Biggest "Almost" Deals Through History?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Randomtask68, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Adopted Canadian

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    not a trade, but Brett Hull stated he wanted to go play for the Hawks when he became a free agent in 1997-98..He stated this multiple times that he would love to play for his dads team, only to be told no thanks by Dollar Bill Wirtz and Bob Pulford...they thought his pricetag was too high, and instead signed Doug Gilmour at nearly the same asking price as Hull IIRC....Gilmour was decent here in Chicago, but to have one of the greatest goal scorers all-time say he wants to play for your team and you say no thanks...lol, it was the beginning of the downward spiral in Chicago until 2007-08.
     
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  2. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    like I said--the post I quoted I do not believe that was the deal from the flyers--I think it is one of those trades someone thought up later
     
  3. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    Gretz was always going to NY to play with Mess one last time
     
  4. mrhockey193195

    mrhockey193195 Registered User

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    I'm sure it's been mentioned, but Selanne from SJ to NJ for Gomez+ was a real possibility until Teemu shut it down, I believe.
     
  5. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    Only after Toronto and Vancouver fell through.
     
  6. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    He was never going to Vancouver--in two books he talks about it and both times he decided against it
     
  7. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    He was, but given management there at the time, I suppose it was always going to fall through and thus you're correct to say he was always going to New York.
     
  8. iamjs

    iamjs Unregistered User

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    it started when Zubrus was in Montreal and from what I can remember it was still a possibility when Zubrus was in Washington.
     
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  9. SCampo98

    SCampo98 Registered User

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    I'd have to say Ballard's proposal to trade the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Edmonton Oilers in the early 80s. Apparently it was shockingly close to happening, with a denial from the league halting it at the very end
     
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  10. Talisman

    Talisman Registered User

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    was it true that in 1987 Oilers aproach Gilbert perreault to come play with Gretzky& company. but he Declined!.
     
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  11. CharlestownChiefsESC

    CharlestownChiefsESC Registered User

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    Always wondered what would have happened if it went down. IMO it would be Cleveland Browns esque with the new Oilers being an expansion team with a set roster, while the Leafs would have the original Oilers expansion roster, but assume all of the Leafs prior history.

    IMO this would change the league immensely, with that Oilers roster winning cups in Toronto and making the Maple Leaf Gardens a mad house. Pocklington and Sather had always said they would have kept things going had they been in a bigger market, well here they are with a dynasty, and the greatest player ever in the center of the hockey universe. In this universe Gretzky is never traded, and the NHL's southward expansion never happens. IMO the ACC gets built earlier (as the house that Gretzky built) as the demand for the Leafs outweighs the capacity of the Gardens. Also in this universe when Ballard finally croaks the Oilers are probably relocated. As for the 90s we probably get to see a Grtezky vs Lemieux Stanley Cup matchup and the dynasty lasts until the mid 90s when the Detroit's and Colorado's of the world finally overtake them. When it's all said and done the ACC entrance contains statues of Grtezky and Messier the 2 greatest Leafs ever.
     
  12. Tarantula

    Tarantula Hanging around the web

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    I would have to believe that the Toronto (mis)management would have ruined what was to be the future Oilers and no cups in Toronto. They would have traded a few upcoming stars for nothing left veterans likely, IMO. Leafs could ruin anything back then.
     
  13. CharlestownChiefsESC

    CharlestownChiefsESC Registered User

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    From what I heard they were swapping everything players coaches,management etc etc, so it would be the Oilers from the 80s lead by Sather, but playing as the Toronto Maple Leafs.
     
  14. Tarantula

    Tarantula Hanging around the web

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    Yes, that's right. Even Ballard was heading out west as well, forgot about that.
     
  15. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    I don't think that's so.

    In Wayne's own recent book (99 Stories of the Game, 2016), he says, "I was also interested in playing for the Canucks" (in 1996), and he means "also" as being in addition to Toronto. Wayne says once Toronto's offer was off the table, he and Mike Barnett flew to Vancouver as a show of good faith to talk to Canucks' management. Wayne says he "loved" (might be an exaggeration) the team and the city, and that he had great respect for Pat Quinn, which was certainly true.

