Red Wing Trade Deadline Deals - A History (Part 1)

(Ed note: this was something that we ran last year, but we thought we'd post it again for people to see what the Wings have at trade deadlines in the past)

Many of you may not know this, but I'm something of a history buff. I love taking a look at the past to see how it has affected the future. I will also often think about a big event that happened, and try to envision whether we should have foreseen how big a deal it was.

The NHL trade deadline is an annual event where teams try to improve their present (and in some cases, their future) by making deals. There have been some notable trades made around this time of year: Mark Recchi to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, Marian Hossa to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008, and Ron Francis to the Penguins in 1991 to name just a few of the more significant ones. Some teams make deals in the hopes that one or two players will lead them to the promised land of a Stanley Cup, only to fall short. It's an intense day, and if it were a physical place, one can imagine the "buyers" walking down the street of a crowded marketplace where the "sellers" displayed their most attractive players in the window, willing to make the right deal.

The Red Wings have been big players at the trade deadline over the years, sometimes making a move that has led to the lifting of the Cup and others that haven't really panned out. Follow me after the jump where we'll take a look at the deadline deals the Wings have made since their playoff streak began.

Let me get a clarification out of the way: a "trade deadline" deal for our purposes is one that occurs 1-2 weeks before the actual NHL trade deadline of that season. I have included any deals made within 14 days of the trade deadline. We'll be looking at who they acquired, who they got rid of, and what the impact was.

1990-91:
Season Result:
Lost to St Louis Blues in Division Semi-Finals.

Trade: Doug Crossman acquired from Hartford for Doug Houda.
Impact: Minimal. Crossman was a journeyman defenseman at the end of his career who was acquired for defensive depth. He was traded the following season. Houda was pretty much the same type of player, and he bounced around the league for a few years.

Trade: Allan Bester acquired from Toronto for a 1991 6th round draft pick (Robb McIntyre).
Impact: This trade I remember, because it was a big deal in Toronto when I was a kid. Bester never had great stats with the Leafs, and it was a trade for some goalie depth. Neither side did well with this trade.

Trade: Wings acquire Kevin Miller, Dennis Vial and the rights to Jim Cummins from the New York Rangers for Per Djoos and Joey Kocur.
Impact: Easily the biggest trade for the Wings at this trade deadline, the two biggest pieces of this trade was Miller for the Wings, who went on to have a respectable career with a number of teams, and Kocur, the former Bruise Brother. While Miller didn't do a ton in Detroit, he was a consistent 30-40 point man in the NHL. Kocur won a Cup with the Rangers in 1994 before coming back to the Wings and being part of the Cup team in '97.

1991-92:
Season Result:
Lost to Chicago Blackhawks in Division Finals.

Trade: Max Middendorf acquired from Edmonton for Bill MacDougall.
Impact: Uh, sure. I've never heard of either one of these players, but I will say that Max Middendorf sounds like a character on the Simpsons.

Trade: Bob McGill and a 1992 8th round draft pick (C.J. Denhomme) acquired from San Jose for Johan Garpenlov.
Impact: McGill was a tough guy brought in to make the Wings harder to play against. He played for the rest of that season with the Wings before going back to Toronto. Garpenlov had a decent career with the Sharks, including 10 points in the 1994 playoffs (5 against the Wings when the Sharks upset Detroit in the first round).

1992-93:
Season Result:
Lost to Toronto Maple Leafs in Division Semi-Finals.

Trade: Steve Konroyd acquired from Tampa Bay for a 1993 6th round draft pick (Tim Spitzig).
Impact: Konroyd was a defensive defenseman who was nearing the end of his career, and was picked up for depth. He was traded the following year to Ottawa.

1993-94:
Season Result:
Lost to San Jose Sharks in Conference Quarter-Finals.

Trade: Bob Essensa and Sergei Bautin acquired from Winnipeg for Dallas Drake and Tim Cheveldae.
Impact: This was a bit of a blockbuster at the time. Essensa was a good goalie for the Jets and Bautin was seen as a solid up-and-coming prospect. Cheveldae had been a sensation as a rookie, but could not deliver in the clutch, and Drake was not showing the offensive promise the Wings hoped for (since he was not an offensive player, unless you were a member of the other team). Essensa was supposed to be the goalie Wing fans had been waiting for that would get the team to the Finals, but he was replaced midway through their first round series by some rookie named Chris Osgood. Drake went on to have a really solid career with many teams, culminating in his only Cup with the Wings in 2008.

Trade: Daniel Berthauime acquired from Ottawa for Steve Konroyd.
Impact: Konroyd's game didn't mesh with the Wings style, and he was shipped off to Ottawa in exchange for a goalie who never played a game for the Wings.

