5 of the worst trade deadline deals in recent Maple Leafs history: The Countdown

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
The NHL’s 2024 trade deadline is around the corner as Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving gets set for his first go around in Toronto. Over his tenure in Calgary, Treliving wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a bold move or two and while several have worked out nicely, as per most GM’s around the league, there are a few deals which leave you scratching your head.
Making a bad trade can have lasting impacts on the Maple Leafs so Treliving will need to tread lightly as he looks to upgrade the roster for a Stanley Cup Playoff run. The deadline hasn’t always been nice to the Maple Leafs as the team has a lengthy history of painful reflection.
Here’s five of the worst Maple Leafs trades right before, or near the trade deadline:

Maple Leafs Acquire: Denis Malgin
Panthers Acquire: Mason Marchment

(Feb.19.2020) Less than a week before the 2020 trade deadline, Kyle Dubas traded prospect Mason Marchment to the Panthers for Denis Malgin, someone Dubas likely gained interest in when the Leafs were watching Auston Matthews play in Switzerland ahead of his draft year.
Marchment had played just four NHL games before being dealt and the undrafted winger had played well in the AHL leading up, scoring 13 goals in 24 games with the Marlies that season. What’s happened since? Malgin played just 31 games over the course of four seasons, which included two years back overseas. As a Leaf Malgin didn’t produce much, chipping in with four points.
Marchment joined Florida after the deal from the Leafs, put up 10 points in 33 games and scored twice during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The next season he scored 18 goals in 54 games, bursting onto the scene for the Panthers and the next summer turned the production into a four-year $18 million contract with the Dallas Stars. Marchment has sniped 18 times with the Stars and his 46 points rank him tied for 4th on the Central division leading Stars. Malgin has since signed long-term in the Swiss league.

Maple Leafs Acquire: Aki Berg
Kings Acquire: Adam Mair & ’01 Second-Round Pick

(Mar.13.2001) After going third overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Aki Berg played parts of five seasons with the Kings. Leading up to the deal Berg hadn’t scored a goal in 47 games and had just four assists. He joined the Maple Leafs and early on showed flashes of brilliance, which unfortunately for everyone involved, faded rapidly throughout his next four seasons in Toronto. Berg walked so Jake Gardiner could run. He’s one of the original scapegoats as Leafs fans used to get on Berg pretty hard.
Mair was a fourth-round pick of the Leafs in the ’97 draft and unfortunately couldn’t turn AHL success into NHL success a Leaf. While he didn’t do much in LA, Mair found a home in Buffalo with the Sabres and carved himself a fine 615-game career. He’s not the touchy subject here, that would be the second-round pick the Kings used to select Michigan Wolverine Mike Cammalleri. The Toronto native took a year or two to get his legs in California and then turned it on. 26 goals and 55 points in his first full season as a King. From there, a 906 game career, 294 goals, ranking him third in his entire draft class. What could have been, Leafs fans.

Maple Leafs Acquire: Nick Foligno & Stefan Noesen
Sharks Acquire: ’21 Fourth-Round Pick
Blue Jackets Acquire: ’21 First-Round Pick & ’22 Fourth-Round Pick

(Apr.11.2021) Kyle Dubas was looking for some grit for the playoff run and Foligno was one of the best rentals available, so he decided to give the Sudbury native a chance to live out a childhood dream. Unfortunately unlike watching his dad play, there wasn’t anything to celebrate about. Instead, Foligno hurt his back and it was over before the fun even started.
A first-rounder shipped out and Dubas couldn’t even get one regular season goal in return? Foligno ended his Leaf tenure with four assists in the regular season and another assist in four Stanley Cup Playoff games. The hype was fun, the results however were not.
Noesen has turned into a serviceable depth forward who can chip in with some secondary scoring, too bad it’s happening in Carolina and not Toronto. He suited up just once for the Leafs and the dream was over. After a massive season in the AHL, Noesen signed on with the Hurricanes is on his second solid season. He’s been solid for the ‘Canes this year, scoring 12 goals and collecting 29 points in 53 games.
The questionable management team Columbus used the Leafs first to select Corson Ceulemans with the 25th overall pick. Ceulemans, a right-handed defenseman projects well as an offensive-minded blueliner who skates well and someone who put up impressive points at Wisconsin. In the AHL so far, the 20-year-old has managed 12 points in 45 games and continues to develop nicely. It won’t be long until he gets a chance to prove himself with the dismal Blue Jackets.

Maple Leafs Acquire: Owen Nolan
Sharks Acquire: Brad Boyes, Alyn McCauley & ’03 First-Round Pick

(Mar.5.2003) An absolute haul for the Sharks who dealt Nolan who was long past his prime. He dealt with a slew of injuries over his 1.5 seasons in Toronto, recording 60 points in 79 games and not moving the needle at all for the hockey club. There was more made about his contract issues with the Leafs off the ice than there was about his performance on it.
Boyes went on to score 20 goals four times including a 33-goal and 43-goal seasons in St Louis. 505 points in 822 career NHL games, a lot of production there that could have been in blue and white. McCauley on the other hand carved out a more offensive role with the Sharks, scoring a career high 20 goals in 2003-04 and unfortunately dealt with concussion issues throughout his entire career. He was a great role player in Toronto and one of the fan favorites throughout his time as a Leaf.
The first-round pick was eventually traded to the Boston Bruins turning into defenseman Mark Stuart who had a fine NHL career split between the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets, with a brief stay in Atlanta mixed in there. Stuart turned into a solid stay-at-home depth defenseman, meanwhile the Leafs would have been able to choose from the likes of Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron. ’03 was one of the deepest drafts in the history of the NHL, apparently the Leafs didn’t care.

Maple Leafs Acquire: Yanic Perreault & 2008 Fifth-Round Pick
Coyotes Acquire: Brendan Bell & ’08 Second-Round Pick

(Feb.27.2007) Perreault was one of the better defensive centers in the league during his prime, but that was long past him by the time the Leafs re-acquired him from the Coyotes. Five points in 17 games, Perreault’s addition was the lone deadline deal in Toronto in 06-07 and they ended up getting bounced by the Buffalo Sabres in the first-round.
While Brendan Bell managed just over 100 games in the NHL, the second-round pick turned into Roman Josi. Yes, the same Josi who continues to be a premier defensemen in the league for the Nashville Predators and seems to always be up for the Norris trophy.
The Maple Leafs have a forgettable track record when they re-acquire players. Doug Gilmour tore his knee up, Wendel Clark wasn’t the same Wendel, and speaking of Mr. Clark, seems like the perfect time to mention when Toronto reacquired Clark, the ’97 first-round pick turned out to be Roberto Luongo.
Nobody said cheering for the Leafs was going to be easy, folks. Hopefully this season’s trade deadline takes it easy on the fan base.

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