Would this count as line for line? It never officially happened, but it was supposedly agreed upon.
Peter Pocklington says Harold Ballard came calling in the early 1980s with an unprecedented offer that would have bailed the former Toronto Maple Leafs owner out of financial trouble, and might have had Wayne Gretzky parading the Stanley Cup down Carlton Street .
In a new biography about the one-time Edmonton Oilers owner, "I'd Trade Him Again," Pocklington recalls a deal he almost made where the Leafs and Oilers would have swapped cities.
"Harold phoned me and said, 'Would you consider moving to Toronto with your team and I'll move to Edmonton with mine, and I'll need $50 million," Pocklington told The Canadian Press when reached Sunday at his Palm Desert, Calif., home.
"So I thought about it and said, 'Yes Harold, I'll go for that."'
The scheme called for the entire team to move to Toronto to play in Maple Leaf Gardens while the Leafs, in turn, would have found a home in Edmonton's new arena, which at that time was called the Coliseum.
According to Pocklington, Ballard was in financial straights when he made the proposal in 1981. However, a short time later Ballard backed out of the deal.
Three weeks later and six games into the season, the Maple Leafs completed a deal to acquire Bentley. He was sent to Toronto with Cy Thomas in exchange for Gus Bodnar, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Ernie Dickens and Bob Goldham, on November 2, 1947. The trade sent shockwaves throughout the league. The five players sent to Chicago essentially formed an entire starting unit; NHL President Clarence Campbell stated he was "astounded" by the deal, and stated it ranked with the Maple Leafs' purchase of King Clancy in 1930 as one of the most significant transactions in league history. The trade was still being discussed weeks later as observers throughout the league attempted to assess which team received the better deal. Bentley was initially disappointed to leave his brother in Chicago, but quickly adapted to Toronto where he was immediately popular.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Despite the Pony Line's success, the Black Hawks were never able to acquire enough depth to become true contenders in the competitive 6 team NHL. So on November 4, 1947, they went looking for depth, and sacrificed Max Bentley to get it. In one of the biggest trades in all of hockey history the Hawks sent Bentley to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 5 players - an entire forward unit consisting of Gaye Stewart, Gus Bodnar and Bud Poile, plus defensive pairing Ernie Dickens and Bob Goldham.
i can think of two trades where a team traded for the equivalent of an entire line, but never for an entire line coming back, and in both cases, those weren't lines that played together regularly.
in 1989, detroit trades adam graves (W), joe murphy (C), and petr klima (W), plus minor leaguer jeff sharples to emonton for jimmy carson and kevin mclelland. graves and murphy would line up with rookie martin gelinas to form the "kid line," which provided valuable scoring depth to help them edmonton win its last cup.
in 1991, st. louis trades geoff courtnall (W), cliff ronning (C), and sergio momesso (W) to vancouver for garth butcher and dan quinn. courtnall and ronning would line up with trevor linden to form the "life line," which was vancouver's go-to playoff line for the next three years, resulting in the team's first two playoff series wins since '82. in the '94 run to the finals, courtnall often played with linden and nathan lafayette, while ronning and momesso usually played on the third line with... marty gelinas.