Tampa Bay Lightning Trade Tree - Darcy Tucker

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Darcy Tucker was a solid NHL player that had a good 15-year career and almost 1,000 games played in his career. After 3 years in Montreal, Tucker was shipped to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 6 player trade. That trade created a trickle down effect that still hasn’t ended and had an effect in both the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

TRADE: On January 15th, 1998, The Tampa Bay Lightning sent Patick Poulin, Igor Ulanov, and Mick Vukota to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Stephane Richer, Darcy Tucker, and David Wilkie.

The Canadiens didn’t have much after the original trade. Poulin had 31 goals and 44 assists for 75 points in 277 games in the 5 seasons that he played with Montreal. Vukota only played with Montreal until the end of the season, gathering 76 penalty minutes in 22 games.

Igor Ulanov, the last piece in the Canadiens’ half of the trade, had 4 goals and 15 assists for 19 points and 197 penalty minutes in 123 games for the Canadiens until March 9th, 2000, when he was, with Alain Nasreddine, traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Matthieu Descoteaux and Christian Laflamme. Ulanov had 3 goals and 23 assists for 26 points in 81 games with the Oilers. Nasreddine left the NHL before the trade and didn’t return until 2002-03. Descoteaux only played in 5 NHL games in his career, all with the Canadiens, recorded 1 goal and 1 assist. Finally, Laflamme played in 54 games with the Canadiens, recording 5 points.

End of 1st half of trade


So the Bolts acquired Stephane Richer, Darcy Tucker, and David Wilkie in the original trade with the Canadiens. Wilkie played 75 games with the Lightning, putting up 2 goals and 12 assists for 14 points. However, he only played in 1 game after the 1998-99 season, and was out of hockey by 2001-02.

Richer was on the Lightning until the middle of the 1999-00 season, recording 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points in 110 games with the Bolts. On January 13th, 2000, he was sent to the St. Louis for Chris McAlpine and Rich Parent. McAlpine played 10 games with the Lightning, recording 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points. McAlpine was then sent to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Mikko Kuparinen on March 11th, 2000. Kuparinen never even reached the AHL, with McAlpine played professionally until 2004-05.

After playing in 14 games and going 2-7-1 with a .878 save %, Rich Parent was sent to Ottawa for a 2000 7th round pick. This pick was then sent to Buffalo for a 2001 7th and a 2001 9th. The Sabres ended up selecting Paul Gaustad with the pick that they received. Gaustad stayed with the Sabres until the 2012 trade deadline, when he was sent to the Nashville Predators along with a 2013 4th round pick for a 2012 1st round draft pick. The 4th round pick that Buffalo sent to Nashville stayed in their possession, and they selected Juuse Saros, current backup and future starter for Nashville.

The 1st round pick that Buffalo acquired was then sent to the Calgary Flames, along with a 2012 2nd round pick in exchange for a 1st round pick. The Sabres used that newly acquired pick to select NHL All-Star Zemgus Girgensons, while the Flames took Mark Jankowski and then Patrick Sieloff with their two acquired picks.

Going back to the original Paul Gaustad trade, the 2001 7th round pick was sent to the Ottawa Senators, along with a 2001 4th round draft pick, in exchange for a 2001 3rd round pick. Ottawa used their newly acquired picks to select Ray Emery, part-time NHL goalie, and Jan Platil, who never made the NHL. The Lightning selected Evgeny Artyukhin with the 2001 3rd round pick that they acquired. Artyukhin registered 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 145 games with the Bolts through 2 seasons. On August 13th, 2009, Artyukhin was sent to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Drew Miller and a 2010 3rd round pick. That 3rd round pick became Adam Janosik. Miller failed to register a point in the 14 games he played with the Lightning that season, while Janosik is currently played in the Czech league.

Darcy Tucker, the last piece of the trade, was involved in an even bigger trade a little more than 2 years after his arrival. Tucker was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 9th, 2000, along with a 2000 4th round pick and a 2001 5th round pick, in exchange for Mike Johnson, Marek Posmyk, a 2000 5th round pick, a 2000 6th round pick, and a 2001 5th round pick.

Tucker played 8 seasons with the Maple Leafs, recording 148 goals and 171 assists for 319 points in 531 games. The 2000 4th round pick became Miguel Delisle, who never made it further than the ECHL. The 2001 5th became Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood played 3 seasons with the with the Maple Leafs, recording 31 goals and 77 assists for 108 points in 188 games.

In the Lightning’s return from the trade, they received Mike Johnson, Marlek Posmyk, a 2000 5th, a 2000 6th, and a 2001 5th. Mike Johnson recorded 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points in 92 games with the Lightning before being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes along with Paul Mara, Ruslan Zainullin, and a 2001 2nd round pick. In exchange, the Lightning acquired Stanislav Neckar and the rights to restricted free agent Nikolai Khabibulin.

Mara, along with a 2007 3rd round pick, was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Nick Boynton and a 2007 4th round pick. The 2007 draft pick was then traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Stanislav Chistov. Boynton was traded once again, with Keith Ballard and a 2008 2nd round pick, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Olli Jokinen.

The 2008 2nd and a 2009 4th was traded to the Coyotes for a 2008 2nd. The Panthers selected Colby Robak with the 2nd round pick that they acquired, while the Coyotes selected Jared Staal and Justin Weller with their 2008 2nd and 2009 4th round picks. Robak was traded to the Anaheim Ducks on December 4th, 2014, in exchange for Jesse Blacker and a conditional draft pick that depended on how many games Robak played for the Panthers in 2014-15. That pick was exercised in 2017, when the Panthers selected Sebastian Repo in the 6th round.

