Thursday, February 15, 2007

A question for the masses

After watching Daniel Briere snipe the winning goal tonight for the Buffalo Sabres, I have just one question to pose: Was the Briere and a third rounder for Chris Gratton and a fourth rounder trade that the Phoenix Coyotes made a little less than three seasons ago the worst deal made in the past five years?

The past 10?

Because, looking back, it's hard to believe it was ever accomplished without using some sort of a mind-altering agent on 'Yotes GM Mike Barnett.

Briere is 10th in league scoring this season. Gratton is 266th.

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At 11:30 p.m., February 15, 2007, Blogger Stevyn said...

I would think the 29 GM's not taking Briere when he was available on waivers was worse. He was waived twice if memory serves me correctly.

At 11:38 p.m., February 15, 2007, Anonymous Dan said...

SJ- Thornton
BOS - Sturm, Stuart, Primeau (now appearing in black and gold as Ference and Kobasew).

I say this trade was worse than the Briere-Gratton deal because although Briere had one good season with Phoenix (01-02 when he scored 30 and had 0.76 ppg)his production actually slid back to 0.67 ppg the next year.
Compare to Thornton - before the year he was traded he had scored at least 20 in 5 consecutive seasons, and in the two years prior to the lockout scored 174 points in 154 games.
All of this is to say that while what the Bruins got in return for Thornton was more substantial than Chris Gratton, they gave up a proven superstar, while the Coyotes gave up a guy who was at worst an underacheiver and at best a bit of a question mark.

At 11:46 p.m., February 15, 2007, Blogger mike w said...

It was a horrible trade because even an idiot knew Briere was the Coyotes best player when he was in Phoenix. Chris Gratton has always sucked.

At 12:00 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

I agree that the Thornton trade was worse, because we don't need hindsight to show that it was awful. We all knew it was a bad deal the day it was done. Boston traded away the frigging Hart Trophy winner for three players not named Marleau, Cheechoo, or Toskala. Say no more.

At 12:30 a.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

The Thornton trade was worse as was the Islanders trading Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and a second overall pick (read: Spezza) for Yashin.

Luongo has participated in a couple of bad trades too:

Islanders trade Luongo and Olli Jokinen to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.

And I think the trade from Florida to Vancouver will go down as a horrible trade for Florida too.

At 12:53 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

I remember at the time thinking how bad the trade was. Gratton was much more of an Eastern Conference player (big and slow), and did nothing to help the Dogs then, let alone in the future. Briere, on the other hand, was coming off a 32 goal season.

My favourite one-sider is coming up on its 11th anniversary. March 20, 1996: Pittsburgh trades a 22 year-old Markus Naslund for some guy named Stojanov, who would go on to score 2 goals, 4 assists in 45 games with the Pens.

At 1:11 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Another for the all-time file: Bertuzzi, McCabe, and a 3rd rounder for a declining Trevor Linden. Although anything with Milbury's fingerprints on it should be exempt from this discussion. That rules out the giveaways of Luongo, Jokiknen, Chara, Spezza, Torres, Berard, and Tommy Salo.

At 1:27 a.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous Dan said...

Give Barnett a little more time and he might challenge Milbury as the most ridiculously inept GM in recent history. I think he'll get that chance, as a Friend of Gretzky.

At 4:21 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Kel said...

Have to mention how L.A gave up a 2nd round pick to get Cloutier when it was obvious that no other team was interested in acquring Cloutier. You really have to wonder if they put that as a condition on Crawford's contract.

At 5:14 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Luke said...

As a long-time Canucks fan, it's comforting to know that the ghost of Cam Neely can finally fade away -- Vancouver is mentioned as the beneficiary on at least 3 of these. :)

And I can think of some other doozies too... let's never forget sending the ephemeral Craig Janney to St. Louis for Jeff Brown, Bret Hedican and Nathan LaFayette.

At 8:34 a.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

How about this from the way-back machine...Phil Esposito traded Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller from the Rangers to the Capitals for Bobby Carpenter in the 1986-87 season. Ridley and Miller went on to play for a combined 19 more seasons for Washington, with Ridley establishing himself as a solid center and Miller doing the same as a solid defensive specialist. Bobby Carpenter produced 10 points in 28 games for the Rangers before being shipped to the Kings for the aging and disinterested Marcel Dionne.

