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Worst Trades in Oilers History

Trades present each NHL crew with the chance to right away handle obvious wants inside their respective rosters. Good trades can set your franchise up for unimaginable success. Bad trades can depart you and not using a GM and needing to rent a brand new supervisor and coach in the offseason.

The Edmonton Oilers will not be the one crew to make poor trades. That mentioned, they’ve had their justifiable share of whoppers.

Since their entrance into the NHL in 1979, the Oilers’ success all through their historical past is extremely depending on the result of the trades. Some had been good (Wayne Gretzky was rumored to be gained in a board recreation) and others have gone horribly flawed (followers are nonetheless reeling from the Taylor Hall deal).

More not too long ago, when the Oilers changed GM Peter Chiarelli with veteran Ken Holland, they eliminated a conductor who was recognized for orchestrating unhealthy trades. As Chiarelli’s status adopted him out the door, Holland was tasked with reshaping a squad that included gamers from a number of the worst trades in Oilers historical past. Essentially retaining solely a handful of key items from the Chiarelli period, Holland began with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Oscar Klefbom and went to work.

Today, the Oilers are in significantly better form however commerce blunders are nonetheless very a lot part of what makes Holland’s job a constant problem. Here are quite a few the worst trades in Oilers historical past.

Draft Day Blunder

Oilers Acquire: Griffin Reinhart

Islanders Acquire: Edmonton’s 2015 sixteenth and thirty third Overall Draft Picks

On the primary day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Chiarelli made his first massive splash as the brand new General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers, buying and selling two draft picks in change for prospect defenseman Griffin Reinhart.

Reinhart, who himself was chosen fourth general in the 2012 Draft, had not but developed into a top quality NHL defender. A few years later, he’s now formally not seen as a viable prospect.


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In his first season with the Oilers, Reinhart struggled to remain in the lineup and was finally demoted to the American Hockey League. He couldn’t assume the sport shortly sufficient, his velocity was an element and regardless of nice numbers for the Edmonton Oil Kings earlier than going to the New York Islanders, he was by no means in a position to make it work in the NHL.

Reinhart Oil Kings
Reinhart performed 4 seasons of junior hockey with the Edmonton Oil Kings. (THW Archives)

He grew to become a prospect of the Vegas Golden Knights however fizzled on the market as properly.

The kicker was what Edmonton wound up gifting away in the deal. While insiders and people close to the Oilers franchise have publicly said they weren’t going to take him, Mathew Barzal was out there at one of many spots the Oilers gave away to accumulate Reinhart. Barzal has gone on to change into one of the dynamic facilities in the NHL and the Islanders are prone to construct their crew round him.

Oilers Trade Future Hall of Famer

Oilers Acquire: Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Chris Joseph and Moe Mantha

Penguins Acquire: Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp

In Nov. 1987, the Oilers discovered themselves inside a monetary dispute with star defenseman Paul Coffey, who had not too long ago helped lead the Oilers to their third Stanley Cup Championship. As a end result, Coffey was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the place he not solely helped make them a Stanley Cup in 1991, but in addition produced two seasons of higher than 100 factors scored.

Defenseman Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers
Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

On the opposite hand, the Oilers’ main addition was Craig Simpson, who notched three seasons of 30 targets, together with a 43 purpose marketing campaign in his first yr with the crew. However, the presence of Hannan and Mantha lasted a mere season, whereas Joseph’s time throughout the group was spent evenly between the NHL and AHL. Simply put, the Oilers’ return was not a considerable sufficient return for a future Hall of Fame defenseman.

Paul Coffey got here again to the group as a skating and abilities coach however was launched simply the opposite day as a part of Holland’s mandate to scrub up his employees.

Patience is Key

Oilers Acquire: Joni Pitkanen, Geoff Sanderson and a 3rd spherical decide

Flyers Acquire: Joffrey Lupul and Jason Smith

Acquired by the Oilers in the commerce which despatched Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Joffrey Lupul was projected to be a serious offensive contributor with the Oilers in coming years, but after failing to dwell as much as a 28 purpose sophomore season in first yr with Edmonton, the Oilers decided he had no future inside their group. He went on to file back-to-back 20-goal seasons with the Flyers. Heading to Philadelphia with Lupul was the Oilers’ Team Captain, Jason Smith.

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL
Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In return, the Oilers obtained Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson. Pitkanen, who had scored 43 factors the earlier season with the Flyers, managed simply 26 in his solely season with the Oilers, and precisely one yr after he arrived, the Oilers traded him to the Carolina Hurricanes. Just 26 years of age on the time, Pitkanen had but to really attain his potential, as was witnessed by his return to the 46-point season whole a mere two seasons later. Sanderson too additionally performed a single season with the Oilers, as he retired following the 2007-08 marketing campaign.

This was a commerce that appeared good for a couple of yr and as time has passed by isn’t as painful as some others. Pitkanen did play properly for the Oilers in one season and Lupul is out of the NHL. That mentioned, Lupul was the most effective participant in the deal.

Culture Change My A–

Oilers Acquire: Adam Larsson

Devils Acquire: Taylor Hall

One of the most important blunders Chiarelli made whereas working the Oilers was in convincing himself that Taylor Hall was an issue in the dressing room and that this downside was purpose sufficient to maneuver a future league MVP for a second-pairing, (on an excellent evening first-pairing) defender.

