Former Oilers 06-07

The Edmonton Oilers had a poor season in 06-07, but some former Oilers had terrific years and a few played in the SCF.

Dan Lacouture played in another half dozen games and kept his “playing in one game during consecutive seasons” streak at 2 (he had a 5 year streak going awhile back).

Here, by team, are former Edmonton Oilers and how they did this past season.

ANAHEIM
Chris Pronger (66gp, 13-46-59). Wonderful player who apparently did a hockey version of the Curse of the Babe on Edmonton. All we’re missing is a broadway angle (a “No No Nanette”).
Todd Marchant (56gp, 8-15-23). He had some abdominal trouble that lasted the entire year and into the playoffs, but won his Stanley too.

ATLANTA
Scott Mellanby (69gp, 12-24-36). He played in the NHL at age 40 and that’s saying something. Oilers let him go for nothing 1000 years ago, he had a nice career.
Greg DeVries (80gp, 3-21-24). Those long playoff runs with Colorado are a distant memory but he’s hanging on. Even got into a few playoff games this season. I haven’t really seen him play in a few years but suspect he’s still keeping it simple.

BOSTON
Bobby Allen (31gp, 0-3-3). I’m a sucker for those “he rode buses in Mexico for 11 years before converting to catcher and now he’s in the bigs” kinds of stories and here’s a hockey version. 28 years old and had played 1 game for the Oilers before this year. I’m still hoping Chris Hajt has this kind of career.
Yan Stastny (21gp, 0-2-2). Seems to have stepped into the developmental elevator shaft this season. Put up some nice minor league numbers once shipped to Peoria.

BUFFALO
Jochen Hecht (76gp, 19-37-56). Whenever a team gets deep into the playoffs I always pick a player from the roster to cheer on to the Stanley. Hecht is my Buffalo pick every year, he’s a good player and I liked him when he was in St. Louis.
Jaroslav Spacek (65gp, 5-16-21). He had an odd post-season (16gp, zero points) and broke his hand plus had a knee problem. But he slept well every night and enjoyed the short flights. As an aside, I wonder if anyone has ever counted the number of injuries the NHL’s defenseman endure every season. Even better, how many D play 82 games in a season.
Ty Conklin (5gp, 3.43 .892). I wonder if his wife said “honey, you just signed a big contract why don’t we cuddle during the lockout?” or some such. Or maybe Tommy Salo touched his mask.

CAROLINA
Ray Whitney (81gp, 32-51-83). 34-years old and going strong. There were rumors a few years back that he wanted to come back to EDM as a ufa but I could never find anything concrete. Did you ever hear that one?
Anson Carter (64gp, 11-17-28). Traded mid-season from Columbus, Anson should have stayed in Vancouver. Anyone remember Anson Williams?

CALGARY
Matt Lombardi (81gp, 20-26-46). I don’t usually include him, but since Kevin Lowe made me mad today I will just to point out the scouting staff picked him and the front office didn’t sign him.
Roman Hamrlik (75gp, 7-31-38). He’s always been a favorite of mine, can’t believe Roman Hamrlik is 32 years old. Anyone remember the old Rams and Eagles QB Roman Gabriel?

CHICAGO
Tony Salmelainen (57gp, 6-11-17). Hard to get a read on his season. He was -3 against mid-level competition on a team whose forwards ran the gamut (Havlat was +15, Patrick Sharp -15) but didn’t put up enough points anyway and was traded. He’s had two shots at the NHL now, not many guys get three.

COLUMBUS
David Vyborny (82gp, 16-48-64). Never actually played for the Oilers, but he was a draft pick many moons ago. Led the BJ’s in points this season.
Jason Chimera (82gp, 15-21-36). It’ll be interesting to see if Chimera hangs around with the new regime or whether he loses playing time and is eventually sent away. He looks to me like a guy who has figured out how to help his team but Hitchcock is going to move out some people over the next 12 months.

DETROIT
Daniel Cleary (71gp, 20-20-40). Terrific story this season. I saw an interview with Cleary (I think it was a SNW between period interview) where he became pretty emotional about what he went through to get to this point. I’ve watched thousands of those interviews and most of them are so bad it’s painful. I’m thankful I didn’t turn the channel, and will cheer for him from here on out.
Kirk Maltby (82gp, 6-5-11). Has to be near the end of the line. Now watch he’ll play a decade.
Brad Norton (6gp, 0-1-1). Never did play for the Oilers, but he was a ’93 draft and he was on the 00-01 roster to start the season but had been suspended. He’s at over 100 NHL career games now.

