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Tell your alternative history of trades that changed the NHL?

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04-15-2013, 05:12 PM
  #1
flyin_finn
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Tell your alternative history of trades that changed the NHL?

The idea from this topic came to me from another thread where someone asked what would have happened if Red Wings picked Jagr instead of Primeau?

Draft picks are always hard to speculate afterwards, but for some of the major trades which changed the NHL there was real possibility they had ended up differently.

Two most well-known examples:

1 - The Gretzky trade

When Gretzky was leaving Edmonton, he had narrowed down his options to two teams: Detroit and LA. Another team that was interested getting Gretzky at the time was NY Rangers, although that trade would have been much more unlikely than the one to Detroit.

Everyone knows how that ended but what would have been the alternative history if Gretzky got traded to Red Wings?

Growing up as Howe as his idol, playing for the same team as he had intrigued Gretzky.

Also, Sather was already interest in two players in Red Wings' roster: Joe Murphy and Adam Graves. They would have been part of the package, including draft picks, cash and possibly players like Adam Oates and Bob Probert.

In the end Gretzky's trade was part of the deal that got Oilers Graves and Murphy. The two with Petr Klima and Jeff Sharples got traded for Jimmy Carson. When they won their last Cup in 1990, Graves and Murphy were part of the so-called "kid line" with Martin Gelinas, also acquired via the Gretzky trade.

Petr Klima in turn scored the winning OT goal in the longest running Stanley Cup final game to that date, giving Oilers 1-0 lead in the series.

Alternative scenario:

Red Wings would have not missed the playoffs in 1989 with Gretzky in the team. They would have won the SC much earlier in the 90's than they since did and Gretzky had retired with couple of more Cups in his list of honors - something he never did since leaving Oilers.

McNall's Kings would have went for some other high-profile player, but the impact on hockey's popularity in Pacific area wouldn't never been the same. Would their new, Raiders-inspired silver & black image worked out with anyone but Gretzky and bunch of guys like McSorley, Krushelnysky and Miller in the team?

My opinion is that only thing that Kings would share with Raiders without the Gretzky deal is the team relocated in Oakland.

2 - The Lindros trade

Lindros ending up to NY Rangers earlier than in the twilight of his career was even more close than Gretzky ending up to Detroit.

On June 21, 1992 Lindros was traded to both Flyers and Rangers. An arbitrator (Larry Bertuzzi) was named to decide between the two teams.

Rangers' package for Lindros was reported to consist of John Vanbiesbrouck, Tony Amonte, Doug Weight, Alex Kovalev, $12 million and first round picks in 1993, 1994 and 1996. If Vanbiesbrouck was determined to be an UFA, James Patrick would have took his place.

What was also giving Rangers a slight edge over Flyers was that Lindros had been always an fan of Mark Messier who at the time was with the team.

The arbitrator decided that Flyers and Nordiques had agreed on the deal 80 minutes prior Rangers and Lindros ended up in Philadelphia. Furthermore, Rangers had the deal on paper three weeks prior Flyers even started the negotiations but Paramount, the parent company behind them, was delaying the trade due finances.

In retrospective all teams can look back with little regret.

Flyers got their high-profile player who won a Hart with the team, although his career suffered from injuries of which many can be attributed to his style of play.

For Rangers, Doug Weight was the player Rangers moved to Oilers for Esa Tikkanen who was part of the supporting cast that helped them to win the Cup. Similarly Amonte - part of the Nordiques deal - was later traded to Blackhawks for Brian Noonan and Stepane Matteau (who scored the critical OT goal in conference finals against Devils).

Nordiques became later on Avalanche and major part of their first Cup win can be attributed to the players acquired from the trade with Flyers.

Alternative scenario:

Ironically, the biggest winner in the Lindros trade would have became the greatest loser if he ended up to Rangers.

Amonte would have refused to move to the Nordiques, who would then trade him for less than his value was. Vanbiensbrouck would have wanted to settle his UFA status, forcing Patrick to move to Quebec. Alex Kovalev and Doug Weight would have been good players with Nordiques, but not leader like Forsberg was or added the depth which Ricci did.

