SAYING GOODBYE TO FRIENDS

Sometime this summer, we’re going to say goodbye to someone we enjoy as a hockey player. Maybe multiple times. As an Oiler fan, I can say with authority that every one of my favorite players has been sent away in a fashion not of his own choosing.

The key is getting something of value in return. Risto Siltanen was a wonderful Oiler–Finnish, unique and hilarious (I swear to God Almighty he couldn’t hit the net some nights with a scope at 20 paces). It hurt like hell to see him go—except that Ken Linesman was the prize return! Awesome! It was a sad day but a happy day too, and Linseman was outstanding during the first Stanley run.

I came to value Linseman as much as I had Siltanen–until the day the sent him to the Bruins. Mike Krushelnyski was known to me because he was a Bruin (always followed the Bruins) and he was terrific as an Oiler, so it was another good/bad day. The Oilers had upgraded in one way or another, while also trading a player I’d become attached to in some real way. (Older readers like Bruce will know why I stop here and move on to the next portion of the conversation–too painful to continue!).

Beyond Hall, Nuge, Yak City, Schultz the Younger and Ebs, do me a favor and list your favorite Oilers. Not the most important by some weighted system or assumed slotting, but the names that would cut a little (or a lot) to see them traded away. Here, I’ll start first (6 please, mine are in alpha order).

  1. Devan Dubnyk
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Ales Hemsky
  4. Shawn Horcoff
  5. Magnus Paajarvi
  6. Jeff Petry

That’s my group (I hope you’ll list yours). As a fan, I’m going to get killed this summer. And you know what? I remember exactly what it was like when Risto Siltanen was traded. EXACTLY. It was ages ago, and yet here it is.

You know what makes it a lot better? A very good return. We don’t really have a track record on MacT at the trade window, but we’re about to find out if he can make a fair trade that sends away someone we hold dear and also returns someone we can recognize as having similar or greater value.

Sather was brilliant at it, the guy was an absolute killer. Lowe had great days before the lockout (and the year after) and Steve Tambellini could never get the gun loaded in time.

MacT will have the courage to pull the trigger. What will be the return? That, ladies and gents, is about to unfold in front of us.

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100 Responses to "SAYING GOODBYE TO FRIENDS"

  1. BrazilianOil says:

    Petry
    Gagner
    Hemsky
    Hartikainen…
    Dubnyk
    Paajarvi

  2. Kris11 says:

    Personal favorites:

    Smid
    MPS
    Horcoff
    Petry
    Hemsky

  3. Kris11 says:

    I have no 6th. That is sad.

  4. "Steve Smith" says:

    Alphabetical order as well:

    Gagner
    Hemsky
    Horcoff
    Pajaarvi
    Petry
    Smid

    Same as LT’s, with Smid in instead of Dubnyk (which makes sense, because LT hates Smid so much I assume that Smid must’ve fought Pouliot on the playground as a kid).

    What surprises me is how few candidates I saw. I don’t even like Gagner and Petry that much, but this team is so devoid of players I really really like, I had a hard time coming up with six that I did. Kris, who had the same list as I did except without Gagner, seems to have had the same problem.

    I hate this team.

  5. Rondo says:

    Hemsky article

    JETS OFF-SEASON TRADE TARGETS: ALES HEMSKY

    http://jetsnation.ca/2013/6/11/jets-off-season-trade-targets-ales-hemsky

  6. crude says:

    Smid
    Ga…

    This is hard.

  7. B S says:

    Smid
    Smyth
    Gagner
    MPS
    Duby Dooby Doo
    Hemsky…
    Wait does Krueger still count?

    Edit: deleted Petry, replaced with MPS after actual thought.

  8. B S says:

    I do feel it’s time for Hemsky to move on though.

  9. coolwasabi says:

    Ales Hemsky

    I’m fine if he’s traded though. Unlike before, we now have lots of skill on the roster. Also, I’d like to see him get a fresh start somewhere (can you imagine him in Detroit?!).

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ordinally,

    Smid
    Hemsky
    Smyth
    Dubnyk
    Petry
    Magnus

  11. "Steve Smith" says:

    coolwasabi,

    If
    i. the Oilers are not in the playoffs next year,
    ii. Ales Hemsky is playing for a team that is in the playoffs, and
    iii. that team is none of Vancouver, Calgary, or Toronto,

    I will unhesitatingly cheer for that team to win the Cup.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This part of my fan self is still saying bye to Hordi, Petrell and Harti.

    sad days.

  13. Radman says:

    Rondo:
    Hemsky article

    JETS OFF-SEASON TRADE TARGETS: ALES HEMSKY

    http://jetsnation.ca/2013/6/11/jets-off-season-trade-targets-ales-hemsky

    I wonder if they want to try him with Kane. Think this is a real possibility. Not sure about return though.

    Gagner
    Petry
    MPS
    Jonesy
    Smid

  14. Bushed says:

    Hemmer – hope he does well on his next team
    Smyth – can’t trade him again – he must retire here
    Smid
    Petry
    Omark – one real chance with Eakins before we say ‘bye?
    Thoreson – way late, I know, but I still miss him. Can we get him back?

  15. B S says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    coolwasabi,

    If
    i. the Oilers are not in the playoffs next year,
    ii. Ales Hemsky is playing for a team that is in the playoffs, and
    iii. that team is none of Vancouver, Calgary, or Toronto,

    I will unhesitatingly cheer for that team to win the Cup.

    I would second that.

  16. Thinker says:

    Eberle
    Yakupov
    Mps
    Hartikainen (if he still counts)
    Hemsky
    Horcoff

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    coolwasabi,

    If
    i. the Oilers are not in the playoffs next year,
    ii. Ales Hemsky is playing for a team that is in the playoffs, and
    iii. that team is none of Vancouver, Calgary, or Toronto,

    I will unhesitatingly cheer for that team to win the Cup.

    yes. this. yes.

    caveat: no to Dallas (spits) either.

