE SCARBERRY/Associated Press

    On June 20, 1992, the Philadelphia Flyers made the worst trade in their history. They sent six players, two first-round draft picks and $15 million to the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for Eric Lindros.

    By 1996, the Nordiques had moved to Denver and become the Colorado Avalanche. They won the Stanley Cup that year due in large part to the players sent to them by the Flyers. The haul included future Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Steve Duchesne, goalie Ron Hextall, Kerry Huffman and enforcer Chris Simon.

    The two first-round picks became goalie Jocelyn Thibault and Nolan Baumgartner. Thibault lasted 14 seasons in the NHL. Baumgartner was an AHL All-Star, but he only played 143 career NHL games.

    But Forsberg, Ricci, Duchesne, Hextall, Simon and Ricci was simply too steep a price to play for Lindros.

    Lindros was a dominant player for a few years before injuries cut short his career. He did help the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1997, won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1995 and had four seasons of at least 40 goals.

    But Forsberg won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Avalanche and also won a Hart Trophy in 2003 when he led the league in points.

    Ricci won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996 and went on to play 1,099 career NHL games. He became a quality faceoff man and checking center who also topped 20 goals in a season six times.

    Duchesne played in three NHL All-Star Games and won a Stanley Cup in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings.

    Simon became one of the league's most feared enforcers and once scored 29 goals in a season. Twice he played on teams that reached the Stanley Cup Final.

    While Lindros was arguably the league's best player for a brief time, the price the Flyers paid to get him was simply too high. When you add the injury factor, the deal looks even worse for Philadelphia.

    In the end, the Avalanche won a Stanley Cup and turned their franchise around as a result of this trade. The Flyers never won a title after acquiring Lindros.