FLORIDA
Martin Gelinas (82gp, 14-30-44). He and Rucinsky are still hanging around from the Gretzky trade, with Gelinas still a pretty good player after all this time. Signed today with Nashville.
Alexei Semenov (23gp, 0-5-5). I was hoping he’d catch on with Florida but it really hasn’t happened. In a similar spot to Salmelainen now, from here out no one can complain he didn’t get a shot.

LOS ANGELES
Scott Thornton (58gp, 7-6-13). Lost a lot of his season to a wrist injury. Looks like SJS made a pretty wise move passing on his option last summer.

MONTREAL
Sergei Samsonov (63gp, 9-17-26). Had a very poor year and was sent away. Had close to a Cesar Cedeno start to his NHL career, but he’s also having a Cedeno finish.
Janne Niinimaa (41gp, 0-3-3). Looks like he might be closing in on the end of the line at age 31. Incredible. One of my favorites, that injury (maybe 2003?) had a major impact on his career.

NASHVILLE
Jason Arnott (68gp, 27-27-54). Turns 33 in October (!!), he’s passed 300 goals now. Scored 33 goals in 93-94 as a rookie and didn’t hit 30 again until 05-06. Preds have 4 more Arnott bullets.

NEW JERSEY
Jim Dowd (66gp, 4-4-8). YKOIL has an expansion draft post up on his blog where he takes a quick look at the 2000 draft. He mentions (correctly) that the Oilers were hurt by Dowd’s leaving, and here he is still hanging around. Who was on that 4line back then?
Dan Lacouture (6gp, 0-0-0). Kim Gernack (redtwilight) and I had a long back and forth summer 2000 about Lacouture and Cleary and who would be the better NHLer. red went with Cleary, I went with Lacouture. He has a slight lead :-) in GP (477-326) and I don’t think it’s going to get any better from my side.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Miro Satan (82gp, 27-32-59). Has now scored 321 NHL goals, the first 35 with the Oilers. I was talking about Satan and Low not long ago with a fellow Oiler fan and he said aside from the player/coach relationship there was talk of Satan going back home. Anyone hear that back in the day?
Tom Poti (78gp, 6-38-44). He looks a little more relaxed back there these days, and it seems as though there are fewer threads on HF suggesting he take the gaspipe. Almost 600 games before 30 years old, he should fly right past 1000 career games.
MA Bergeron (78gp, 14-32-46). I’m going to miss this guy, he was a QB who could scramble back there and his recovery time was exceptional.
Ryan Smyth (71gp, 36-32-68). Has everyone recovered now? I really thought they’d sign the guy, and it is going to be very strange watching him in that uniform.

NEW YORK RANGERS
Brad Isbister (19gp, 1-4-5). Since leaving Edmonton his career has continued on the same slow downard path. He sure looked like a hockey player.
Steve Valiquette (3gp, 3.14 .867). Huge goalie who was involved in that weird waiver draft one fall a few years back.

OTTAWA
Dean McAmmond (81gp, 14-15-29). Has now passed 800 NHL games. He was part of one of the biggest Oiler trades of the 90s, going with BoBo to Chicago for Ethan, Kilger, Cleary and LaFlamme. Who had the best career? Or is it still in question?
Mike Comrie (65gp, 20-25-45). One day soon someone will nickname him Suitcase. EDM, PHI, PHX, OTT, NYI. That’s 5 since Christmas 2000. On the other hand, he has scored 20 or more goals 4 times, 30 or more twice. Wonder if both sides would take a do-over?

PHILADELPHIA
Mike York (66gp, 10-11-21). What the heck happened here? His trade value went from York +a pick for Peca to York for Robitaille and a 5th in 18 months. Tough to do.
Petr Nedved (40gp, 2-10-12). One of my alltime favorites for things that happened off the ice, he finishes up just shy of 1000 games and 310 goals. Terrific talent.

PHOENIX
Mike Morrison (4gp, 6.14 .790). Best accent in years to come through this town. Is he done?
Curtis Joseph (55gp, 3.19 .893). So this is years ago, maybe spring 2002 somewhere in there. I’m on holidays. Montego Bay. Not a care in the world, no one could possibly touch the good mood I’m in. My drink is empty so I wander over to the bar and there’s this guy who is wearing a Blue Jays cap. We start talking and things get around to the Leafs and I say “sure you guys are better in the playoffs, you got our fricking goalie!” Guy says “Joseph hasn’t made a lick of difference, the reason we went deep was Sundin.” Okay then. Always liked CuJo. That trade with St. Louis was amazing. Got to get us some of that.