Rangers would have been equally as good as they were in the early to mid-90's or even better. Flyers would have had solid foundation to build their success on with Duchesne, Ricci, Hextall and Forsberg. No-one had missed Kerry Huffman.

I am done with mine, tell me yours.

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04-15-2013, 08:48 PM
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yave1964
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In response to your theory, you picked the two most famous what ifs that I could think of, but here goes with one of mine.

The Red Wings in 1991, frustrated with the direction that the club was going traded Stevie Yzerman to the New York Islanders for home town hero Pat Lafontaine and defensemen Jeff Norton.
Yzerman would go on to put up outstanding numbers with the Isles but the ring that he coveted would elude him as he would be surrounded by mediocre talent on a couple of teams before retiring fairly early with knee injuries.
Lafontaine would team with Federov and Primeau to lead the Wings to three Stanley cups during the decade under coach Bryan Murray. Norton would be a stabilizing force allowing youngsters Lidstrom and Konstantinov to develop at a gradual pace.
The Wings biggest rival in the West would be the St. Louis Blues who would bring back coach Scotty Bowman and win the cup in 1997 , lead by mid season acquisitions Pierre Turgeon and Larry Murphy. Murphy would team with Chris Pronger to form the tough one two punch that would lead Bowman to the cup.
Lafontaine would go on to retire as the most beloved Wing since Gordie Howe. Yzerman would finish his career with the Ottawa Senators, retiring early sick of the constant controversy from coach Mike Keenan telling the press that Yzerman was using his knee injuries to alibi his poor play. Bowman would leave the Blues after winning the cup and would return to Montreal, where he would lead the Habs to the cup finals in 2002, losing to the Wings in five games, before Bowman bowed out one final time.

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04-16-2013, 12:34 PM
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flyin_finn
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LaFontaine would have been a Red Wing if Islanders didn't take him as third of the draft '83 when Yzerman went fourth overall.

It is true Yzerman was close to being traded in the early 90's. Serge Savard confirmed after he was done as GM that it was pending signature for Yzerman to join Canadiens in the early 90's.

Red Wings would have got Shayne Corson, Eric Desjardins and Brent Gilchrist in return. Per Savard, Habs were the ones pulling the deal.

It would have been noteworthy trade (much like Gilmour to Leafs) but unlikely it would have had league-wide impact.

One "trade" that would have changed the league was if the negotiations with Ballard and Pocklington had come to terms of Oilers and Maple Leafs swapping cities in the early 80's.

As crazy as it sounds, Pocklington confirmed this to be actually true in his book "I'd trade him again" and also in his interview with Toronto Star in 2009 (link).

Alternative history:

Maple Leafs were at the time usually finishing last in their division. They had very little success throughout the 80's.

It remains unknown if Edmonton fans would have adapted to seeing bad NHL team moving in and replacing what recently was a great WHA one.

If Oilers had at that time moved to Toronto, one thing is sure: city's last Stanley Cup wouldn't date back to 1967.

Also, Jets or Nordiques fans would be nothing compared to the ones waiting for Maple Leafs to return to the city they belong.

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04-16-2013, 07:00 PM
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The California Seals are struggling at the gate and trying to reach the playoffs, are approached by Montreal General Manager Sam Pollock offering Ernie Hicke to help the Seals if they will swap picks. The Seals tell Sam to pound sand.
The Seals finish dead last, and with the first pick in the draft choose Marcel Dionne. The Red Wings at number two get Guy Lafleur.
Dionne goes on to win the Calder, taking the league and the Seals fans by storm. Lafluer, struggles to replace legendary Gordie Howe in the hearts and minds of cynical Wings fans.
The Seals, in a departure from penny pinching ways refuse to lose their best players when the WHA starts up. Instead, they build a solid fun team around Dionne, never winning a championship, but always competitive.
Lafluer, tired of the struggles signs with the Nordiques of the WHA after two years struggling with the Wings. In his second year in Quebec he explodes on the scene, he sets a WHA/NHL record with 122 goals.
Don Cherry and his big bad Bruins roll over the Canadiens two years in a row in the Stanley Cup finals, the Habs seeming to be missing one final piece. The Habs do manage one Stanley Cup during this time.
Lafluer, along with Swedish sensations Ulfie Nilsson and Anders Hedberg leave the WHA and sign together with the New York Rangers, who win back to back championships in 1979 and 1980.
The Seals under Dionne acquire new ownership who build the long sought after arena in San Francisco, renaming the team the Bay City Seals, one of the most dynamic draws in the league, constantly beating their in state rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, Marcel Dionne developing a well deserved reputation as a King killer.
Ernie Hicke retires a few years later, forgotten by all but the most knowledgeable fans.

