On November 13, 1990, the New York Islanders made a big trade by acquiring Ray Ferraro in a trade they easily won.
It was thirty years ago today that the New York Islanders made a big trade with the Hartford Whalers. They sent defenseman Doug Crossman to Hartford for center Ray Ferraro. It was a one-for-one trade that should have given both teams what they were looking for.
The Islanders would get a goal-scoring center to add to a list of centers that already featured Pat LaFontaine while the Whalers would get a defenseman who just scored 59 points and who could quarterback a power play. Thirty-five of Crossman’s 59 points in 1989-90 came on the power play.
Fair deal. Everyone ended up happy, right? Fortunately for the Islanders, they won that trade.
Got What They Wanted
For the Whalers, Crossman was brought in to help their blueline and give them something on the power play:
"“We’re hoping he’ll be part of the answer to our power-play problem,” Whalers general manager Ed Johnston said. “He has a good shot and he’s an outstanding point man. We felt he could bring a lot to our power play.” – Whalers GM Ed Johnston"
And he delivered. In 41 games Crossman scored 23 points with 15 of those coming on the power play. But just over three months later, Crossman would be traded to the Detroit Red Wings for depth stay-at-home defenseman Doug Houda.
To be fair, Hartford wasn’t very good in 1990-91 (nor were the Islanders) with a 31-38-11 record and 73 points by the time of the Crossman trade. But to trade the guy you just picked up three months ago for a former 40 goal-scoring center in Ray Ferraro and getting a depth D in return is rough.
The Islanders got exactly what they thought they’d get out of Ferraro.
Over five years with the club he’d score 116 goals and 238 points over 316 regular-season games. In 91-92, Ferraro scored 40 goals and 40 helpers for a career-high 80 points.
In the playoffs, Ferraro would add 21 points in 22 games, 14 of those were goals. Most of his production (13 goals and 20 points) came during the Islanders run to the Wales Conference Finals in 1993.
In talking about the trade with the Islanders just a year ago, Ferraro related what most players say about the Island. They don’t get to see much of it outside of the Marriot, but when they get here, to actually stay, they absolutely love the place:
"“The only thing about Long Island we knew as players was the Coliseum, the Marriott Hotel and a cab ride driving around the immediate area to try and find a restaurant,” Ferraro said. “But once I actually moved to New York I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was or how different it was. You had access to the water right there and [New York City] was just a train ride away. There’s so much it has to offer."
You have to trade quality to get quality. In the immediate year after Crossman left no single Islanders defenseman came close to the 35 points he scored on the power play. Jeff Norton was the most productive blueliner on the man advantage for the Isles in 90-91 with two goals and 16 helpers.
(Defenseman Tom Kurvers would score 35 power-play points with the Isles in 91-92.)
But while they lost some quality with the departure of Crossman, they more than made up for with the addition of Ray Ferraro.