Change is a part of life, and at times, the process is very difficult. Professional athletes switch teams all the time. Some achieve success, while others unfortunately are unable to attain their goals. One of these star exchanges took place in the NHL and it changed the fortune of the player’s new team.

On December 2, 1995, the Detroit Red Wings played the Montreal Canadians at the Montreal Forum. At the end of the first period, the road team scored five goals on netminder, Patrick Roy, taking a 5-1 lead into the first intermission. The Red Wings continued the scoring in the second period and made the score 8-1. Roy glanced at the Canadians bench looking for coach Mario Tremblay to remove him, but nothing happened. When the Wings scored the ninth goal of the game, Tremblay then decided to pull his goalie, and the drama really began. Patrick became irate that he was left in there for so long. He walked past his coach, approached Canadians’ president and said he was done playing for the team. Could that have been done differently? Yes, but I don’t blame Patrick for acting the way he did.

A few days after the outburst, a trade was made. Roy went to the Colorado Avalanche. His new teammates included legends like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Adam Foote. That group won the Stanley Cup in 1996. They won their second Cup in 2001, after they added Ray Bourque.

Once he retired, Patrick Roy coached the Avalanche for a few seasons. The team played games against the Canadians in Montreal, and on those occasions, the opposing coach received an ovation from those fans – so it seems they forgave their former goalie for what he did in 1995.

One of the great quarterbacks in NFL history is Peyton Manning. He spent most of his professional career as an Indianapolis Colt, and was successful in winning the team a Superbowl in 2007. In March 2012, the organization wanted to plan for the future and released him. They drafted former Stanford University quarterback, Andrew Luck with the first pick in that year’s draft. Later that same month, Manning agreed to join the Denver Broncos, and won Superbowl 50 behind a stifling defense. He retired after that win, and is about to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Then, there is Tom Brady, who won six Superbowls as a member of the New England Patriots. He made the choice to go elsewhere. The question then became who was more responsible for the Patriots success – coach Bill Belichick or Tom Brady? The former Patriots quarterback signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Once he signed, former teammates Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown joined. Along with a hard-hitting defense, expectations were high for the club. The Bucs became the first team to play a Superbowl in their own stadium. They dominated the defending champions and the favorite, Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 31-9 to capture the team’s second title and Brady’s seventh. And he most likely will return to the team next season.

In July, 2018 a blockbuster trade occurred in the NBA which sent Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio to Toronto. Fans were excited because he was an extra talent to add to an already loaded roster. When he joined his new team, he went with the injury issues that plagued him previously, but the Raptors managed his workload. They sat him for a few games during the 2018-2019 season to keep him fresh for a lengthy playoff run. He participated in every playoff game and was a significant reason why the Raptors emerged as the NBA champions that season.

During the 2020 NBA offseason, the Houston Rockets lost a couple of key members of the organization: Daryl Morey – the former General Manager, and Mike D’Antoni, the team’s former head coach. James Harden, extremely close to both individuals, was not happy with those occurrences. On November 20, 2020, he demanded a trade. He wanted to go to a team he thought would have the best chance to win a title. After a couple months of Harden sitting out, violating Covid protocols, and having a bad attitude, the organization traded him to the Brooklyn Nets. Since the trade, his attitude has changed and he is happy to be playing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Could he have gone about this process a better way? I think so, but if Harden did not push as hard as he did for a trade, he likely would have been unhappy playing out the season for the Rockets.

Players have more power than ever. They are able to fight for what they want. If a player is not happy because of his team’s performance, the culture of the current organization, or just want a new challenge, a trade can be demanded, and will eventually be granted. More stars may be traded in the months to come – Deshawn Watson may move from the Houston Texans. Carson Wentz might get traded from the Philadelphia Eagles. And yes, even Kyle Lowry may be moving on from the Toronto Raptors. While all these players may get moved, we, as fans, should look at these as new opportunities for these players to potentially win a championship or take their new team to greater heights.

Be Sociable, Share!