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04-16-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_finn View Post
Amonte would have refused to move to the Nordiques, who would then trade him for less than his value was. Vanbiensbrouck would have wanted to settle his UFA status, forcing Patrick to move to Quebec. Alex Kovalev and Doug Weight would have been good players with Nordiques, but not leader like Forsberg was or added the depth which Ricci did.

Rangers would have been equally as good as they were in the early to mid-90's or even better. Flyers would have had solid foundation to build their success on with Duchesne, Ricci, Hextall and Forsberg. No-one had missed Kerry Huffman.

I am done with mine, tell me yours.
Tony Amonte would have been a 22 year old coming off a rookie season. He would not have refused to move because he wouldn't have the clout he had later in his career.

John Vanbiesbrouck would have given the Nordiques the goaltending of the Florida Panthers during their 1996 run at some point in his career in Quebec.

With a core of Sakic, Sundin, Amonte, Weight, Kovalev, the Quebec Nordiques still win a cup in the 90s.

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04-16-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_finn View Post
LaFontaine would have been a Red Wing if Islanders didn't take him as third of the draft '83 when Yzerman went fourth overall.

It is true Yzerman was close to being traded in the early 90's. Serge Savard confirmed after he was done as GM that it was pending signature for Yzerman to join Canadiens in the early 90's.

Red Wings would have got Shayne Corson, Eric Desjardins and Brent Gilchrist in return. Per Savard, Habs were the ones pulling the deal.

It would have been noteworthy trade (much like Gilmour to Leafs) but unlikely it would have had league-wide impact.

One "trade" that would have changed the league was if the negotiations with Ballard and Pocklington had come to terms of Oilers and Maple Leafs swapping cities in the early 80's.

As crazy as it sounds, Pocklington confirmed this to be actually true in his book "I'd trade him again" and also in his interview with Toronto Star in 2009 (link).

Alternative history:

Maple Leafs were at the time usually finishing last in their division. They had very little success throughout the 80's.

It remains unknown if Edmonton fans would have adapted to seeing bad NHL team moving in and replacing what recently was a great WHA one.

If Oilers had at that time moved to Toronto, one thing is sure: city's last Stanley Cup wouldn't date back to 1967.

Also, Jets or Nordiques fans would be nothing compared to the ones waiting for Maple Leafs to return to the city they belong.
I wonder if that trade would have resulted in the Edmonton Maple Leafs and Toronto Oilers, or if they would have just swapped personnel...

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04-16-2013, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_finn View Post
1 - The Gretzky trade

When Gretzky was leaving Edmonton, he had narrowed down his options to two teams: Detroit and LA. Another team that was interested getting Gretzky at the time was NY Rangers, although that trade would have been much more unlikely than the one to Detroit.

Everyone knows how that ended but what would have been the alternative history if Gretzky got traded to Red Wings?

Growing up as Howe as his idol, playing for the same team as he had intrigued Gretzky.

Also, Sather was already interest in two players in Red Wings' roster: Joe Murphy and Adam Graves. They would have been part of the package, including draft picks, cash and possibly players like Adam Oates and Bob Probert.

In the end Gretzky's trade was part of the deal that got Oilers Graves and Murphy. The two with Petr Klima and Jeff Sharples got traded for Jimmy Carson. When they won their last Cup in 1990, Graves and Murphy were part of the so-called "kid line" with Martin Gelinas, also acquired via the Gretzky trade.

Petr Klima in turn scored the winning OT goal in the longest running Stanley Cup final game to that date, giving Oilers 1-0 lead in the series.

Alternative scenario:

Red Wings would have not missed the playoffs in 1989 with Gretzky in the team. They would have won the SC much earlier in the 90's than they since did and Gretzky had retired with couple of more Cups in his list of honors - something he never did since leaving Oilers.

