This deal is a mammoth one on the side of the Rangers. This trade tree spanned almost three decades, and some may remember the players in this deal towards the end of the tree. This is one of the most underappreciated deals when it comes to trade trees. It’s never talked about in the classical trade trees despite multiple Hall of Famers appearing in this deal on both sides.
If we break it down to just the swap of netminders itself, Gump Worsley for Jacques Plante is a massive trade. Then we see names like Brad Park, Phil Esposito, and Jean Ratelle linked into this, showing how underappreciated it is. This may be because this trade happened more than 50 years ago, but it still remains one of the largest deals the NHL has seen and probably was the first trade of that magnitude in NHL history.
Historians look back on deals like Gretzky or Lindros and look at how it worked for the side where the deal continues forever. If we judge this deal on that curve, the Rangers win this in a landslide. It raises the question as to why this deal goes so under the radar when we talk about the earth-shaking deals that we have seen in the NHL. Is it because of the time it was made when there were just six teams?
Either way, we’ve reached the end of the Jacques Plante trade tree.