Why did the Jets trade Teemu Selanne back in 1996?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Avengers*, Nov 8, 2013.

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  1. Avengers*

    Avengers* Guest

    The trade was: The Mighty Ducks sent first-round draft picks Chad Kilger and Oleg Tverdovsky, along with a third round selection at the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for Selanne, Marc Chouinard and a fourth round draft pick.

    The Mighty Ducks did a high robbery that day!

    What would the Winnipeg Jets trade their best player? Any specific reason?
     
  2. Spamhuis

    Spamhuis Registered User

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    I'm going to take a wild stab at this one and say... they couldn't afford his salary. This was Winnipeg, in 1996... lol
     
  3. Brodeur

    Brodeur Registered User

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    If I recall correctly, it was directly related to matching Keith Tkachuk's offer sheet a few months before that.

    Here's an article from October 1995 about Tkachuk: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...119_1_hawks-offer-general-manager-bob-pulford

    The deal was frontloaded and Tkachuk's salary that year was only behind Gretzky and Messier.

    From another thread, there seems to be some hearsay that the impending Phoenix ownership wanted to jettison the contract.

    At the time, Tverdovsky/Kilger was a pretty big return. Tverdovsky hadn't turned 20 yet and wasn't too far removed from being a 2nd overall pick. Similarly Kilger was 19 and made the NHL directly out of the 1995 Draft.
     
  4. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    As more money was flowing into the NHL, the large-market teams were beginning to reduce the small-market teams into something that was little more than indentured servitude.

    But at the time of this deal, it wasn't regarded as that lopsided. Selanne had the huge rookie year, then suffered a lacerated Achilles tendon that cost him a lot of time and some of his legendary speed. He looked to be bouncing back, but there was certainly a fear that he would never be the same player he was as a rookie. In addition, Kilger and Tverdovsky were both highly-touted prospects. Kilger was regarded as a future high-end power forward, and Tverdovsky was a phenom when he was 16 and looked to be a great defenseman in the future.

    It looks bad in retrospect because:
    - Selanne did in fact bounce back in a big way and found immediate chemistry with Paul Kariya
    - Kilger didn't develop at all
    - Tverdovsky became merely a serviceable high-end defenseman instead of "the Russian Bobby Orr", as he'd been hyped
     
  5. DrJenniferHanson

    DrJenniferHanson Cursed By A Gypsy

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    The word-on-the-street consensus in Manitoba was that Phoenix was pulling the strings. They were willing to pay only 1 superstar, and they deemed Tkachuk's American heritage to be more marketable than Teemu and his Finnish descent. John Paddock was effectively a puppet for Colangelo's hockey brass, just trying to save his own job.

    Don't underestimate the symbolic nature of that trade to Winnipeggers. Selanne's loss was equated to the city's loss of the franchise. Selanne donning the eggplant for the Mighty Ducks (and I'm a HUGE fan of those uni's, but hockey traditionalists in Manitoba generally despised them at the time) symbolized the NHL's perceived newfound "corporatism" (Disney) and "Americanism".

    This website (Article: "Winnipeg Wonders Why") still sits in cyberspace from the solemn spring of 1996, and is an interesting read, IMO:

    http://www.lcshockey.com/issues/38/feature1.asp

     
  6. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Probably because they were going broke
     
  7. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    both kilger and tverdovsky were rushed into the league, first by a very bad anaheim team, and then by a totally leader-less jets/yotes team. as i recall, captain tkachuk publicly backed tverdovsky's holdout and cheered him for "sticking it to management."


    as for the deal itself, keep in mind that the jets hadn't been in the playoffs since '92, where tkachuk looked like a very young, raw, but promising neely. he hadn't established himself as a playoff choker yet. if the choice is between keeping the young, seemingly heart-and-soul power forward just hitting his prime and a seemingly damaged-goods scorer (two years older) who relies on his wheels and who's never regained his one-shot scoring touch, it's very easy to see how that decision was made.
     
  8. DrJenniferHanson

    DrJenniferHanson Cursed By A Gypsy

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    Shenkarow's non-hockey investments going in the tank is certainly a possible cause.
     
  9. Dave is a killer

    Dave is a killer Dave's a Mess

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    That and this
    US to Canadian Dollar exchange for the year of 1996

    1996-01-01 1.3669
    1996-02-01 1.3752
    1996-03-01 1.3656
    1996-04-01 1.3592
    1996-05-01 1.3693
    1996-06-01 1.3658
    1996-07-01 1.3697
    1996-08-01 1.3722
    1996-09-01 1.3694
    1996-10-01 1.3508
    1996-11-01 1.3381
    1996-12-01 1.3622
     
  10. Wizeman*

    Wizeman* Guest

    This. I remember at the time Selanne was no longer cracking 76 goals .He had had injury and was back down to earth with modest totals.