    Gretzky says Barnett and Canucks' VP Stan McCammon were negotiating into the night, and it got late. At about one a.m., McCammon said the terms they'd worked out so far were the best they could get. Barnett replied something like, 'Yeah, we're close. Let's wait until after breakfast for Wayne and I to made a final decision'. But McCammon wanted an answer that night. Barnett (according to Gretzky) assured McCammon that everything looked positive, but suggested it was unreasonable to wake everyone up (Wayne's wife, and maybe other principles) when they could make a decision first thing in the morning. McCammon said they needed an answer "now", or the deal was off the table. Wayne went to bed, and Barnett told McCammon they weren't taking this offer anywhere else or dealing with any other team -- they just needed to wait until morning so Wayne could sleep on it and then call his wife!

    When Wayne woke up, he was told the deal was off the table. Presumably, McCammon (?) thought they were trying to gain leverage with another team, but it seems they weren't.
     
  16. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox "Wanna go, Prettyboy?"

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    What is the source of this claim?

    Other than Barry Pedersen's wikipedia page, I've never seen any place claim that this wasn't a trade and that Neely and the 1st rounder were awarded by an arbitrator.
     
  17. crobro

    crobro Registered User

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    It was the arbitrators deduction
     
  18. Boxscore

    Boxscore Registered User

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    A good friend of mine is currently working on a documentary on the mid-80's Philadelphia Flyers. He has conducted some phone interviews with ex-players and coaches, as well as Bob Clarke and Jay Snider. In two weeks he's filming some additional interviews in person. I'm hoping to be in attendance. Anyway, he shared a couple of stories with me, that even as a Flyers fan, I never knew.

    The first one was that the Flyers were close to signing all three Stastny brothers right before Quebec did. The Flyers were in contact with the Stastnys and were willing to sign all three in one swoop but Peter was the ring leader. He was honored by the Flyers interest but he preferred to play in Quebec for two main reasons: 1.) Quebec City resembled Europe and he felt more comfortable in a smaller, Canadian city. He was also attracted to Canada being the Mecca of hockey. 2.) At the time, the Flyers were a top team and the Nordiques ensured Peter that he and his brothers would play a huge role in Quebec but would be lost in the shuffle in Philly. The Stastnys chose the Nordiques, but if it fell through, they were ready to sign with the Flyers as a backup plan.

    The next one was a deal between the Flyers and Canucks for Cam Neely. Bob Clarke thought he had a deal in place for Neely, that involved Brian Propp going back to Vancouver in a larger deal. He was excited because he felt he just landed another Rick Tocchet - even a better version - but the deal fell through at the last second due to Neely going to Boston in the Pedersen ordeal. Clarke was devastated and had his heart set on Neely. The funny thing is, Brian Propp was a huge part of the Flyers taking Edmonton to a 7th game in the 1987 Cup Finals, and I wonder if the Flyers get as far with Neely? Cam sure would have been loved in Philadelphia though.
     
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  19. Iron Mike Sharpe

    Iron Mike Sharpe Registered User

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    No "source," that's how it went down at the time, look it up, it was in all the papers, discussed on HNIC, etc. It only became retroactively branded a trade by fans & media after Neely became a big hit in Boston, so people could endlessly kvetch about the one that got away. It was an RFA signing & compensation package, Bruins grabbed Neely because he was left unprotected.
     
  20. Normand Lacombe

    Normand Lacombe Registered User

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    Neely would have been loved after his first month or so by Flyer fans. But not at the time of the proposed deal. Looking at this from the vantage point of 1986, a trade package that included Propp would not have been well received from Flyer fans. Neely was still an unproven commodity whose highest point total in his first three seasons was 39. Meanwhile, Propp was coming off a 97 point season in 1985-86 and was in the midst of recording 90 plus points in four of the previous five seasons. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to know what the larger deal entailed. Perhaps there was a third team involved?
     
  21. Tarantula

    Tarantula Hanging around the web

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    Odd, as that's how I seem to remember it but a quick google confirmed what FerrisR says. Only source seems to be Pederson's Wiki page without doing too much looking.
     
