Some Former Oilers make the Grade

This is Bobby Allen. He had a nice training camp with the Oilers early this decade and was hurt (I think concussion, could be wrong) late and missed making the roster. He hung in there in AAA for a few seasons, finally getting another shot at the bigs with the Boston Bruins in 06-07.

Based on the Bruins website it looks like Allen made the big club out of camp this fall. I always cheer for these fellows, because 4 years of college and then 300+ AHL games is a long time to wait for the clouds to part and shine on you.

Here’s a list of guys who have been associated with the Oilers for one reason or another and where they’ve landed. It is not complete (I didn’t include Peca, for instance). If you can add any info (or if some of these guys got sent out and I missed it) please let me know.

Jochen Hecht is (I read this on Mirtle) the Sabres captain for the month of October. Always liked him, and even though the Oilers got Jarret Stoll in that trade imo lots of Oilers fans think of Hecht as a waste of skin and it is completely wrong. Very good player. Drew Stafford looks read to roll in Buffalo. He is one of those famous “players who got away” on draft day, as Kevin Lowe didn’t even have a jersey with Devan Dubnyk’s name on it (so convinced was he that Stafford would be an Oiler). Jaroslav Spacek is on that beauty Sabre blueline again this season.

Matt Lombardi was drafted by the Oilers but they didn’t sign him. He will play for Keenan this year, and has an outside chance of being the whipping boy. Ryan Smyth is in Denver and has at least one Oiler fan cheering mightily that he gets his name on the Stanley. One suspects Roloson will be on that club at the deadline. They also have someone named Jeff Finger on the Avs blueline (I assume his nickname is “middle”).

Jason Chimera is in Columbus, as is that beauty Medicine Hat Tiger defender Kris Russell. I expect people will be talking about him all year long. Brad Winchester got himself a winter job in Dallas and will probably benefit from a new organization. MacT’s exit interview implied that sometimes you need to hear it from another organization and Winchester may redouble his efforts to stay in the league. Daniel Cleary remains a quality NHL role player with Detroit.

Radek Dvorak is back in Florida, hopefully the rat craze doesn’t return. Roman Hamrlik is in Montreal which seems to me to be a weird club for him but we’ll see how it goes. Jason Arnott is the captain in Nashville, and Martin Gelinas is also on the Preds this season and Greg DeVries too.

The New York Islanders are collecting former Oilers. Miro Satan, Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie are memorable forwards from our town (Guerin had a nice season a year ago, wonder if he can get anywhere close this year) and Marc Andre Bergeron must be counting the number of chaos blueliners on the Oilers roster and wondering what he must have done to be deemed expendable if this was the master plan.

Dean McAmmond is still alive and well (sort of) in Ottawa, and with his speed he can probably play several more seasons. He has outlasted lots of role players of his era just because he has turned into a useful player with more than one skill. Luke Richardson is also listed on the roster, but he’s 94 years old.

Jim Dowd and Joff Lupul are not similar player types, but both are Philadelphia Flyers. So is Jason Smith, their captain. Mike York is in Phoenix, poor fellow. Georges Laraque, Petr Sykora and Alain Nasreddine are all on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster.

Mike Grier, Brad Norton and Alexei Semenov are all San Jose Sharks, although Semenov and Norton are both on IR to begin the season and would have to be considered 8 and 9 on the D depth chart. Martin Rucinsky and Doug Weight are St. Louis Blues again, and so is Eric Brewer.

Boyd Devereaux and Chad Kilger are Toronto Maple Leafs this season, which means we’ll see them on TV about 30 times more than anyone else on this list. Brad Isbister is a Vancouver Canuck until he’s injured, and so is Mason Raymond, a player the Oilers wanted badly on his draft day based on reports.

Michael Nylander is a fondly remembered former Oiler who signed with Washington this summer in a rather quiet transaction, and Tom Poti will patrol the blueline in Baltimore.

Tony Salmelainen, Jeff Woywitka, Alex Henry and Robin Kovar all missed the cut.

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12 Responses to "Some Former Oilers make the Grade"

  1. HBomb says:

    Hindsight being what it is…

    If in 2004, would the Wild (at 12th, where they took AJ Thelen)have taken a swap of the 14th AND 25th overall for their 12th overall pick?

    I wasn’t so hot on Stafford back then, but man oh man would he look good on the right side with Stoll and Torres about now….

  2. Ribs says:

    I’ve got a thread on the Oiler boards that I’ve been updating pretty frequently that has more former Oil landing in different territories.

  3. MattM says:

    I wanted the Oilers to draft Raymond badly. He played in the AJHL for my hometown. I was off at university by this time, but every Sunday when my dad got bored, I’d get a phone call raving about the guy. I have a moral objection to cheering for a Canuck, but I’m awfully close on this one.

  4. kanadienkyle says:

    I was interning with the Moose last year when Raymond showed up. Wow, the guy did something every shift. Just a fabulous player to watch and a breath of fresh air on a fairly workmanlike Moose squad.

  5. jon says:

    So much for Salmelainen putting up better ES numbers than Nilsson. Although I don’t know if anyone really believed that one. There’s still time for the Oilers to finish bottom 5 in the league too, but I don’t believe that one either.

  6. BROOKLYN_oiler says:


    I get the gist of the list compiled here – but one player I always like to wistfully think “what if” in regards to is Ray Whitney…

    It’s reaching back a bit further, and perhaps simply too painful:

    Nine games (1G, 3A) with the OIlers in 97-98, but can’t remember exactly how the OIlers dumped him after deciding he just couldn’t make the grade….was it waivers?

    He ended up scoring 32G, 29A +10 in 68 games for the Panthers in the remainder of that season….

    Getting rid of Whitney has to rank somewhere in the top ten of greatest oiler blunders of all time right? ( The guy is STILL producing : 32G 51A last season…come on…)

  7. Lowetide says:

    jon: Do we want to put Nilsson in the HHOF now, or should we wait a spell? As an aside, did you get a chance to add up all his EV points in pre-season?

  8. Oilman says:

    There was this big lanky blond fella that used to play here too…of what was his name…Chris Fuckin Something…..I believe he plays in London England now

  9. uni says:

    At least it looks like Boyd has found himself a spot for now.

  10. therealdeal says:

    David Vyborny is a prominent name left off the list (from a team formerly captained by two guys on the list, Luke Richardson and Ray Whitney).

    Nonetheless a very nicely researched compilation.

  11. Bank Shot says:

    I laughed at the middle finger comment.

    Sadly his real nickname is probably Fingy or Fingerer or Fings.

  12. Dennis says:

    Next time you’re watching a Leaves game, watch for a Devo shift and just look at which zone the puck winds up.

    I’m telling you, it’s easy to look at the points he put up in his late season audition and say, “yeah, the guy’s useful” but I noticed him late last season and the puck’s always in the right zone when he’s on the ice.

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