The 25 Best Trades in Toronto Maple Leafs History

This list is an attempt at a semi-objective ranking of best trades made by the Toronto Maple Leafs. It makes use of Hockey Reference’s Point Shares metric to rank the trades.

A Point Share is a player’s share of the points his team earns in the regular season. (There are numerous problems with Point Shares, some of which we have listed at the end of this list.)

In order to rank the trades we took the total Point Shares players acquired by the Leafs accumulated for the Leafs and then subtracted the Point Shares the players sent out from the Leafs accumulated for the other team in the trade. We included all trades since the franchise came into existence but please let us know if we missed any.

We did this calculation for only the franchises involved in the trade so Point Shares accumulated for other franchises later on in the career, or if a player returned to the team later, do not count. (Again, the problems with this approach are discussed at the end.)

By our estimation the Leafs have given up way more in regular season Point Shares than they’ve ever received in return. (Though they’ve made a lot of money!) We estimate that, through trades and the waiver wire, the Leafs have given up over 820 Point Shares more than they’ve received. Gretzky is the career leader in Point Shares at 251. So, basically, the Leafs have given up over 3 Gretzkys in terms of regular season wins over the course of the last 100 years.

So the list of best 25 trades is a bit of stretch. It was a lot easier to find the bad ones.

Here they are: the 25 best trades in Leafs history ranked by Point Shares.

All Point Share data as of December 30, 2019

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The Top Inflated Outlier Seasons: Historical Context and the Meaning of 50 Goals/100 Points

Hockey fans have a thing for nice big round numbers when they rate accomplishments, the most famous of which is “50 goals in 50 games.” The problem is that scoring rates have varied drastically across time, most notably in the period from the NHL-WHA merger to the strike of 1994-95, when everything went crazy.

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Before the Hart: Who Should Have Been MVP?

If the Hart had existed throughout the entirety of the NHL, these guys should have won in the years it didn’t actually exist:

  1. Newsy Lalonde: 2 Harts
  2. Joe Malone, Punch Broadbent, Georges Boucher: 1 Hart each
  3. 1 year where we have no fucking clue who deserved it

Here are the details:

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Reevaluating the Hart Trophy Part 1: Introduction

Welcome to our series on the NHL’s Hart Trophy, its MVP award.

The MVP trophy is the most important trophy for any league; for better or worse it is how we determine who was the “best” player and, when we look at league history, it’s one way we use to judge players against each other, and, ultimately, it’s part of how we decide whether or not someone belongs in the greatness canon (whether that is the Hall of Fame or something else).

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Does Vaclav Nedomansky Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Vaclav Nedomansky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019. Perhaps you’re wondering why. We know we were.

In this episode, we look at his case for induction and try to come up with an explanation as to why he is in and numerous other WHA and European stars are not.

Listen here:

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Does Ulf Nilsson Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

by Schyffel [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

By some metrics, Ulf Nilsson was the Greatest Player, or at least Greatest Forward, in WHA history. (APG and PPG, specifically.) But when he moved to the NHL he saw his numbers plummet and his career fall apart due to injuries.

In this episode we discuss whether or not Ulf Nilsson did enough in the WHA for us to say he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Listen here:

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Wilfred Shorty Green

Shorty Green is in the Hall of Fame for a very specific thing, for being one of the leaders of the first ever NHL players strike.

But he’s in the Hall as a player, so how does his career stack up?

In this episode we discuss his actual hockey career. (And, to be clear, we strongly believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame for what he did off the ice.)

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