On Jan. 2, 1992 the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames completed the biggest trade in NHL history — at least in terms of the number of players involved — as the Flames dealt Doug Gilmour to the Leafs in a 10-player swap.
The Flames traded Gilmour along with forwards Ric Nattress, Kent Manderville, defenceman Jamie Macoun and goaltender Rick Wamsley in exchange for wingers Gary Leeman, Craig Berube, defencemen Alexander Godynyuk and Michel Petit, and goalie Jeff Reese.
In the middle of the 1991-92 season Gilmour was unhappy in Calgary, and after an arbitrator didn’t raise his salary as much as he thought he deserved, he wanted out.
The trade worked out for the Maple Leafs as Gilmour went on to play the best hockey of his career in Toronto, having back-to-back 100-point seasons.
In his first full season with the Leafs, Gilmour had 32 goals and 95 assists for 127 points, with 100 penalty minutes and was plus-32. Gilmour was nominated for the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP that season and won the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward. Gilmour set a franchise record that year for assists and points.
Although the Flames got some talented players in the deal, statistically it was one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.
Leeman had 29 points in 59 games with the Flames; Berube had 17 points in 113 games with the Flames; Godynyuk had eight points in 33 games with the club; Petit had 48 points in 134 games; and Reese had 17 wins in 39 appearances for the Flames.
Meanwhile, the players the Leafs acquired in the deal (apart from reserve goalie Wamsley) helped lead the team to a conference finals appearance in 1993. Nattress only played half a season in Toronto but had 16 points in 36 games. Manderville had 23 points in 136 games with the Leafs, but he put up big numbers with the St. Johns Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League. Macoun became a solid force on the blueline for the Leafs and put up 96 points over the course of nearly seven seasons in Toronto.
Do you think Doug Gilmour’s 1992-93 season is the best in Toronto Maple Leaf history?