On This Date: Leafs trade Bernie Parent

On July 27, 1973, the Maple Leafs traded the rights to goaltender Bernie Parent to the Philadelphia Flyers, plus a second-round draft pick (Larry Goodenough) in exchange for a first-round draft choice (Bob Neely) and goalie Doug Favell.

The deal turned out to be one of the most lopsided trades against Toronto’s favour in the team’s history. Parent would go on to win a pair of Stanley Cups with the Flyers and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984.

Two years earlier the Leafs had obtained Parent from Philadelphia in exchange for netminder Bruce Gamble and centre Mike “Shaky” Walton”. However a contract dispute over a difference of $8,000 left Parent fuming with Harold Ballard, and the 28-year-old backstop would go on to sign an enormous $750,000, five-year deal with the Miami Screaming Eagles of the WHA. Unfortunately, the Eagles franchise never took flight and became the only WHA team in league history to never play a game. Parent wound up playing one season for the Philadelphia Blazers of the fledgling league. By the time Parent was ready to return to the NHL, the bridge between him and Ballard had been burned, forcing the Leafs’ hand in the eventual trade.

Parent became the first goalie in NHL history to post consecutive seasons of 40 or more wins, a feat since matched by Martin Brodeur and Miikka Kiprusoff.

Meanwhile Favell posted a mediocre 26-26-16 record in just over two seasons for the Leafs before being sold to the Colorado Rockies prior to the start of the 1976-77 campaign as Toronto paved the way for rookie Mike Palmateer to becoming the team’s starting goalie.

Left-winger Neely registered 89 points in 261 career games for the Leafs.

5 comments

  1. Garry, thanks for your comment.

    Bob Neely was actually one of those platoon players in his career, who played both forward and defence, in the mold of Wade Belak. (similar in that they both wore #3, dissimilar in that Neely could actually find the net once in a while!)

    After reading your comment, I viewed some footage from a Leafs TV classic game that I taped a while ago – a playoff game from 1975 against Philadelphia. Neely actually played BOTH left wing and defence in the game. In the first period, he is on the left wing on a line with Dave Keon and Blaine Stoughton (with Rod Seiling and Claire Alexander on defence). However – by the third period and more to your point – he is definitely on the left point on defence paired with Salming on the blueline.

    Neely also played both forward and defence in junior, while winning an OHL championship with Peterborough in ’72.

    The funny thing is….the Leafs media guide lists Neely as a LW in their all-time regular season player register, but as a defenceman in their all-time playoff player register.

    Makes no sense to me, but I’ll bring it up with their editors. 🙂

    Cheers.
    -Rob

  2. Al

    Yet another Leaf trade blunder which ultimately came down to Ballard being a cheapskate and hurting his hockey club. Almost as bad as the worst Leaf trade of all time being the Frank Mahovlich deal.

  3. Dan

    Leafs actually did pretty well in the year they drafted Bob Neely. They had 3 picks in the first round and lucked into Lanny McDonald and Ian Turnbull. Two out of 3 aint bad.

  4. Dave

    In hindsight of course the Parent deal was bad. At the time, Parent was highly regarded, but so was Favell. Favell had put together some decent seasons in Philly after Parent was traded to the Leafs in ’71. Favell’s problem was inconsistency. Fred Shero knew that and he knew Parent was a steadier and more consistent goalie. Shero had undoubtedly watched Parent playing for the Blazers of the WHA in 1972-73.

    Again in hindsight, the Leafs should have held on to Parent’s rights. He would have returned to the Leafs rather than retire. With Parent in the net, the Leafs of the late 70’s would have been a much better team than they were. The Flyers probably wouldn’t have won anything.

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