Rabid Habs

The Five Worst Trades In Recent Habs History

Scott Gomez Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Every trade is risky. No general manager is in the gift giving business, so they all go into a trade trying to get as much, and generally more, than they give up. There are some trades that are debatable, but these trades are undeniably deals that did not work out for the Habs. In descending order, here are the five worst trades in recent Habs history:

5) Lars Eller/Ian Schultz for Jaroslav Halak

While Pierre Gauthier was not the best Habs GM ever, he certainly made the right choice in keeping future Hart Trophy winner Carey Price. However, the numbers do not lie when it comes to Jaroslav Halak. In the five seasons since he left Montreal, Jaro has put up 27, 26, 6, 29 and 38 win seasons and established himself as proven number one goaltender. For his part, over the same seasons, Eller has put up 17, 28, 30, 26 and 27 points. Lars has 128 points, while Jaro has 126 wins. If your goalie is getting just as many wins as you do points, I say advantage Halak.

As for Ian Schultz… who is Ian Schultz?

4) John Leclair/Eric Desjardins/Gilbert Dionne -for Marc Recchi/3rd round pick

Getting ripped off by the Flyers in a trade is one of the harder things to do in the league. Even if we didn’t take into account the Habs threw in Eric Desjardins (which they did). In 10 seasons with the Flyers, John Leclair would score 50 goals on three occasions and 40 goals twice. Recchi scored 30 twice with the Habs before he returned to the Flyers as a free agent. Advantage Flyers.

3) Chris Chelios for Denis Savard

Serge Savard had grown tired of Chelios’s off ice antics and frequent alleged visits to St. Catherine Street when he decided to ship him off to Chicago for Denis Savard. Savard had three good seasons for the Habs with 59, 70 and 50 points before moving on to Tampa Bay and Chicago. When Savard left after the 1993 season, Chelios would continue to be one of the best defencemen in the league for another 15 seasons. He would also go on to win two more Norris trophies, appear in six All-Star games and be named to four first team All-Star teams. Big advantage Chicago.

2) Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez

I know there were other people involved in the seven-player deal (Christopher Higgins was the “big name” for the Habs at the time) but let’s call this trade what it is: McDonagh for Gomez. Bob Gainey drafted Carey Price, so just remember that when we respectfully say: What the bleep were you thinking Bob? Gomez was on the decline with a very cap unfriendly $7.3 million dollars. Scott would have three mediocre seasons under the cloud of his salary cap hit and ended it all with a 2-goal season that would lead to the creation of a website updating on whether or not he scored. McDonagh is one of the premiere young defencemen in the league and will anchor the Rangers’ blueline for the next decade. Oh my Bob, advantage Rangers!

1) Patrick Roy/Mike Keane for Kovalenko/Rucinsky/Thibault

December 2nd, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the worst trade in Canadiens history. We all know the story. Mario Tremblay leaving him in for 9 goals against Detroit, Patrick then telling Canadiens president Ronald Corey that he had played his last game with the Canadiens. Rookie general manager Réjean Houle sets his target on young Québécois goaltender Jocelyn Thibault. This trade is horrible not only because of who they traded for, but also because of who they did not get: rumours of Sakic, Forsberg and Nolan. But Réjean and the gang were fixated on Thibault who would be gone after 3 1/2 very mediocre seasons. Roy would go on to win two Stanley Cups, with five All-Star appearances, and would eventually have his jersey raised to the rafters by both the Avs and Habs. No doubt, advantage Avs.

That’s my take, always interested in what you have to say.

Follow me on Twitter at @scottobrien99.

Go Habs Go!


  1. Bob Masny

    September 1, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    They should have traded Mario Tremblay , for a used hockey stick and they would have done much better.

  2. Marc Checknita

    September 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    I agree with the top 4. The 5th trade wasn’t that bad. Halak has been good but not great while Eller is a regular in our lineup and still has room for growth.

  3. Scott

    September 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Totally agree. That was back in the day. Today the superstar always stays over the coach. I think it would be a totally different thing if it happened today.

  4. Scott

    September 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I think they could of gotten more for Halak but in a few years it might be a great trade. Either way thank goodness they kept Price.