Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Worst Trades in Franchise History

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Feb 28, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; General view during the Canadian national anthem before the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

  1. November 29, 1977 (The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Pierre Larouche to the Montreal Canadians for Peter Lee and Peter Mahovlich)

Bad trades don’t always have to be recent, nearly 40 years ago the Penguins gave away one of the greatest players to ever don the flightless bird for Peter Lee and Peter Mahovlich. While Lee would go on to put up respectable, if not flashy, numbers as a Penguin, Mahovlich would only last one and a half seasons in Pittsburgh. Pierre “Lucky” LaRouche was a fan favorite and was the youngest player to score 50 goals and 100 points when he completed the task as a Penguin in the 1975-76 season.

Mahovlich and Lee would combine for nearly 160 goals over a combined 8 seasons with the Pens. Larouche on the other hand, long before becoming a close personal friend of Mario Lemiuex, would score 276 goals after the trade over twelve and a half more NHL seasons. The culmination of regret lies in LaRouche scoring 50 goals for the Habs in 79-80 and 48 for the Rangers in 83-84.

A slow start with 11 points in 20 games in 1977 spelled doom for Lucky, and a marginal return on one of the greatest goal scoring centers in league history makes this trade a tough pill to swallow even nearly 40 years later. LaRouche was the youngest player to score 200 and 300 points, and is still the only player to score more than 45 goals with three different teams. A mark that with current NHL trends is not likely to be broken.