Some notes from Fall 1999:
- On June 7, Ron Low refused the Oilers offer for him to return as head coach. The Oilers would eventually settle on Kevin Lowe as his replacement.
- On June 25, the Oilers lost Kelly Buchberger to Atlanta in the expansion draft.
- On June 26, the Oilers traded minor league defenceman Craig Millar (he of the Satan deal) to the Nashville Predators a 3rd round draft pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft. The Oilers used the draft pick to select Mike Comrie.
- June 26, the Oilers selected Jani Rita, Alexei Semenov, Mike Comrie and Tony Salmelainen in the 1999 Entry Draft.
- July 15, the Oilers sign Craig MacTavish as assistant coach.
- July 19, Joe Hulbig signs with Boston, marking another 1st rounder who didn’t work out.
- August 4, Oilers sign Bill Ranford as a free agent.
- September 3, Oilers offer Esa Tikkanen a training camp tryout. They also offered a minor league tryout to Jeremy Roenick’s brother Trevor.
- September 4, Oilers offer a tryout to winger Jason Dawe who would almost make the team. He was one of the final three cuts.
Among the 82 players I’ve listed in the three posts below, we can break them into a few basic categories:
- Players with NHL experience: 22
- Quality minor league prospects: 16
- NHLers trying to hang on: 2 (Tikkanen, Ranford)
- Career minor leaguers: 10
- College prospects: 5
- Junior prospects: 5 (including Curtis Sanford, who slipped through)
- Juniors getting a look: 8
- Europeans: 6
- ECHL level fillers: 6
- Injured: 2
The cuts September 15 and after represent pretty much the best of the minor league/junior list (hindsight being 20/20):
- October 6-reassign Dan Lacouture.
- October 1-send down Eric Houde and Brad Norton.
- September 27-send down Bert Robertsson, Todd Reirden and Jason Dawe.
- September 20-send down Eric Heffler, Matheiu Descoteaux, Chris Hajt, Brian Swanson, Michel Riesen, Vladimir Vorobiev and Alex Henry.
- September 15-send down Jason Chimera, Mike Minard and Michael Henrich.
The best minor league prospect was Daniel Cleary, who got a call during the season. The best junior prospect was Alex Henry, who was in fact the final cut among the juniors that fall.