Top 20 NHL Players You Thought Would NEVER Get Traded
Every fan has a move that their team has made where they were left wondering “What the hell are they thinking” This is the article for those fans to relive some of the truly awful decisions that teams have made over the years. How can it be that an elite goalie like Tuukka Rask was traded for a colossal disappointment like Andrew Raycroft? Well, that deal is only shocking in hindsight, as nobody foresaw what Rask would be, or how Raycroft would decline.
There are many reasons why teams trade elite talent. There could be off-ice issues plaguing them like Tyler Seguin and Doug Gilmour. They could be having issues with front office staff like Darryl Sittler and they just want to move on. Or like Ray Bourque, they could have been traded to try and give them one last true shot at glory ( Even thinking about it now still brings a tear to this writer’s eye).
The NHL is full of some truly shocking moves and I hope you all find one that brings back that feeling of shock as you read it. When you watched these players you just couldn’t picture them in any other uniform, but sure enough, they ended their careers on another team.
So here we go, the 20 players you never thought would be traded.
- ERIC LINDROS
After the price that the Flyers paid to acquire Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques back in 1992, there was no way you thought the Flyers would ever want to part with him. Lindros was considered ‘the next one’, and many felt he was destined to bring the Flyers multiple Stanley Cups and spend 20 years with the organization. By the time the late 90s rolled around though, Lindros still hadn’t brought a Stanley Cup to Philly, despite a finals appearance in 1997 and many successful regular seasons.
After some concussions severely derailed his career, Lindros’s relationship with Flyers management also began to deteriorate. After requesting a trade to Toronto, no.88’s request was denied and he sat out the entire 2000-01 season. Lindros would then be traded in 2001 to the New York Rangers for Jan Hlaváč, Kim Johnsson, Pavel Brendl and a 2003 third-round draft choice.
- RICK NASH
Rick Nash was the first (and for a long time only) superstar for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was drafted 1st overall in 2002. In that time he had a lot of regular season success but the team struggled to make the playoffs during his tenure with the club (only making it once during the 2008-09 season where they got swept).
Speculation began during the 2011-12 season that the Blue Jackets were open to moving Nash which they did over that summer to the New York Rangers for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Exiron and a 2013 first round pick.
Nash has been a solid contributor for the Rangers and the team has made the playoffs all four years with Nash contributing 33 points in 61 games. The Blue Jackets are still in the process of rebuilding the team with Dubinsky playing a big part in the rebuild.
- PAVEL BURE
The Vancouver Canucks shocked the hockey world when they selected Pavel Bure in the 6th round of the 1989 NHL draft. Most teams thought he wasn’t eligible to be drafted yet and it took a full year to determine he was indeed able to join the Canucks. Bure had a lot of statistical success with the Canucks despite the fact he played with less talented linemates for most of his career. After the 1997-98 season Bure informed the club he would not play for the club the next season, despite having one more year on his deal. Bure went home to Russia and intended to sit out the season before the Canucks traded him to the Florida Panthers on January 17th, 2000.
After the trade Bure said he never felt comfortable playing for Vancouver and felt management alienated him. Bure would go on to win the Rocket Richard trophy in his first two full seasons with the Panthers. He would later play for the Rangers but as the knee injuries mounted his stats dropped substantially. He finally retired in 2005 after two years of failed comebacks. Even now Pavel Bure harbors resentment to the Vancouver Canucks organization for how he was treated. Someone like Bure never should have been moved but the actions of the franchise forced it to happen.
- DOUG GILMOUR
Doug Gilmour was never expected to be a great player in the NHL. He went undrafted his first time through and then was a 7th round pick of the St. Louis Blues. He was undersized but tenacious and made his way to the biggest league in the world and thrived. An early trade from the Blues after some off ice issues is not what earns him a spot on this list. As a member of the Flames, Gilmour became one of the elite players in the NHL. After a brutal arbitration hearing with the team Gilmour accused team officials of tampering and threatened legal action if he was not traded.
One day after walking out on the club on January 1st, 1992, Gilmour was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the largest trade in NHL history. Doug Gilmour instantly helped turn around the struggling franchise leading to a Conference Finals appearance in 1993.
- ROBERTO LUONGO
For a goalie as talented as Roberto Luongo it is surprising that he has been traded twice so far in his career. Drafted by the New York Islanders he was already showing the talent that would make him one of the best goalies in the NHL, yet after the Islanders drafted Rick DiPietro the Islanders traded him to the Panthers. After a few successful seasons the Panthers moved him to the Vancouver Canucks in one of the worst deals in the franchise history. With the Canucks he finally reached the playoffs and carried the Canucks to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2011.
The Canucks lost and the trade rumors started shortly after due to Luongo’s huge contract. The Canucks failed to move him initially causing them to trade promising backup Cory Schneider.
That made it all the more shocking when the Canucks did eventually move Luongo back to the Panthers and since then have struggled in net using an aging Ryan Miller and the unproven Jacob Markstrom (who they acquired from the Panthers) The Islanders never should have moved Luongo and the Canucks failed big time by trading their replacement before Luongo.
- TYLER SEGUIN
Leading into the 2010 NHL draft everyone was debating who would be the number one pick. It was the summer of Taylor or Tyler. It is ironic that both players would end up being traded by Peter Chiarelli. Tyler Seguin was the first to be moved on July 4th, 2013 to the Dallas Stars. At the time of the move Seguin had just completed his 3rd professional season. He had shown flashes of talent scoring 29 goals in the 2011-12 season. Off ice however, was another story as many reports of his hard partying ways reached the media in Boston.
He was the Johnny Manziel of the NHL just with a lot more talent. The Bruins decided he wasn’t worth the headache and now he has become one of the best scorers in the NHL. He has had seasons of 37, 37 and 33 goals in his three seasons with the Stars partnering with fellow young star Jamie Benn to create one of the best duos in the NHL. Boston has struggled with scoring as of late… Imagine if they didn’t give up on the young star so soon.