Teemu Selanne celebrates a goal with a Sharks teammate. (via sfgate.com)

Best-Worst Trades in Ducks History: The Bad

Teemu Selanne in his San Jose Sharks uniform, ew. (via bleacherreport.net)

Continuing my series on the best/worst trades in Ducks history, on to the trades that were not good at all. Just a warning, some of these memories may bring back some terrible emotions that may evolve into fury. So, just a heads up, don’t have any valuables around when reading this post. I’d rather not have you throwing and/or breaking anything of yours. So here we go.

  • Feb. 26, 2009 – Acquired D Ryan Whitney from Pittsburgh in exchange for LWs Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.

Ryan Whitney (left) and Chris Kunitz (right). (via thehockeywriters.com)

This trade was tough to deal with. First off, the Ducks traded away a pretty popular player among Ducks fans in Chris Kunitz, who had been fairly productive for them. Kunitz was an undrafted free agent signing by the Ducks in 2003. After splitting his rookie season between the NHL Ducks and AHL Ducks and spending the ’04-05 lockout with the AHL Ducks, he spent a short period of time with the Atlanta Thrashers after they had claimed him off waivers. However, the Ducks claimed him off waivers shortly after. He then went on the break Paul Kariya’s Ducks record for most points in a season by a rookie with 41 points in 67 games in 2005-2006. Over the next three season Kunitz became a staple in the Ducks lineup. After helping with Ducks win the Cup in 2007, which he contributed 60 points in 81 games, he was given an “A”. His production dropped a bit that season, then was part of this not-so-great trade. Eric Tangradi was another undrafted free agent signing by the Ducks. He has yet to settle in at the NHL level in Pittsburgh, but they have high hopes for him as a hard-working forward.

In return for Kunitz and Tangradi, the Ducks received well-known defenseman Ryan Whitney. Up until this trade, Whitney had been a very productive offensive defenseman for the Penguins. He tallied point totals of 59 and 40 in his two full seasons in the NHL. In his time with the Penguins, he suffered a rare chronic foot injury that was called hollow foot, or simply abnormally high arches. He missed time of the 2008-2009 Penguins campaign before he was involved in this trade. He had recorded 13 points in 28 games with the Penguins and went on to have 10 points in 20 regular season games with the Ducks that season. The Ducks fell to the Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals that year, and Whitney registered 6 points in 13 playoff games. During the 2009-2010 season, Whitney recorded 28 points in 62 games with the Ducks before being shipped to the Edmonton Oilers for Lubomir Visnovsky. During his time here, it just felt like Whitney didn’t belong. He had shown flashes of talent in Pittsburgh but didn’t produce enough in Anaheim. In the end, giving up a fan favorite and a prospect for a defenseman that didn’t fit in here in Anaheim makes this trade bad.

  • Dec. 14, 2007 – Acquired C Doug Weight, LW Michal Birner and a seventh-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (G Paul Karpowich) from St. Louis in exchange for C Andy McDonald.

Andy McDonald hoists the Stanley Cup in 2007. (via bestsportsphotos.com)

This trade really frustrates me. I was a huge Andy McDonald fan. Not that I’m not still a fan of his. McDonald signed with the Ducks as an undrafted free agent, starting to see a trend, out of Colgate University. His first few seasons with the Ducks were plagued by concussions and he had to sit on the sidelines while the Ducks made that improbable and incredible Stanley Cup Finals run in 2002-2003.  2003-2004 turned out to be his first full season and he recorded 30 points in 79 games. After the lockout, McDonald really burst onto the scene. In 2005-2006, he exploded out of nowhere for 85 points in 82 games. Then, in 2006-2007, after winning the NHL’s Faster Skater Challenge, he recorded 78 points in 82 games. He helped lead the Ducks to the Cup with 10 goals and 14 points in 21 playoff games. His production dropped a bit early into the next season and in order to free up cap space for defenseman Scott Niedermayer, McDonald was traded to St. Louis for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a 7th-Round draft pick. McDonald fit in extremely well in Anaheim and was very well liked.

Doug Weight was one of the best American hockey players before this trade, however, he didn’t look like it in Anaheim. At the time, the Blues were out of the playoff discussion and Weight was an old veteran who was on his way out. The Blues shipped him out to Anaheim where he only recorded 14 points in 38 games. That campaign with the Ducks definitely was Weight’s least memorable stint anywhere in the league and was his least productive. The Ducks didn’t resign him at the end of the season. He would go on to play a few more years with the New York Islanders. The Ducks also received LW Michal Birner. If you’re saying to yourself, “Who?” I don’t blame you. He was a late round draft pick by the Blues who had had some success in the Ontario Hockey League with the Saginaw Spirit, registering 28 points in 31 games in 2004-2005 and 85 points in 60 games in 2005-2006. After his junior career ended, he virtually disappeared. He spent a couple years in the AHL, mostly the Peoria Rivermen, before he disappeared even more into the ECHL and eventually moved back to his native Czech Republic to play. He was never even called up the NHL. The draft pick was eventually used on goalie Paul Karpowich from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is currently attending Clarkson University in the ECAC, Eastern College Athletic Conference, and is basically on nobody’s radar outside of college. Even though, McDonald didn’t have any more seasons with point totals over 60 after leaving Anaheim, he still is better than what the Ducks got in return. Terrible trade.