  22. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    ran a quick newspaper search for barry pederson's name in may and june of 1986--

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    June 7, 1986 Saturday
    Eagle seeks liberty for NHL free agents

    WILLIAM HOUSTON; The Globe and Mail

    SPORTS; Pg. C3

    The league's system of equalization will be the most contentious issue
    of this summer's negotiations for a new collective-bargaining agreement,
    and Eagleson's position is an extreme departure from the system now in
    place. The owners and players begin three days of talks Tuesday in
    Toronto.

    Because of the restrictions of equalization, movement of free- agent
    players below the age of 33 is almost impossible under the present
    agreement, which expires Sept. 15. If a free agent leaves to sign with a
    new team, his former team is entitled to heavy compensation, either high
    draft choices and/or front-line players.

    "We would like to get established that a player will become a free
    agent without equalization at some stage in his career," Eagleson said.
    "At the present time, it's age 33, which is no value at all to the average
    player. We want to bring that down substantially. In major-league
    baseball, it's six years and then you're a free agent. That's what we're
    aiming for."

    In the past four years, not one free agent with a compensation clause
    attached to his contact was able to move to another team.

    Yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks avoided a compensation issue by
    trading forward Cam Neely and their first-round draft choice in the 1986
    entry draft to the Boston Bruins for star centre Barry Pederson, whose
    contract was about to expire on July 1.


    The Canucks had planned to sign Pederson and pay the compensation,
    which would have been two first-round draft choices or one first-round
    choice plus the fifth-best player on their roster. By making the formal
    trade, compensation did not need to be worked out.


    Here is how the present equalization system works:

    For a contract of under $150,000 a year, compensation is determined by
    the offer from a player's old team. For an amount of $150,000 or over,
    compensation is determined by the offer from the player's new team.
    A contract between $85,001 and $99,999 requires compensation of a
    third-round choice in the next entry draft.

    A contract between $100,000 and $124,999 requires compensation of a
    second- and third-round draft choice.

    A contract between $125,000 and $149,999 requires compensation of a
    first-round pick or a player from the team's roster, with a protected list
    of eight.

    A contract between $150,000 and $199,999 requires compensation of a
    first- and second-round draft choice, or a first-rounder plus a player
    from a team's roster, with a protected list of six that includes the free
    agent just signed.

    A contract worth over $200,000 a year requires compensation of two
    first-round draft choices or a first- round choice and a player from the
    team's roster, with a protected list of four that includes the free agent
    just signed.

    It is highly unlikely the owners will agree to total free agency for
    players with only six years of service. Given that scenario, a player such
    as Wendel Clark of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be able to move freely to
    another team at the age of 25, when he will probably be at the peak of his
    career.

    The owners say they might be persuaded to lower the age of free agents
    without compensation to 30, but that is not likely to satisfy the NHLPA.
    The players have threatened to strike if an agreement can't be reached by
    the September deadline. In addition, Eagleson will point to the prosperity
    of the NHL and argue that the owners can afford less punitive restrictions
    on movement of players.

    When the last agreement was reached in 1982, seven NHL teams were
    losing money, seven were breaking even and seven were making money. Now,
    however, only two or three teams are in the red. Another two or three are
    breaking even, and the remainder are turning a profit. During the Stanley
    Cup playoffs, NHL president John Ziegler boasted of record profits for the
    past season.

    Eagleson says he is seeking two other major concessions from the
    owners. He says the pension plan needs to be upgraded, and he wants the
    owners to bankroll a career transition program, which would include
    severance pay at age 50 and career counselling plans. He estimates that
    this would cost between $12-million and $20-million.

    "We think the average player would end up with a lump-sum payment of
    between $200,000 and $300,000 at age 50," Eagleson said. "At the all-star
    break in Hartford, I told the owners what we have in mind and have sent
    information to Ziegler on how I think they can do it."

    As well, Eagleson wants all pension benefits converted from Canadian to
    U.S. currency, which will mean a 35 per cent across the board increase. He
    says the annuity purchase plan must be replaced with a broader type of
    plan that would include purchases in a money market or a mutual fund.
    "An annuity purchase plan was fine for the 1960s and 1970s, but totally
    inadequate for the 80s," he said.

    Another subject that might be discussed is increasing the age
    eligiblity for the NHL entry draft. Right now, it is 18, which almost
    everyone in the game feels is too low. Eagleson says a new system could be
    collectively bargained without risk of an antitrust suit.

