The 5 Worst Toronto Maple Leafs Trades or Signings Since 2000

Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Leafs Trade Away Tuukka Rask (2006)

If you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, now is your chance to brace for the torture you are about to endure once again. The abysmal moves the organization has made since the year 2000 ends with a trade so bad that it should be the framework of what not to do.

In a way, I believe that this trade was a curse. That is because it was the first of three brutal moves in three years. The other two being the signing of Jeff Finger and the Vesa Toskala trade. The latter could have been prevented if this trade didn’t happen.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Furgeson Jr. made one of the worst trades in NHL history. That saw the Leafs swap goaltenders with the Boston Bruins, acquiring Andrew Raycroft in exchange for Tuukka Rask.

Raycroft was supposed to be the team’s longtime starter after failing to find one for some time. The long-term plans were cut short due to the goalie’s inability to do his job.

While he had a winning record in his first season in blue, he stopped only .894 percent of the shots he faced. A drop in saves percentage and the winning record turning negative forced his way to the Colorado Avalanche mid-season.

Rask, on the other hand, went on to play as a top goaltender in the NHL. His resume includes a Vezina Trophy, a William M. Jennings Trophy, and a Stanley Cup. Just the longevity of his career alone proves the Leafs lost the trade, never mind the trophy cabinet.

Rask has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL since emerging in the ’09-’10 season. He leads all active goaltenders for save percentage and goals-against average.

Imagine this. The Toronto Maple Leafs led by Phil Kessel and Nazeem Kadri with Tuukka Rask in the net, lining up against the Boston Bruins in round one of the 2013 NHL Playoffs. The Leafs have one of the most recognizable names, with the most well-known logo in the NHL. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much success since the year 2000.

The main reason for the lack of success is the questionable moves that the team’s general managers have made. From handing out lucrative contracts to unproven players to undervaluing players in their system to handing out draft picks like candy. The Maple Leafs management was terrible.

Now, the organization has put the team in the best position possible to win in years. While this six-year stretch has had its rough patches, the good severely outweighs the bad.

Next. Huge List of Leafs Trade Options. dark

There is one week until the NHL trade deadline. The Toronto Maple Leafs will likely be a team trading for a player to help win a cup this season. Let’s hope the trade doesn’t end up replacing one of the moves on this list.