Jokinen was sent to the Calgary Flames along with a 2009 3rd round pick in exchange for Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust, and a 2010 1st round pick. The 3rd round pick the Panthers obtained was used to draft Josh Birkholz. Brandon Prust was eventually traded back to Calgary for Jim Vandermeer, while the 2010 1st was used to draft Brandon Gormley.

Gormley was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on September 9th, 2015 for Stefan Elliott. Elliot was then traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Victor Bartley. Bartley was traded again on the same day, along with NHL All-Star Game MVP John Scott, for Jarred Tinordi and Stefan Fournier. Going back to the Prust for Vandermeer trade, Vandermeer was traded one final time to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Patrick O’Sullivan.

Ruslan Zainullin, acquired by the Coyotes in the 2nd Mara trade, was traded again on March 19th, 2002, along with Kirill Safronov and a 2002 4th round draft pick (Pat Dwyer), to the Atlanta Thrashers. The return package back included Darcy Hordichuk, a 2002 4th round pick (Lance Monych), and a 2002 5th round pick (John Zeiler). Safronov and Simon Gamache were traded to the Nashville Predators for Tomas Kloucek and Ben Simon. Hordichuk and a 2003 2nd round round pick (Kamil Kreps) were traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Brad Ference. Ference was then traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Pascal Rheaume, Ray Schultz, and Steven Spencer.

The picks from the first trade were a 2000 5th, a 2000 6th, and a 2001 5th. The 2000 5th round pick turned into Pavel Sedov, who stayed in Russia his entire career. The 2000 6th round pick turned into Aaron Gionet, who got all the way to ECHL but didn’t advance any further. The 2001 5th round pick was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for two 2001 6th round picks.

The Kings used the 2001 5th on Terry Denike, who made it all the way to the ECHL but no further. The second 6th round pick was used on Art Femenella, who also made it all the way to the ECHL but no further. The first 6th round pick was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for Nolan Pratt. Pratt had 3 goals and 29 assists for 32 points in 334 games with the Lightning, while the Avalanche selected Scott Horvath with the 2001 6th round pick. Horvath only made it to the ECHL and was out of hockey by 2009.

Going back to the final pieces of the 2nd Mara trade: Neckar played 3 seasons for the Lightning, registering 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points in 163 games. Khabibulin became one of the best goalies in Tampa Bay Lightning history, going 83-74-28 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.39 goals against average.

Matt Frattin, along with Ben Scrivens, a 2015 2nd round pick, and cash considerations, was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings from the Toronto Maple Leafs. In exchange, the Leafs received Jonathan Bernier. Bernier was a highly touted goalie prospect at the time, but only turned out to be an average goalie in Toronto. Bernier was then traded for a conditional draft pick that never was exercised.

Scrivens was then dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a 2014 3rd round pick. Meanwhile, Frattin, the 2015 2nd round pick, and that same 3rd round pick (conditional) from the Ben Scrivens trade were then traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Marian Gaborik. The condition was that Cloumbus would receive the pick if Los Angeles won one round in the 2014 Staley Cup Playoffs. As this was in the year Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup, Columbus received the pick, which they then traded to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2014 3rd round pick and a 2015 3rd round pick.

The Red Wings selected Dominic Turgeon with the pick they received, and the Blue Jackets selected Elvis Merzlikins with the 2014 3rd round pick. The 2015 3rd round pick was sent to the Anaheim Ducks, along with James Wisniewski*, in exchange for Rene Bourque, William Karlsson, and a 2015 2nd round pick. Wisniewski was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Anton Khudobin. The 2015 2nd round pick that the Blue Jackets attained turned into Kevin Stenlund, and the 2015 3rd round pick that the Ducks received turned into Brent Gates.

Fun fact: William Karlsson was taken by Vegas in the latest NHL Expansion Draft, along with a 2017 1st round pick, a 2019 2nd round pick, and the contract of David Clarkson. That 1st round pick was sent to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2017 1st, a 2019 3rd, and the selection of Chris Thorburn in the 2017 NHL expansion draft. The Golden Knights selected Nick Suzuki with the 1st round pick that they received from the Jets, while the Jets selected Kristian Vesalainen with the 1st round pick that they received from the Golden Knights.

Meanwhile, that 2015 2nd that was still in Columbus’ possession was sent off to the Leafs with a 2015 3rd in exchange for a 2015 1st round pick. The Leafs picked Travis Dermott and Martins Dzierkals with their two picks, respectively, while the Blue Jackets selected Gabriel Carlsson with the 1st round pick they acquired.

As far as the winners of the trade, I would consider the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Nashville Predators, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Vegas Golden Knights winners. The Lightning felt an immediate impact in the trickle-down effect as Khabibulan helped them win their first ever Stanley Cup. Nashville and Los Angeles both got great piece as a result of the trickle-down effect, as Juuse Saros is an incredible goalie with a very bright future in Nashville, while Marian Gaborik helped the Kings to the 2014 Stanley Cup. The Knights, who didn’t even exist when the original trade was made, used the players that they selected in the NHL Expansion Draft to acquire more draft picks for the future.

Who do you think were the winners of the trade? What trade do you want me to analyze next? Leave your opinions below and please follow me @Tampa_baysports on Instagram for the latest news and scores of the Lightning, Bucs, and Rays. If you have any questions or suggestions about my next article, please feel free to email me at

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