7 worst trades in Montreal Canadiens history


The Montreal Canadiens, otherwise known as the bleu, blanc, et rouge, are the most storied franchise in National Hockey League history. Their 24 Stanley Cup championships are not only an NHL record, but they are the measuring stick in all of professional sports. Their legions of fans are not only in la belle province, but throughout the world. In their storied history, some of the most famous names in hockey have donned the CH. With that said, I have put together the top 7 worse trades in Montreal history.

7- Mike Cammalleri, Karri Ramo and 5th Rounder to the Calgary Flames for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and 2nd Rounder


Despite two great years from Mike Cammalleri after signing him, including a 13-goal playoff performance in 2010, just days after making comments about how the team had developed a losing mentality, Cammalleri was traded mid-game to the Flames for Rene Bourque.


6- Mike Ribeiro to the Dallas Stars for Janne Niinimaa


Mike Ribeiro has always been a gifted offensive talent, with over 730 career points. However he has always been a headcase. Niinimaa was an offensive defenseman and power play specialist… in his prime. Unfortunately for the Habs, Niinimaa was not that player post lockout. In 41 games with the team, he only produced three assists, and posted a minus-13 rating.

5- Vincent Damphousse to the San Jose Sharks for Three Draft Picks


Thought to be past his prime, the Habs traded a key member of their 1993 Stanley Cup winning team and a Montreal-born forward to San Jose for three draft choices. As is the case with all of the trasactions on this list, the bleu, blanc, et rouge were wrong as the change of scenery resurrected Damphousse. After arriving at that year’s trade deadline, the French-Canadian put up an impressive 13 points in 12 games. In the following five seasons, he nearly maintained that point per game average. In 59 games over three seasons with the Habs. As you can guess, none of those three draft picks panned out for Montreal.

4- Claude Lemieux to the New Jersey Devils for Sylvain Turgeon


His 80 post-season goals rank him 9th all-time in NHL history. He also played a huge role in the Devils’ 1995 Stanley Cup win and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP. Lemieux who also won the Cup with the Habs in 1986, would also win two more rings with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and again with the Devils in 2000. Sylvain Turgeon never came close to matching the 30-goal season he had previously put up with the Devils. In two seasons as a Hab, Turgeon found the back of the net only 15 times.

3- John LeClair, Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne to the Philadelphia Flyers for Mark Reechi and Martin Hohenberger


In search for more offense former Canadiens GM Serge Savard traded three members of their 1993 Stanley Cup winning team in promising big winger John LeClair, solid underrated two-way defenseman Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Reechi. With over 1,500 career points, including 222 for Montreal, there’s no question that Reechi did provide the Habs with what they were looking for. It wouldn’t last long however, as the forward was traded away after just four seasons.

While Dionne did nothing as a Flyer, Desjardins and LeClair developed into stars. Desjardins’ superb play on both ends quickly turned him into the team’s best defenseman. For LeClair, all the promise that he showed as a Hab finally came to fruition as a Flyer. He along with Philly captain Eric Lindros and dynamic winger Mikhael Renberg would form the Legion of Doom, the best trio in hockey.

Leclair would go on to record less than 20 goals only once in his nine and a half years in Philly. The two years years he didn’t was because of injury. He even cracked the 50 mark three times. He and Desjardins’ presence transformed the team and helped them not only reach the 1997 Stanley Cup Final, but kept the club in contention for the better part of a decade.

2- Ryan McDonaugh, Chris Higgins, Pavel Valentenko and Doug Janik to the New York Rangers for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto.


Higgins for Gomez and Pyatt by itself would make this a bad deal for the Canadiens. The fact that former Habs GM Bob Gainey threw in McDonaugh who would develop into a top-2 Defenseman and the current captain of the Rangers was enough to make this list.

In Gomez, the Habs thought they were getting a top line center that would generate instant offense, especially since he would be re-uniting with former Devils teammate Brian Gionta. Gomez was a complete disaster, never living up to his ludicrous contract.

McDonaugh was the real prize of the trade. The former Canadiens’ first round pick has become one of the league’s best defensemen. To think he and Subban could have been a pairing.

1- Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko


The hockey world was stunned when the Montreal Canadiens announced that they traded star goaltender Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado.

Losing the heart and soul of the team, in Patrick Roy because he was left out to dry and embarrassed by then head coach Mario Tremblay, set the club back for over a decade, as they didn’t find a replacement until 2005 when they drafted Carey Price.

Montreal’s decision to include captain Mike Keane in the trade, added more salt to the wound, as the team would miss his grit, defense, and especially his leadership as the club entered a tailspin.

Keane and Roy’s arrival in Colorado couldn’t have ended any better as the duo helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996, with Roy putting up an incredible 16-6 record in the playoffs with a 2.10 GAA, and three shutouts. Keane left the Avs as a couple of years later but Roy would continue his dominance. He led Colorado to another championship in 2001, while winning his record third Conn Smythe trophy. Roy would be inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

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