The 10 Worst NHL Trades of All Time

Ah it’s that festive time of year again; when the NHL trade deadline gets closer, and we reflect on all the terrible trades gone by.

Why do we do this, anyways? Is it because everyone likes to play “backseat GM” and claim that we wouldn’t make these poor executive decisions? Is it because we are gluttons for punishment and like to torture ourselves by remembering the dark times? Regardless, it doesn’t matter how many trade deadlines the league goes through, there always comes that time when the hockey-viewing populous reminisces over the worst transactions made.

The NHL is about turn 100 years old, which means there is plenty of time for front offices to fudge a trade decision at least once. But no matter how many transactions occur, everyone still looks back on Adam Oates making Red Wings history. Or Eric Lindros being swapped for half a roster. Or, everyone’s favorite, The Great One jetting off to California.

What makes these trades so bad isn’t necessarily the trades themselves, but the aftermath of them. Here are the NHL’s top 10 all-time worst trades in no particular order.

1. Marian Hossa

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera deflects a shot by Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers | Kirby Lee/NHLImages

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera deflects a shot by Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers | Kirby Lee/NHLImages

The trade: The Atlanta Thrashers traded Marian Hossa, along with winger Pascal Dupuis, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, Eric Christensen, and a first-round draft pick.

The aftermath: Here is a textbook “bad trade.” Before they moved up to Manitoba to be the Winnipeg Jets, the now-debunked Thrashers lost a lot, but had a chance to give itself a makeover. So they shipped star player Hossa to Pittsburgh. That plan didn’t work in their favor however, as Atlanta’s takeaway from the trade didn’t evolve into anything substantial.

Hossa’s future was significantly brighter. He was part of the Stanley Cup-contending Pens and Detroit Red Wings before winning two championships during his current lengthy tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though the scoring Slovak is pushing 40, he continues to churn out points (515 career goals, 597 career assists) and climb the NHL all-time goals list.