This whole “mini-series” is meant to be a collection of the unique stats/things that hockey forgot/never even acknowledged in the first place, featuring the most random things/stats in NHL history.
Future considerations are something you really, really don’t think about, as they usually only involve minor-leaguers, but do they actually amount to much for the team that acquires them for literally nothing? Let’s take a look at the last few players acquired for “nothing”.
Ramage, a veteran of 2 full NHL games, was traded to Arizona for future considerations. I actually wrote a few sentences on this trade a while back.
On January 22nd, the Blue Jackets traded John Ramage to the Coyotes for future considerations. The long time minor leaguer has played 2 games in his NHL career, with different teams. I’d look upon this as less of a trade and more of a long-term loan. I can’t remember the last time future considerations amounted to anything, it’s literally a term for nothing, but it’s legal. The Coyotes kinda win this one by default. A minor leaguer with little to no salary problems given away.
Other than clearing up a contract, Columbus didn’t really get much for him. Arizona on the other hand, got him to play 12 games with their AHL affiliate, and then traded him with Tyler Gaudet for Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Trevor Murphy. They actually won that trade, grabbing Trevor Murphy, a 22 year old defenseman who has already appeared in 8 games with Arizona (and pending RFA), and Labrie, a non-factor offensively but a veteran pending UFA who helped in his little time with Arizona’s AHL affiliate, for the price of Ramage, and Tyler Gaudet, who finished his season in Milwaukee, slumping, not getting close to his rather mediocre point total with Tucson.
This future considerations trade bought 12 AHL games, and helped bring a prospect.
Chase was a former Oiler 7th round pick. That’s as high as the left wingers NHL accomplishments go. The 23 year old has had many low scoring, mediocre seasons in the AHL, and reached his low point, being sent down to the ECHL for the second time in his career (the first being his rookie pro season). At that point, Edmonton had enough. They traded the underwhelming winger to Florida, who sent him to their AHL affiliate in Springfield. Chase then scored a measly 5 points in 24 games there. Although it was a nice temporary AHL depth move for the Springfield Thunderbirds, it was really just a contract dump for Edmonton (that didn’t end up serving any purpose, what was Edmonton going to do with that spot anyways? Chase comes off the books soon, and don’t expect him to get a qualifying offer), and the Thunderbirds missed the playoffs by far, if they wanted a depth addition, the ECHLer might not have been the best option.
Still, this future considerations trade bought 24 AHL games, 5 AHL points, and an unlikely, yet existent chance to get more.
Tokarski was once the solid backup for Carey Price, after Price got injured (which seems to be pretty often), Tokarski stepped in instead of Peter Budaj, and did pretty good (but not good enough, they got eliminated in 6) and earned praise. That lasted only another season, before being replaced by Mike Condon. After that, he was shipped to Anaheim, playing 1 game with them, along with parts of two AHL seasons with them, the last one he did horrible in, showing a .898 save percentage. There was no room for him at the NHL level of course, and with a solid starter in Reto Berra, Dustin Tokarski had nowhere to go. Then, they traded him to Philly for future considerations (worth mentioning Anaheim got veteran goalie Leland Irving in a corresponding deal, but this was made in the AHL, as Irving does not have an NHL contract), and the Flyers sent him down to their AHL affiliate. Tokarski then became 1B to the younger Alex Lyon, but played more games during the regular season due to Lyon appearing with the Flyers, helping the Phantoms get to a playoff berth, and being the backup to Lyon during their deep playoff run. The pending UFA, however, isn’t likely to come back as a Flyer, with star goalie prospect Carter Hart coming to the pros, and already being added to the AHL roster, expecting to bump down Tokarski, leaving no reason for Tokarski to be resigned.
Even then, the Flyers got 39 AHL regular season games (20-8-2, 0.915 SV%) and 3 AHL playoff games (1-1, 0.859 SV%) for virtually nothing.
Oh, there’s a name we all know! Marcus Kruger was once a force as a 4th line centre, his defense helping him be a part of the Blackhawks’ dynasty’s core, and being one of the highest paid 4th liners in the NHL. This, unfortunately, also led to his end as a Blackhawk. The Blackhawks have been tight against the cap for years, Kruger’s contract didn’t help at all, so he was traded to Vegas for future considerations. “Vegas got an NHLer for nothing, that should come in handy!”, but it didn’t work that way. Not even a week later, he was flipped to Carolina for the 153rd pick in the 2018 draft. That’s pretty much the end of Vegas’ earnings for now until the draft, barring a trade of that pick…
The Vegas Golden Knights literally got a free 5th rounder.
