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The 25 Worst Trades in Modern Montreal Canadiens History

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06-12-2013, 03:36 AM
  #26
Mats86
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Originally Posted by the1jasontaylor View Post

As far as the Gomez deal, it is a truly terrible deal. But it's cost is realistically the salary cap space; Gomez prevented them from adding two or possibly three NHL-calibre players to help bolster the roster. But McDonagh is unproven. Desjardins was unquestionably their #1 d-man at the time, and became a perennial all-star in Philly. John LeClair exploded to become arguably the best power forward of the 1990s; his five-year prime run with the Flyers is one of the best of the past 25 years. Salary cap considerations and a promising (but still unproven) prospect simply doesn't measure up to one of the top forwards in the league over a 5-year period and a decade from someone who could arguably have been a top-pairing defenseman on any team in the league at the time.



McDonagh + Gomez's cap space those years was worse to team than losing Desjardins. I don't dislike Rechhi trade that much because Leclair wouldn't have been a star in Montreal. Once he got with legion of doom line he instantly changed from third liner to star player. But it was a trade I wouldn't have made at the time


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06-12-2013, 04:48 AM
  #27
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McDonagh likely won't be as good as Desjardins, because he isn't close right now.
You have to factor in the whole context of that trade to note just has awful it was. Higgins, after a few years of struggling, went on to have a resurgence as a 40 point scorer and solid tweener for the powerhouse Canucks, while McDonagh is among the top ten best defensive defenseman in the league at the mere age of twenty three. In addition, the Gomez trade indirectly resulted in the departure of Saku Koivu, once again seeing the Canadiens lose their heart and soul for no adequate reason. Koivu would go on to score 52 points after signing with Anaheim.

Meanwhile, Scott Gomez was mediocre from the day he arrived, scoring a meager 59 points; only seven less than Koivu in seven more games. Afterward, he spiraled into an abyss, going a near record setting 100+ games without a single goal. Granted, injuries did derail his chances.

All in all, I would dare say the Gomez trade could be argued as worse than Roy for the sole reason of how utterly horrendous it was. Montreal received nothing, not a single thing and lost - directly or indirectly - three players who all went on to have superior careers to the asset they acquired. In short, it epitomized what disastrous trades are because there was absolutely no reason to even consider it.

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06-12-2013, 10:38 AM
  #28
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The Roy trade was the worst for me symbolically because that was the moment Montreal finally dropped its torch and became a mediocre organization, losing whatever special aura that made them the Montreal Canadiens. The French Canadian kid they brought in to replace Roy was a dud, the team tumbled in the standings, never really regaining its status as an upper echelon contender in almost 20 years.

The Gomez deal just feels like a routinely bad deal any team will make from time to time.

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06-13-2013, 08:00 AM
  #29
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The Roy trade was the worst for me symbolically because that was the moment Montreal finally dropped its torch and became a mediocre organization, losing whatever special aura that made them the Montreal Canadiens. The French Canadian kid they brought in to replace Roy was a dud, the team tumbled in the standings, never really regaining its status as an upper echelon contender in almost 20 years.

The Gomez deal just feels like a routinely bad deal any team will make from time to time.
It was the Carbonneau trade that symbolized for me the Canadiens' loss of that special aura.

Carbonneau was the heart and soul of the team. He led by setting a wonderful example. The enduring image I have of him is this: going all the way back to pick up the puck as the game nears its end with his team needing a goal to win or tie and his teammates' energy levels flagging, summoning all his strength, although obviously exhausted, to launch another attack on the opposition goal, and inspiring his teammates to make a similar effort. He was just a tremendous force, one of those rare players whose value is greater than the sum of his talents. I had huge respect and admiration for him.

Not that I think the trade of Carbonneau was worse than that of Roy and Keane or even that of Desjardins and LeClair. But for me it did mark the beginning of the terrible decline of a wonderful club. And, as others have said in comments above, it certainly belongs in the top 25 worst trades the Canadiens have made. The Canadiens truly self-destructed in the 1990s through horrid management. In recounting all those horrible trades in one place, this thread is enough to make any Canadiens fan shudder.

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06-13-2013, 08:17 AM
  #30
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The Habs had that run where they kept trading captains, starting with Carbo, then Mike Keane (in the Roy trade), then Turgeon, then Damphousse.

They were all horrible trades. They also systemically wiped the Quebec stars from the team, robbing them of talent, mystique and also creating the current headache they have now. The fanbase goes ape every time a franco kid hits the third line and he inevitably wilts under the pressure.

