They traded Phil Esposito
I’m actually old enough (barely) to remember that one. Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield – 2/3 of the top line and the 2nd line center on the best Bruins team ever – for Gilles Marotte and Pit Martin. It didn’t seem quite as bad at the time as it does in hindsight. Martin was coming off a 20-goal season and Marotte was a tough defenseman who also had some offensive skills. Hodge was only a 10-goal scorer at that point and Stanfield was a minor leaguer. Esposito’s best years were still ahead of him, but he was already clearly the best player in the deal, so I’m sure people were saying Boston won the trade as soon as it was made, but it wasn’t until we saw what those three guys did in Boston that people started calling it the worst trade ever. Chicago had enough talent to survive the trade and remain a contender for the next several years, but it helped Boston go from last place to two Stanley Cups. (They should have won more, but Montreal had an equally powerful dynasty going at the same time.)
There was no free agency or salary cap in 1967, so it’s difficult to compare that trade with today’s NHL trades. By 1967 standards Chicago won the Jones trade because they got the best player, but this was obviously a huge win for Columbus for a pending UFA who had publically announced that he wouldn’t sign an extension. (I guess what he really said was that he wouldn’t sign an extension with Columbus
.) One-year rentals usually don’t fetch that much in the trade market, so Columbus must have had other suitors. Kudos to Jarmo for getting a bidding war going and getting maximum value for a lame duck asset.
A good deal for Columbus doesn’t necessarily mean a bad deal for Chicago, but to give up all those assets to acquire his rights and then turn around and sign him to a bigger contract than he would have got in free agency seems like you’re paying for him twice. Why not keep Boqvist and the draft picks and sign a guy who’s already a free agent?