    Because of age discrimination legislation in the United States,
    however, a change in the system probably cannot reflect a specified age.
    Instead, Eagleson favors an arrangement in which players must serve an
    apprenticeship for a certain number of years in junior hockey before
    becoming eligible to play in the NHL.

    ---

    and for spits and giggles--

    The Toronto Star
    June 20, 1986, Friday, FINAL EDITION
    No 'franchise' players available in NHL draft

    Frank Orr Toronto Star

    SECTION: SPORTS; Pg. B2


    MONTREAL - The general manager of a low-ranked National Hockey League team received a telephone call early this week from a peer who operates a club in upper echelon.

    "GMs talk to each other often for no particular reason, but this time the other guy surprised me a little when he asked if we would be interested in trading our first-round draft pick," said the GM from down the list.

    "I asked what he was offering for it, figuring he was joking, and he gave me the choice of one of two players from his team's starting 14 (three top lines, five best defencemen).

    "I said I'd get back to him. Either of the players he offered would, indeed, help my team next season and because he's a hockey man I respect, I figured that confirmed the value of the young player who will be the best available when we pick. So I called him back and turned down his offer."


    Similar calls

    Many calls similar to that one have been coming through to NHL executive offices over the past weeks and trade offers for first-round draft picks will continue right up to - and during - tomorrow's draft, which starts at 10 a.m. in The Forum here.

    While this year's draft crop is rated as a good one with considerable depth in big-league prospects, it lacks a "franchise" player, an 18-year-old of the Dale Hawerchuk or Mario Lemieux stature who is destined to turn around a team's fortunes. But that hasn't discouraged several top clubs, which don't pick until the concluding third of the first round, from trying to improve their drafting position.

    "I don't think there's as big a scramble of teams trying to move up on the draft order as there is in years when there's a couple of potential major stars available," said Boston Bruin GM Harry Sinden.

    "Of course, teams are trying to improve their positions and there will be rumbles of trades right up until the selecting starts. This appears to be a draft that will supply a good crop of NHL players because our scouts claim there are from 30 to 40 kids with that calibre of potential."

    Sinden already has improved the Bruins' draft order by acquiring Vancouver Canucks' first pick (No. 6) in a trade for centre Barry Pederson.

    As the worst team in the NHL last season, Detroit Red Wings have the first pick, the spot from which the Maple Leafs selected winger Wendel Clark last year, and they've been bombarded with trade offers. The deals take on two forms: (a) a player or two is offered as an incentive to have the Wings and the other club trade first-round choices, and (b) a package of players straight up for the draft pick.

    If the Wings fend off the offers, all indications are that they will make centre Joe Murphy from Michigan State University the first player selected in the draft. Word is that the Red Wings already have a sweater with his name on it and press releases ready for tomorrow.

    The choice hasn't been easy. Centre Jimmy Carson, a Detroit product who excelled with Laval juniors in the Quebec league, is among the top three prospects.

    "Murphy is a good one who appears to be ready to move to the NHL next season," said Red Wing GM Jimmy Devellano. "But Carson is something rare that U.S. teams in the NHL covet - a hometown prospect - and he has excellent potential."

    NHL rumor mills say Montreal Canadiens have made an assortment of offers to the Wings for the first draft pick. The French-language sports pages here have tossed out at least eight different three-body packages that the Canadiens have offered the Wings. All have been denied, of course, by the Canadiens' front office.

    The Canadiens need scoring punch and the player available who rates as having that in the largest quantity is Carson, who played for the junior team owned and operated by the Canadiens in Laval.
    Because the ratings on seven or eight prospects at the top of the list are very close, the precise selection isn't certain. That means the Leafs, who have the No. 6 pick, can't determine exactly which prospect will be available when their turn arrives.

    The Toronto club guards its draft intentions with almost fanatical secretiveness, an approach that produced last year's absurd situation when the club had the first pick over-all. But then, the Leafs produce at least one absurdity in every situation.

    The night before the draft, the team's management insisted that a final decision on the Leaf choice - Clark, forward Craig Simpson and defenceman Dana Murzyn were the top candidates - had not been made and one member of the organization offered to fetch the Gideon bible from his hotel room and swear on it that no choice had been made.

