Whenever there is a free agency signing or trade in the NHL that could be considered shocking, there is usually an uproar of reaction from the fans. Roster moves are always something to get used to, in any sport. With the rise of social media, it is easy to find out how the fans feel regarding roster moves.
We expect the roster of our favorite teams to change after July 1st every year, but some are still shocking, especially if the player has been playing quite well with the team they choose not to re-sign with.
The trades that happen during the season are some of the hardest to deal with. We don't see some of them coming and without the little over two months to prepare for the free agency to open up, it creates more of a shock to the fans.
Regardless of how the roster moves happen, fans show a wide range of emotions. In the past, there have been fans who have burned jerseys in anger, as well as people posting on their social media accounts to display their sadness. Sometimes the emotions are toward the player themselves, but there are times when the team's management is the object of the emotional outburst.
The emotions of a hockey fan can reach extreme levels that those who aren't fans may call crazy, but hockey fans are die-hard and to the core. This list will show 15 times when hockey fans reached those levels due to roster moves throughout the NHL they didn't particularly agree with.
15 Jaromir Jagr signs with the Flyers - July 1, 2011
After spending three years away from the NHL playing overseas, Jaromir Jagr decided to make his return to the league that gave his super-stardom. It appeared obvious would he would re-join the Pittsburgh Penguins, but many teams began a bidding war to see who could give the Czech winger the best deal. Many fans were welcoming him back to the NHL already planning to see him in black and gold, donning the Penguins logo on his chest. As the 2011 Free Agency was drawing near, the entire city of Pittsburgh was a buzz, especially when it was heard that they were one of very few teams that Jagr was considering to sign with. Unfortunately for the city of Pittsburgh, the winger signed with their biggest rival in the hockey world. Denying the Pens' $2.2 million contract, Jagr signed with the Flyers, who offered him $3 million for the year.
Once word was released that he signed with Pittsburgh's "mortal enemy," fans began to rage.
They filled their social media accounts with hateful words towards the Czech native, and the signing added more fuel to the fire that is the "rivalry of Pennsylvania." Fans would show their resentment towards the famous winger every time his skates grazed the ice in the Steel City.
14 Taylor Hall traded to New Jersey - June 29, 2016
This trade shocked many. When Connor McDavid joined the Edmonton Oilers, it was clear that the team was rebuilding for a brighter future. Taylor Hall was convinced that he was certainly a main component of the rebuilding. With McDavid being primed to be the next captain of the franchise, it was clear that Edmonton had to sort out the rest of the team for the 2016-17 season. An issue that had been plaguing the team for years was the lack of power on the blue line. On June 29,2016, Hall got a call that he was not expecting. He had been traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenceman Adam Larsson.
While it may have been for the better of the team, anger was thrown towards Peter Chiarelli, the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.
After he had Hall convinced that he was a part of the new path the Oilers were on, to trade him on a whim was shocking and hurtful, not only to Hall himself, but to fans of the franchise as well. Twitter and Facebook were flooded with posts and memes targeting their anger towards Chiarelli, wanting him to know that they think he made a big mistake. Hall said in many interviews following the trade expressing how hurt he was, and though he loved his time in Edmonton, he was a little salty about how he had to leave.
13 The Shea Weber/P.K. Subban trade - June 29, 2016
Taylor Hall, the Edmonton Oilers, and their fans weren't the only ones that got a shock on June 29th, 2016. The Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, and both fan bases were shocked when word had been revealed that P.K. Subban was traded to the Nashville Predators in exchange for the then-captain of the franchise, Shea Weber. News of this trade was something that no one expected would happen, regardless of the rumors that were swirling. The players themselves seemed to be excited about their new opportunities. Fans, on the other hand, seemed far less thrilled with the news once word spread across social media.
Both Weber and Subban were pinnacle members of their respective rosters, changing the entire landscape of both teams. Fans were upset and angry to see their favorite players leave and move many miles away.
In Montreal, fans of Subban were upset to see one of the few players they could count on for big moments and even bigger goals, leave.
Fans on both sides were afraid they weren't getting a good return in the trade. Social media fluttered with posts of anger and sadness, both emotions targeted towards a large number of people. In the end, while fans in Montreal are still bitter about Subban leaving, thinking Weber wasn't a good return, Nashville is thriving with the addition of the Canadian defenceman.
