But if Murphy had been the guy traded, I could just as easily state that Coffey made Murphy redundant.
Having two future Hall-of-Famers available as point men for the power play was a luxury that few teams have ever had; throw in the fact that Francis was able to fill in as the 2nd point man post-trade, and it was clear that one of them was expendable.
P.S. I take exception to you referring to the Flames as a good but not great team; if they didn't have to face the Oilers in the 1st 2 rounds every year, I think they would be looked back upon as a dynasty in their own right. Vernon, Suter, MacInnis, Otto, McDonald, Nieuwendyk, Gilmour, Fleury, Mullen, Roberts--that team was stacked.