Over the years, NHL teams have made trades at the trade deadline that changed the direction of their franchise forever, whether the trade of a star player or a small move. For whatever the reason, here are 11 of the most interesting trades in NHL Trade Deadline History.
Chris Chelios traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Detroit Red Wings for two first round picks (Steve McCarthy and Adam Munroe) (1999)
When a divisional trade is made, it's a big deal. When a trade is made involving a star, it's a big deal. When both those thing happen, worlds collide and Chris Chelios almost does not report to the Detroit Red Wings because of the rivalry. He did show up and the Red Wings went on to win more, and those two draft picks did very little for the Blackhawks. This trade helped the Red Wings dynasty win more Cups and allowed the Blackhawks to continue losing until they were able to draft all their stars and win two Stanley Cups.
Rick Martin and Don Luce traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Los Angeles Kings for a first-round pick (Tom Barrasso) and a third round pick (1981)
Rick Martin had suffered a bad injury the previous year and was not the player he used to be. The Sabres acquired a pick that became a Calder-winning goalie who went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rick Martin only played four games in total for the Kings and Don Luce only 10.
Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse traded from the Minnesota North Stars to the Washington Capitals for Mike Gartner and Larry Murphy (1989)
The rare star-for-star trade, Ciccarelli and Gartner being traded for each other is the type of trade that is rarely seen in the NHL today. Both Cicceralli and Gartner are Hockey Hall of Famers. Ciccarelli found continued success in Washington while Gartner only lasted one season in Minnesota before moving onto the New York Rangers, where he won the Stanley Cup.
Kirk Muller, Mathieu Schneider, Craig Darby traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the New York Islanders for Pierre Turgeon and Vladimir Malakov (1995)
A trade in the middle of the Dark Ages for the Montreal Canadiens that saw them move their captain and a talented defenceman for star forward Pierre Turgeon and Valdimir Malakov. While both players who came to the Canadiens were good players, Turgeon was only with the Canadiens for one full season before being traded to the St. Louis Blues. Malakov played four full seasons in Montreal and performed admirably as an offensive defenceman.
Joe Juneau traded from the Boston Bruins to the Washington Capitals for Al Iafrate (1994)
Another trade that featured two extremely good players. Iafrate only played 12 games for the Bruins, but managed to put up 13 points. Juneau played five full seasons with the Capitals and managed to put up respectable point totals. While he never reached the level he scored at as a rookie, Juneau was a useful player for the Capitals.
Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner traded from the Dallas Stars to the New Jersey Devils for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first. (2002)
After winning the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, Joe Nieuwendyk was moved along with Jamie Langenbrunner to New Jersey to win one more Stanley Cup. Although the Devils did not win the Cup in 2002, they did win it in 2003 with both Nieuwendyk and Langenbrunner on the team. Randy McKay was a complete non-factor in the trade, but Jason Arnott gave the Stars three season of respectable production before moving onto the Nashville Predators.
Butch Goring traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the New York Islanders for Billy Harris and Dave Lewis (1980)
The trade that made the New York Islanders a dynasty. The little (5'10") Winnipeg boy went from the West coast to the East coast and the move paid off big time. Goring played four full seasons with the Islanders and in that time they won four Stanley Cups. Dave Lewis' highest scoring season came in with the Islanders with 23. Billy Harris was the higher scoring player of the two and he only played three seasons with the Kings and achieved 40 points once. Fun fact: Goring is also credited with being the father of the modern day tradition of the playoff beard.
Brendan Morrison and Dennis Pederson traded by the New Jersey Devils to the Vancouver Canucks for Alex Mogilny (2000)
Another intersting trade. Mogilny was a bonafide star in the NHL and Morrison was playing in the Czech league at the time of the trade. Thanks to some fortuitus development for the Canucks on the part of Brendan Morrison, this trade was not an unmitigated disaster for them. Mogilny was a star and he was traded while still scoring a lot. He only played a year for Devils before moving onto the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Devils won the Cup with him though. Morrison went on to play for seven more years with the Canucks.
Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis traded from the Atlanta Thrashers to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a first round pick (2008)
The trade that came out of left field in a lot of ways. Ray Shero went out and got the venerable Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers for next to nothing. The only two roster player players Shero traded was a low scoring Colby Armstrong and sometimes scratch Erik Christensen along with first round draft bust Angelo Esposito and a first round pick that amounted to nothing. This was a fantastic trade for the Penguins, even if they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings.
Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist traded from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Dallas Stars for Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern, Mike Smith, and a fourth round pick. (2008)
A trade that signalled the end of an era for the Tampa Bay Lightning making it notable. At the time, it was made to alleviate some of the cap problems the Lightning were experiencing and to get them a goalie of the future. This trade did neither. For the Stars, it was supposed to help them win a Cup; instead it saw them remain outside the playoffs and enter a rebuild that was quickened by the acquisition of Tyler Seguin in the summer of 2013.
Thomas Vanek and a fifth round pick traded from the New York Islanders to the Montreal Canadiens for Sebastian Collberg and a second round pick (2014)
A trade that caught everyone off guard, Marc Bergevin waded into the rental market and added known sniper for the cost of a B level prospect and a second round pick. Even though Vanek walked in the summer, the Canadiens managed to make it to the Conference Finals before bowing out to the New York Rangers in five games. Collberg has struggled in the AHL this year, and the second round pick was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Collberg could still turn into something, Vanek's ability to score helped dictate match-ups throughout the playoffs last year, which helped the Canadiens go on their run.
Honourable Mention: Christobel Huet traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Washington Capitals for a second round pick. (2008)
This is a trade that signalled the beginning of the Carey Price Reign. Although Price struggled a bit early on, at one point losing his starting job to Jaroslav Halak (and a high ankle sprain). Now Price is king and it all started with the trading of Huet.