    At the time, the Jets ripped the Ducks off in that trade. However, Kilger and Trev did not pan out like they were supposed to at all and Selanne regained his form.

    Goes to show that we can plan trades with the best of intentions, and have them either make us look like genius or have them blow up in our face.
     
  11. Victorious Secret

    Victorious Secret EVERYBODY PANIC

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    If by *back down to earth* you mean 40 goals, then yes. Back down to earth in one of the lowest scoring eras.
     
  12. Plural

    Plural Registered User

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    Definitely. Although Selanne had the ridiculous rookie year. But if that situation would present itself now, I bet most of this board would also be in favor of Tkachuk.

    Well, we all know what happened. Selanne resurged and then some and became other half on one of the best duos in the history of hockey. But nobody really saw that coming.
     
  13. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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    Huh? Selänne had 72 points in 51 games when he was traded.
     
  14. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    Shenkarow's problems (or Winnipeg's problems) went back at least as far as 1983-84, complete with threats to move if things didn't change in the city.
     
  15. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    back down to earth as in he led the league in goals in his rookie year, but if you look just at his production in winnipeg the year he was traded, he was on pace to finish just outside the top 20 in 1996. he finished 18th in 1995. he was on pace to finish 19th in 1994 had he played the full season.

    obviously, selanne regained his rookie form in his first three full seasons in anaheim, finishing 2nd, 1st, and 1st in goals. but he certainly looked like damaged goods when he was traded.

    to be fair though, he put up some monster assists in winnipeg before he was traded. on pace to finish 7th in assists, 5th in points in '96 if you just count the winnipeg stats (and not what he did the rest of the season in anaheim).
     
  16. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    My understanding is it was just money, but that Phoenix/marketing/American angle is interesting food for thought.
     
  17. In 1996, both Kilger and Tverdovsky were considered to be future superstars - players teams could build around. Tverdovsky was especially hyped as the "next Bobby Orr."

    At the time, Anaheim was seen to have acquired a superstar and to have paid an exorbitant price for the privilege. The return might look like diddly-squat now, and it is, but it wasn't when the trade was made.
     
  18. Terry Yake

    Terry Yake Registered User

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    like others had said earlier, at the time the trade looked pretty even for both sides

    the mighty ducks got an established superstar while giving up two very highly touted prospects. it's just funny how things turn out, kilger never lived up to the hype and tverdovsky had one good season with phoenix before returning to anaheim while selanne continued to put up points
     
  19. JA

    JA Guest

    I'll add my contribution to the thread.

    The official reason, according to John Paddock, was that the team had "too much talent tied up in its forwards and not enough on defense." They were struggling on the ice and there was internal pressure to perform. Finances certainly must have played a role, but the articles below indicate a sense of urgency for the team to be competitive. There were some rumors that the Jets were looking at a player like Scott Neidermayer to add to their team.
    There was a major rumor floating around about a deal between the Devils and Jets:
    The entire team, meanwhile, actually seemed unhappy about their progress, and some were even calling for changes to be made. I'm not so sure we can pinpoint this all on finances as players were starting to call each other out:
    The deal with Anaheim was actually a last-minute, desperate attempt to get rid of Selanne after negotiations with other teams failed. Teemu might have been an Islander instead.
    Teemu felt betrayed. Fans felt betrayed. Coach Terry Simpson did not like the trade.

     
    Last edited by moderator : Nov 8, 2013
  20. frontsfan2005

    frontsfan2005 Registered User

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    Wow, a Niedermayer-Selanne trade would have benefitted the Jets/Coyotes, and Niedermayer also, as Paddock would have let him do this thing offensively. I can't imagine Selanne being too happy about going to NJ though with their defense first attitude.

    As for Kilger and Tverdovsky, I remember Oleg being hyped as the next great defenseman, I remember having a book about NHL defensemen, then at the end of it they had future stars, and Tverdovsky was there. He did have some big seasons offensively when he was traded back to Anaheim in the late 90's, but ultimately he fell back to Earth and was out of the league just after he turned 30 years old.

    Kilger was a star with the Frontenacs in 94-95 when he helped Ling win the CHL Player of the Year award, but he was a typical mid-90's draft pick where size was everything as teams were hoping to get the next Eric Lindros, and I'm sure the Jets thought they were getting a second Keith Tkachuk in their lineup. He probably should have been sent back to the OHL in 95-96, but the Ducks kept him up and he eventually ended up in Winnipeg. Kilger put up decent numbers in the AHL, but could never do it in the NHL. Then he was bounced around the league for the rest of his career before retiring after failing to report to the Panthers in 2008.
     