  18. Kris11 says:

    Least Favorites in order from absolute least favorite/hated to meh:

    Smyth (yeah, really, just always frustrated by the guy from day 1)
    Khabibulin (great role model)
    Jones (give me a break)
    Brown (goon)
    Whitney (jerk with foot-based delusions of grandeur)
    Peckham (whatever)
    Belanger (angry weird old dude and too handsome and useless)
    Potter (stepped on Hall’s face)
    What’s-his-name-from-Panthers (doesn’t even need a name)
    Petrell (looks like he has a nice dead bug collection)
    Gagner (Not about how good he is, just not a favorite to watch)
    Old Schultz (reminds of losing Gilbert)
    Fistric (thundering vanilla useless is still useless)
    Eberle (his grin bugs me)

    I would add Eager and Hordichuk, but they are best forgotten.

  19. Factotum says:

    Hemsky
    Gagner
    Smid
    Paajarvi
    Petry
    Dubnyk

    I will be sad to see Horcoff go – IMO a very good hockey player who’s been unfairly vilified for years – but it won’t *hurt*.

  20. Chamucks says:

    I’m younger than most on here and my list definitely reflects that.
    1. Hall – Such a great player. Fierce. Unbelievably entertaining. He imo was the start of the new era.
    2. Hemsky – Him burying the Wings was what turned me from casual Oiler fan to obsessed with every move the team made. He is my Marchant.
    3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – I got a hold of a tonne of Rebels games on video when the Oilers were DFL. I swear I saw a perennial Art Ross contender, franchise, future HoF center. Remains to be seen of course, but he’s a very special player imo.
    4. Yakupov – I can’t help but smile watching him jump every time a puck goes in. Pure elation and energy. Would love to play with a player like that. It’s early, but no matter what happens he’s a player I will always follow and enjoy.
    5. Horcoff – I got jibbed a lot standing up for him. Everyone goes back to the damn contract. Still a valuable contributor and a good soldier. Could always be counted on. Always wanted to see him more in the playoffs. Figured he would shine if fans got to see him being a key cog in a series. Might have changed some people’s perception.

  21. Jordan says:

    Smid
    Pajaarvi
    Gagner
    Dubnyk
    Hemsky
    Horcoff

    I still wish we had Penner back. Know why he was traded, like the return okay…. miss his wit.

  22. Gerta Rauss says:

    Hemsky
    Petry
    Smid
    Paajarvi

    I can’t come up with 6 to meet your criteria.

    Even Hemsky is borderline for me,I’ve always liked the player but I do feel it’s time to move on. That being said, I would have been happy building a tough minutes line around Hemsky-he might be the only reason Jagr would consider coming here-but that ship has sailed I’m afraid.

    The talk of trading Petry the last couple days worries me, trading him would sting.

    Ditto for Smid

    Paajarvi-With all the high end talent, we’re going to need a value contract playing in the top 9,trading Magnus would hurt

  23. cdean says:

    Gagner
    Dubnyk
    Horcoff
    Smyth
    Hemsky
    Paajarvi
    Jones

    Sad that there isn’t any defensemen on my list

  24. "Steve Smith" says:

    Chamucks,

    It’s not that we’re older than you, it’s that we’re better at reading Lowetide’s rules than you.

  25. Chamucks says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Chamucks,

    It’s not that we’re older than you, it’s that we’re better at reading Lowetide’s rules than you.

    Apologies. Misread that.

  26. BlacqueJacque says:

    Hemsky
    Hemsky
    Hemsky
    Smid
    Gagner

    Hemsky three times because of everything he’s given this ungrateful fanbase. Never a big guy, supremely talented (though arguably didn’t make the most of it), and one of the most courageous players in the history of the Oilers. How many times did Regehr demolish him in a corner or along the boards? And he always, always went back in for more. There were not just nights but months and even entire seasons when, really, the only player worth watching on the ice was Hemmer. He signed a sweetheart deal for the Oilers to stay in the city, for cheap. He delivered far beyond what his contract paid him, and he paid a heavy physical price for it. He’ll be feeling those aches and pains the rest of his life, millions or no millions. Then when the Oilers finally paid him what was arguably backpay, the entire NHL and most of the fanbase jump on his back.

    Almost any other player of his skill and courage would have quit trying and pulled back when the incompetent management team couldn’t put together a roster to help him, or to defend him. Or they would have demanded a trade. But no, Hemsky kept coming night in, night out, as his body permitted. I rarely if ever have a significant amount of respect for 20-somethings who get paid millions to play a game, but Hemsky gets more than any Oiler I’ve watched. I’m sure people will bring up Anderson or the like, and I’m sure that those players are worthy, but Hemsky made me proud to be an Oiler fan even in the darkest days. It hurts so much to see him fade so young and be eclipsed. Eberle is a Team Canada hero and a player delivering more than his draft position indicates. Yakupov is incredibly enthusiastic and driven and dedicated, but no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to sacrifice what Hemsky did simply because they will never be on an Oilers team as bad as the ones Hemsky has played for. Eberle, Yakupov, and even Hall were never alone out there, and likely never will be.

    Gagner because he’s a consummate professional from a young age, because Kevin Lowe is an idiot and forced him into the limelight too soon and Sam refused to fade, because he gets ragged on by people for his shortcomings even though he’s still very young and still getting better. Every year he adds a dimension to his game.

    Smid because he, like Sam, was put into the show too early and paid the price but refused to wilt under pressure. He kept at it until he became out best defender. He loves being an Oiler and loves Edmonton and just wanted to get paid fair money to stay here.

  27. steveb12344 says:

    Hemmer- Love the player, but am coming around to the line of thinking that a fresh start may be best for both parties.

    Smid- Warrior, anf fiercely loyal Oiler

    Gagner- Reminds me a lot of D. Gilmour. Killer never really blossomed into an elite player until he was traded to Toronto. I would hate to see history repeat its’self in this case.

    Dubnyk- First of all you gotta love a guy called Doobie. Also if he played in PHX. or NSH. he would probably look like an all-star.

    Maggie- Something tells me he’s going to be a hell of a player once his balls finally drop.

    Klefbomb- I know he hasn’t laced em up for an NHL game yet, but I was following the FBK website during most of his games. The media and fans over there were absolutely raving about how good he was playing, and most nights they seemed to think he was the best player on the ice. I am very excited to see this player in Oiler silks.

