The Gazette’s Red Fisher concludes his list of the Canadiens’ Top 10 trades today. His top pick is a trade that secured the rights to the Oakland Seals’ first-round draft pick in 1971, which GM Sam Pollock used to select Guy Lafleur.
The original trade saw Pollock send fringe forward Ernie Hicke and the Canadiens’ first-round choice in 1970 (Chris Oddliefson) to the Seals in exchange for defenceman François Lacombe, cash and the Seals’ first-round pick in 1971.
Then, Fisher writes: Pollock didn’t stop there. On Jan. 26, 1971, he sent his talented centreman Ralph Backstrom to the struggling Kings for Gord Labossière and Ray Fortin with only one idea in mind: to strengthen the Kings sufficiently so that they would at least finish ahead of the Seals in Lafleur’s draft year.