Gormley was once a top defensive prospect, being picked 13th overall in the 2010 draft, that didn’t last as long as one thought. After that, the majority of his career was spent in the AHL, where it didn’t really take off. The best Gormley managed was a part time defenseman for the Coyotes and Avalanche at one point. After that, he bounced around in the AHL. Then, he was traded from New Jersey to Ottawa for future considerations. That didn’t actually change much. Gormley played out the rest of the season with the Sens’ AHL affiliate, before bolting to Sweden, where he spent this past season. This really didn’t affect any of the teams at all whatsoever, and the same for the Sens’ AHL affiliate.
The Senators got 17 AHL games for nothing.
Pulkkinen a former 4th rounder, was originally claimed off of waivers by the Wild, who had him for most of one season, in which he played a handful of games in the NHL, scoring a single goal, and having a fairly productive AHL season. Then, he was traded to Arizona for future considerations. This was a bit shocking, as although Pulkkinen is a noted career minor leaguer who has trouble producing in the NHL, he would’ve fetched something. The working theory here is that Arizona wanted Minnesota to waive Pulkkinen so that he didn’t have to be waived by Arizona once traded, and that he was actually a part of the bigger Martin Hanzal trade.
No matter what weird reasoning behind this trade there was, Arizona still got 4 games and 1 goal in the NHL from Pulkkinen, but that’s about it at the ice level, as the entirety of his AHL season was spent with the Wild’s AHL team. If you think about it another way, he also served as someone to be taken by Vegas, leaving any other soon to be good players in Arizona, whereas the player with little future in Arizona was the one being taken (and had a spectacular season in the AHL for Vegas), heck, guys like Jamie McGinn and Brad Richardson would’ve been helpful to Vegas.
Hagel is a bit of a strange topic. Went undrafted, switched universities, got AHL time in Erie after his final university season ended, played with Boston’s ECHL affiliate (at the time) in South Carolina the year after, being a mediocre winger, and did the same that year with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa. Plays another season in Iowa, does well, and earns himself a contract with Minnesota, dips in production the next year in the AHL, and the year his NHL deal is set to expire, he does horrible. Then, he was traded to Ottawa for future considerations. His woes actually got MUCH worse. In 27 games with their AHL affiliate, the winger could only manage 3 assists, going goalless. Of course, he wasn’t resigned, and found himself in… Norway (not even registered in hockeydb.com)? He actually did well there, leading his team in points, and was in the top 30 in his league in points. He earned a contract this year in Denmark (Denmark? I didn’t know these countries had pro hockey leagues?).
Even then, the Senators got 27 AHL games and 3 assists.
Fox went undrafted at one point, putting up mediocre performances in the OHL, until in his overage season, he put up a monstrous 107 points in 67 games. That was enough to earn him a spot in the ECHL, where he did great, scoring 30 goals in 2 out of 3 ECHL seasons. Midway through the one where he didn’t however, he was traded to Carolina for future considerations. It was thought that maybe it would give him a chance in the AHL… it didn’t. He got to play one game, but that year, and the year after that were spent in the ECHL, before he went to Germany.
The Carolina Hurricanes got 1 AHL game (and one AHL assist), 71 ECHL games and 76 ECHL points for absolutely nothing.
Potter, a career AHL/NHL journeyman, was on his 12th pro-hockey team in Springfield, Arizona’s AHL team when he was traded to Nashville hours after the Trade Deadline. At Nashville he scored number 13 and 14, spending most of the rest of the season in Milwaukee, where Nashville’s AHL affiliate is located, and even got called up to Nashville for 1 game. After that, it was off to Germany, where he plays now, getting number 14 on the journeyman’s list.
Nashville got 18 regular season AHL games, 3 AHL playoff games, and 1 NHL game.
Those are all of the players acquired for future considerations over the past 3 seasons*. Are any of these trades even worth the contract spot? Are future considerations just this idiotic loopholes? How do GMs even approach someone about these things? Is it just “Hey, I want your minor-leaguer for free.”?
Hockey’s Anomalies is set to be this weird series of different random things in the NHL that no one really talks about. If you have any ideas for such an article, I’d appreciate it if you contacted me.
*Tom Gilbert is also listed as a player acquired using future considerations on numerous sites, but news updates from the time list his price being a conditional 5th, hence why he’s not on here