If every trade worked out well for both sides then we would probably see a lot more of them.
Sometimes, somebody has to come out looking worse for wear.
Here are five of the worst trades of 2014.
Islanders swing and miss on Vanek’s resale value
The Buffalo Sabres moved Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for Matt Moulson, a conditional 2014 1st round draft pick, and a 2015 2nd round draft pick in October of 2013. Vanek produced at a near-point per game pace in 47 games with the Islanders (17 goals, 44 points). The Islanders tried to sign him long term, and failed.
With their season lost and Vanek all but already out the door, general manager Garth Snow looked to cash-in on Vanek heading into the 2014 trade deadline.
Maybe Snow waited too long, maybe the market wasn’t there. Hey, the Blue Jackets wound up giving Marian Gaborik away to the Kings, too. Snow shipped Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens at the 11th hour for what amounted to Swedish prospect Sebastian Collberg.
That’s a lot of assets going out the door for puncher’s chance at hanging onto Vanek long-term, and not much coming back when it’s all said and done.
Furthermore, the Sabres flipped Moulson to the Minnesota Wild at the deadline for Torrey Mitchell, a 2nd round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, and a 2nd round pick in 2016.
Snow appears to have righted the ship on Long Island this past offseason, having finally addressed two of the Islanders’ weaknesses: goaltending and defence.
Gagner moved twice in one day
Sam Gagner played out one year of a four-year extension with the Oilers before the club realized he wasn’t a part of the solution in Edmonton. Craig MacTavish moved the 25-year old to Tampa Bay in exchange for Teddy Purcell in June.
Gagner was a member of the Lightning for less than two hours before finding out he was on his way to the Arizona Coyotes for a 6th round pick.
The Oilers and Coyotes are engaged in a battle for the NHL’s basement and the Lightning look like one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.
Gagner has been a healthy scratch in Arizona and has just three goals and nine points in 30 games.
Vancouver rids itself of Luongo’s contract a year too late
Remember when the Vancouver Canucks had themselves a goaltending problem with too much good goaltending? Talk about how not to handle a situation like that.
Mike Gillis pulled off a shocker at the 2013 NHL Draft by trading Cory Schneider, not Roberto Luongo, to the New Jersey Devils. Luongo and his seemingly unmoveable contract was set to play out the rest of his career with the Canucks.
Gillis would shock the hockey world once again at the 2014 trade deadline by trading Luongo (and Steven Anthony) to the Florida Panthers for forward Shawn Matthias and goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
Moving Luongo’s contract that doesn’t expire until 2022 was a good piece of business, it’s just that it made very little sense given the Schneider trade months earlier. The goaltending saga, John Tortorella’s disastrous run behind the bench and a disgruntled Ryan Kesler eventually cost Gillis his gig.
So the Canucks’ crease belongs to
Markstrom Eddie Lack… oh that’s right, Ryan Miller and a three-year, $18 million contract.
You just love goaltending issues too much, Vancouver.
The Flyers really, really love Andrew MacDonald
Defenceman Andrew MacDonald was something of a punchline for the analytics set when he was with the Islanders. Without Travis Hamonic on the ice with, MacDonald was a one-way door for shot attempts. Still, with free agent status looming in the summer ahead, prevailing thought had MacDonald getting paid.
The Philadelphia Flyers saw MacDonald as an upgrade to their defence corp, so they sent two draft picks to the Islanders and planned on signing the 28-year old to a long-term deal.
The Flyers rewarded MacDonald with a six-year, $30 million contract shortly after acquiring him.
MacDonald and his defence partner Luke Schenn combine to make $8.6 million, annually. Try and find a more porous pairing in that price range.
Avalanche swap Parenteau for Briere
The Colorado Avalanche sent two years of P.A. Parenteau at $4 million per to the Montreal Canadiens for one year of Daniel Briere at the same price.
The trouble with this move for the Avalanche is that Parenteau is still a very useful and effective player who’s 31-years old. Briere is a 37-year old, one-dimensional player who’s not really worthy of a regular spot in an NHL lineup anymore.
Parenteau currently shades on the positive side of the puck possession spectrum and has played the bulk of his even-strength minutes on a line with Max Pacioretty in Montreal. Briere has found himself in the pressbox on occasion in Denver.