I'm 27 and when I was a kid the Habs were still THE HABS. I think most younger people now see the Red Wings as the mystique-laden team while the Habs are off in a corner playing the Gloria Swanson role.

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06-13-2013, 09:43 AM
  #31
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The Habs had that run where they kept trading captains, starting with Carbo, then Mike Keane (in the Roy trade), then Turgeon, then Damphousse.

They were all horrible trades. They also systemically wiped the Quebec stars from the team, robbing them of talent, mystique and also creating the current headache they have now. The fanbase goes ape every time a franco kid hits the third line and he inevitably wilts under the pressure.
The streak of trading team captains actually began with Chelios who had won the Norris Trophy the season before he was traded. I think the most glaring theme through all of the Habs disastrous trades was the decimation of their defense. When you think about it, they traded Langway, Engblom, Chelios, Svoboda, Lumme, Ludwig, Desjardins and Schneider (albeit for Malakhov) collectively for nothing close to a comparable return. Even during the team's dark ages from 1998-2002, they dumped Igor Ulanov and Eric Weinrich, two very capable defensive d-men for nothing of value. The trading of McDonaugh continues this trend.

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06-13-2013, 01:09 PM
  #32
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It was the Carbonneau trade that symbolized for me the Canadiens' loss of that special aura.

Carbonneau was the heart and soul of the team. He led by setting a wonderful example. The enduring image I have of him is this: going all the way back to pick up the puck as the game nears its end with his team needing a goal to win or tie and his teammates' energy levels flagging, summoning all his strength, although obviously exhausted, to launch another attack on the opposition goal, and inspiring his teammates to make a similar effort. He was just a tremendous force, one of those rare players whose value is greater than the sum of his talents. I had huge respect and admiration for him.

Not that I think the trade of Carbonneau was worse than that of Roy and Keane or even that of Desjardins and LeClair. But for me it did mark the beginning of the terrible decline of a wonderful club. And, as others have said in comments above, it certainly belongs in the top 25 worst trades the Canadiens have made. The Canadiens truly self-destructed in the 1990s through horrid management. In recounting all those horrible trades in one place, this thread is enough to make any Canadiens fan shudder.
Coincidence that the season following the trade of Carbonneau the Canadiens missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years? I don't think so.

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06-13-2013, 01:26 PM
  #33
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The Habs had that run where they kept trading captains, starting with Carbo, then Mike Keane (in the Roy trade), then Turgeon, then Damphousse.
I wish I could remember who it was said that, "Around here, 'C' means 'C you later'."

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06-13-2013, 01:29 PM
  #34
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Recently, there was some great discussion on the Langway trade in this thread: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1435817

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06-13-2013, 01:36 PM
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I'd be curious to get your take on my All-1980s Canadiens list too.
Nice little article. Just to note, in taking Smith over Carbonneau, that Smith was actually a pretty decent two-way player, very defensively responsible. No Carbo of course, but then again, Carbo was in a class all by himself at the time.

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06-13-2013, 02:39 PM
  #36
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The Habs had that run where they kept trading captains, starting with Carbo, then Mike Keane (in the Roy trade), then Turgeon, then Damphousse.

They were all horrible trades. They also systemically wiped the Quebec stars from the team, robbing them of talent, mystique and also creating the current headache they have now. The fanbase goes ape every time a franco kid hits the third line and he inevitably wilts under the pressure.

I'm 27 and when I was a kid the Habs were still THE HABS. I think most younger people now see the Red Wings as the mystique-laden team while the Habs are off in a corner playing the Gloria Swanson role.
Keane was traded because he gained some negative attention by the moronic Montreal press for saying he wasn't going to learn french. The fans jumped on the Keane is a francophobe bandwagon and off he went.

It's also true that Montreal is probably the worst place to play in if you are a french canadian or even worse, a goalie.

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06-13-2013, 03:36 PM
  #37
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re: habs not being habs after the roy and/or carbo trades, one could argue that from the second half of the 90s on, the devils, the stars, and maybe even the avs (roy, keane, claude lemieux, lefebvre) were more the habs than the actual habs.

what i mean by this is you're not just losing french leaders after roy and carbonneau are gone. your next two captains are still turgeon and damphousse, your goalie is thibault, and later theodore. but the continuity that has run through the habs organization was lost in the purges that began with chelios and ended when odelein (or arguably brisebois, but not really) left.

the "career hab" wasn't a thing anymore. you still had longtime guys like koivu and, today, markov, but it used to mean something specific to be a career hab, something that was bigger than just being from quebec. who was learning from laperriere or gainey or lemaire (or jarvis or carbonneau or ludwig, etc.) in the late 90s? guys on the devils and stars, not guys on the habs.

kind of sad, in a what's lost can never return sort of way, that the habs tried to bring it back with gainey as GM and carbo as coach last decade and it didn't take.

