by Ron Spence
Brian Burke gets most of the press about trading up – switching his pick with additional player(s) or selection(s), for a higher pick.
His most famous trade was for Chris Pronger when the was the GM in Hartford. Burke traded Sergei Makarov, a 1st round pick in 1993 (Viktor Kozlov) and a 3rd round pick in 1993 (Ville Peltonen).
In return, San Jose gave the Whalers, the Leafs’ 2nd round pick in 1993 (Vlastimil Kroupa, prev. acquired), and the Sharks’ 1st round pick in 1993 (Chris Pronger).
Burke’s second celebrated trade up was the acquisition of Henrik Sedin – to go with his brother – who he had previously acquired.
Vancouver traded Bryan McCabe and a 1st round pick in 2000 - Pavel Vorobiev - to Chicago for a 1st round pick in 1999.
Neither of these switches resulted in Stanley Cups for Burke – in Hartford/Carolina or Vancouver.
Pittsburgh’s trade up in 2003, on the other hand, did result in a Stanley Cup in 2009.
“We had the No. 3 pick in the draft,” said Pens goaltending coach Gilles Meloche, “and we knew we were going to get a great prospect anywhere in the top 12-15 players, but we were looking to build a championship team from goal on out and it was important for us to get a goalie somewhere along the line — and not too many goalies like Marc-Andre come along. We felt we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get that goaltender for the present and the future in Marc-Andre Fleury.”
So, Pittsburgh traded their 3rd overall pick – Nathan Horton – their 55th pick – Stefan Meyer – and Mikael Samuelsson.
courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com
In return, the Pens acquired the draft’s 1st overall selection – Marc-Andre Fleury and the 73rd pick – Daniel Carcillo – who they later traded for Georges Laraque.
The tricky team for Pittsburgh, was Carolina, who had the 2nd overall pick.
They had Arturs Irbe and Kevin Weekes in goal, and would they go for Fleury or Eric Staal – who was ranked the best North American skater?
Staal had been compared with Carolina icon Ron Francis, had a cousin Jeff Heerema who had been a Carolina 1st rounder, and was ranked the best North American skater.
Still, Pittsburgh didn’t take any chances and acquired the 1st overall pick.
Carolina, of course, was very happy with Staal who was crucial in their Cup win in 2006.
As it was, Florida didn’t make that good a selection anyways. They took Nathan Horton with their 3rd pick, even though he had been ranked 4th amongst North American skaters.
And, “Some scouts question his consistency, although others consider him an above-average all-around talent.”
Marc-Andre Fleury struggled when he was first thrown to the wolves circling around the Penguins’ nets, but he recovered and helped Pittsburgh win the Cup two weeks ago.
His was a trade up that resulted in a Stanley Cup.