On October 31, 1985, the Capitals traded right wing Bryan Erickson to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Bruce Shoebottom. Hindsight shows that the Caps came up with a lump of coal in their Halloween bags on this swap.
Washington signed Erickson as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota in April of 1983. Erickson split the 1983-84 season with Washington and Hershey of the AHL. In just 45 games with the Caps, Erickson scored 12 goals and 29 points. The following season, Erickson scored 15 goals and 28 points in 57 games with the Caps. He spent part of the season with Birmingham of the IHL.
Shoebottom was the Kings' first pick (47th overall) in the 1983 Entry Draft. A big (6-2, 200), physical stay-at-home blueliner, Shoebottom was a 20-year-old in his first pro season at the time of the deal. Erickson, a 5-9, 175-poundforward, was 25 years old and still carried the stigma of going undrafted after a solid college career.
The high upside on Shoebottom was never realized. He never appeared in a regular season game with the Capitals. He later signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent, and played 35 games in the NHL over parts of four seasons.Shoebottom wound up with one goal, five points and 53 PIM for his NHL career.
As for Erickson, he scored 20 goals in each of his first two seasons in Los Angeles. His production slipped afterwards, but he enjoyed a nine-year NHL career with the Caps, Kings, Penguins and Jets. Erickson scored 80 NHL goals and 205 points in 351 career games.