Previously, we looked at the five best trades of the past five years. Well, sometimes deals just go south for a team. That's just life. As they say at the casino, you can't win if you don't play. But you can sure get your lunch eaten when you do, and here are five cases in the past five years where teams wish they could have a do-over.
This deal seemed doomed for Columbus right from the get-go. Carter, a first-round pick by the Flyers, didn't want to go to Columbus and made that abundantly clear. So clear was his dissatisfaction that less than a year later, the Blue Jackets were basically forced to deal him to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick (which helped the Kings win the first of two Stanley Cups). That deal helped take some of the sting out of the original Carter deal, but both Voracek and Couturier have turned into excellent NHL players and are part of the Flyers' core. The Blue Jackets have qualified for the playoffs just twice in franchise history and have yet to win a playoff round.
Forsberg is coming off a hat trick Tuesday night for the Predators and has taken over the team lead in goals. He had a stellar rookie season (2014-15), although he, like most of his teammates, did swoon down the stretch. Still, he's a key piece of the Preds' arsenal. As for the lamentable Erat, he played in 62 regular-season games for the Caps from April 2013 until his trade to the Arizona Coyotes a year later at the deadline and scored two goals. Obviously the Capitals aren't the worse for wear, but this is still a deal that got away from them in a big way.
In theory, Vanek was to have been the missing piece of the Islanders' contending puzzle, a big, strong winger with great hands in the prime of his career. But this early-season deal didn't work out that way -- not that Vanek was bad. He had 44 points in 47 games for the Islanders. But the team wasn't ready, and when it became clear Vanek was going to test free agency in summer 2014 and the Isles weren't going to make the playoffs, general manager Garth Snow had to try to recoup some assets. On March 5, he ended up trading Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens, along with the Islanders' fifth-round pick in 2014, for Sebastian Collberg and a second-round 2014 pick, a little more than four months after acquiring Vanek. It didn't come close to reclaiming what Snow sent out initially and remains a black mark in the Islanders' ledger.
4. June 26, 2015: Dougie Hamilton traded by the Boston Bruins to the Calgary Flames for a first- (Zachary Senyshyn) and second-round pick (Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson) in 2015 and the Washington Capitals' previously acquired second-round pick (Jeremy Lauzon) in 2015.
Yeah, the Flames took a step backward this season -- one that many predicted, by the way. And it did take a while for Hamilton to get his footing in Calgary. But this remains a hard one to digest if you're a Bruins fan. Hamilton, the ninth overall pick in 2011, is a big, right-handed defender with all kinds of up-side. He is just 22 years old. And while the Bruins might have balked at what Hamilton was looking for in terms of a second contract (he signed a six-year deal worth $34.5 million shortly after the trade), the gaping hole Hamilton's departure left on the Bruins' blue line has yet to be filled and might not be for the foreseeable future. Indeed, if the Bruins are looking to add at the trade deadline, it will be for defensive depth, which will only reinforce that this deal shouldn't have happened.
In nine months, the Canucks went from having a glut of elite goaltenders to having none. And the return for giving up two goalies who this season would easily rank in the top five or six in the league? Well, with all due respect to Horvat, who might become a decent NHL player (he has 10 goals, 26 points and was minus-30 for the Canucks): not much. The departure of Schneider first and then Luongo was counterintuitive, given the age difference (Schneider is now 29, Luongo 36) with no real Plan B for the goaltending future, illustrates the chaos of the recent years at the top of the Canucks' organization, chaos that in some ways still afflicts the franchise.