  28. "Steve Smith" says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I love how you count Hemsky three times and still can’t come up with six.

    Did I mention that I hate this team?

  29. bookje says:

    Ryan Smyth
    Sam Gagner
    Ales Hemsky
    Shawn Horcoff
    Magnus Paajarvi
    Laddy Smid

    Why do you hate Ryan Smyth so much LT?

  30. Lucinius says:

    Mine, in order of most favoured;

    1) Hemsky
    2) Smid
    3) Paajarvi
    4) Petry
    5) Horcoff
    6) Lander

    Hemsky.. for all the obvious reason. Sublime player and one I will always remember as the Master of the Almost; just thinking about him cashing in on even half of those almosts makes one dizzy. True instinct player that got the short end of the stick as an Oiler in so many ways and its negatively impacted his career and life. Will miss him when he’s traded and hope he ends up on Cup favourite and wins it all.

    Smid.. because he’s bloody Smid! He’s survived the years where you wondered if he’d impale himself on his own stick on any given night. He’s got attitude, can skate and pass and a shot worthy of a sitcom. But its mainly that attitude and sheer work ethic that makes him a favourite.

    Paajarvi for his play style, willingness to do the ugly things that won’t show up on a score-sheet and to do as needed by the team. Still learning, but with his speed and ability to change his game.. a favourite for a long time unless MacT is dumber than even I fear.

    Petry for his skill, mostly. Even if he does forget his jock at times.

    Horcoff because, despite his pay stubs, he’s always worked his ass off, night in, night out. Injured or healthy he laid it all out on the ice. Sadly, his offensive gift was ruined the one time he goes to the all-star circuit. If only…

    Lander almost entirely for his attitude. The boy is a pest; its as if he channels the Ghost of the Tick. It isn’t drawing a lot of penalties yet, but you can see it when he plays.. the other team wants to kill him and no one knows why. Glorious.

    Honestly… the Big Ones wouldn’t change my list much, except Yakupov and Hall sliding onto the list below Smid.

  31. Kris11 says:

    Smyth reeks of failure.

  32. Mr DeBakey says:

    Tom Gilbert
    Shawn Horcov
    Ales Hemsky
    Ryan Smyth
    Yakoupov, Still Team Yakkety-Yak [don't come back]. Gotta love any guy who gets that old fool Cherry’s Depends in a knot.
    and
    Paajarvi, too

  33. BlacqueJacque says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I missed that part. Magnus, Dubnyk, and Jones would be the other three. Magnus because he’s going to be a checking winger legend. Dubnyk because he’s developed in the worst team in the league for four years straight (counting shot differential I am confident we should have had 30th overall locked up if not for Dubey), and Jones because he creates out of nothing on a consistent basis and has a great attitude.

  34. Woodguy says:

    I was talking to a friend about a subject very much like this today.

    I mentioned that Stiltanen was my earlierst memory of a favorite player, but I was wrong.

    It was Brett Callighen.

    I was only 7, but I remember the Oilers being a big deal.

    I remember being Calllighen when I played on the patio and being sad when his eye injury kept him from playing.

    The GMC line was a big deal and Gretzky was the new guy, so MacDonald and Callighen were actually larger in my eyes.

    Also,

    I had a table hockey game when I was about 8.

    We had a Dman who broke because my idea (to this day) to fitting things together is the BF&I method.

    Brute Force and Ignorance.

    We needed a Dman so we rigged up about 3″ (maybe less) of a green HB pencil that was lying around. We attached it with hockey tape, and it was a good tape job. Held the pencil until the last game was played on that table.

    We’d lost the puck the toy company supplied (Mattel?, feels like something else, but Mattel is close) within days of opening up the game.

    We substituted a square piece of lego.

    By luck the square piece of lego was the penultimate table hockey puck. (“twitchy hockey”. To this day we call it twitchy hockey because its the correct name)

    Square lego would rise on a medium slope when slapped sometimes (probably before is it was square to the table and the air could get underneath).

    It looked so cool raising up from the stick of player to the top corner.

    We jammed our share of pucks in the net with passing plays, but that lego allowed for a long shot to beat the goalie clean and high and that was really cool to see when you were 8-10.

    The HB pencil stub was the most dominating slap shot with the square lego and it wasn’t close.

    All the other players could hit it hard and raise it over the net, but the pencil was the only one that could drive it into the other player’s eye with enough force to hurt.

    So we call the pencil “RIsto” in complete reverence for the player.

    Risto Stiltanen and Brett Callighen were the Oiler to me.

    Then they beat Montreal with a rookie goalie and I learned the whole roster like every other Edmonton kid.

    Those are the first two Oilers I remember not playing for the team when I was looking forward to watching them play.

  35. Marquee says:

    1) Paajarvi
    2) Smid
    3) Gagner
    4 ) Hemsky

    The first 2 I would really hate to see go. I think Gagner might be our most valuable assest outside the big 5 and #7, so if he produces a good return, I’ll be happy. Hemsky is likely gone, but on a team usually filled with blue-collar workers, his skill was something to behold. I hope he flourishes with his new team.

  36. RMGS says:

    1) Hemsky
    2) Gagner
    3) Smid

    I can’t complete a list of six if limited to the season’s end NHL roster. If we stretch the rules to those whose rights are held by the Oilers…

    4) Rajala
    5) Omark
    6) Gernat

    It’s tough to be an Oilers supporter.

  37. Woodguy says:

    I remember the Oilers losing to PHI in the first round in 1980 when the Oilers finished 16th and PHI finished 1st.

    1st vs. 16th.

    3 game sweep.

    Oilers had a -21 scoring differential that year.

    Next year was 80/81

    Montreal 3rd seed, Edmonton 14th seed.

    3 game sweep by Edmonton and set the hockey world on its ear.

    Edmonton scoring differential that year was +1

    That was pretty cool.

  38. B S says:

    B S:
    Smid
    Smyth
    Gagner
    MPS
    Duby Dooby Doo
    Hemsky…
    Wait does Krueger still count?