  • Aug. 23, 2005 – Acquired LW Trevor Gillies and a conditional pick in the 2007 draft from the New York Rangers in exchange for C Steve Rucchin.

Steve Rucchin, one of my favorite Ducks ever. (via bleacherreport.net)

This trade may not be high profile, but I think it’s pretty bad. They traded away a career Mighty Duck in a salary dump for a goon who shouldn’t be allowed to ever dress in a NHL uniform. Steve Rucchin is mostly known as the guy who centered a line with Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. However, he was a model of consistency. He was with the Ducks from 1993-1994 to this trade in 2005. One of the most underrated players in the Ducks history if not the league during his time. The Mighty Ducks picked Rucchin 2nd overall in the 1994 NHL Supplementary Draft. He played 616 regular season games with the Mighty Ducks. In that time he registered 153 goals and 279 assists for 432 points, which all rank 3rd in Ducks franchise history. Probably his most memorable moment was in the 2002-2003 playoffs, against the Detroit Red Wings. The Mighty Ducks pulled off an improbable upset by sweeping the Red Wings and Rucchin scored the series-clinching goal in overtime of Game 4 of the Quarterfinal series. Rucchin was a great teammate and leader with the Mighty Ducks, which was one of the first reasons I started to root for the Mighty Ducks. Here’s a great article I found on Steve Rucchin.

Trevor Gillies. There are not enough words in the english language to describe how much this guy shouldn’t be in the NHL. He is an enforcer that is better fitted for something like UFC or maybe the NHL back in the 1970’s. There is no room in the NHL for guys like this anymore. The league is better than that. He gets on the ice and makes an incredible dirty hit and then gets suspended. That’s all he does. He’s a goon and he’s useless. He dressed up for one game as a Mighty Duck in 2005-2006.  He had a total ice time amount of 2:40 in that game. In that span, he received 21 penalty minutes. I hate him. I’m probably making this trade look worse than it actually was just because I really liked Rucchin and I really hate Gillies. In my opinion, this is still one of the worst trades in this franchises history. Trading away a Mighty Duck staple for a goon who deserves to never play another game of hockey ever. Disgusting.

  • Mar. 5, 2001 – Acquired LW Jeff Friesen, G Steve Shields and future considerations from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for RW Teemu Selanne.

This trade just takes the cake. Trading the eventual best player in franchise history for a career Shark, at that point, a back up goalie and future considerations. We all know what Teemu Selanne has accomplished as a (Mighty) Duck. We all know what Teemu Selanne has meant to this franchise and this fan base. So, any trade that involves him leaving is naturally going to be a bad trade in my opinion. His career after leaving the Mighty Ducks took a little bit of a drop in production until the lockout happened and a lot of people thought an aging Teemu Selanne with bad knees might retire. However, he returned to the NHL when the lockout ended with the Mighty Ducks and he flourished once again. He’s been incredible ever since. I don’t really need to say much more about Selanne.

Jeff Friesen was a very good player for the San Jose Sharks in his time there before this trade. In the season that the Mighty Ducks acquired him, Friesen did make a nice impact, with 12 points in 15 games. The next year was his only full season with the franchise. That season Friesen registered 43 points in 81 games, which was a career low in a full NHL season for Friesen. The Mighty Ducks did not bring him back the following season. Along with Friesen, the Mighty Ducks received goaltender Steve Shields. He was a journeyman of a goaltender. He spent most of his time as a back up, but when given time, had solid numbers. He was gone after one season with the franchise. That year, Shields was 9-20-2 with a 2.67 GAA and .907%. However, that was on one of the worst teams in franchise history. In the end, what the Mighty Ducks got in return was not nearly enough for Teemu Selanne.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Feb. 9, 2011 – Acquired Francois Beauchemin from Toronto in exchange for RW Joffrey Lupul, D Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
  • July 30, 2010 – Acquired a third-round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (C Joseph Cramarossa) from the New York Islanders in exchange for D James Wisniewski.
  • Aug. 13, 2009 – Acquired RW Evgeny Artyukhin from Tampa Bay in exchange for LW Drew Miller and a third-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (D Adam Janosik).
  • Sept. 26, 2008 – Acquired D Ken Klee and LWs Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud from Atlanta in exchange for defenseman Mathieu Schneider.

Expect the final part of this series, The Good, by the end of the week. Before I finish, I would just like to say thank you to all the veterans that have served and risked or gave their life for this great country. The impact that all of you leave will live on forever in the hearts of all Americans. It’s people like you that make me proud to be an American. So, Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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Tags: Adam Janosik Anaheim Ducks Andy McDonald Brad Larsen Chad Painchaud Chris Kunitz Doug Weight Drew Miller Eric Tangradi Evgeny Artyukhin Francois Beauchemin Jake Gardiner James Wisniewski Jeff Friesen Joffrey Lupul Joseph Cramarossa Mathieu Schneider Michal Birner Mighty Ducks Of Anaheim Paul Karpowich Ryan Whitney Steve Rucchin Steve Shields Teemu Selanne Trevor Gillies

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