McNall's Kings would have went for some other high-profile player, but the impact on hockey's popularity in Pacific area wouldn't never been the same. Would their new, Raiders-inspired silver & black image worked out with anyone but Gretzky and bunch of guys like McSorley, Krushelnysky and Miller in the team?

My opinion is that only thing that Kings would share with Raiders without the Gretzky deal is the team relocated in Oakland.
The Wings missed in 90, not 89. And the biggest problem the team had was something Gretzky couldn't fix; goaltending and defense.

Although... if the Wings do trade for Gretzky, and it's the players you mentioned that Sather is looking at, while making it comparable to the Carson trade, we've got this:

Oates ~= Carson
Graves = Gelinas
Murphy = 1st pick

So those three plus cash and a first in 1989 and 1991 (the first two years of LA firsts than Edmonton received) and the Wings have two of the three best forwards in hockey.

The Wings picked Mike Sillinger in the first round in 89. So there's that.

Assuming the 1989 draft goes the same as it did (including the unjust loss of Bure) the Wings would then be looking at wingers and goaltenders going forward instead of trying to draft another center.

Their pick would probably be closer to 15th-20th in 1990. Which means their first pick might be Keith Tkachuk or Martin Brodeur.

The idea of potentially having given up Oates/Graves/Murphy to get Gretzky instead of Oates/MacLean/Graves/Murphy/Klima to get Carson, Federko, and McKegney is a nice one. The only downside is that there's no Jimmy Carson to trade for Paul Coffey, and no Keith Primeau. Which means no Shanahan trade. At the same time, the Wings probably don't throw away a good young forward in Dallas Drake just to swap Tim Cheveldae for an equivalent netminder who is even closer to his end in Bob Essensa.

Think of the assemblage of wingers the 1992-93 team would have in Ysebaert, Sheppard, Ciccarelli, Kozlov, Tkachuk, Drake, Probert, Gallant plus centers in Yzerman, Gretzky, Fedorov, Burr.

The defense (pre-Coffey) was led by Steve Chiasson, with Nicklas Lidstrom, Vladimir Konstantinov, Mark Howe, Yves Racine, and Brad McCrimmon filling out the top six.

Vezina honorable mention Tim Cheveldae was in his short but wonderful prime in net.

The real 1992-93 Wings could have won the Cup with a bit more luck (Yzerman was injured early on in round 1 and it made a difference, possibly enough to change the outcome given the 7 games). That team... would have done serious damage. Although there's a real likelihood Fedorov would have played on the wing and Drake would have been the third line center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yave1964 View Post
In response to your theory, you picked the two most famous what ifs that I could think of, but here goes with one of mine.

The Red Wings in 1991, frustrated with the direction that the club was going traded Stevie Yzerman to the New York Islanders for home town hero Pat Lafontaine and defensemen Jeff Norton.
Yzerman would go on to put up outstanding numbers with the Isles but the ring that he coveted would elude him as he would be surrounded by mediocre talent on a couple of teams before retiring fairly early with knee injuries.
Lafontaine would team with Federov and Primeau to lead the Wings to three Stanley cups during the decade under coach Bryan Murray. Norton would be a stabilizing force allowing youngsters Lidstrom and Konstantinov to develop at a gradual pace.
Ok... In 1991-92, the Wings had Brad McCrimmon, Doug Crossman, and Bob McGill as veteran presence. Plus they had Steve Chiasson, who had been the team's #1 guy for years. Konstantinov, who was the same age as Chiasson and would play with him, had captained the Red Army team.

But you think Jeff Norton is going to be the difference?

Quote:
The Wings biggest rival in the West would be the St. Louis Blues who would bring back coach Scotty Bowman and win the cup in 1997 , lead by mid season acquisitions Pierre Turgeon and Larry Murphy. Murphy would team with Chris Pronger to form the tough one two punch that would lead Bowman to the cup.
Lafontaine would go on to retire as the most beloved Wing since Gordie Howe. Yzerman would finish his career with the Ottawa Senators, retiring early sick of the constant controversy from coach Mike Keenan telling the press that Yzerman was using his knee injuries to alibi his poor play.
Yzerman never made excuses. Sometimes other people did it for him, but he never said "I'm not scoring as much because I have no cartilage in my knee and I can't even walk without immense pain." or something like that.