    Didn’t realize we had to explain ourselves.

    Smid because he is the only Dman we have had since Pronger who will mug the cocky S.O.B. stupid enough to skate within 5 feet of HIS goaltender.

    Smyth because I missed the glory years (or barely caught the ass end of them) and like most of his fans he won me over because he played to score goals, not to make the TSN highlight reels. And because taking a slapshot to the face only makes him play better.

    Magnus because he is currently our best hope to replace Smyth (and his hand-eye coordination is a hell of a lot better) in fact he could be an upgrade, think Ryan Smyth with skill. And because he has done whatever has been asked of him and never complained *cough*omark*cough* or argued. Say what you want about how soft he is, but during training camp he was the last off the ice, and he was working on one-timers and tips not dangles.

    Gagner because unlike Hemsky, Horcoff, (and yes Smyth too), he’s never seen Edmonton in the playoffs, but he’s still marched along like a good soldier doing whatever is asked of him. “Add 15 pounds despite not being a physical player, of course sir”, “play hard minutes with nothing but a couple of nancies for linemates, whatever you want”, “play right wing to Horcoff instead of my natural center position, sure”, “play rightwing to Belanger despite being the second highest scorer from my draft class, if that’s what’s best” If anyone on this team deserves to get playoff wins in Oilers silks it’s Sam Gagner.

    Admittedly the final two were included as fillers.

    Hemsky has been covered substantially above, and substantially better than I could espouse, with one qualifier, @BlacqueJacque: Hall, Eberle, and MPS have actually played with Hemsky on what have been undoubtedly the worst teams in Oilers history, The fact that there have been highlights other than Hemmer on the team for the first time since Doug Weight, doesn’t change that these kids have seen the low point in Oiler quality.

    Dooby is only included because he has shown the poise and character that are so important to all goaltenders…okay seriously it’s because he’s good, but not great, the last thing this team needs ATM is a $7 million/annum goalie chewing up cap space, I think he is the least of this teams problems, and deserves the starter position until it becomes clear that he is the one keeping the Oilers from a championship.

  39. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    That must have been something to watch the Oilers defeat the mighty Habs. Was Lafleur healthy?

  40. BlacqueJacque says:

    B S,

    I know that we finished last with the kids, but they saw hope. From 2007-2008 until Hall was drafted, Hemsky was swimming in shit, and then simply found himself replaced by newer, shinier toys who got more love as raw rookies than Hemmer ever got for all his efforts.

  41. Dead Oiler walking says:

    Continuing old topic. Hartikainen did an interview in Finland in June 2012 where he is quoted as saying he would go to the KHL if he didn’t get a one way deal. Google translate is interesting but I remember a Finnish poster saying that is what it says.

    http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fi&u=http://www.savonsanomat.fi/urheilu/jaakiekko/teemu-hartikaisen-vaihtoehdot-nhl-tai-khl/1202047&prev=/search%3Fq%3DKuopiolaisen%2Bkiekkot%25C3%25A4hden%2Bvaihtoehdot:%2BNHL%2Btai%2BKHL%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D690

    Mr. Jouni Huttunen,
    On 5.6.2012 at 21:31

    The NHL or the Kontinental Hockey League.

    In that are the by Teemu Hartikainen’s the options, when the of three the period the contract award with the Edmonton Oilers end on the next season of after the.

    - Here’s how is a. If you I do not get one-way street the agreement to the NHL, so-then the direction of taken into to Russia, calculates the to Kuopio for the summer returned from the power of the attacker.

  42. Chunklets says:

    It was Brett Callighen.
    I was only 7, but I remember the Oilers being a big deal.
    I remember being Calllighen when I played on the patio and being sad when his eye injury kept him from playing.

    It was Mike Bullard, wasn’t it, who ended Callighen’s career? I remember that line very fondly as well – Brett was a bright spark on the early NHL Oilers, or at least so I remember from listening to the young Rod Phillips broadcasts.

    Anyway, my current sentimental top 6 (fab 5 not included):

    1. Sam Gagner: Liked him since the dark days of ’07-’08. Despite being north of 40, I was too excited to sleep the night he scored 8 against Chicago.
    2. Ales Hemsky: Game 6 against Detroit during the run would be enough in itself, but there’s so much else as well. A wonderful player to cheer for.
    3. Shawn Horcoff: I managed not to get on the anti-Horc bandwagon, ever… A very decent captain, despite the contract.
    4. Ryan Smyth: Need you ask?
    5. Ladislav Smid: Criminally under-rated, plus I like the notion that some good came out of the Pronger trade.
    6. Nikolai Khabibulin: On purely historical grounds, acknowledging fully that he’s not a very good goalie anymore and that the Oilers would be better off with somebody else. I have a big soft spot for the guys who played for/in the old USSR, and Nik’s one of the last ones still active (Kovalev in the Swiss league, Ozolinsh in the KHL – are there any others?).

  43. sliderule says:

    Hemsky ,all dazzle and no substance
    Horcoff my buddy who knows him says he is a dink
    Smyth, your wife talked you out of signing for 100 k ,Get a set.
    Belanger, you didn’t want to go to Peg and then you signed here,Hit the road to la bell province
    Eager,you can beat up bartenders and then roll over when you hit the ice.Get a set.
    Lowe.,you talk tough in your gondola but you never won a fight so don’t be so arrogant.

  44. "Steve Smith" says:

    Chunklets:
    5. Ladislav Smid: Criminally under-rated, plus I like the notion that some good came out of the Pronger trade.

    One of my favourite Smid stories is about how when Burke (or somebody from the Ducks – I’ll say it was Burke) called him to tell him that he’d been traded, Smid asked who the Ducks had got in return. Burke told him, and then heard Smid turn to whoever he was with during the phone call and shout “Hey, guys – I just got traded for Chris Pronger!”

  45. Lowetide says:

    Brad McCrimmon it was an accident.

  46. Clay says:

    I’m trying really hard to drum up some sort of attachment to anyone on this team outside of the Untouchable 5, but can’t. As long as the return is good enough, I wouldn’t care.

