Toronto Maple Leafs: Trades Alone Will Not Fix Team

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When Trades Have Worked

The Anaheim Ducks made a move to acquire Chris Pronger from the Edmonton Oilers in 2006 for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, a first and second round pick, plus an additional first round pick in 2008 (which the Oilers used to select Jordan Eberle). Even though the Ducks gave up a lot to get Pronger, the reward was definitely worth it for Brian Burke, who got to hold the Stanley Cup over his head with Carlyle that season. Without that trade, it is easy to argue that the Ducks would not have made it as far as they did.

Jun 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings players celebrate on the ice after defeating the New York Rangers in game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings are another example of a team that was able to make deals to put them in a position to win the Stanley Cup. They traded for Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the year they won their first Cup, giving up players like Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Jack Johnson. Then last season they got Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets and it proved to be a smart decision, because the Kings did not give up a lot for him.

Even though they did not win the Stanley Cup last season, the New York Rangers were very close to winning it against the Kings. They made the trade to acquire Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay after previously acquiring Derick Brassard, and Rick Nash. Even though they did not get the desired outcome it was not for nothing, considering the fact those players are still with the team now.

May 12, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel (81) scores the game winning goal on Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) as forward Tyler Seguin (19) trails during the third period in game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What the Leafs need to realize is there is a way to get that player that will make you an instant contender.However, the timing of the trade and what you give up to acquire that player makes a big difference in how that trade impacts your team. In these cases the players were able to put their respective teams over the top, because they already had the pieces in place for a championship. The Leafs need to be aware of the difference. Teams do not just hand wrap number one centers and number one defencemen in trades unless you are the Bruins, who may have wished they still had Tyler Seguin.