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Some moves at the NHL Trade Deadline are made for next season, and others are made for the next four months.
For that latter category, the right move can mean the difference between hoisting the Holy Grail and hitting the bottle, thinking about the assets that were surrendered for a rental that didn't pan out.
Here are The 7 NHL trade deadline acquisitions that directly led to a Stanley Cup title that season.
Keep in mind this list goes back to 1979-80, the first official year of the trade deadline. Also keep in mind that we're talking about that season only, not necessarily weighing how the moves affected subsequent seasons.
7. Alex Mogilny to New Jersey (2000)
In 2000, the New Jersey Devils were a good team. GM Lou Lamoriello saw the potential for greatness, and wasn't going to shy away from bold moves to achieve it — like firing coach Robbie Ftorek with eight games left in the season and replacing him with Larry Robinson.
Just as bold: Lamoriello's trade deadline move that sent promising young centers Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson to the Vancouver Canucks for aging sniper Alex Mogilny. But Mogilny scored six points in the last 12 games of the regular season and four points in his last eight postseason games to help the Devils to the Stanley Cup.
"The reason we got Alex Mogilny at that time was for similar reasons, what he could bring offensively with the shot he had. He could do that almost individually at given times but still be a team player," said Lamoriello in 2010.
6. Mark Recchi to Carolina (2006)
In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes won the Southeast Division by 20 points, but still lacked something intangible for a run at the Stanley Cup. So GM Jim Rutherford got aggressive, trading two players (Niklas Nordgren and Krystofer Kolanos) and a second-round pick in 2007 to the Pittsburgh Penguins for free-agent rental Mark Recchi.
The result? Recchi scored 16 points in 25 playoff games, including six points in the Final against the Edmonton Oilers, helping the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup.
5. Larry Murphy to Detroit (1997)
In 1995, Murphy was traded by Pittsburgh to his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. Alas, his time in Toronto say fans and media pile on as Murphy "seemed to symbolize an overpaid and underachieving team in Toronto." He was traded to the Detroit Red Wings on March 18, 1997, with the Wings' "future considerations" turning out to be the cost of two-thirds of Murphy's salary.
Murphy solidified the Red Wings' defense, scoring 16 points in 20 playoff games to win his third Stanley Cup. He'd win another one in the following year.
4. Bill Guerin to Pittsburgh (2009)
Guerin was the leading scoring on the New York Islanders at the 2009 Trade Deadline. He was pulled off the ice days before the March 4 deadline, waiving his no-trade clause for an Eastern Conference team. The deal, however, fell through.
In came the Penguins, who traded a third-round pick for Guerin to play on Sidney Crosby's wing.
His veteran presence was essential to the Penguins' Stanley Cup championship that season, scoring 15 points in 24 games. It's considered one of GM Ray Shero's best moves.
3. Matteau, Noonan and Anderson to New York Rangers (1994)
It's impossible not to group these two deals together, because both were vital to the Rangers' first Stanley Cup since 1940.
On March 21, the Rangers anted up young star winger Tony Amonte and the rights to Matt Oates to the Chicago Blackhawks for bruising wingers (and Mike Keenan favorites) Stephane Matteau and Brian Noonan. They also traded old star winger Mike Gartner to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Glenn Anderson, the rights to Scott Malone and Toronto's fourth-round pick in 1994 Entry Draft (Alexander Korobolin).
Matteau scored one of the biggest goals of their Cup run to eliminate the New Jersey Devils in overtime of Game 7 in the conference finals. Anderson, joining several ex-Oilers on the Rangers, won his sixth Stanley Cup as a valuable veteran asset.
2. Butch Goring to New York Islanders (1980)
Islanders GM Bill Torrey needed that final piece to a championship puzzle. The piece turned out to be 29-year-old center Butch Goring, who would be instrumental in the Islanders' Cup win that year and then three more from 1981-83, winning the Conn Smythe in 1981. The cost was high: Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Los Angeles Kings. The return was monumental.
1. Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson to Pittsburgh (1991)
On March 4, 1991, Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson traded from Hartford Whalers to Pittsburgh Penguins for John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski. And neither franchise was the same again.
As we wrote in our trade deadline deal countdown last year:
For many, it's the trade that defines the deadline. Francis was a Whalers legend, but had been stripped of his captaincy and put on the trade block. Cullen, meanwhile, was the centerpiece of the trade: fifth in the League in scoring and just 26 at the time. Many Penguins fans weren't thrilled with the trade at first ... until it became a foundational move that helped Pittsburgh win its first Stanley Cup, as Francis scored 17 points in 24 games and was soon established as a perfect No. 2 center behind Mario Lemieux.
Ulf Samuelsson, meanwhile, was a defensive rock for the Penguins' Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and 1992.
If not the most critical trade for an eventual Stanley Cup champion, without question the boldest.
(Ed. Note: The Rob Blake trade in 2001 for Colorado nearly made the cut, but it was completed 20 days before the actual deadline.)
Previously on The 7
The 7 NHL draft picks dealt at trade deadline that became significant players
The 7 defensemen that could make an NHL trade deadline impact
The 7 Ugliest NHL All-Star Game Jerseys
The 7 best hockey toy commercials
The 7 Ilya Bryzgalov HBO spinoffs we'd pay to see
The 7 Sean Avery fights that aren't completely terrible
The 7 great skater vs. goalie collisions that resulted in hilarity, chaos
The 7 NHL players with mind-blowing career plus/minus ratings
The 7 NHL journeymen nearing Mike Sillinger levels of relocation
The 7 neglected NHL fan pages we love
The 7 players we'd pay to watch in an NHL shootout
The 7 NHL veterans still livin' the dream in minor leagues
The 7 most heartwarming stories of the NHL preseason
- Alex Mogilny
- Stanley Cup
- Ulf Samuelsson
- NHL trade deadline
- New Jersey Devils
- Larry Murphy
- Pittsburgh Penguins