31 Worst Toronto Maple Leafs Trades Ever

For our list of the Top 25 Best Trades in Toronto Maple Leafs History, we used Hockey Reference’s Point Shares, an attempt to value a player’s contribution to team points won. (You can read about it at in the Top 25 list.)

The cut off for that list 22 net Point Shares, though we included some honourable mentions at just over 20 net Point Shares.

Because, by net Point Shares, there have been a few more bad trades in Leafs history than good ones, this list is longer.

All Point Share data as of March 11, 2020

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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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Does Brian Leetch Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

by Håkan Dahlström from Helsingborg, Sweden [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Brian Leetch was one of the greatest offensive defensemen of his era, perhaps even of all time.

That’s what we discuss on his episode of our podcast – where Leetch ranks all time, with multiple long discussions of his role in the 1994 Rangers’ Cup run.

Listen here:

Leetch’s stats:

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Does Mathieu Schneider Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

In journeyman career that saw him play for way too many teams, Mathieu Schneider amassed enough points to make him one of the top 25 offensive defensmen in NHL history (if you go by totals, not per game). That surprised us.

by James Teterenko / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

But Schneider has few individual accolades and not a lot of team success.

So does he belong in the Hall of Fame?

We discuss it on our latest episode. Listen here:

Schneider’s stats:

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Does Doug Gilmour Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

A friend of ours used to claim that Doug Gilmour didn’t belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he had “one good year.” This friend used to compare Gilmour’s stats to Kirk Muller’s, apparently because he didn’t know he could look them up on the internet.

Gilmour was only rarely a star offensively but was one of the elite defensive forwards of his era, receiving numerous Selke nominations. In this episode, we discuss whether he should have been inducted and where he ranks among the great players of his era. Listen here:

Gilmour’s stats:

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Does Alexander Mogilny Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Alex Mogilny had one of the best goal-scoring seasons in the history of the NHL and one other pretty dominant season. But the knock on him was his consistency, as he had very mediocre years in between his good years.

Mogilny is also notable for being one of the last USSR players to defect to the States, and having never played internationally for Russia once he did so.

In this episode, we discuss his convoluted case for induction:

Here are his stats:

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Does Mats Sundin belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Mats Sundin was inducted into the Hall of Fame very quickly. But there’s controversy over his induction because, unlike many Hall of Famers, Sundin’s case is one built on a consistency argument, not a “peak” or greatness argument.

We talk about Sundin’s case here:

You can see Sundin’s stats below:

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Does Vincent Damphousse Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

By offensive numbers alone, it sure looks like there’s no much of a case for Vincent Damphousse to be included in the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, some of us remember him as being particularly reliable defensively. Was he? Did he do enough on that end? Have we forgotten how good he was because he never won the Selke, or are we mis-remembering?

Listen here:

Damphousse’s stats:

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Frank Nighbor, the First NHL MVP

Frank Nighbor was awarded the first ever Hart Trophy for the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. He must have been pretty good.

But did he deserve that trophy? How good was he really?

Listen to us discuss Frank Nighbor:

 

Nighbor’s Stats:

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Does Phil Housley Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Phil Housley has some of the most impressive career offensive totals of any NHL defenceman, especially an American. He is also -53 for his career. Should the Hall of Fame inducted a player who appears, on first glance, to have not been very good in his own end? We discuss in our latest episode. Listen here:

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