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