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06-13-2013, 03:37 PM
  #38
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Keane was traded because he gained some negative attention by the moronic Montreal press for saying he wasn't going to learn french. The fans jumped on the Keane is a francophobe bandwagon and off he went.

It's also true that Montreal is probably the worst place to play in if you are a french canadian or even worse, a goalie.
i remember reading anonymous players in the habs' dressing room after the roy trade saying that keane was sacrificed so that pierre "snow peas" turgeon could become the captain, as if promoting a french scoring star to captaincy was a cheap ploy to make people forget about roy.

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06-13-2013, 04:20 PM
  #39
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i remember reading anonymous players in the habs' dressing room after the roy trade saying that keane was sacrificed so that pierre "snow peas" turgeon could become the captain, as if promoting a french scoring star to captaincy was a cheap ploy to make people forget about roy.
Honestly with the team's PR antenna I might believe that was true.

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re: habs not being habs after the roy and/or carbo trades, one could argue that from the second half of the 90s on, the devils, the stars, and maybe even the avs (roy, keane, claude lemieux, lefebvre) were more the habs than the actual habs.

what i mean by this is you're not just losing french leaders after roy and carbonneau are gone. your next two captains are still turgeon and damphousse, your goalie is thibault, and later theodore. but the continuity that has run through the habs organization was lost in the purges that began with chelios and ended when odelein (or arguably brisebois, but not really) left.

the "career hab" wasn't a thing anymore. you still had longtime guys like koivu and, today, markov, but it used to mean something specific to be a career hab, something that was bigger than just being from quebec. who was learning from laperriere or gainey or lemaire (or jarvis or carbonneau or ludwig, etc.) in the late 90s? guys on the devils and stars, not guys on the habs.

kind of sad, in a what's lost can never return sort of way, that the habs tried to bring it back with gainey as GM and carbo as coach last decade and it didn't take.
Don't think this young Habs fan didn't notice, especially in the way Jersey wrung all out of the hockey knowledge out of Lemaire, Burns and Robinson.

It's also worth mentioning, besides the trades, that the Habs had a lot of first-time coaches. I've always felt like having a rookie behind the bench, which has often been the case in the last 30 years, put the team behind the 8 ball. Of the pure first-timers, only Burns was really in his element from day one.

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06-13-2013, 04:39 PM
  #40
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Don't think this young Habs fan didn't notice, especially in the way Jersey wrung all out of the hockey knowledge out of Lemaire, Burns and Robinson.
Not just coaching, either, although Lemaire and Robinson were huge in bringing the winning culture of Montreal to NJ. Claude Lemieux and Stephane Richer (ex-Habs) were the two best forwards on the team when they won the Cup in 1995.

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06-13-2013, 04:49 PM
  #41
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Not just coaching, either, although Lemaire and Robinson were huge in bringing the winning culture of Montreal to NJ. Claude Lemieux and Stephane Richer (ex-Habs) were the two best forwards on the team when they won the Cup in 1995.
and one of the best french canadian goalies of all-time..

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06-14-2013, 08:38 AM
  #42
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i see that we are measuring "worst" in different ways. you seem to put more of your emphasis on what happened after the trade, whereas i lean more toward what was foreseeable at the time of the trade.
As a Leaf fan who has seen his team on the losing end of far too many deals, I tend to take the long-term hindsight view. I place the greatest emphasis on who got the prime years of the players involved, who got long-term assets (either by a lengthy tenure, or by future trades) and who got the best hockey.

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i think lefebvre should be higher. he was MUCH better than odelein unless you put a large emphasis on longevity as opposed to prime.
A fair point; I put Odelein higher because (in my opinion) he played a style that the Habs lacked after he left (physical, punishing) and he had better leadership skills. But I wouldn't argue strongly against Lefebvre being a more effective defender in his prime.

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i enjoyed the canucks on your list. diduck was one of my favourites and, to me, remains very underrated... maybe you just have odelein too high for my liking and diduck and lefebvre are in the right places.
Entirely possible; I might be biased in my placement of Odelein because it smells so much like the Wendel Clark re-acquisition in Toronto: the return of a conquering hero who wasn't the same player, and cost too much to bring back.

