The glass is either half empty or half full.
Lopsided and bad trades are often great steals for the other team involved, while at other times transactions aren’t beneficial for either side.
Young prospects shipped out prematurely, disgruntled stars traded ill-advisedly, proven champions and seasoned veterans moved grudgingly or lost on a gamble.
Damage in bad trades may be immediate or can haunt the loser long-term; losing leadership, massive point production, or even Stanley Cups.
This is a look at the 13 worst trades all-time in the National Hockey League.
The Constitution of A Bad Trade
The order of the countdown is determined both quantitatively, in terms of stats produced and seasons played, and by interpretation of quality.
The ranking method employed, seeks to unveil primarily the winners and losers according to players' career longevity and their offensive numbers (markedly, the majority of trades involve high profile forwards), as well as the long term effects on the players' old and new teams.
Scenarios where bad acquisitions came at the expense of later successful draft picks or of entirely untested rookies are largely avoided owing to the intangible element that hindsight affords in assesing movement of unknown commodities.
Otherwise, surely Toronto's swap of Scott Niedermayer's draft rights for Tom Kurvers would figure on the list. As would their trade of, amongst others, prospect Brad Boyes for Owen Nolan.
The Sharks would be on the hook for their cheap release of Miikka Kiprusoff for a conditional pick, leaving the Blackhawks equally guilty of their exchange of Dominic Hasek for Stephane Beauregard.
But that is the privy of hindsight.
Another case of exception: The 1995 trade sending Joe Nieuwendyk to Calgary for Corey Millen and rookie Jarome Iginla who had yet to play in the League may appear lopsided in the long run given the outstanding tenure of the Flames captain.
Yet the trade short term was as much a win for the Stars who Nieuwendyk helped carry to a Cup championship in 1998-99.
Thus the transaction served the purpose of both clubs, one immediate, the other in the future, and as such escapes the Top 13.