12 Patrick Roy to Colorado - December 6, 1995
Patrick Roy was known for his incredible goaltending skills from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, the French-Canadian was beloved by legions. Mario Tremblay was named the new head coach, which wasn't an easy pill for Roy to swallow, as the relationship the two had become strained. On December 2, 1995, Roy started in net during the franchise's worst loss in history, losing 11-1. Roy had let in nine goals on 26 shots. He was convinced that Tremblay kept him in throughout the whole period just to humiliate him. The fans mocked him during that period because the goals appeared to be soft.
After being pulled, Roy told the then-president of the Habs that game was his last in Montreal.
Being traded to Colorado four days later, fans in Montreal lost their mind when they saw their All-Star goalie leave, in return getting players that were nowhere near as valuable. Many criticized the general manager of Montreal at the time, Rejean Houle, who had only had the job for 40 days and decided to trade Roy instead of fixing the tension between his star goalie and Tremblay.
11 Mark Messier traded to the New York Rangers - October 4, 1991
Mark Messier was a major factor of the Edmonton Oilers' success during their dynasty years in the 1980s. Teaming with the likes of Yari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky, Messier was on top of the world playing for the franchise. While being signed to a contract that had him playing with the Oilers until 1993, he was having trouble working on a new deal during the summer of 1990. During the 1991 Canada Cup, Messier made a trade demand public, after hearing the Oilers were willing to give up Adam Graves. He didn't want to stay with a team that wasn't willing to do what was necessary to keep players that were important to the team's dynamic. Messier got what he asked for, and was traded to the New York Rangers just before the 1991-92 season began.
While Oilers may be upset to see "Moose" to leave their team, they saw his trade as an act of bravery. It's always hard to lose someone that you have invested so much time into and put trust in, so the fans banked on his instinct, and saw his desire to be traded noble. Other players throughout the league thought the same thing. Fans of the Rangers were excited to have a player with a caliber of Messier joining their roster, giving hope that a destiny can be built on Broadway with his help. With every emotion on display, the fans came out from many franchises across the league to voice how they felt about the All-Star wanting to be traded away from the team that helped him win the Stanley Cup five times.
10 Jordan Staal traded to the Carolina Hurricanes - June 22, 2012
A fan favorite during his time in Pittsburgh, Jordan Staal was having the time of his life in the summer of 2012. Although the Penguins were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the second year in a row, Staal was gearing himself for the best day of his personal life. During his wedding to his long-time girlfriend, Heather, on June 22, 2012, Staal got the news that he had been traded to Carolina. With many of his teammates, and his brothers, two of them also playing for the Carolina franchise at the time, celebrating his wedding with him, news began to spread that Staal had been traded.
Fans of Staal and the Penguins became overwhelmed with sadness.
They were sad, not only because Staal was traded, but because the news came while he was celebrating his wedding. Twitter was flocked with many tweets of sadness for Staal and anger towards Ray Shero, the general manager of the Pens at the time, for "ruining" Staal's wedding day by trading him. The silver lining of the news being that he was being traded to play with his brothers. Many who heard the news were shocked about the trade itself, but the lashing out was mainly surrounding the way and date the trade took place.
9 Max Talbot signs with the Flyers - July 1, 2011
After winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Maxime Talbot was one of the most charismatic members of the roster. He was loved by not only the fans, but by his teammates. That was what made July 1st, 2011 hurt that much harder. After failing to land a deal to re-sign with the Penguins, Talbot signed a five-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. With Jagr signed with the state rival the same day, the city of Pittsburgh had taken a massive blow having Talbot sign with them as well. Not only did the man who help the team win the back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in the 90's sign to wear the least-liked jersey in Pittsburgh, but so did the man who scored the Cup-winning goal in 2009.
Fans unleashed massive amounts of anger against Talbot on social media.
There were many videos posted of Penguins fans lighting the French-Canadian's jersey on fire. They felt betrayed, angry with the team that Tablot chose to sign with. If he didn't want to re-sign with the Pens, he had 28 other teams to choose from. Talbot was aware that there would be backlash from fans for his decision, and he took it all in stride. When he stepped into the Consol Engery Center, now known as the PG Paints arena, after signing with Philly, he would receive a "welcome back" video on the scoreboard, but he he would hear many jeers from the audience.