However, if Keenan were his GM, that wouldn't last long. Mike Keenan for some reason did not like Yzerman. Left him off the Canada Cup teams in 87 and 91. Now, 87 I can understand; Canada is center-deep and Keenan felt taking natural wingers was better than using Yzerman, and that Yzerman wouldn't be good on a checking line (despite his performance in the 87 playoffs shutting down Gretzky). But in 1991, there's no legitimate argument to keep Yzerman off of that team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_finn View Post
It is true Yzerman was close to being traded in the early 90's. Serge Savard confirmed after he was done as GM that it was pending signature for Yzerman to join Canadiens in the early 90's.

Red Wings would have got Shayne Corson, Eric Desjardins and Brent Gilchrist in return. Per Savard, Habs were the ones pulling the deal.

It would have been noteworthy trade (much like Gilmour to Leafs) but unlikely it would have had league-wide impact.
This is the first I've ever heard of this, and yes it would have had league-wide impact. It would have put two of the league's top five players on the same team. It takes that 1992-93 Cup that Montreal was about to win and turns it into multiple Cups. Losing the three aforementioned players hurst the defensive play of the club, but getting Yzerman allows a guy like Muller to take over a lot of the checking duties. and Yzerman was pretty good defensively himself. The big loss is Desjardins.

The reason I question this is that the trade window for such a trade was between the 1987 Entry Draft and the 1991-92 season. We're talking full-on, prime Yzerman who is carrying the Red Wings. He's not going to be traded for a couple of checkers and a good young defenseman when the Wings have PLENTY of checkers and good young defensemen.

So... source, plz?

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04-16-2013, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
With a core of Sakic, Sundin, Amonte, Weight, Kovalev, the Quebec Nordiques still win a cup in the 90s.
You forgot Nolan.

Sundin/Sakic/Nolan
Amonte/Weight/Kov

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04-17-2013, 03:36 AM
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Oh yeah, there sooo much "what ifs"...

What if -

- Avalanche didnt match the offer sheets from Rangers to Joe Sakic in 1997
- detto for Detroit, Carolina and Sergej Fedorov in 1998
- Buffalo, Edmonton and Thomas Vanek
- Wayne Gretzky has signed with Vancouver Canucks instead of New York Rangers
- Yzerman was traded for Yashin and other players in 1996
- all Edmonton Oilers team was traded for Toronto Maple Leafs.....

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04-17-2013, 05:45 AM
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I will dispute the ONLY TWO TEAMS were in the Gretzky trade hunt

According to Gretz himself--Vancouver was in the hunt and when he talked to his father about going to Vancouver and that he felt it was not a good fit(Wont use the comments made in one of the books on him because I can not remember just what was written)

The was speculated that the Griffiths had offered money. Linden, Sandlack anc 3 first rounders 89 and 90 and 91

If gretz never goes to LA--we never have the southern expansion

but we have teams in Seattle and Portland.

If Vancouver does that deal they do not get Nedved and Stoyanov who got traded for Markus N

I think hockey history would have been changed greatly if Gretz does not cross the nucks off the shortlist

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04-17-2013, 03:03 PM
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Just as an separate note, I've tried to stay on my posts within realism.

I have only used the trades that were actually were admittedly close to happen.

Also I've left out the ones that are mentioned only by one source - they are likely made up or remembered incorrectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Tony Amonte would have been a 22 year old coming off a rookie season. He would not have refused to move because he wouldn't have the clout he had later in his career.

John Vanbiesbrouck would have given the Nordiques the goaltending of the Florida Panthers during their 1996 run at some point in his career in Quebec.
The answer we'll never know - but the two would have been not certain to end up to Nordiques if that trade went through.

Quote:
"June 24, 1992, Tony Amonte is reportedly upset about being mentioned in trade talks and isnít sure he will report to Quebec if he is traded.

John Vanbiesbrouck is also in a situation where the players union says he can become a UFA while the league says he is an RFA."


(Link to story)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
So... source, plz?
Took a bit of Googling but found the thread on Canadiens official site fan discussion where this is mentioned and confirmed by few others.

Here you go sir, see 5th post on first page (link).

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