Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Worst Trades in Franchise History

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Apr 25, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) stands for the National Anthem prior to the game against the Anaheim Ducks in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

  1. October 28, 1982 (The Pittsburgh Penguins trade George Ferguson and their 1983 First Round Pick to the Minnesota North Stars for Anders Hakansson, Ron Meighan, and the North Stars 1983 First Round Pick)

In 1982-83 the two players acquired in this early season trade combined to play 102 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Anders Hakansson scored 21 points and Ron Meighan scored 8. While neither was a superstar they were at least regarded as prospects, as loose as that term may have been.

George Ferguson was a former top fifteen pick that had been a solid scorer for a decade in the NHL but was nearing his expiration date. Ferguson played 128 games over two years with the Minnesota North Stars and scored 36 points. Using the players alone this would seem to be a win for the North Stars in hindsight.

Entering the 82-83 season there was no clear cut Mario, Sid, or Connor McDavid as the guaranteed generational talent at the top of the upcoming draft. The Pens knew they were not a playoff team and assumed that they would finish with a record somewhere near Minnesota. Therefore, they put their first round pick into play as part of the aforementioned deal to ensure they could acquire Anders Hakansson and Ron Meighan, and swapped first round picks with the North Stars.

At the conclusion of the season the Penguins had ended up parlaying the first overall pick into two players who would never play another game for the Penguins and the Fifteenth Overall pick. This makes Patrick’s above noted follies seem like an autocorrect error.

The Penguins selected Bob Errey with that fifteenth pick who would go on to become a solid NHL regular and current Penguins Color Commentator. While the first overall pick in 1983 was the American born Brian Lawton, who had a solid if unspectacular career, what the possibilities of the future for the Penguins could have been are endless.

The third overall pick in this draft was Pat Lafontaine with Steve Yzerman and Tom Barrasso going fourth and fifth, respectively.  The ninth pick was Cam Neely. Three Hall of Fame players who have spent time in NHL front offices and the only goalie to go from high school to the Vezina trophy.

Post Script – Lafontaine and Neely would not have a major impact as rookies, only combining for around 50 points. Yzerman, however, scored nearly 90 points in his rookie year and would have likely bumped the Penguins out of drafting Mario, unless he was stashed in Juniors for an additional year to ensure the tank of Eddie Johnson’s denial was complete.

Next: Pens Could Find Their Top-Six Help in Dupuis' Return

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