8 Ryan Miller traded to St. Louis - February 28, 2014
Ryan Miller was the backbone of the Buffalo Sabres since signing with them in 2002 and establishing himself as the starter goalie in the 2005-06 season. He brought new hope to the Buffalo franchise, breaking records and breathing new life into the team's hopes in the playoffs. While playing with Buffalo, Miller played in the first outdoor NHL game in the United States, and at the 2010 NHL awards, he won the Vezina Trophy and became the first American to win the NHL Foundation Player Award. After failing to make the playoffs two years in a row, Miller was traded to St.Louis in the final day before the Trade Deadline of 2014. Along with Steve Ott, Miller was sent to the Blues in exchange for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier and two future draft picks.
Fans in Buffalo were enraged that Miller would leave the franchise, despite the downward spiral that the Sabres were trailing on for the last two years he was there.
Miller, himself, was visibly upset about the trade when talking about it to the media shortly after it had happen. When news spread through social media, fans were hesitant to welcome Halak to the team with open arms, after watching how the records that Miller had broke. At home games in Buffalo, the fans would chant for Miller, wanting him to return, regardless of how well Halak was adjusting to his new team.
7 Mike Modano signing with the Detroit Red Wings - June 29, 2010
Mike Modano began his legendary career in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars in 1989 after being selected first overall. Moving with the team when they relocated to Dallas, he played with them for 20 seasons. Contemplating retirement, Modano had decided he would make a choice between that and signing with Detroit, his home state or Minnesota, where he started his career, for his final year as an active player. Agreeing to sign with Detroit, and not playing his last active year in the NHL with Dallas, made many fans upset to see him wear a different jersey for an entire season.
Fans realized that he wanted to play in his home state, but after playing for 20 years for Dallas, what was one more year?
It was not because of why he wanted to, but because he was leaving the team that brought them so many memories for two decades.
The trade meant much more than just leaving the Stars, but Modano was the last active player that played for the North Stars before they relocated to Dallas. Fans, analysts and other active players alike all voiced their surprise on social media, sports news broadcasts and newspapers. Luckily for Dallas, Modano waited until he signed a one-day contract with the Stars in September 2011, to officially retire from the NHL.
6 Tyler Seguin traded to the Dallas Stars - July 4, 2013
After helping the Boston Bruins winning the 2011 Stanley Cup in his rookie season, Tyler Seguin became one of the top stars in the league that had all eyes on his every move on the ice. Fans flocked him whenever he was off the ice and wandering the streets of any city. Seguin seemed to love the attention, especially from the female fans. His attitude and behavior had become that of what is expected of a typical 21-year-old. The office of the Boston Bruins saw that Seguin needed to have surveillance during the playoffs of 2013 due to his late nights and missing practices. Needing him to find a "less livelier" city than Boston, the Bruins traded Seguin, along with Rich Peverley on July 4, 2013 in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow.
Fans in Boston showed negative reactions when word of the trade reached the public.
Most were upset, thinking the team had given up on the pick that they had traded Phil Kessel to Toronto for just three years earlier. Others voiced their happiness, believing that Seguin had tarnished the image of what a professional hockey player should be, regardless of his young age. Though Seguin seemed to be on a spiral where he wasn't acting professional off the ice, he maintained composure whenever he laced his skates, leaving some to become enraged with the return Boston got in the trade. With Eriksson being much older, seemed like a step in wrong direction for the Bruins. Fans in Dallas were hesitant to accept Seguin, looking at the trade as a form of rehab for the young All-Star. Thankfully, Seguin has made Dallas not only accept him, but love him as one of the franchise's top stars today.
5 Cory Schneider traded to the New Jersey Devils - June 30, 2013
Cory Schneider was a beacon of hope for the Vancouver Cauncks when he signed with the franchise to alleviate some of the starting goal-tending from Roberto Luongo. After signing a contract extension with the Canucks, Schneider thought, after three years of mulling over whether or not he was going to be traded, finally felt that he was going to stay as a Canuck. Since Vancouver couldn't manage to harbour a deal to trade Luongo, they traded away the younger, much more agile Schneider to New Jersey. He was traded away from a team he had just begun to start for, to a team that would make him a backup to Martin Brodeur.
Fans, analysts and even Schneider himself voiced their disappointment following the trade.
Schneider had just felt like he had find a groove playing in Vancouver, and the fans were accepting him as the hope they were looking for with the way Luongo had begun to play in the crease. All of that was stripped away because no other team in the league could meet the team's demands for a fair trade for Luongo. Fans felt bad for Schneider, feeling as though his career was taking a step back after fighting for years to become the goalie that the fans in Vancouver knew he was starting to turn into.
