We continue a week-long feature, looking at past trade deadlines and seeing how they affected the teams and players involved...
The Blockbuster: Peter Forsberg to Nashville Nashville: Peter Forsberg Philadelphia: Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, 1st and 3rd round pick
The Predators sent shockwaves throughout the NHL the night they acquired Peter Forsberg. Barry Trotz’s gang was residing in first in the Western Conference standings, thought by many to be the team to beat in the entire league. With three bonafide lines, a deep blueline and Tomas Vokoun in net, Forsberg was that final piece to the puzzle.
Forsberg’s time in Nashville didn’t go as planned, though. He battled injury in the final weeks of the regular season and was never at full strength. In 22 games (including playoffs), he recorded 19 points. Possibly the biggest contribution ‘Foppa’ made to the team was making then-rookie and linemate Alexander Radulov a better player. Forsberg was also the centerpiece of a great moment when he scored a huge overtime winner against rival Detroit.
GM David Poile and the front office rolled the dice with Forsberg, hoping he’d lead them to the Promised Land. It wasn’t so, as they were quickly knocked out in five games. To this day, however, Poile doesn’t regret making the trade.
Philadelphia did not lose much in Forsberg, as they were the worst team in the NHL that season. The big package they received in return wasn’t all it was made out to be. Scottie Upshall and Ryan Parent both battled injury problems in their respective short stints with the team.
The first-rounder was flipped back to Nashville in the summer when the Flyers acquired the negotiating rights to Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen.
The Steal: Braydon Coburn to Philadelphia Atlanta: Alexei Zhitnik Philadelphia: Braydon Coburn
Philadelphia’s Paul Holmgren picked Atlanta’s Don Waddell’s pocket in this one. Braydon Coburn was the eighth overall selection by the Thrashers in the 2003 draft. But Waddell unloaded his top prospect to the Flyers in exchange for veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, to help their chances of winning the division.
Zhitnik did rack up 14 points in 18 regular season games to close out the year, but didn’t produce any in the postseason and had a minus-4 rating. The Russian stayed around for another year, but only had eight points and was a minus-8.
Meanwhile, Coburn has turned into a solid defenseman in Philly. He’s been a nice piece to the puzzle as the Flyers have made the playoffs in the three full seasons he has been around. Coburn also boasts a plus-14 rating this year and is still only 25 years old.
The Steal, Part 2: Josh Gorges to Montreal San Jose: Craig Rivet, 2008 5th round pick Montreal: Josh Gorges, 1st round pick (Max Pacioretty)
This one isn’t as big of a steal as others I’ve mentioned this week. With that said, the Habs definitely got the upper-hand of this deal.
While Craig Rivet had a good year and a half in San Jose, Josh Gorges has been invaluable to Montreal’s back end in the last two or three years. Gorges played a big role in the Habs going on their long postseason run last spring. Also, the draft pick obtained was used on Max Pacioretty, who is expected to be a key offensive contributor for years to come.
Not a big steal in Montreal’s favor, but one that caught my eye.
The Win-win: Brad Boyes for Dennis Wideman
St. Louis: Brad Boyes Boston: Dennis Wideman
Very few trades in 2007 that truly worked out for both sides, but this one did. A lot of Boston fans don’t like Dennis Wideman after the way his time ended in Beantown, but he had the best season of his career back in 2007/08 when the B’s were tops in the Eastern Conference; Wideman had 50 points and a plus-32 rating that year.
Brad Boyes has had his most successful seasons following the trade, as well. Between 2007/08 and 2008/09, Boyes compiled a total of 76 goals and 137 points. It’s safe to say that these two players benefitted from the change of scenery.
The Seller: St. Louis Blues Acquired: Glen Metropolit, Ville Nieminen, (P) Jay Barriball, 1st round pick (David Perron), 1st round pick (Ian Cole), 3rd round pick, 2008 2nd round pick (Philip McRae) Traded: Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin
The Blues weren’t huge sellers, but they did get a solid return for two veterans. Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin were traded away as the Blues were mired in another disappointing campaign. Then-GM Larry Pleau was able to nab two first-round picks, both of which he used on players that still have bright futures with the organization.
David Perron has had a tough year as he continues to battle a concussion. That said, Perron has a boatload of skill and scored 20 goals a year ago. Ian Cole is one of the team’s top prospects and is expected to be a factor on the blueline eventually.
A nice caveat to the Tkachuk deal is that he came back to St. Louis the next year. So Pleau got a first-rounder and change, only to see the veteran return!
The Cup Champion’s acquisitions… Anaheim Ducks: Acquired: Brad May Traded: Michael Wall
Not much to say about the Ducks’ deadline moves, other than GM Brian Burke was a lot less active than what we’ve seen of him in Toronto. Brad May was strictly a depth pickup as that Ducks team was already built for a Cup run. Wise move by Burke to stand pat.
Other notable deals…
Calgary: Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau, Conditional pick
Boston: Andrew Ference, Chuck Kobasew
Dallas: Ladislav Nagy
Phoenix: Mathias Tjarnqvist, 1st round pick (Nick Ross)
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.