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Rick Dudley’s Greatest Trade

With Mark Stuart being bought out last week, was the trade that brought him to Atlanta the best trade the franchise has ever made?

2008 NHL Entry Draft, Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There was a time when Rich Peverley was a highly sought after trade deadline acquistion. Of course, he was sought after the same season that the Boston Bruins had Blake Wheeler up for a new contract. It was possibly a perfect storm for a trade that makes no sense when looking back on it.

Blake Wheeler was a younger player who was two seasons removed from picking the Boston Bruins as the team he would play for. Wheeler was a lucky player as he was able to use the NHL’s CBA to his advantage. He had been drafted by the Arizona Coyotes fifth overall in 2004, but did not sign his first NHL contract until 22. That four-year wait meant that Wheeler was able to decide which team he would sign with instead of having to sign with the team that drafted him.

And this leads us to one of the greatest trades made by the Atlanta Thrashers to benefit their team: they traded Boris Valabik, Peverley to the Bruins for Wheeler and Mark Stuart. There were no draft picks involved. This trade was made 10 days before the trade deadline. It was smart of the Thrashers to not wait for a better deal because any time you can trade Rich Peverley for Blake Wheeler, you do it.