NHL Blockbuster Trades: A look back at five of the biggest trades in the NHL

Re-visiting the biggest blockbuster trades around the NHL since 2016; the winners and losers.

NHL Blockbuster Trades: A look back at five of the biggest trades in the NHL
NHL Blockbuster Trades: A look back at five of the biggest trades in recent memory (Photo courtesy of : 25stanley.com)

Trade 1: Colorado Avalanche trade Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators 

The Colorado Avalanche traded Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators for Shane Bowers, Andrew Hammond, 2018 3rd-round pick, and their 2018 1st-Round pick.

The Senators paid a huge price to acquire Duchene, and things didn’t work out as well as they wanted it to.  

Nonetheless, Duchene put up decent numbers (49 points in 68 games) with Ottawa but it wasn’t enough to help the Senators make the playoffs. For whatever reason, the trade seems to have changed the chemistry of the team sendng them off the rails after a hot start.

With the Erik Karlsson saga going on now, management is caught in a precarious position. It looks like they will lose Karlsson sooner or later, and they will have no choice but to go into a full rebuild.

With only one year left on his current deal, the Senators may have to trade Duchene as well.

As a result, the Colorado Avalanche looks like the winner of this deal.

They acquired several nice pieces including a promising young prospect in Shane Bowers, Justus Annunen (2018 3rd-round pick) and since the Senators elected to keep their 2018 first round pick (Brady Tkachuk) they will have to hand over their 2019 first round pick to Colorado.

Trade 2:  Colorado Avalanche trade Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators 

The Colorado Avalanche traded Kyle Turris to the Nashville Predators for Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamenev, and the 2018 2nd-round pick.

Kyle Turris was a huge add for the Nashville Predators and they paid a fair price to acquire him.

It is still early, but it looks like Nashville has a leg up on this trade.

Turris is currently the best player in this deal and at only 28-years-old, he should give the Predators several more productive years.  

In contrast, things might change in the next few years as Samuel Girard looked really good for the Colorado Avalanche in the 68 games he played last season. It also remains to be seen whether Vladislav Kamenev will turn out to be an effective NHL player.

The Colorado Avalanche also flipped the 2018 second-round pick (#58-Filip Hållander)  they received from Nashville for:  

 - Justus Annunen (2018 3rd-round pick (64th overall)

- Danila Zhuravlyov (2018 5th-round pick (146th overall)

So there is always a chance that the overall impact of these four players may be better than Kyle Turris sometime down the road.

Trade 3: Nashville Predators trade Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K Subban

On paper this looked like a fair trade at the time: a one-for-one swap for two bonafide top-pairing defensemen.

Some people even argued that the Montreal Canadiens might have won this trade at the time, as Shea Weber seemed to be the better all-around player and a better leader in the locker room.

But due to the combination of some bad luck with injuries, the Nashville Predators have won this deal by a landslide thus far.

The Canadiens have not won a playoff series since trading away P.K. Subban, and the Nashville Predators have already made the Stanley Cup Finals once with P.K Subban on their roster.

Shea Weber’s stats as a Montreal Canadien:

 - 23 goals, 35 assists, and 58 points in 104 games.

P.K Subban’s status as a Nashville Predator:

- 26 goals, 73 assists, and 99 points in 148 games.

Canadiens' fans can still remain optimistic about this trade but the odds are stacked against them. Shea Weber is turning 33 in August and still has eight more years left on a $7,857,143 cap-hit.

Meanwhile, P.K Subban is only 29 and looks like he has reached another level playing in Nashville. He does come at a $9,000,000 cap-hit but he should still be in his prime for several more years and is a Norris Trophy candidate for several more years.

Trade 4: Edmonton Oilers Trade Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson

Peter Chiarelli was desperately looking for an upgrade for the Oilers’ blueline and paid a huge price to do so. Taylor Hall was scapegoated for immediate help on the backend.

Getting Adam Larsson in a one-for-one deal was not a horrible return but many people expected Edmonton get a little more.

During the first year of this trade, Peter Chiarelli’s move was somewhat justified as Larsson played a key role on the Oilers’ blue line. He helped the Oilers end their 11-year playoff drought, and the team was one game from reaching the Western Conference Finals.

Meanwhile, Taylor Hall didn't have a spectacular year in New Jersey in 2016/17 and the Devils finished with the third-worst record in the NHL that year.  

But the tides have turned in New Jersey’s favor in 2017/18

Hall brought his game to a new level, scoring a career-high 39 goals and 93 points and won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. More importantly, he helped the Devils return to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers took a step back and missed the playoffs by 17 points.

Like the rest of his team, Larsson struggled and despite being reliable defensively he was only able to contribute four goals and 13 points offensively.

Year three and beyond looks like it might work out in New Jersey’s favor.

Taylor Hall is only 26 and looks like he can be a top-five player in the NHL for the next three to five years.

On the other hand,  it looks like Larsson has already fully developed in the NHL. He will always be a steady defensive defenseman who can give his team a solid 20-21 minutes a night but at that same time, he likely won't contribute much to his team offensively.

Trade 5: Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones

Compared to the other blockbuster trades on this list, this might be the most evenly matched

Both teams addressed their needs through this trade. The Nashville Predators got themselves a proven center to play in their top-six and the Columbus Blue Jackets got a young franchise defenseman.

But fast forward several more years and the Columbus Blue Jackets might gradually have the upper hand on this deal.

Seth Jones is blossoming in Columbus and playing like he can win a Norris Trophy someday. At this rate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him become a top-five defenseman in the NHL very soon.

Meanwhile, Ryan Johansen has been averaging about 58 points the past two season and projects to be a really decent first/second line center for the next few years.

But it will be difficult to see Johansen become a top-five center in the NHL or win a scoring title in the next few years.

What are your thoughts about these blockbuster trades? Let us know in the comments section below.