What have trades at the deadline have been the biggest flops for the acquiring team since the league had a salary cap? These were not all on deadline day, as some were made the days before. The first thing that became obvious making this list was a glut of bad draft pick trades coming out of the lost season lockout. 7 of these 10 trades happened from 2006-2008. Teams would eventually learn the increased value of draft picks under a salary cap, and became much more reluctant to trade away first rounders for rentals.
1) Washington 2013 trades Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat and lost in the first round of the playoffs with Erat contributing zero playoff PTS. Forsberg has become a star player in Nashville.
2) Nashville 2006 trades a 1st round pick (Semyon Varlamov) for Brendan Witt. Witt only played 23 games for the Preds as they were bounced in the first round of the playoffs, then he bolted in free agency.
3) Buffalo 2007 trades 1st round pick for Dainius Zubrus, who did score 8 PTS in 15 playoff games, but was just a rental and left via free agency that summer. The pick they traded was a bust, but a first rounder none the less.
4) Colorado 2008 trades 1st round pick (Luca Sbisa) to Blue Jackets for Adam Foote. The Avs did win a playoff series and Foote stayed for a few more seasons, but there’s no way any team would make that trade in 2018 for a 37-year-old defenseman who doesn’t contribute much offense.
5) Minnesota 2014 trades a pair of 2nd round picks for Matt Moulson, who scored 3 PTS in the playoffs and then returned to the Sabres in free agency. Although the Sabres gave him a terrible 5-year $25M contract, and he’s now collecting those paycheques in the AHL.
6) Nashville 2012 trades a 1st round pick (Mark Jankowski) for Paul Gaustad, who did re-sign with the Preds but did not help them succeed in the playoffs. The Jankowski pick took a while to develop, but he’s been playing well in 2018 for Calgary. This wasn’t all bad for Nashville, as they did get a 4th round pick coming back that turned into current back-up goalie Juuse Saros.
7) Hurricanes 2008 trade Andrew Ladd for Tuomo Ruutu. Ladd would go on to win a Stanley Cup in 2010 with Chicago, and since the trade has scored almost 200 more PTS than Ruutu.
8) Leafs 2007 trade 2nd round pick (Roman Josi) to Phoenix for Yanic Perreault. The Leafs missed the playoffs and that pick later became an All-star player. Perreault left that summer via free agency. Phoenix was not the beneficiary of this bad trade as they would later trade that pick to Nashville for two later picks who turned out to be busts.
9) Phoenix 2006 trades 3rd round pick (Brad Marchand) to the Islanders for Oleg Kvasha. Okay, so this trade would not be on this list if the draft pick did not turn out to be Brad Marchand, but whatever. Although that didn’t benefit the Islanders, who turned around and traded that pick to Boston for a 4th and a 5th that both turned out to be busts.
10) Oilers 2006 trade 2nd round pick (Milan Lucic) for Sergei Samsonov, who did score 15 PTS in the playoffs that year as the Oilers almost won the Stanley Cup. However, the Samsonov era in Edmonton ended that summer as he bolted in free agency. If the pick didn’t turn out to be Lucic, this trade wouldn’t be on this list…but it did so it is…