A look back: How Bob Gainey could have destroyed the Canadiens future with 1 trade

Looking back on past blockbuster trades is always interesting. But even more interesting is looking at those trades that never happened. Today we will be looking at a near-blockbuster trade between the Canadiens and Lightning in the 2009 off season.

Coming off the 2008-2009 season, the Canadiens finished with a mediocre record of  41-30-11, good for the 8th seed in the eastern conference. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning finished the season with a 24-40-18 record, finishing in 14th in the east (then only 15 teams were in the eastern conference).

During the off season, the lighting and Canadiens were trying to work out a trade that would bring superstar Vincent Lecavalier to Montreal. After lots of negotiating, planning, and finalizing, Tampa GM Brian Lawton went to Lecavalier to ask if he'd accept a trade to Montreal. Lecavalier decided he'd prefer to stay in Tampa Bay, and refused the trade.

You may be wondering just what would have gone back the other way assuming the trade went through. Well it was rumored to be a luscious package including Max Pacioretty, Carey Price, P.K. Subban, and a 1st round pick.

So if you think the Lightning are stacked today, imagine having Andrei Vasilevskiy backing up Carey Price, Victor Hedman paired with P.K. Subban, and a first line consisting of Stamkos, Kucherov, and Pacioretty.

Going back the other way would have been a 29-year old Lecavalier, a player you was just starting to decline, and retired from hockey in 2016.

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