One day, I was harmlessly looking into doing redrafts for the website, and I was just browsing through 2006. “Wow, Toews really should have been taken first”. “Haha, remember the clip of the Philly GM forgetting Claude Giroux’s name?”. “Hey look, Brad Marchand in the third round, neat”.
Then I noticed something. The pick that Boston used to select Marchand was not originally theirs - it was Arizona’s (then called Phoenix), and Boston got it through the New York Islanders. I was like “Huh, that’s interesting, maybe there’s some sort of trade tree there”.
First thing I found was that to get the Marchand pick, Boston traded up on draft day. Good for them for identifying a talent that they wanted and getting it, and then it turning into a superstar. Dug a little further… oh hey what the f*** Wendel Clar-- WHAT NOOOO STOP IT.
The tip of the branch
As we established, on June 24, 2006, the New York Islanders traded a 3rd round pick (originally belonging to the Phoenix Coyotes) to the Boston Bruins, and they used it to select Brad Marchand. In exchange, the Islanders took two picks later in the draft: a 4th rounder and a 5th rounder. The 4th rounder was originally Boston’s - but it can never be that easy. They traded it to Edmonton, traded for it back, gave it to the Isles, and they swapped it later that same day for god knows what to the Sharks WHO SELECTED defenceman James Delroy. He did nothing in hockey, but that’s alright.
The 5th rounder had originally been Chicago’s, and luckily there wasn’t any shenanigans once it got to the Islanders, as they selected defenceman Shane Sims. Sims played one career NHL game, and in my opinion, that’s cooler than playing any other single digit amount of games.
Part of the reason I showed ALL THAT was to demonstrate how quickly a trade tree can become complex and convoluted. In each section, I'll let you, the reader, know which part of the trade is specific to our branch.
For this one, it is that pesky 3rd rounder that originally belonged to Phoenix - how did the Isles acquire it?
Nothing special to see here, really. On March 9th 2006, the Phoenix Coyotes traded that singular 3rd round pick to the Islanders in exchange for Oleg Kvasha and a 5th round pick. The Coyotes used the pick to select Brett Bennett, and mercifully that’s where we find a leaf (the end to that branch).
As you see at the top, Mr. Kvasha is our person of interest. Kvasha had played six seasons in the NHL between the Florida Panthers and the Islanders from 1998 to 2004. Then there was a lockout, and he went to play in Russia. The following season, he returned to the Isles and played pretty bad. The Coyotes wanted him for some reason or another, and he actually played quite well down the stretch, securing 11 points across 15 games with Phoenix. But the experience of playing in his home country was too much to pass up. At the end of the season, he retired from the NHL and returned to play in Russia. He played until 2014-15 before hanging ‘em up for good.
But as I mentioned, and what were most interested in… How did the Islanders get him? Well remember how I mentioned that he played for the Panthers? You won’t believe this trade...
Throwback to when you trade the best two players in a two for two swap
Roberto effin’ Luongo
Well you can see who’s connecting this part of the branch, so I’ll just get on with it.
On June 24th 2000, Florida traded Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish to the Islanders for Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen.
Pretty fitting section title eh?
The Islanders gave up a surefire Hall of Fame goalie and a guy with 750 career NHL points
for Kvasha, whose career achievements have been outlined, and Parrish, whose career high in points was 60.
Luongo was a young goalie who was a 4th overall selection. But in 2000, on the 24th of June, they felt comfortable shipping out their young goalie prospect because they had just selected a young goalie prospect first overall. The Islanders had selected Rick DiPietro and said “this Luongo kid will be a scrub compared to him”. Whoops.
Some of you see where this is going. And I am sorry for making you aware of this. Some of you have no idea, and will be both shocked and appalled by what you see next.
But how did the Islanders get Roberto Luongo?
The Leafs are responsible for Marchand going to the Bruins
Yup. The Leafs have the largest role in this branch that blooms with Marchand becoming a Boston Bruins and terrorizing the Leafs. To add insult to injury, it also includes Toronto’s only first overall draft pick (besides Matthews), and beloved captain, Wendel Clark.
On March 13th 1996, Toronto received Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider, and D.J. Smith from the New York Islanders in exchange for Sean Haggerty, Darby Hendrickson, Kenny Johnsson, and a 1997 1st round pick (4th overall - Roberto Luongo).
Yup, so a beloved Leafs figure led to the Bruins getting their beloved figure. Nice. Toronto
was pushing for the playoffs that season, and were looking to go on a deep playoff run. With Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour and Mike Gartner all in the fold, bringing back franchise favourite Clark seemed like the prudent move. Until it costed them a top 5 pick. And I guess that first round series loss to St. Louis - which included the last game ever played at Maple Leafs Gardens by the way - stings a whole hell of a lot more.
I’m sorry… the question has to be asked because the pain is not over… How did the Islanders get Wendel Clark?
The calm between the storms
On October 3rd 1995, the Colorado Avalanche sent Wendel Clark to the Islanders in exchange for Claude Lemieux. Neat!
Unfortunate for Clark, because the Avalanche would go on to win their first Stanley Cup that year… but oh well.
Now to pick on someone else besides the Leafs: how did the city of Denver get Quebec City’s NHL team?
In May 1995, the city of Denver acquired the team formerly called the Nordiques in a trade with Quebec City. In exchange? Absolutely nothing.
Sorry, I needed to do this.
Now some of you see where the branch meets the tree trunk… and it’s not pretty.
How did the Nordiques get Wendel Clark?
DID IT HAVE TO INVOLVE TWO LEAFS ICONS
On June 28th, 1994, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Mats Sundin, Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner, and a 1994 1st round pick. In return, they sent Wendel Clark, Sylvian Lefebvre, Landon Wilson, and a 1994 1st round pick to the Quebec Nordiques.
The band-aid is ripped off. So let's show you the whole picture
Dramatically put, the Leafs gave Brad Marchand to the Boston Bruins in order to acquire their future franchise leading scorer, Mats Sundin.
It is somewhat unbelievable, that two of the Leafs’ most infamous trades would be key cogs in this branch. Like… god dammit.
This started out as a cute little project “oh where’d that pick come from” and turned into “Let’s kick LeafsNation when they're down”.
Tada. Sorry for ruining your day Leafs fans.