I think this trade is just as bad as the Briere trade or the Thornton trade....maybe even worse when all is measured out.

At 10:02 a.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous S. said...

I'm with David Johnson and the Luongo trade. Definitely one of the worst.

At 1:10 p.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous pete said...

Lest we forget:

To TOR: Owen Nolan
To SJ: Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes, and a 1st rounder that ended up being Milan Michalek

Nolan's stint in toronto consisted of 1 assist spread over 6 playoff games.

God help me I even liked that trade at the time.

Of course, going the other way, I'd say one of the worst trades of all time has to be what Calgary got from the Leafs in the Gilmour trade.

At 2:42 p.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

My favourite one-sider is coming up on its 11th anniversary. March 20, 1996: Pittsburgh trades a 22 year-old Markus Naslund for some guy named Stojanov, who would go on to score 2 goals, 4 assists in 45 games with the Pens.

Sad thing is, it wasn't terribly lopsided at the time. Naslund stunk in Pittsburgh.

At 2:53 p.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

A postscript to that Nolan trade is that San Jose apparently didn't think much of Boyes. One year later he was traded for a rental of (gulp) Curtis Brown.

Also, Michalek was the 6th pick of '03. Toronto's pick was #21, which also ended up in Boston in an unrelated trade. Now, Mark Stuart is a decent planer, but nobody to lose sleep over.

No, if there was one Toronto trade I would take back, it would be the one that repatriated Clark for a pick that turned out to be Luongo.

At 2:53 p.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, we Habs fans demand to have the Patrick Roy trade declared the worst trade of the past two decades. That's all we have to cling to these days, what with the team falling apart at the seams and the GM apparently auditioning for the New Kevin Smith movie as Silent Bob senior.
Patrick Roy and Mike Keane for
A never-was goalie, and two disinterested Europeans.

At 5:18 p.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

I remember, years and years ago, talking to a Montreal fan who was angry over the Denis Savard-for-Chris Chelios trade.

He kept repeating, over and over, "They made a horrible choice in the draft and missed him, and now they've way overpaid for him!" I've never seen a grown man that close to tears over hockey. It was kind of creepy.

Frickin' Habs fans.

But I'd have to second the nomination of the Gilmour/Leeman deal as the worst in NHL history.

At 5:32 p.m., February 16, 2007, Blogger sager said...

Courtnall for Kordic, anyone?

At 8:50 p.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

That's up there, even though I much preferred Kordic as a person over Courtnall.

I still think the Leafs more than redeemed themselves with the Gilmour/Leeman trade though.

At 10:13 p.m., February 16, 2007, Anonymous Jason Mandell said...

worst trade in last 2 decades (and perhaps ever) has got to be Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. Penguins went on to win two straight Cups (the first one a few months after the deal) and the Whale went on a gradual decline that led to chaos, even worse decisions and ultimately Peter Karmanos stealing the team away and moving it to Nascar country. Can you imagine someone as unqualified as Eddie Johnston being a GM today?

Ok the Canes won the Cup, and as a result are finally drawing some fans this season, but the support won't last there. I know people who live there and it's just not hockey country like Connecticut is. Just ask Ron Francis himself.

At 9:25 p.m., February 18, 2007, Blogger Pyronite said...

So how come Jersey doesn't get the rap that "NASCAR country" has?

There are some hockey fans here in N.C. (more than you would think) who'd just like to enjoy a great sport.

At 5:39 p.m., April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Briere is a 5'7" 170 pounds soaking wet (his official numbers are inflated) push over - bump him and he falls over. It's only in the changed rules of the "let them play" NHL that he thrives. Phoenix wasn't out of line for trading him at the time - even if he was the best, he's only a second liner. Gratton was also a second liner - one a bit bigger and slower and just OK in that sense, the other smaller and not very durable. Given the circumstances at the time one team wanted one vs. the other.

It's the change in league rules and philosophies that makes the trade seem lopsided. All the comparisons of other trades are totally right. It's only perspective of a different era that makes Briere better than he was at the time of trade.


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