1994-95:
Season Result:
Lost to New Jersey Devils in Stanley Cup Finals.

Trade: Slava Fetisov acquired from New Jersey for a 1995 3rd round draft pick (David Gosselin).
Impact: Uh, think the Wings won this trade. Fetisov went on to be a part of the famed Russian Five after the Wings got Igor Larionov early the next year, while Gosselin did next to nothing in his career. Slava would win 2 Cups with the Wings in '97 and '98, and it's often forgotten that he was in the limousine with Vladimir Konstantinov the night of the accident, but managed to escape serious injury.

Trade: Stu Grimson, Mark Ferner and a 1996 6th round draft pick (Magnus Nilsson) acquired from Anaheim for Mike Sillinger and Jason York.
Impact: This was a time when the Wings were still worried about "toughness", and there were few tougher in the league at that time than the Grim Reaper. However, Grimson had little value beyond fighting, which was becoming less prevalent on the Wings around this time. Ferner was a career AHL-er who played 91 games over the course of his NHL career. Sillinger was a former first round pick who never lived up to his potential in Detroit, and by going from the Wings to the Ducks, it would be the first of many times that he changed jerseys (he played for 12 teams in his career). York would have a pretty good career, averaging 20-30 points a season when he hooked on with the Senators.

Trade: The Red Wings acquire future considerations (cash?) from Toronto for Gord Kruppke.
Impact: I'll be completely honest, I could not find anything on this trade other than that Kruppke was traded to the Leafs. It could have been for cash or literally a bag of pucks: I just don't know. Given that he played a grand total of 23 games in his NHL career, I'm going to say that trading him to Toronto wasn't too big a loss for the Wings.

1995-96:
Season Result:
Lost to Colorado Avalanche in Conference Finals.

Trade: Kirk Maltby acquired from Edmonton for Dan McGillis.
Impact: This is one of those moves I talked about earlier. When this trade happened, I don't think anyone could have predicted what the Wings were getting in Maltby. Here was a 50-goal scorer in junior who had a grand total of 38 points in 164 games as an Oiler. McGillis was a scoring defenseman who was still in college. He would go on to score 238 points over the course of his career, which included stints with 5 teams; not bad. Maltby would team up with Kris Draper and Joey Kocur (later Darren McCarty) to form the Grind Line, the greatest third line in the NHL. He and Draper would also form one of the greatest penalty-killing duos in the league, and it was their solid play from a depth position that would allow the Wings to finally become successful. Maltby would end his career with 4 Cup rings, and is now a scout with the team. I would consider this deal to have had the biggest impact on the team overall.

1996-97:
Season Result:
Won Stanley Cup.

Trade: Larry Murphy acquired from Toronto for future considerations (possibly a case of frozen hot dogs, although this has never been confirmed).
Impact: Again, this is a trade I have personal memories of. Murphy had over-stayed his welcome in Toronto, and he was booed every time he touched the puck by Leaf fans while still wearing blue and white. His trade was a welcome change of scenery for Murph, as the Leafs were starting a rebuild and were shedding veterans and salary. He came to Detroit and was paired with Nicklas Lidstrom, who more than made up for Murph's lack of speed and declining defense. Murphy and Lidstrom were a formidable pair in the playoffs, and with the two of them heading up the defense, the Wings would win 2 straight Stanley Cups. Larry scored 171 points over the next 4 years, and we now get to hear his colourful analysis of the Wings from between the benches at the Joe and in the booth when the Wings are on the road.

1997-98:
Season Result:
Won Stanley Cup.

Trade: Dmitri Mironov acquired from Anaheim for Jamie Pushor and a 1998 4th round draft pick (Viktor Wallin).
Impact: Mironov was brought in as defensive depth in exchange for Pushor, a high second round pick who had a booming shot and not much else. Mironov paired with Fetisov to give the Wings a solid third pairing, and the Wings went on to win the Cup. He only played 3 months in Detroit, signing with Washington after that season after the Wings did not offer him a contract.

Trade: Jamie Macoun acquired from Toronto for a 1998 4th round draft pick (Alexei Ponikarovsky).
Impact: For the second straight season, the Wings took advantage of a Maple Leaf team that was selling off veterans, landing Macoun for their stretch run. Macoun was a defensive defenseman, and he provided depth on the second pairing with another former Leaf, Bob Rouse, creating a shut-down pair. Macoun also brought even more playoff experience to a team trying to repeat, as he owned a Stanley Cup ring from his days with the Flames. He retired after the 1998-99 season as a Wing. Ponikarovsky is still toiling in the NHL these days (he is currently with the Kings), but has always been seen as an under-achiever and player who has far more potential than what he has shown.

Coming soon: part 2 of our series where we look at the trades made by the Wings from 1998-99 through last season.

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