Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Worst Trades in Franchise History

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Dec 20, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) makes a save on New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

  1. July 11, 2001 (The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and cash considerations)

It’s inevitable that any article about Penguin trades has to mention the Jagr deal and his dying alive comments. But, that’s all we will touch on the backstory here. The Penguins at the time were hemorrhaging money like they were owned by Enron, coming off of the colossal failures of the Baldwin ownership group. Also, the downward spiral of Craig Patrick’s tenure as general manager coupled with an aging team with dwindling skills. The Penguins needed an out to stay solvent.

Enter the Washington Capitials, offering three of the top 50 picks in the 1999 draft while taking Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera’s nearly 13 million dollars in salary in exchange for less than a million due to Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk. The rub lies in that none of the players that the Penguins received back ever amounted to anything in the NHL with a combined 13 goals scored with Pittsburgh. When you trade a dollar bill for three wooden nickels you always loose.

At the time, the Penguins needed financial relief and someone to take on their impossible financial burden and the Capitals, while robbing the Penguins blind did just that. It’s not all bad on this front and what keeps this from being higher on the list is that history hasn’t been kind to either side of this deal. Jagr grossly underperformed during his three year tenure in Washington failing to crack 100 points and being an overall misanthrope, albeit a misanthrope that scored over 80 goals and 200 points over parts of three seasons.