2008 Trade Deadline

It was just four years ago, but all of the big names from the 2008 NHL trade deadline have already moved on to other desinations, including Brad Richards.
Brad Richards was the big fish of the 2008 Trade Deadline. He put up significant numbers in Dallas, but the Stars were not a playoff team three out of four seasons. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)

Part of a series looking at the legacy of the trade deadlines since the lockout. For the purposes of making the exercise more interesting, we consider any trade after the calendar changed years and don't just limit the discussion to the actual deadline day.

What the eventual champs did

Brad Stuart D2008 (2nd), 2009 (4th)

Stuart landed in the perfect spot. After often struggling under the weight of expectations of being a top-pair defender on other clubs, he settled into a key role behind the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Niklas Kronwall. The Kings never used either pick, eventually sending them off in trades with other teams.

Impactful trades

Mutually beneficial

Brad Richards F, Johan Holmqvist GMike Smith G, Jeff Halpern F, Jussi Jokinen F, 2009 (4th)


Maybe Dallas won the deal but the alternative for the last place Lightning was to do nothing and watch Richards walk in the summer via free agency.

Tampa Bay at least got some decent parts. Mike Smith may not have taken a stranglehold on the No. 1 job as was probably hoped, but he had his moments while playing a not insignificant 120 games in net for the Lightning. Jeff Halpern was his gritty self for awhile. (Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they got bupkis out of Jokinen, who went on a goal rampage for a time in a subsequent stop in Carolina)

Richards put up some strong numbers in Texas, most notably when he tied a career high with 91 points in 2009-10. They reached the conference final in his first weeks in town, but it's worth pointing out that Dallas didn't qualify for the playoffs in his final three seasons on the team.

Andrew Ladd FTuomo Ruutu F

Ruutu's stats jumped about 10-15 points as a result of the move to the Hurricanes and he'll be a desirable trade target this year if not re-signed by Carolina.

Ladd didn't miss a game in two seasons with Chicago, and was a strong two-player

Had it been the pre-cap era, there's no reason to expect Chicago wouldn't have retained Ladd.

Clear verdict:

Marian Hossa F, Pascal Dupuis FColby Armstrong F, Erik Christensen F, Angelo Esposito F, 2008 (1st)

Tampa Bay may have received some OK parts in the Richards deal, but whenever you hear a hockey fan near the trade deadline opine that a team "must" get something for a pending UFA, think of this deal. Something sometimes is just … something. 

Given all the pieces involved, the deal ultimately turned out a bit underwhelming, but it's still worthy of being called impactful because: 

While he didn't re-sign with Pittsburgh, Hossa had 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 playoff games in his first of three consecutive Stanley Cup final appearances with different teams. He did all he could to try and help Pittsburgh win. 

Dupuis frequently created opportunities for Sidney Crosby with his speed and is still a key support piece for the Pens, signed through the end of next season. 

The deal was pretty much a dud from Atlanta's standpoint, but Colby Armstrong gave them two solid seasons. 

As for the other Atlanta pieces: Christensen played just 57 games with the Thrashers before departing the next season, Esposito couldn't escape serious injury and has bounced around the AHL, and the first round pick was used on centre Daultan Leveille, a college player who is trying to come back from a serious knee injury. 

Much ado about nothing

Cory Stillman F, Mike Commodore DPatrick Eaves F, Joe Corvo D

We're going to go with this one. Yes, Carolina "won" this deal because Corvo played nearly couple of seasons on the Carolina blue-line and Eaves was solid for the Hurricanes in 2008-09.

But really, given there were four quality NHLers involved here, it kind of makes a big sucking sound overall.

Neither Peterborough native Stillman nor Commodore came back to the Senators after Ottawa's loss to the Penguins in the playoffs. 

Draft pick conversion

Brian Campbell D, 2008 (7th)Steve Bernier F, 2008 (1st)

The Sabres took Tyler Ennis with the pick. Ennis notched 49 points in his first full NHL season in 2010-11 and has just returned from injury for Buffalo.

Martin Lapointe F2008 (6th)

Rob Davison D2008 (7th)
You can't expect too much from late round picks, but these ones were essentially successful. Chicago selected Ben Smith, who scored three goals in the team's playoff series with Vancouver, while San Jose chose depth defenceman Jason Demers.


Chris Iorfida

Senior Writer

Chris Iorfida, based in Toronto, has been with CBC since 2002 and written on subjects as diverse as politics, business, health, sports, arts and entertainment, science and technology.