    THAT SAID, Commandant Horcov intentionally blocked a shot with his face for this team. I’ll miss him in a way. Something about all the undue shit he’s taken from the fans.

    And Smytty I guess. He’s a shadow of his former self, but he’s bled Oiler colours since forever.

  47. Lois Lowe says:

    Ryan Smyth – That some people actually don’t like him is absolutely beyond me. I think he should have his jersey retired when his career is over and I don’t think it’s over yet. I think he was too good of a soldier in Krueger’s system and it cost him a lot of production last year (as did the lockout). He still goes to the hard areas and can kill a penalty, he’s the ultimate depth forward on a club like the Oilers who can play 40-70% of the games in a 3/4 LW spot. I do think this is likely is final campaign and it wil be sad to see him go.

    Magnus Paajaarvi – I think he’s exactly the type of guy that the Oilers would take a flyer on if he were playing on another team. He has tremendous straight ahead speed, a NHL sized frame, defensive awareness, and some offensive upside. While he is not in the ‘untouchable’ category, I think there’s still too much potential there to part with him without getting a really good return. I think he’s going to have a long career whatever his offensive numbers because he can do a bunch of other things well and because guys of his draft pedigree always get multiple chances (see Eager, Ben and Barker, Cam).

    Ladi Smid – Despite LT’s misgivings about this player he has always been one of my favorite Oilers and while he’s hardly a fair return for CFP, since his rookie year he’s impressed me. He was the second or third best dman on the 06/7 Oilers as a rookie (which is an indictment of how bad that group was), and he’s now our Gator-lite, blood n’ guts dman. The offence is never going to be there, but I didn’t score much as a hockey player either so I don’t place too high a premium on it. ;)

    Anton Lander – Someone on the radio or blogosphere said recently about Hartikainen that despite his size, he didn’t really ever agitate the opposition. For whatever reason, and I am not on the ice, Lander really seems to get under the opposing team’s skin. Other players are always taking whacks at him after whistles and jawing him while skating to the benches. I think he’s got to mature some more physically to be consistently in an NHL line up, but I like him as a player and would be sad to see him go. He’s my Pouliot and the hill I will die on.

    The rest of the team I have either made my amends with them leaving or simply don’t really have much of an attachment to. I like Gagner, for example, but if he is the key to bringing in some much need help, then I am fine with him being the one shown the door.

  48. Lowetide says:

    One thing is clear: you followed me like LEMMINGS on the Smid hatred. (no you didn’t). :-)

  49. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    One thing is clear: you followed me like LEMMINGS on the Smid hatred. (no you didn’t).

    I’m getting the feeling this was all some sort of twisted psychological experiment.

  50. Chunklets says:

    Lowetide:
    Brad McCrimmon it was an accident.

    Ah ok. I knew it was a Calgary player, but couldn’t remember which one.

  51. unca miltie says:

    I am even older than wood guy, was a young man when the Alberta oilers hit the scene. Loved Risto and his shot. Glen Anderson was my all time favorite. Bought a mini pack just to go to his retirement/ banner raising.

    Favorite today is still Hemmer followed by Horcoff and Smyth. Really started to warm up to Hall and smid last year. I honestly think Horcoff is still very valuable and would hate to see him leave. Like PRV and Petry as well. that is 7

  52. Captain Happy says:

    Dustin Penner

    Sheldon Souray

    Matt Greene

    Jarret Stoll

    Marty Reasoner

    Now those teams had character.

  53. Danenbaum says:

    Smyth
    Hemsky
    Horcoff
    Smid
    Paajarvi
    Gagner

  54. Ducey says:

    Smid
    Peckham – I was so sure he was going to amount to something – not that he won’t :)
    MPS
    Smyth – he was nice to my kid’s novice team about 5 years ago
    DD
    Potter – yeah, Potter. Got a problem with that?

    I also think Marincin will be a stud. Don’t want him traded for some 30 yr old checking forward.

    On Horcoff and Hemsky. They stopped caring. So have I.

  55. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ducey:
    Potter – yeah, Potter.Got a problem with that?

    I’ll second that Potter endorsement. Although, I don’t really care if he’s an Oiler, I just want to see him in the NHL somewhere. (And no, I don’t mean in Calgary to make them suck a little more.)

  56. Dead Oiler walking says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I was at that Montreal game. Moog became my netmlnding hero right there. Never forgave Fuhr for taking his job. Also at all the cup wins but none was as exiting as the baby oilers sweeping the mighty habs. Couldn’t lift my arms to clap anymore at the end of the game.

    Dubnyk – warrior
    PRV- Faster than a speeding bullet
    Petry- Just wait
    Horc – but how much fan abuse can you take before you just want out
    Smyth – Should get to sail into the sunset with goalie stick smacking him and a smile on his face
    Pilick – He’ll get it and we’ll think he deserves to stay after training camp

  57. OilersFan4Life says:

    Paajarvi
    Gagner
    Smid
    Brown
    Jones
    Smyth

  58. jake70 says:

    Smid, that’s it. The guy cares.

  59. Henry says:

    Some of my favorite memories as a kid were going to Oilers games with my Dad four or five times a year. The company he worked for had seats just above the glass at the right side blue line. The first couple years I was apprehensive that Siltanen would wind up with eyes closed, shank it 90 degrees and drill me in the face.

    Favorites that I don’t want to go in the purge:

    6. Gagner
    5. Smid
    4. Dubnyk
    3. MPS
    2. Petry
    1. Hemsky. I get the ‘it’s time’ argument, but it will hurt to see him go if/when it happens. During seven years of mostly syphilitic hockey he was the main reason to watch an Oilers game. The pro game is full of systems and strategies that can get dull. Hemsky can carve up a defense like a jedi. Seeing something new and superhuman is the reason to watch pro sports. If he goes to Calgary I’ll still cheer for him.

  60. regwald says:

    I’m not sure if I want to type this list of 6, so I will start with my first ever Oiler jersey. Lee Fogolin. I know it sounds strange, but I loved the fact that he was so tough and strong and just gave it his all. What a player, what a man.

