Ron Francis undoubtedly belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Skaters who played as long as he did and were as consistently good as he was always get in.
But the real question is, how good was he? He was never really a top offensive star and his best years came as the second line centre on a team with two of the best forwards in history (and one of the two candidates for best centre ever).
Glenn Anderson was the 5thbest player on a dynastic hockey team. He then lucked out and got traded to a team which won him a sixth Stanley Cup. He was never the star of any of those 6 teams and he was only ever briefly a top offensive player in the NHL (when he was playing with 4 Hall of Fame skaters).
Yet he’s been in the Hall of Fame for a while.
In our latest episode, we talk about Anderson’s case, and how it centres on two things: his 6 Cups and his ridiculous playoff totals.
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.