Regarding your Vachon/Berry thoughts: in that context I can understand the trade. Sending Berry and Vachon to improve L.A. and let Oakland sink to the bottom is a wise strategy that most GMs wouldn't have the guts to pull off. It also wouldn't work in today's NHL. In that respect, the Berry trade becomes defensible. But Vachon is, in my opinion, the most deserving goalie NOT in the Hall of Fame. And the complete lack of return for a goalie of his skill is inexcusable, even if the Canadiens didn't need him. It's the same for me as the Sharks bailing on Kiprusoff; even though they had Nabokov and they believed Toskala was going to be better, it doesn't change the fact that they were utterly fleeced by the Flames.


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re: the damphousse trade, as i recall montreal wanted to protect garon.
Ah, that makes sense. It's always hard looking at young goalies and predicting how they'll turn out. I remember when prospects like Brent Krahn, Eric Fichaud and Brian Finley were the second coming for the teams that drafted them.

Thanks for the feedback; you have a very different take on things than I do, and I enjoyed hearding your thoughts. I may have to PM you for a preview of my Best-Of list before I publish it!

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06-14-2013, 08:57 AM
  #43
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How is the Habs dumping of Guy Carbonneau because he flipped off a stalking cameraman not on this list? Canadiens traded their captain, the best defensive forward of his generation for journeyman/career minor leaguer Jim Montgomery, who played all of 5 freakin' games for the Habs before being lost on waivers. In other words a zero lost for zilch. Carbonneau would go on to play another 406 regular season and 70 playoff games over six seasons, helping Dallas to the Western Conference Finals in '98, a Cup in '99 and a Finals appearance in 2000. Carbonneau was still finishing in the top 10 in Selke votes at age 39 while Montgomery would finish his career in the UHL. Montgomery's sole "claim to fame" was naming the Legion of Doom line. Just a terrible, terrible trade that started Montreal's trade a captain a year spiral. Easily a Top 25 finish, if not Top 10. Worse than the Cassels and Lumme trades as Carbonneau, in my view, was a better player than either of those two, certainly a more important team member (the captain of a Cup winning team only a season before!) and fetched a far worse return than either of those trades.
Valid points. My view of the Carbonneau deal though is that he was a declining player after he left Montreal; they already had his prime playing years. He also only played the one shortened season in St. Louis, and then went to Dallas as a free agent (if I recall correctly). Yes he played in many playoff games, but he was on a VERY deep team at the time. I actually put Carbonneau in the "next" group of Montreal trades just outside the 25 Worst. The others I have on that category (along with Carbonneau) are:
- Valeri Bure to Calgary
- Jocelyn Lemieux to Chicago
- Mikhail Grabovski to Toronto
- Doug Risebrough to Calgary
- Brian Skrudland to Calgary
- Ric Nattress to St. Louis
- Murray Baron to Phoenix
- Kevin Haller to Philadelphia
- Petr Svoboda to Buffalo
Carbonneau was a solid defensive veteran who helps lead a team. A perfect fit on Dallas... but he wouldn't have changed Montreal much had he stayed. Putting him on the late-90s Habs teams without Roy, Desjardins, Recchi, Damphousse and Turgeon doesn't dramatically improve those teams.



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All in all, I would dare say the Gomez trade could be argued as worse than Roy for the sole reason of how utterly horrendous it was. Montreal received nothing, not a single thing and lost - directly or indirectly - three players who all went on to have superior careers to the asset they acquired. In short, it epitomized what disastrous trades are because there was absolutely no reason to even consider it.
In terms of the value received by the team, the Gomez deal is one of the worst they ever made. But what they gave up is still to be determined. It's why I (currently) have the Rask trade in the middle of my Toronto list: he's talented and rising, but he hasn't had a great run yet. A few Vezina trophies or Cup rings and that rockets up near the top. THe same with McDonagh, he is still "promising", not "proven". So I would hesitate to put the Gomez deal any higher than it already is.



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Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
The Habs had that run where they kept trading captains, starting with Carbo, then Mike Keane (in the Roy trade), then Turgeon, then Damphousse.

They were all horrible trades. They also systemically wiped the Quebec stars from the team, robbing them of talent, mystique and also creating the current headache they have now. The fanbase goes ape every time a franco kid hits the third line and he inevitably wilts under the pressure.
I agree 100%. The Habs no longer have that mystique because the closest thing they've had to a star player in the past decade (or more) is Koivu. I don't think they NEED a French Canadian player to be their best (although it helps with the fanbase), but I think the Habs aren't the same without an exciting, elite-level player of immense skill. I think Kovalev was a great fit with Montreal because his skill set was appreciated despite his inconsistency. It will be interesting to see how Subban turns out; if he cools off and controls his temper, he'll be an amazing player.



