NHL Trade deadline: Lopsided deals of the past.

The NHL trade deadline is just around the corner and rarely do we see blockbuster trades happen on this day anymore. But over the years, some teams have come out nicely with lopsided deals in their favor.  

In retrospect, we sometimes wonder what some teams were thinking. It seemed like they were just making a trade just for the sake of making one.  

With that, let's look at a few lopsided trade deadline deals that occurred over the past several years.

2011: Dallas Stars traded James Neal and Matt Niskanen for Alexander Goligoski

During the 2011 trade deadline, the Dallas Stars acquired Alexander Goligoski from the Pittsburgh Penguins for James Neal and Matt Niskanen. 

The Stars were in the market for a puck-moving defenseman and Goligoski seemed like a huge upgrade for them. He was 25, just entering his prime and looked like the team’s franchise defenseman for years to come. 

In return, the Penguins received an up-and-coming forward in Neal and Niskanen, a depth defender still trying to find his way in the NHL. 

Over time, the trade worked well for Pittsburgh and many would argue that they won the deal by a landslide. James Neal became a 40-goal scorer for the Penguins meanwhile, Niskanen emerged as a solid top-four defender, and even notched a career high 46 points during the 2013/14 season. 

Even though Goligoski had several productive seasons in Dallas, he didn’t exactly turn out to the franchise defenseman the Stars have hoped for. If Dallas had a chance to re-do the deal, they probably would have asked for way more in return. 

2013: Nashville Predators acquired Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat and Michael Latta

This has to go down as one of the most lopsided trade deadline deals in recent history. Few Washington Capitals fans may admit it, but they probably cringe a little when they look back at this deal. 

The Washington Capitals were looking to bolster their offense for a deep playoff run. Martin Erat seemed like a great add. He was a consistent 15 to 20-goal scorer in the NHL and he gave the Capitals another proven veteran in their lineup.  

In return the Capitals gave up on prospect Filip Forsberg. Washington obviously didn’t know what they had in Forsberg as he gradually became a top-line player for the team and finished the 2015/16 season with a career-high 33 goals and 64 points in 82 games.  

On the other hand, Erat’s NHL career went off the rails after leaving Nashville, he went on to score two goals for the Capitals in 62 games. Meanwhile, Michael Latta only scored four goals for the Capitals in 113 games and has not played another game in the NHL since 2016. 

2013: Ottawa Senators trade Ben Bishop traded for Cory Conacher and Tobias Lindberg

During the 2012/13 NHL trade deadline, the Ottawa Senators sent goaltender Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Cory Conacher and a fourth round draft pick.

Conacher was a rookie with plenty of potential, scoring 24 points for the Lightning in his first 35 games. On paper, it looked the Senators got a strong return for their backup goalie; a promising young rookie and a fourth round pick.  

Before long, it was obvious that they lost this trade. Conacher’s career never took off, as he only scored six goals for the Senators in 72 games. Meanwhile, their fourth round pick (Tobias Lindberg) never played a single game for the Ottawa Senators. 

On the other hand, Bishop’s career took off in Tampa Bay. He became a bona fide number goalie and backstopped the Lightning to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2015 and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2016. 


Inevitably, trades will go down on deadline day, and only time will tell if any teams come out of it with a winning deal. 

Hopefully, NHL teams learn from mistakes of the past and history doesn’t repeat itself for any teams on this list. 

What do you think of these lopsided trade deadline deals? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to vote in the poll.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!