    Hemsky – for all those curse his giveaways, I wish they would re-watch the 06 run an remember his contributions. It is lost on too many.
    Horcoff – for same, for being a good soldier and for attempting to earn that unrealistic pay cheque.
    Dubnyk – I think he’s a keeper and I think he is a top 10 starting goalie. Maybe better in 2 more years.
    MPS – love his progression and cause, well he’s Magnus !
    Petry – just the tip of the ice berg of his potential
    Smid – he lives and dies with the jersey.

  61. jake70 says:

    .Also at all the cup wins but none was as exiting as the baby oilers sweeping the mighty habs.

    Born and raised out east here, I have had to explain many times over the years why I latched on to a western based team – you’ve said it nicely…will borrow that next time. (some kid wearing 99 didn’t hurt either)

    Woodguy, great story on the hockey table…I had mom order some extra pucks for mine…still lost them.

  62. B S says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    B S,

    I know that we finished last with the kids, but they saw hope.From 2007-2008 until Hall was drafted, Hemsky was swimming in shit, and then simply found himself replaced by newer, shinier toys who got more love as raw rookies than Hemmer ever got for all his efforts.

    maybe it’s because I live on the southside or something, but from 2008-2010 the only jerseys I saw were Oilers 83 (sometimes with the numbers taped on) and Ryan Smyth Islanders (or whatever team he happened to be playing for) jerseys, and since the Smyth trade had already died down, it was mostly 83. I agree that Hemsky never had a lot to work with on those teams, but even now that he has talent on his lines he still posts the same numbers.

    1. Sam Gagner: Liked him since the dark days of ’07-’08.Despite being north of 40, I was too excited to sleep the night he scored 8 against Chicago.

    I stayed up to watch it again on TSN when the rebroadcasted it. Never saw Sittler’s 10 but he did it on a solid team against a rookie goaltender. Gagner scored 8 points on a crap team against a former champion with 2 NHL quality goaltenders. I honestly think it is arguably one of the greatest individual performances in pro sports.

  63. BlacqueJacque says:

    Dead Oiler walking,

    I’m so jealous. Wish I saw the glory Oilers grow up.

    As for Horcoff and fan abuse… if you don’t want fan abuse, don’t sign a stupid contract. Yes, the team offered the stupid contract (one of the reasons I’m not sold on MacT as GM, because he pushed hard to sign Horc at any cost IIRC), but it’s up to the player to live up to it and live with it. Would I say “no” to a $55m contract? Unlikely. Would I say “no” to a $55m contract over a $40m contract if it meant the difference between being able to walk the street with a smile and walk the street with a feeling that everyone’s ready to spit at me? Yeah. Once you’re a millionaire 20, 30 times over (after tax, to boot), I don’t think an extra 10 is worth being hated over. Horc made his bed, ultimately.

  64. B S says:

    Also wanted to say that I always liked Gagner, but that was because I thought he was going to be the start of the rebuild, I mean like how it actually happened in ’10. Smyth was gone and a Pittsburgh style rebuild seemed like the obvious choice, slash and burn the roster and bring in the kids. Always wanted to know what it would be like to have Hall Stamkos Eberle, and Tavares and Gagner as 5 of your top 6. Maybe Olympics 2018.

  65. Oilanderp says:

    Peckham
    Horcoff
    MPS
    Hemsky
    Weight … awww crap.

  66. Kitchener says:

    My top 6, with an abstract view:

    1) Positive energy
    2) “Oiler Hockey” (goals galore; run & gun)
    3) Genuine smiles on the young guns’ faces
    4) Alberta’s #1 team
    5) OKC in high gear
    6) Joey Moss

    This week’s whirlwind may help improve the short-term points total, but at what long term cost? What collateral damage when the screws tighten under the new regime?

    Hopefully I’m over-reacting, but I prefer a coach who smiles once in a while.

  67. Travis Dakin says:

    Ales Hemsky…. That is all :(

  68. Kitchener says:

    A more conventional list:

    - Fedun
    - Rajala
    - Jones
    - Petry
    - MPS
    - Tobias Rieder

    Rieder, you ask? Hmmm… He competes, can pass/shoot/puckhandle, defends better than most, gets greasy when needed, out-skills opponents, beats defenders within multiple systems/styles, wins faceoffs, quarterbacks PP, plays center or wing as needed, etc.

    What the hell were those shitheads thinking?

    The problem with a “tumultuous summer” is that one month’s “bold move” can look pretty idiotic down the road.

  69. TheOtherJohn says:

    Has anyone ever lost their “eliteness” like Lafleur did in April 1980? Seriously 50 goals & 125 pts in regular season and was a shadow of himself thereafter . The “Anti Hank Aaron”and no it was not cused by Dave Hunter. Lafleur was relatively young, too.

  70. Rebilled says:

    1. Smid: whose gonna block shots? and punch guys in the face, especially Burrows.
    2. Petry: we need d
    3. Gagner: only 23.
    4. MPS: still inexpensive, upside emerging this year.
    5. Hemsky: he’s the PP QB most times.

    i’ve hear our captain is a dbag as well. Talk to anyone at that auto group. I doubt he’s good in the room and glad to see him go. That injury/contract define his career.

    Smyth would be on the list if this was 2007 when he was traded.

  71. Ed Breland says:

    Woodguy,

    Good pick on Brett Callighen. My dad took my brother and I to an Oilers practice when we were 5 or 6 years old. At some stage he came out and played some hockey with us on the concourse and left us each with an autographed Oilers puck. My memories of anything else in the early 80′s regarding the Oilers is pretty hazy but I will always remember that.

  72. zoofarmcheater says:

    1. Ladi Smid
    2. Sam Gagner
    3. Ryan Jones (yeah I know he won’t be traded, but not re-signing him would be brutal)
    4. Devan Dubnyk
    5. Jeff Petry

    I trust MacT going into this, but this summer is going to be a crazy emotional roller coaster! And before we bring out the torches and pitchforks yelling “FIRE MACT!!!! FIRE MACT!!!”, we’ll have to give a few months for the team to get used to each other if we’re throwing everyone overboard. They’ll probably need a full season just to learn all the systems the coach is going to teach! I fully expect us to make the playoffs though :)

  73. Dead Oiler walking says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I’m jealous you can probably still get up in the morning without creaking.