    The Leafs wisely picked Clark, who was runner-up for the rookie-of-the-year award and injected much life into a camatose franchise. After the pick was made, the team's owner berated the media for speculating on the Leaf choice when, he said, the decision to take Clark had been made months in advance.
    Best available

    All the Leaf front office will say this year is that the club will pick the best player available and that very well could be centre Vincent Damphousse, 18, who had 155 points for Laval Titan last season. He's big (6 feet 1, 190 pounds) with good offensive skills, not quick off the mark but deceptively fast when moving on the attack.

    Centre Neil Brady (Medicine Hat Tigers) and Adam Graves (Windsor Spitfires), winger Scott Young (Boston University) and defenceman Zarley Zalapski from the Canadian Olympic team could be available when the Leafs make their choice.

    In this year's draft, the Ontario junior crop is down, the Quebec league offers its best gang of prospects in several years and Western Canada is well-represented in the first round. However, the big news is the strong list of U.S. prospects from high school and college hockey. As many as six Yankees could be selected in the first round.

    Top candidates

    Here's a look at the top draft candidates:
    Joe Murphy, centre-right wing, Michigan State, 6 feet 1, 185 pounds, 35 games, 24 goals, 37 assists, 61 points, 50 minutes in penalties. Few dissenters to his No. 1 rating because of size, skating, scoring touch and intelligence. Tough enough to handle NHL traffic. Leading scorer in world junior tournament.

    Shawn Anderson, defence, Canadian Olympics, 6-1, 190, 33-2-6-8-16. In skating and speed, he's compared to Paul Coffey. Has unlimited offensive potential because of puckhandling and passing ability. Could stay with Olympic program until after '88 Games.

    Jimmy Carson, centre, Verdun Canadiens, 6, 185, 69-70-83-153-46. Gifted offensive player who compensates for lack of top speed with skill and hard work. Not overly aggressive but handles rough stuff sufficiently well.

    Scott Young, right wing, Boston U., 6, 185, 38-16-13-29-31. Tabbed early as "next great U.S. prospect." Has evolved from flashy, high-scoring prep school star into hard-working grinder type who has potential to be good NHL winger.

    Zarley Zalapski, defence, Canadian Olympics, 6-1, 190, 32-2-4-6-10. Swift skater, excellent rusher, improved physically with Olympics after joining team from Tier Two junior halfway through season. Draft rating climbed quickly, too.

    Vincent Damphousse, centre, Laval Titan, 6-1, 190, 69-45-110-155-70. Not quick and tabbed as lazy earlier, his size, fine skills on the attack and big improvement in past season have moved him to front ranks. Maple Leafs need a big centre and this could be their man (boy?).

    Neil Brady, centre, Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-1, 178, 72-21-60-81-104. Smart, creative, aggressive but scouts claim he needs another junior season to fill out lean frame and round off skills. Good long-range prospect.
    Mark Pederson, left wing, Medicine Hat Tigers, 6-1, 195, 72-46-60-106-46. Rating slipped slightly from first to second junior seasons but all-around offensive skill will make him early pick. Knock against him is lack of aggressiveness on consistent basis.

    Adam Graves, centre, Windsor Spitfires, 5-11, 184, 62-27-37-64-35. Injuries hampered him all season, but showed enough flashes of offensive skill and toughness to rate in middle of first round.

    Jocelyn Lemieux, right wing, Laval Titan, 5-11, 207, 71-57-68-125-131. Brother of Montreal Canadiens' playoff star Claude Lemieux, plays with same abrasive, irritating approach. Not fancy but strong along the fence, solid scorer.

    Dan Woodley, left wing, Portland Winter Hawks, 5-11, 185, 62-45-47-92-100. Tough, solid scorer, best defensively among forward prospects. One scout said he plays the game like a Sutter brother.

    Craig Janney, centre, Boston College, 6, 175, 34-13-14-27-8. Finesse player who excelled in world junior championships, which boosted his draft rating. Knocks are lack of strength and hesitancy to shoot the puck.

    Pat Elynuik, right wing, Prince Albert Raiders, 6, 182, 68-53-53-106-62. Will be 200-pounder when he fills out; has good hands and scoring touch for a big man. Scouts feel he can be a power-winger in NHL but needs development time.

