NHL Trades: 6 Blockbuster Deals That Worked out for Both Teams

Robert DemmettCorrespondent IIIAugust 25, 2011

NHL Trades: 6 Blockbuster Deals That Worked out for Both Teams

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    Every trade gets examined in the hockey world by other general managers, fans and players. In every trade , one team gets deemed the winner with their acquisitions compared to what they gave up.

    However, there are some trades that can get examined years after it happened where the trade actually worked out for both teams. These trades don't happen very often, but trades like these can lead to an immediate impact on one team, while the other needs to wait before the trade kicks in.

    So here are six NHL trades that worked out for both teams.

    NOTE 1: The trades had to have happened in the past 15 years, which leaves us at the 1995-96 season.

    NOTE 2: The trades are in chronological order, not by importance.

    NOTE 3: We're all lazy and only read the headlines, myself included. If you don't read the slides and don't see my rationale, some of the trades may be baffling. Read the slides so you understand where I am coming from. 

Honorable Mention: Kris Draper to the Red Wings for $1- June 30, 1993

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    This trade breaks the "trade had to have happened in the past 15 years rule" but it had to be mentioned.

    In one of the most even trades in the history of the NHL, the Winnipeg Jets traded Kris Draper to the Red Wings for one dollar.

    Draper would go on to win four Stanley Cups, a Selke Award, and would forever be associated with the "Grind Line" of Detroit. That's a bargain if I've ever seen one.

    The Jets took that $1, added about $270 million more and got their team back.

    The dollar was paid in American currency, which turned out to be a deal for the Jets because of the exchange rate at the time. Not a bad deal, eh?

Alexei Yeshin to the New York Islanders- June 23, 2001

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    Alexei Yashin is viewed by many fans as a disappointment for the Islanders. However, when you look at the results, the trade is not as bad as it seems.

    Yashin was traded to the Islanders in exchange for Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and the 2nd overall pick of the 2001 draft. Ottawa used that pick to select Jason Spezza. Chara and Spezza played a huge role in the Senators being a major contender in the Eastern Conference, leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007, where they lost to the Ducks in five games.

    Yashin signed a 10-year, $87.5 million contract upon arriving on Long Island, although the Islanders would later buy him out. The contract was reduced as a result of the collective bargaining agreement but the effects of it still hurt the Islanders.

    Yashin had good years, playing more than 75 games a year for the Islanders, scoring 35 goals in 2001-02, 28 in 2002-03, and 28 in 2005-06. Yashin was unable to bring the Islanders past the 1st round of the playoffs, despite an epic battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2001-02.

    Chara went on to captain the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011, while Spezza is still in Ottawa as a veteran on a rebuilding squad. Ottawa may have had a better result with the trade, but Yashin helped the Islanders to the playoffs and to awaken a fan-base that had been avoiding the Scotiabank Place arena.

Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers- January 23, 2004

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    After he was traded from Pittsburgh to the Capitals in 2001, Jaromir Jagr signed a seven-year, $77 million deal with the Capitals. The Capitals were trying to buy talent to make a contender out of the team.

    The New York Rangers had not made the playoffs since the 1996-97 season and needed a player to turn around the franchise's sudden futility.

    The Capitals proceeded to trade Jagr to the Rangers in 2004 for Anson Carter, and an agreement that Washington pay $4 million of Jagr's salary every year (Jagr took interest on $1 million per year of his contract instead of being paid outright in order for the trade to go through). The Capitals acknowledged that their attempt to buy talent had failed and were starting a rebuilding process.

    The trade would result in the Capitals finishing in last place that season but it would indirectly reward the Caps with the 1st overall pick of the 2004 draft. They used this pick to select a Russian named Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin would not only take the NHL by storm and make the Capitals a premier team in the Eastern Conference, but he would also invigorate a fan-base in the Washington DC area.

    Jagr led the Rangers to the playoffs in every season except for his first in 2004. He set the Rangers regular season goals record with 53 in 2006 and won the "Rocket" Richard Trophy that year. He led the Rangers to the 2nd round of the playoffs for twoconsecutive years in 2007 and 2008.

    Jagr failed to bring his team past the 2nd round of the playoffs. Up to this point, Ovechkin has failed to do the same.

