New York Islanders Top 10 Best Trades in Team History
Superstar for Superstar
Drafted in 1983 after a trade with the Colorado Rockies everything was working out well between the Isles and LaFontaine. In eight years with the New York Islanders, he played in 530 games and scored 566 points.
But after a 1990-91 season that saw LaFontaine score 85 points, the Islanders finished with the third-worst record in the division. With 190 points in just under 150 games over the previous two years its reasonable to expect LaFontaine to be upset about the direction of the team.
So after the Islanders came at LaFontaine with a contract extension before the 1991-92 season, LaFontaine declined and then didn’t report to the team for the start of the season. Forcing the team to trade their prized possession.
Given the situation that the team was in, the Islanders did well to get the return they got. In return for LaFontaine, the Isles got superstar Pierre Turgeon. A player who scored 323 points over 322 games for the Sabres before the trade.
The Islanders lost quality in Pat LaFontaine, but they got quality back in Pierre Turgeon. You don’t usually see that when a superstar player is traded. Especially not when he absolutely wants to leave town.
Look at what the Ottawa Senators got for Erik Karlsson recently. Sure they got a number of pieces, but none of them were remotely close to superstar status. This is a win for the Isles because of what GM Bill Torrey was able to pull out of Buffalo for LaFontaine based on the situation he was in.