    Everett Sanipass, left wing, Verdun Canadiens, 6-1, 192, 68-28-66-94-320. Big, strong, macho kid with considerable hockey ability who, scouts claim, needs strong coaching because of immaturity and blow-top approach.

    Greg Brown, defence, St. Mark's School, Conn., 6-1, 185, 19-22-28-50-30. Very strong, slick puckhandler, but development slowed by short prep school season. But good work with U.S. team in world juniors helped in evaluating him.

    George Pelawa, right wing, Bemidji High School, Minn., 6-3, 230, 25-29-26-55-n/a. One scout called him "a tight end on skates, who's too big and strong to overlook." Moves well for his size, surprises with puckhandling skill and revels in physical side of the game.

    Jeff Greenlaw, left wing, Canadian Olympics, 6-2, 195, 57-3-16-19-81. Rare prospect since bantam days but offensive skills have lagged. Works hard, plays aggressively, strong defensively. Worth a gamble that scoring touch will arrive because of other assets.

    Brian Leetch, defence, Avon Old Farms School, Conn., 5-11, 170, 28-40-44-84-18. A puzzle for scouts because his offensive skills are big league but his size isn't. Not especially fast but good with the puck.

    Tom Quinlan, right wing, Hill-Murray H.S., Minn., 6-1, 195, 26-24-29-53-n/a. One scout says he's the most gifted natural athlete in the draft who could be an NHL star well in future. However, he's a splendid baseball prospect, too, and could choose that game.

    Todd Copeland, defence, Belmont Hill Academy, Mass., 6-2, 200, 19-4-19-23-19. Big, hot-tempered competitor, ingredients that impress scouts. Excellent skater who embarks on what a scout called "hunt-and-shoot" missions.

    Tom Fitzgerald, centre, Austin Prep School, Mass., 6-1, 195, 24-35-38-73-n/a. Dominant in New England high school hockey. A good athlete with skills in all areas, size and strength to handle the corners.

    Here is the order in which National Hockey League teams will pick on the first round of tomorrow's entry draft. 1. Detroit; 2. Los Angeles; 3. New Jersey; 4. Pittsburgh; 5. Buffalo; 6. Toronto; 7. Boston (from Vancouver); 8. Winnipeg; 9. New York Rangers; 10. St. Louis; 11. Hartford; 12. Minnesota; 13. Boston; 14. Chicago; 15. Montreal; 16. Calgary; 17. New York Islanders; 18. Quebec; 19. Washington; 20. Philadelphia; 21. Edmonton.

    ---

    (sigh) if only boston had done the expected and taken vancouver's 1986 pick, instead of holding off for 1987. we could have grabbed that local kid... chris "burnaby joe" joseph.
     
    Tarantula and FerrisRox like this.
  23. Tarantula

    Tarantula Hanging around the web

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    Seems to clear that up some.
     
  24. FerrisRox

    FerrisRox "Wanna go, Prettyboy?"

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    I did look it up and that's not how it went down.

    As I said to you in the previous post, the NHL's Official Guide & Record Book has it as a trade, not a compensation package. It wasn't "branded" as a trade, it was a trade. The Canucks would never have surrendered Neely with the way compensation worked at that time anyway. They either would have surrendered two first round draft picks or a first round draft pick plus their fifth best player. I'm not sure how they determine who their first best player was, but there really can't be any algorithm that would have made Neely that player at that time.

    This was a trade. This never went to an arbitrator and there was no compensation package. Respectfully, you are just plain wrong.
     
  25. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    Montreal had rumoured interest in a pretty wide range of big names over the years from Brett Hull, who chose to sign with Detroit over them, to Brendan Shanahan, who likewise went to the Rangers instead to numerous trades that fell through like Peter Bondra in 1999-2000 (after having a terrible season for the Caps), Marian Gaborik around 2008-09 (he missed most of the season but came back only to get re-injured before becoming a UFA that summer), Marian Hossa who was instead traded to the Pens in 2008 and Mats Sundin the same season. Others include the often mentioned pursuits of Lecavalier and the draft day deal that fell through for Kovalchuk in 2001. The Habs were also one of the main contenders for Pavel Bure in 1998.

    Just goes to show that for twenty years the Habs have chased superstars only to miss out time and time again.
     

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