PITTSBURGH
Georges Laraque (73gp, 5-19-24). I missed the big lug. The Oilers 4th line was maligned for many years while BG was here, but lordy they could have used a good one quite a few times last season.

SAN JOSE
Mike Grier (81gp, 16-17-33). He was my choice for guy to cheer for if the Sharks won, but they have a special place for me because they’re the new Oakland Seals. Mike Grier is only the second player I can remember who could only score every second season. Grier scored 15,9,20,9,15,9,7,16 so he appears to have beaten it (or changed the beat a little). The other player who did this was Ken Hodge 35+ years ago.
Bill Guerin (77gp, 36-20-56). Came back in a big way this past season, and now has a legit shot at 400 career goals. He’s at 364 and turns 37 in November.

ST LOUIS
Doug Weight (82gp, 16-43-59). He passed 1000 career games this season, and should pass 1000 points this year. I didn’t cheer for him SCF ’06 but am still glad he got his Stanley.
Radek Dvorak (82gp, 10-27-37). He’s just turning 30 and has some interesting career milestones straight ahead. Dvorak has played in 828 NHL games, and has 171 NHL goals. He played on both the ’96 Florida team and the ’06 Edmonton team. Both lost in the finals.
Martin Rucinsky (52gp, 12-21-33). Has played for 8 different NHL teams along the way and has an outside chance of reaching 1000 games this season.
Eric Brewer (82gp, 6-23-29). Healthy again and can still close the gap in a heartbeat. Brewer is the kind of player who is often better in his 30s. Once his footspeed goes he’ll probably end up being one of those wise veterans and in that way will have run the entire range of NHL defensemen.

TAMPA BAY
Luke Richardson (27gp, 0-3-3). He spent 6 seasons on the Oilers blueline, and has now played over 1300 NHL games. Thought I read that he retired recently, but I’ve been thinking that every summer since 2000.

TORONTO
Chad Kilger (82gp, 14-14-28). Former 1st rounder lasted 34 games under MacT and found a role on Montreal and then Toronto and has had a career. His two most recent seasons have been his best statistical seasons of his career.
Boyd Devereaux (33gp, 8-11-19). You know he looked pretty good last season. That hit from Dallas Drake cost him a contract with EDM, got him a big deal from DET but I think he may have a nice run here. He’s not old by any means (just turned 29) but has already played 542 NHL games.
Mike Peca (35gp, 4-11-15). Injured again this past season, word is the Leafs are shopping Matt Stajan to make room for him. Honest, you cannot make this stuff up and be funnier.

VANCOUVER
Josh Green (57gp, 2-5-7). Had knee problems this past season.

I think that’s it. Let me know if I missed anyone.

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6 Responses to "Former Oilers 06-07"

  1. Art Vandelay says:

    Roman Gabriel. Propensity to fumble.

  2. PunjabiOil says:

    Nice read

    CAROLINA
    Ray Whitney (81gp, 32-51-83). 34-years old and going strong. There were rumors a few years back that he wanted to come back to EDM as a ufa but I could never find anything concrete. Did you ever hear that one?

    __

    Yup. Whitney went public in the journal.

    “I just built a house in Fort. Saskatchewan and I’ve played on the PP (World Championships) with Brewer (this was before Pronger was acquired), so Edmonton would be a good fit”

    __

    One of Lowe’s biggest blunders. He cost only 1.5M.

    Another guy I wanted was Andrew Brunette back then.

    A gamble on Selanne would not have been bad either.

  3. voxel says:

    Jeff Woywitka? Does he count?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Woywitka never played for the Oilers. I could have counted him, but decided not to. The guy I’ll always wonder about is Doug Lynch. That season he had in the AHL at age 20 was terrific, and then he had a wrist injury that was diagnosed improperly (I believe) or he tried to play through it.

    Either way, he looks done now.

  5. Chris! says:

    “Who was on that 4line back then?”

    If I recall correctly, it was Devereaux-Dowd-Laraque. Probably the most balanced and complementary fourth line the Oil has ever seen. I remember they were hell to play against, and Boyd had his career year (76-8-19-27).

    Didn’t we opt to protect Kilger instead of Dowd? Tsk.

  6. Dennis says:

    Chris, you are correct indeed. I remember one Friday night game back in that season with the Oilers hosting Ottawa and the weather was typical for NF and I didn’t have CI so I listened to the game. Devo scored a trick and it sounded like they just owned the entire three periods.

    I was upset back when the Oilers lost Dowd to the Wild. I thought I heard that Lowe and Risebrough had some kind of deal where the latter owed a former a pick for leaving him unexposed but I don’t think that ever happened.

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