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The streak of trading team captains actually began with Chelios who had won the Norris Trophy the season before he was traded. I think the most glaring theme through all of the Habs disastrous trades was the decimation of their defense. When you think about it, they traded Langway, Engblom, Chelios, Svoboda, Lumme, Ludwig, Desjardins and Schneider (albeit for Malakhov) collectively for nothing close to a comparable return. Even during the team's dark ages from 1998-2002, they dumped Igor Ulanov and Eric Weinrich, two very capable defensive d-men for nothing of value. The trading of McDonaugh continues this trend.
Exactly; the Habs completely dismantled their blueline over a prolonged period. It reminds me of the Islanders during the 1990s; they drafted Kasparaitis, Malakhov, McCabe, Lachance, Redden, and Brewer between 1989-1997 (most of them coming after 1991). Not the same skill level as what the Habs traded away, but the same concept.



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Recently, there was some great discussion on the Langway trade in this thread: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1435817
Interesting read, thanks for sharing that!

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06-14-2013, 09:06 AM
  #44
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Houle took first offer thrown at him. We also lost Keane...a gritty playoff performer.
No Serge Savard had a deal in the works that included Nolan and Fiset, but Houle was insistant that TBo was a part of the deal, so...

he totally got fleeced, but if he would of taken the FIRST offer thrown at him, the habs would of been better off.

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06-14-2013, 10:39 AM
  #45
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No Serge Savard had a deal in the works that included Nolan and Fiset, but Houle was insistant that TBo was a part of the deal, so...

he totally got fleeced, but if he would of taken the FIRST offer thrown at him, the habs would of been better off.
Really? I didn't realize they'd been offered Nolan. Now THAT would've been an interesting move, Nolan's prime Sharks years in a Habs jersey would've drastically changed the dynamic of that team. Nolan was something of a poor man's Neely, but he had quite a few productive seasons in San Jose (six 20+ goal seasons, four 60+ point seasons).

Although Fiset was never much more than a capable goalie. A decent three-year period in L.A. before that knee injury.

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06-14-2013, 07:49 PM
  #46
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No Serge Savard had a deal in the works that included Nolan and Fiset, but Houle was insistant that TBo was a part of the deal, so...

he totally got fleeced, but if he would of taken the FIRST offer thrown at him, the habs would of been better off.
You might be remembering the particulars incorrectly, since Nolan was traded in October of 1995, and the Red Wings thrashing of Roy happened December 2, 1995. I'd be surprised if there was very much negotiating at all, since the trade occurred 4 days later.

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06-15-2013, 03:21 PM
  #47
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Thanks for the feedback; you have a very different take on things than I do, and I enjoyed hearding your thoughts. I may have to PM you for a preview of my Best-Of list before I publish it!
please feel free. i'm enjoying this discussion.

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06-17-2013, 10:27 AM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
You might be remembering the particulars incorrectly, since Nolan was traded in October of 1995, and the Red Wings thrashing of Roy happened December 2, 1995. I'd be surprised if there was very much negotiating at all, since the trade occurred 4 days later.
well IF the rumours at the time were true, the Roy to Colorado talks started a lot earlier that the Red Wings thrashing game. That expediated the process.

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06-17-2013, 10:48 AM
  #49
JaymzB
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I believe there had been some discussions around Roy going to Colorado in the 1995 Off-Season/Beginning of the 95-96 Season (hence the Nolan angle Darz mentions). Dont forget, the Habs were coming off a year where they missed the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. Roy did not have a good 95 season. Serge Savard had proven he was not afraid to make big changes throughout his years (of course some of those big changes appear on the list of the worst trades), so Im sure the trade talks were serious.

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06-06-2014, 09:49 PM
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just found this article on twitter, pretty good read. Not sure if I agreed with the Linden trade as one of the worst. Zednik was one of my favourite hab growing up.

10 Worst Trades Since 93

Also kinda funny when he mentioned how we all thought we ripped the Islanders the first time pretty sure we all thought he won that trade

Quote:
Remember this? I sure did, I was probably one of many Habs fans jumping for joy on Draft Day 2002. We all thought we had ripped off the Islanders (hmm coincidence? we all thought we had ripped of the Islanders again acquiring Thomas Vanek this past trade deadline)

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