The Toronto Maple Leafs Greatest Trade Deadline Deal Ever

Chicago Backhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Backhawks v Toronto Maple Leafs / Graig Abel/GettyImages

There was once a time when the Toronto Maple Leafs had a general manager that seemed to be making magic out of beans and his name was Cliff Fletcher.

Midway through the 1991-92 season, Fletcher pulled off a masterpiece of a ten player deal with his former club that saw the Toronto Maple Leafs acquire five players including Doug Gilmour and Jamie Macoun from the Calgary Flames. However, it was one year later that he may have made an even bigger steal with just weeks left before the trade deadline.

During the 1992-93 season it appeared that the "Passion Returned" to the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, Doug Gilmour was in the midst of a career season that led to him being a finalist for the Hart Trophy and rookie Nikolai Borschevsky would have a 30-goal season.

Despite the strong play by the team, they were still lacking some scoring up front with Wendel Clark missing time due to an injury; Fletcher would make a brilliant move on February 2, 1993.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Greatest Trade Deadline Deal Ever

The Maple Leafs had two goalies on opposite ends of their careers, veteran number one goalie and future Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr was 13-9-4 with a .895 save percentage and a 3.14 GAA, while rookie Felix Potvin was 11-8-4 with a .910 save percentage and a 2.53 GAA. (

Fletcher would do what many general managers would have been terrified about pulling the trigger on and that was put faith into the rookie and trade the veteran superstar in the middle of the season.

Fletcher traded Fuhr to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for struggling back-up goalie Daren Puppa, power forward Dave Andreychuk and a first round pick.

Puppa surprisingly turned his season around in Toronto as he went from an .890 save percentage with the Sabres to a .922 in Toronto.

Andreychuk was even more impressive as he averaged nearly a goal per game through the final 31 contests in a Maple Leafs jersey by putting 25 pucks past goalies in just 31 games finishing the season with 54 goals that year.

Gilmour who was having an amazing season before Andrychuk arrived with 74 points in 52 games (1.42 points per game) but got even better after the trade finishing with 53 points in the final 31 games (1.71 points per game).

In the playoffs, Andreychuk would chip in for another 12-goals in 21 games and followed it up the next season becoming just the third play in franchise history to score 50-goals in season (53); and was the last player to do so before Auston Matthews scored 60-goals two seasons ago.

The Hamilton, Ontario native would play parts of four seasons with the club collecting 120-goals in 223 games before being traded to the New Jersey Devils at the 1996 trade deadline for a second and third round pick.

Puppa would be exposed in the 1993 Expansion Draft and selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning.


The first round pick would be used on Kenny Jonsson who was selected 12th overall that upcoming draft and be a promising prospect, however, was he later packaged in one of the worst deals by Fletcher.