We’ll pick up where we left off yesterday with the Leafs sitting second-last in the league after a miserable failure of a season in 1990-91.
The Leafs had traded their 1991 first-round pick to New Jersey at the start of the 1989-90 season for defenceman Tom Kurvers. While the deal had helped Toronto reach the playoffs that year, the whole thing came back to bite them as the Leafs tanked in 1990-91.
In order to save themselves the embarrassment of giving New Jersey the first-overall pick and the right to draft Eric Lindros, dubbed as The Next One, Toronto made a deal with the Nordiques, sending Quebec Scott Pearson and two second-round selections in exchange for Lucien DeBlois, Michel Petit, and Aaron Broten.
The deal functioned to make Quebec worse, ensuring that they would finish last and get the top pick. The plan worked and the Nordiques bottomed out and the Leafs subsequently gave New Jersey the third-overall pick, which they used on Scott Niedermayer.
This horrible sequence ultimately pushed general manager Floyd Smith out of his role as general manager. He was replaced by Cliff Fletcher, who had built the Calgary Flames’ Stanley Cup-winning team …
Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation