Hindsight is 20/20 but it sure does make for interesting analysis. This is a look back on the NHL Trade Deadline from the 1994-95 shortened season. On April 7, 1995 general managers were not shy about pulling the trigger on a deal. Twenty trades were completed involving 21 of the 26 teams in the league.
It was an easier time to make trades. These were the days of no salary cap or huge multi million dollar contracts to complicate decisions. You could make a hockey deal back in 95’.
The 95’ deadline featured a blockbuster exchange between the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens involving five players. The Canadiens acquired C Pierre Turgeon and D Vladimir Malakhov from the New York Islanders for C Kirk Muller, D Mathieu Schneider and F Craig Darby. This was purely a hockey deal considering neither team was playoff bound at the time. That trade today would be like the Washington Capitals trading C Nicklas Backstrom and D Dmitry Orlov to the Tampa Bay Lightning for C Vincent Lecavalier, D Sami Salo and F Benoit Pouliot. Deals like this don’t really happen anymore.
The Trade Deadline is always such an exciting day in hockey, but most deals end up being insignificant and 1995 was no different. Other than the Turgeon for Muller deal there were a lot of little trades involving depth players and picks. Names such as, Gord Kruppke, Bill Huard, Mike Stromberg and Roman Oksuita made up the bulk of the moves.
Three goaltenders were traded at the 95’ deadline. It is very hard to imagine that happening this season. However this year, there may be one big name goalie packing his bags and leaving Vancouver.
If there is one lesson from the 1995 Trade Deadline that GM’s today can use to their advantage it’s that the inevitable Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils didn’t make a move. The Devils only trade around the deadline was a deal with the Detroit Red Wings on April 3rd. The Devils sent the legendary Vyacheslav Fetisov to the Wings for a 3rd round pick. Fetisov and the Wings were swept by the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals a few months later.