4 Zach Parise and Ryan Suter sign with Minnesota - July 4, 2012
Two of the biggest free agents in the summer of 2012 were both signed to similar contract on July 4, 2012. Zach Parise, named captain of the New Jersey Devils just before the 2011-12 season opened, was the second captain in franchise history to lead the team to the Stanley Cup Finals. Spending every season since he had been drafted in 2003 by New Jersey in their organization, Parise had been dealing with some family drama and was trying to find a way to move back home. Ryan Suter, a star defenceman for the Nashville Predators, was looking for a reason to move back home as well. After hearing word of the contract that Parise signed, Suter asked for a contract on the same terms.
When fans heard of the contracts that Parise and Suter signed with Minnesota, they were crazed with shock about the length and amount.
Both players signed 13-year contracts worth $98 million, and were named alternate captains under current captain Mikko Koivu. Fans and analysts alike were shocked that the Wild had enough salary cap room to sign two All-Stars to contracts which totaled almost $200 million. New Jersey fans were sad to see Parise leave, especially since he had just led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals. With both players being from Minnesota, it was a nice homecoming for both of them when they signed the contracts, with fans welcoming them with open arms.
3 Jarome Iginla traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins - March 28th, 2013
After debuting in the NHL with the Flames during the 1996 playoffs, he spent 16 seasons with the Flames, quickly becoming one of the franchise's most beloved players. Being one of the greatest captains in Flames history, Iginla last contract with the team had a clause that allowed Calgary to only deal with teams of his choosing when discussing a trade. Word had become public that a deal had been made with Colorado, but at the last minute, Pittsburgh came in and presented their offer. With the promise of being able to play alongside the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin was what made the decision easier for Iginla to ultimately choose Pittsburgh.
Fans in the rest of Canada were thrilled to see that the two men who secured the gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver play side by side on the same NHL team, but Calgary fans were definitely upset to see their best player in history go. There were more than a handful that were upset with Iginla's signing, but at the end of the day, analysts, fans, and players throughout the league were excited to see what the remainder of the 2013 season and playoffs would bring with the addition of "Iggy" to the Pens roster.
2 Jaromir Jagr traded to Washington - July 11, 2001
In one of the boldest moves in the history of sports trades, the Washington Capitals had given up four players in exchange for Jaromir Jagr and defenceman Frantisek Kucera on July 11, 2001. Jagr had spent 11 seasons with the Penguins prior to the trade, playing in seven All-Star games and winning four scoring titles while playing for the Steel City. Wanting a fresh start, with his "partner in crime" while playing for the Pens, Mario Leimeux, retiring from playing due to health issues, Jagr wanted to play for a team that will elevate his stats and add to his resume of consistent great seasons.
Fans in Pittsburgh were devastated to see the Czech native leave the team he called home for over a decade.
Regardless of whether he wanted to leave or not, fans were puzzled as to why he asked to leave. Being in the shadow of Lemieux for so long, fans thought Jagr would stay once "Super Mario" had left. Every time he had returned to Pittsburgh, he was welcomed with slightly open arms, a sore spot in the hearts of Penguins fans feeling fresh with each return. Though social media had merely been a figment of imagination, fans were still able to voice their emotions at games.
1 The Wayne Gretzky trade - August 9, 1988
Remembered as one of the biggest moments in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky was on top of the world in 1988, and all eyes were on him. Being one of the greatest players in the history of the NHL, with numbers that are still rivaled today, Gretzky had captained the Edmonton Oilers to a dynasty in the 1980's. The Oilers had won four Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1988, with the only year in that span they didn't win being 1986. Learning from his father that Edmonton had being dealing with other teams, shopping for a trade for Gretzky. News broke to the world on August 9th, 1988 that Los Angeles had presented Edmonton with the deal offer, and Gretzky was traded by the Oilers, making Hollywood his new home.
Sitting in a press conference with tears visibly sitting in his eyes, Gretzky announced it to the world that he was leaving the Oilers organization.
Fans were shaken up by the news and in Edmonton, they felt betrayed by the "Great One." Not knowing how the future of the Oilers organization was going to fare with Gretzky, many of his former teammates were shocked by the news as well, expressing their thoughts to the media, mimicking how fans across North America felt. They may not have felt betrayed as the fans did, but hockey players, fans, and analysts alike were wondering what the 1988-89 season would look like with this trade shaking the foundation of the NHL. The internet was something that was only accessed by a small, select few, and the fans could only voice their thoughts through writing letters and chanting at games. Their voices were loud and the backlash from the trade still burns in the hearts of a handful of hockey fans to this day.