Dany Heatley to the Ottawa Senators- August 23, 2005

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    Dany Heatley had been a star in Atlanta, even through the tragic accident that caused the death of his teammate, Dan Snyder. After the lockout, Heatley requested a trade in the hope of leaving this memory behind him.

    The Thrashers obliged, much to the ire of the Atlanta faithful, and traded him to the Ottawa Senators for Marian Hossa and Greg de Vries.

    Heatley started off for Ottawa with a point in each of his first 22 games as a Senator, breaking a team record held by Marian Hossa. Heatley helped the Senators turn into a serious contender along with the likes of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, and Zdeno Chara. The peak of his Senators career was helping the team to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals.

    Hossa and de Vries helped the Thrashers turn into a playoff team by solidifying a team led by Ilya Kovalchuk. The Thrashers clinched their first playoff berth in the 2006-07 season. They won the Southeast Division but were subsequently swept by Jaromir Jagr and the Rangers in the first round. 

    After signing a six-year, $45 million deal with Ottawa before the 2008 season, Heatley requested a trade and was sent to San Jose. Hossa was traded to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline of the 2008 season while de Vries left as a free agent after the 2007 season.

    This trade brought new found success to each franchise. While the success of the Senators was different from the success of the Thrashers, both teams were able to go to the next step.

Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Ducks- July 3, 2006

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    Chris Pronger led the Oilers on a surprise run to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006. He then drew the ire of Oilers fans by requesting a trade for personal reasons.

    He was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, the Ducks' first round pick in 2007 (traded to the Coyotes), Anaheim's 2008 second round pick (traded to the Islanders) and another first round pick if the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in the next three years.

    Pronger led the Ducks to a Stanley Cup in 2007, then brought in new talent later in his career.

    It seemed unlikely that the Oilers would make the same run in 2007 as they had in 2006. Trading Pronger led to a total rebuild in Edmonton that is still on-going. Edmonton has a nice core to build around and should be competitive in the coming years. Edmonton can look back at this trade and point to it as the start of the process to building a Stanley Cup contender.

Chris Pronger to the Philadephia Flyers- June 27, 2009

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    He made the list once again. The Ducks traded the star to Philadelphia in exchange for Joffrey Lupul (traded twice for Pronger), Luca Sbisa, first round picks in 2009 and 2010, and a conditional 3rd round pick in either 2010 or 2011.

    Upon coming to Philadelphia, Pronger signed a seven-year extension on his contract. Pronger brought the Flyers on a surprise run to the Stanley Cup in 2010 before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. He has become a leader in that locker room—he may or may not have indirectly led to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter being traded, and odds are he will be the next captain of the Flyers.

    Anaheim used Pronger to win the Stanley Cup and then prepare for the next contender. The Ducks used the 2009 draft pick to trade with Columbus, getting Columbus' first round selection (26th overall, Kyle Palmieri) and 37th pick (Mat Clark) for the 21st pick (John Moore). The 2010 pick was used by Anaheim to select Emerson Etem 29th overall.

Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs- September 18, 2009

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    In one of the most talked about trades in recent history, the Boston Bruins traded Phil Kessel to the rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for two first round picks (2009 and 2010) and a second round pick in 2009.

    After the Bruins were unable to sign Kessel when he was a restricted free agent, they sought a trade and found a partner in Toronto. The Maple Leafs then signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract. Toronto received a young player to build around. Kessel is leading the revival of Toronto, with a young core that should be ready to compete this season.

    Boston used the three draft picks they received from Toronto to select Tyler Seguin (2010 first round pick), Jared Knight (2009 second round pick) and Dougie Hamilton (2009 first round pick).

    Seguin made an immediate impact with the Bruins, especially in the playoffs against Tampa Bay. He helped the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.

    This trade will be discussed until Phil Kessel leaves the Leafs and the results will be determined on whether Kessel can lead the Leafs to be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now, the Leafs may have lost the trade, but with Toronto on the cusp of being competitive, that train of thought may change in the future.


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    Each of these trades impacted the franchises that were involved for the better. While looking at the trades at the time they happened it may seem that one team was the obvious winner. However, over a period of time, these trades seemed to have benefited both sides.

    Some were controversial, some were about money, and some were just to move players to a new place. All in all, the general managers involved in these trades knew what they were doing and it worked out for each of them.

    Let's just hope more exciting trades like these are on the way.

    Did I miss a trade? Let me know about it.

    Keep the military in your thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for the read and feel free to comment.

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