  21. Terry Yake

    Terry Yake Registered User

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    wow never even knew of the potential selanne for niedermayer trade

    it's interesting to think how that would have played out
     
  22. blueandgoldguy

    blueandgoldguy Registered User

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    Wow. A lot of misinformation in this thread. lol

    - the Jets did not trade Teemu because they " were broke " nor did they trade him because Shenkarow was having financial problems. He was traded because the owners of the soon-to-be Phoenix Coyotes felt they had too much money tied up in two players in Selanne and Tkachuk (not to mention the fact they felt they could not afford both -trouble from the getgo in Phoenix!). Feeling Tkachuk was the better player long term and the more marketable star they gave the go-ahead to Paddock to trade Selanne.

    -Selanne was nearly two years removed from his achilles injury and was most definitely not perceived as "damaged goods." See, I can make this claim having watched the player in person and on TV many times both before and after the injury and noticing little, if any, discernable dropoff in speed... unlike many here who I suspect, base their stance on nothing more than simply looking up his career and injury stats and deciding, "hey, Selanne's goal totals dropped by nearly 50% after his first season so it clearly must be the result of theachilles injury he suffered!"

    If you bothered to do your homework, you would have realized Selanne's production had dropped of dramatically in his second season BEFORE the achilles tendon injury, not after. The factors that lead to Selanne's dropoff include:

    1)Phil Housley' departure from the Jets - arguably the biggest reason. Still remember those perfect 60 to 100 foot tape-to-tape passes Housley made to Selanne for breakaways that more often than not led to goals. Housley's excellent outlet passes led to many a quick odd man rush of which Selanne was also a major benefactor. He also QBed the power play. Guess who benefitted with power play goals in 92-92? When Housley left in 93-94 Teemu's scoring chances dwindled. Also didn't help that the Jets second best offensive defenseman, Freddie Olausson, was out most of the season with injury.

    2)While he was a high profile rookie, Teemu took many in the league by surprise so many teams around the league didn't take the appropriate steps to prepare for Selanne come gameday. No such surprise element existed in his second season. Combine that with fewer offensive threats on the Jets, and opposing teams which more effective in shutting him down.

    3)League scoring dropped dramatically from 92-93 to 93-94. There were only 3 or 4 teams with 300+ goals in 93-94 compared with 15 teams in 92-93. This is staggering. It was beginning of the end of the NHL's highest scoring era and the beginning of the dreaded dead puck era. Of course, the number of 50-goal scorers and the number of 100-point scorers in the NHL decreased dramatically as well. Selanne's production dropped off with them.

    -as for the trade, it was generally regarded as fair value at the time..outside of Winnipeg - the one thing that I can agree upon being stated in this thread. In Winnipeg, of course, it didn't matter what kind of compensation the team received. It felt like the team and Winnipeg collectively were getting their hearts ripped out...as if losing the team wasn't going to be devastating enough, the city was losing it's favorite player - a community-minded individual who thrilled you with his class and all-around great attitude off the ice as much as he did with his skills on it.
     
  23. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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    One can only wonder how Selänne in New Jersey would have worked out. It seems like a mismatch made in heaven, much like Jagr in Washington. He definitely would have scored some points, but he certainly couldn't have freewheeled as much as he did in Anaheim. One can think that the trade didn't went down for a reason.
     
  24. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    and i can say, big guy, that i saw selanne play divisional games against my boys and yeah, he was not the same. so many of teemu's goals in '93 were shots in mid-stride streaking toward the goal. he was a beautiful well-oiled scoring machine. some combination of the breakaway speed and the quickness of getting his shot off weren't there in the years after. maybe he could skate *almost* as well as ever, maybe his shot from a stationary position on the PP was as good as ever, but in those next three winnipeg years, i didn't see them in sync in the same way as in '93. do you really disagree with that, tough sauce?

    i mean, yeah, scoring dropped. i grant you that, shooter. but he went from #1 in the league to the lower fringes of the top twenty. and yeah, phil housley was a huge part of that 76 goal season, but are you really ready to credit housley with the difference between an 18th place finish and a 1st place finish? you must think less of teemu than i do then, chief.
     
  25. Brodeur

    Brodeur Registered User

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    Definitely interesting to read these rumors after the fact since 1996 was very early into my fandom into hockey.

    It would have been interesting to see whether Teemu would have fit. While the Devils were built on their defense, there was the three season stretch from 1998-2001 when they were one of the top offensive teams in the league. Alexander Mogilny potted 43 goals in his only full season as a Devil, so Selanne might have worked.

    But tough to say if we take Niedermayer out of the equation. Allegedly in 2003, the Devils close to a deal with San Jose for Selanne but he used his NTC to block it.
     

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