    I always told my kids you can’t give more than your best but if you join a team your teammates deserve that best all the time. Horc epitomizes giving your best. Whether it was blocking a shot with his face or digging for the puck or flyng to the net to try and tip in a Hemsky pass. Miss that tip or not he gave it his best shot.

    Actually, he was getting blame from very early in his career. When he was still a 3/4 centre fresh off his 99h overall draft spot and college career, a sports talk show did a fan pole asking what was wrong with the oilers. The choices included top line players and Horcoff. The result was overwhelmingly that Hocoff was the problem. The host went nuts. He said he only included Horc as a joke. How do you blame your teams woes on a bit player.

    His salary never hurt the team, so why would you care how much he makes?

  74. mustang says:

    Exciting times ahead, I liked RK I thought he deserved 1 full training camp and half a season. I like Eakins interviews so here’s to hoping things workout. I have a gut feeling MacT and Eakins combo will do be very good

    1) Laddy
    2) Horc
    3) Hemmer
    4) Jones
    5) Petry
    6) N.Schultz
    7) almost forgot..Gags

  75. Gerta Rauss says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Hemsky
    Petry
    Smid
    Paajarvi

    I can’t come up with 6 to meet your criteria.

    Even Hemsky is borderline for me,I’ve always liked the player but I do feel it’s time to move on. That being said, I would have been happy building a tough minutes line around Hemsky-he might be the only reason Jagr would consider coming here-but that ship has sailed I’m afraid.

    The talk of trading Petry the last couple days worries me, trading him would sting.

    Ditto for Smid

    Paajarvi-With all the high end talent, we’re going to need a value contract playing in the top 9,trading Magnus would hurt

    I would add Smytty to that list as well.

    And I have tremendous respect for all the players not on my list, I’ve just reconciled that changes are coming(and needed)

  76. slopitch says:

    Appears as though Stalberg is sitting game 1. Stay away

    Smyth
    Smid
    Gagner

    That’s it. The rest I’m not attached to. Horcoff I just can’t get behind overpaid players and Hemsky always leaves you wanting more. Great players and Ill miss them but 2006 is a distant bell and I’d be fine moving on.

  77. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    Craig MacTavish just announced that he was going to trade the pencil and that the lego piece was fired. He noted that it was not really fair to the lego piece, but that the lego piece was not really a long-standing member of the Oiler family so it was convenient to get rid of him.

  78. striatic says:

    Ladislav Smid
    Devan Dubnyk
    Magnus Paajarvi
    Sam Gagner
    Jeff Petry
    Teemu Hartikainen : [

  79. Dominoiler says:

    1. Hemsky
    2. Smyth
    3. Horc

    —-

    All for the 06 run, with hemksy out front because of the few highlights oiler fans had following it (not including the #1 picks and eberle’s first nhl goal..)


    4. Joey Moss (great add to the list options, btw)
    5. Smid (as so many have pointed out before me, heart..)
    6. PRV n Lander n Harti (why couldnt they just be as good as we want them to be?!)
    HM. Marincin and Gernat

  80. stupendousman says:

    This has been a great exercise in showing how little recent editions of the team have captured my imagination. Now, I’m 30 years removed from when I first became a fan of the Oil — so it likely will never be the same as it once was. Then, of course, there’s the losing. But it’s more than that. Most of my favourite all-time Oilers were either tough guys or the “two-way” tough guys. There were exceptions — Anderson, Klima, Weight, Marchant, etc. But there are certainly no McSorleys or Browns on this squad — and definitely no Graves, Mansons, Beukebooms or Fogolins. Not even a Torres, Souray, Glencross or a Grier. Having said that, there are a couple current Oilers that I would hate to see in another team’s colours — as much as I understand moves have to be made. Here’s my list:

    1. Hemsky
    2. Paajarvi

  81. B S says:

    Bohologo,

    Dubnyk was the backstop for the Spengler Cup this year.

  82. Henry says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Has anyone ever lost their “eliteness” like Lafleur did in April 1980? Seriously 50 goals & 125 pts in regular season and was a shadow of himself thereafter . The “Anti Hank Aaron”and no it was not cused by Dave Hunter. Lafleur was relatively young, too.

    Lafleur was a serious smoker. Couldn’t have helped his playing longevity.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Great story, Woodguy. Sounds like that pencil was just about the right height to be Risto Siltanen, too. Call him “Stubby” for short.

    Though I don’t think “penultimate” means what you think it means.

  84. Ribs says:

    It’s sad, but I’ve already given myself reasons not to get too upset when these guys get shipped out…

    1. Hemsky – Will hurt the most because I think he could be a really valuable member of this team for a very long time. Knock that contract down a fair bit and he stays, no problem. I don’t know who was really responsible for giving him that number but it was a horribly shortsighted pact.

    2. Horcoff – The crap he’s had to put up with. My god. Put into a position to fail year after year and he still worked like a bugger. His contract does make him expendable, though. It goes back to the old MacT mantra of giving up less than you take. It seems highly unlikely that the dollars and his productivity will balance out over the rest of his contract.

    3. Dubnyk – Worked his way up from the bottom rung and turned himself into a very respectable tender. Unless a superstar goalie shows up to take his place, I see no reasonable explanation of supplanting him. His price tag is reasonable and it lets the team spend on areas of greater need.

    4. Gagner – I’ve always loved the effort he gives. Sounds like he’s a great guy. I’m just not sure that he has the physical tools needed to do the job he’s about to get paid for.

    5. Smid – Hard not to like this guy. Does his job well and has fun doing it. We’ve lived through the growing pains and now we need to reap the rewards.

    6. Petry – Thrown into the fire and remained intact throughout. Appears to be a guy that loves to learn and I’ve got all day for someone like that.

    Runner Ups…

    Paajarvi – Nice kid. Willing to do what is needed to be done to get better. He’s likely the guy who gets thrown into a deal so I’m not getting too attached.

    Peckham – C’mon, man! Get it together!

  85. BG14 says:

    Hemsky, because he was my second ever “favourite player” (after Comrie departed).

    Horcoff, ’06 was a glorious run and his contributions were magnificent (Lidstrom clapper to the face anyone?).

    Smyth, because Smyth.

    Gagner, he’s just got heart and the exact attitude that you want every hockey player to have.

    Smid, guy is a warrior and we’ve struggled through his years and years of growing pains to finally have him arrive as a player.

    Petry, because they already traded Gilbert.

  86. godot10 says:

    1) Paajarvi (I believed even in the darkest days.)
    2) Gagner (for enduring wandering in the desert, and getting to see the promised land as an OIler)
    3) Smid
    4) Petry
    5) Dubnyk (I want a homegrown goaltender, who would be the first since Fuhr. i.e. I want to believe.)
    6) Lander

    Ales and Shawn and Ryan, we’ll always have Spring 2006. For the first two, it is better for the team and player if they move on.

  87. OilClog says:

    Hemsky
    MPS
    Smid
    Doobie
    Gagner
    Petry

  88. kev says:

    Hemsky
    Gagner
    Paajarvi



    geez, that’s it.

    Much fondness and respect for Smyth and Horcoff so would still be sad.

  89. OilLeak says:

    Smid (I’m surprised his spirit hasn’t been broken yet)
    MPS (It will be a sad day if he’s traded before he peaks)
    Gagner (I’m hoping for a rebound season)
    Petry (Can skate like the wind and he’s an actual NHL defenseman!)
    Horcoff (I’ll defend him till the day he’s gone, and even once he’s gone as well)
    Hemsky (Magnificent player, injuries, losing have taken their toll. I’ll never forget the playoff performances and the cup run)

    Honorable mentions: Potter, Corey (Ideal depth defender once injuries hit)
    Ryan Smyth (He’s not going anywhere)

  90. TheOtherJohn says:

    Worst part of the list is its kinda hard to list 5-6 players after you exclude the core. #seriouslynodepth

  91. Young Oil says:

    As Kitchener mentioned, losing Reider stung a lot. I was really excited to see him in Oiler/OKC silks, loved him in the WJC, seemed like he had a lot of potential to become a solid two way player. I forget, did he just not want to sign an ELC with us? Or did we blindly trade him away in hopes for a coke machine in Kessy?

    As for current Oilers/prospects, the only three I have any attachment to are Smid, Fedun, and Klefbom. Smid is the only one who gives his absolute all every single shift. I’ve had a soft spot for Fedun after that horrific injury, and I hope he can back to how well he was playing during that preseason. As for Klefbom, I cringe whenever he is mentioned in trade rumors. Swedish D are notoriously late bloomers, not saying we have a Lidstrom on our hands, but I want to see what he can do before even thinking about dealing him for magic beans.

    Also, I’d like to be patient with Gernat/Marincin, they might make a good Slovak 3rd D pairing in a few years!

  92. fifthcartel says:

    I just hope the two Slovak giants aren’t added to any trades. They both seem like they have huge potential. 6’5 defencemen who can score? Yes please.

  93. cdean says:

    I just thought of a defense man for my list. A lot of great list by people and I didnt have time to read them all but the 2 dozen I have read didnt have him.

    Ryan Whitney

    He may have lost a step, or the coach didnt use him, but I liked his character. He was well spoken and didnt hold back too much of what was needed to be said.

  94. russ99 says:

    1. Smid
    2. Hemsky
    3. Gagner
    4. Paajarvi
    5. Dubnyk

    Hon mention: Omark

    All of the bottom six can go if we get at least league average NHL players in those spots.

  95. cdean says:

    I really hope that Smyth finds a position in the Oilers organization after he retires so he can experience the Stanley Cup victory

  96. markasread1199 says:

    I’m a little older as well and I remember a lot of my faves leaving.

    Moog, Coffey, Gretz, Mess…

    Then I got used to the fact that players were going to leave and I would hope that Slats might fleece someone in a trade. The Jimmy Carson to Detroit trade comes to mind. Then the trades were of the Guerin for Carter mold. Guerin about to breakthrough, Anson Carter about the same but younger and cheaper.

    These are my six:

    1. Hemsky
    2. Horcoff
    3. Smyth
    4. Smid
    5. Paajarvi
    6. Dubnyk

    Smyth maybe doesn’t count so I’ll throw in Petry.

  97. gcw_rocks says:

    Smid
    Omark
    Davidson
    Klefbom
    Marcincin
    Gernat

    Don’t really care if Gagner, Hemsky, Horcoff, Smyth or the rest go. Gagner, Petry and MPS would require really good returns for me not to be pissed, but I don’t think that’s what your going for here. Its the players you have some emotional investment in their success with the team.

  98. CrazyCoach says:

    Woodguy is bringing me way back wiht those 80 and 81 playoff memories. Didn’t see the 80 series as I was living in BC so the closest I got was a scoring byline while the Sabres made hash of the Canucks (the only benefit was seeing Larry Playfair play in his inaugural playoff series). By the time game 3 of the 81 series Vs Montreal was on, well CBC decided to turn the entire nation on to this group of talented youngsters. Oh those were the days.

    Late to the game as always, but these are my six.

    1) Horcoff-Always liked the way Horc played. Nothing flashy, but highly effective.

    2) MPS- Maybe it’s my Swedish ancestry bias getting in the way, but I have always liked this kid and now that he is coming on a little more I like the kid even more.

    3) Marincin-A prospect yes I know, but he made it worth driving through 14 inches of snow (PG gets tons) to watch play on a horrible junior team. Once he fills out and learns the pro game, look out.

    4) Hemsky-Exciting to watch. Maybe a change of scenery would help him get to the potential which I feel he has still not reached.

    5) Petry-I really hate putting defensemen on this list because they are not a premium on this team.

    6) Gagner-Could this be the trade bait that gives us that large skilled centre?

  99. art vandelay says:

    7. Bag of smelly socks
    8. Shooter Tutor
    9. Bag of pucks
    10. Signed 7-Up Gretzky poster

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