Taylor Hall
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils, 2018 Hart Trophy, June 20, 2018 (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI through Getty Images)

Hall did have a little bit of an angle however he was one of many Oilers’ greatest forwards. He made a good wage and he was nonetheless younger. The deal was one-for-one for Adam Larsson with the New Jersey Devils and Oil Country was bonkers virtually instantly.

Related: Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson Trade Revisited

Almost as troubling, the Oilers went and spent the $6 million per season they had been giving Hall on Milan Lucic. Lucic had one good season earlier than his recreation utterly fell off the rails. The Oilers bought fortunate they had been in a position to ship Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal who scored 19 targets in a shortened season.

A Tearful Goodbye

Oilers Acquire: Ryan O’Marra, Robert Nilsson and a primary spherical decide (Alex Plante)

Islanders Acquire: Ryan Smyth

As the 2007 NHL Trade Deadline approached, the Oilers and Ryan Smyth had failed to return to an settlement on a contract that might lengthen Smyth’s time in Edmonton. Having spent the primary 12 years of his profession with the Oilers, Smyth was understandably upset when he was traded by his much-beloved crew to the New York Islanders, who had been making ready for a playoff push.

Ryan Smyth
Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers, Mar. 2, 2004 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In return for the extremely wanted commodity, the Oilers obtained Ryan O’Marra, Robert Nilsson and Alex Plante. While Nilsson performed three roughly profitable seasons for the Oilers, O’Marra managed simply 31 whole video games, in which he scored one purpose and 7 factors, not an awesome return from two former first spherical picks. Lastly, Alex Plante, the defenseman chosen by the Oilers fifteenth general in 2007, managed to play simply 10 video games with Edmonton, scoring two factors.

Although Smyth would solely play 18 video games for the Islanders earlier than transferring on to Colorado, the return which the Oilers obtained was nowhere close to substantial offering they’d moved one among their most expert and revered gamers.

A Nightmarish Trade

Oilers Acquire: Craig Millar and Barrie Moore

Sabres Acquire: Miroslav Satan

In 1993, the Oilers drafted Miroslav Satan in the fifth spherical, 111th general. Less than 4 years later, he, like so many others who’ve donned an Edmonton jersey through the years, was traded earlier than he was in a position to become a top quality NHL participant. Sent to the Sabres, Satan, who was solely 22 years outdated on the time, would go on to change into one of many biggest gamers in Buffalo historical past, main his crew in scoring in six of eight seasons whereas recording two 30 purpose and one 40 purpose marketing campaign in the method.

For the Oilers, they’d as soon as once more traded away a future expertise for a poor return. Barrie Moore would play simply 4 video games with the Oilers, whereas Craig Millar performed in a mere 36, recording six factors in the method.

The commerce paid large dividends for the Sabres, who, led by Satan (no pun supposed), would attain the Stanley Cup Final in 1999.

Everyone Must Go!

Oilers Acquire: Shayne Corson, Brent Gilchrist and Vladamir Vutjek

Canadiens Acquire: Vincent Damphousse and a fourth spherical decide (Adam Wiesel)

In the Summer of 1992, the Oilers as soon as once more felt the necessity to commerce one among their high offensive gamers.

An extremely constant performer, Vincent Damphousse had been acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier than the 1991-92 season in a commerce which concerned Oiler greats Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr. However, Damphousse would solely play one season in an Oilers uniform, regardless of scoring 38 targets and main the crew in factors with 89 factors.

The following Summer, the Oilers would commerce Damphousse to Montreal in change for Shayne Corson, Brent Gilchrist and Vladamir Vutjek. While Damphousse would go on to attain 498 factors over 519 video games with the Canadiens, in addition to win a Stanley Cup in his first yr with the crew, Edmonton was far much less lucky with their return. Although Corson would play three profitable seasons with the Oilers, the place he was named, after which stripped of the Captaincy, he too can be traded come 1996.

On the opposite hand, neither Gilchrist or Vutjek would discover appreciable success with the Oilers. Gilchrist performed one season, recording 10 targets and 20 factors, whereas Vutjek performed elements of two seasons in Edmonton, totaling 30 factors in 70 video games performed.

Salary Cap Relief

Oilers Acquire: Ryan Strome

New York Islanders Acquire: Jordan Eberle

Another whopper of a commerce from Chiarelli, the Oilers felt like they wanted to drop some wage so after one unhealthy playoff collection, they moved Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers
Jordan Eberle, former Edmonton Oiler (Photo: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Eberle was a constant 20-goal scorer and Strome hadn’t accomplished a lot past one first rate season. This was a top-six ahead for a depth participant and it didn’t go properly. Strome got here to Edmonton and did subsequent to nothing. He was finally moved to the New York Rangers the place his substitute, Ryan Spooner did even much less.

There have been so many trades since that tracing again the commerce turns into like enjoying a recreation of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. What’s vital to recollect is that Eberle scored close-to or greater than 20 targets every season after he left Edmonton and stayed precisely the kind of scorer the Oilers would have cherished to have had since his departure.

Moose in the Big City

Oilers Acquire: Bernie Nicholls, Louie DeBrusk, Steven Rice, David Shaw

Rangers Acquire: Mark Messier, Jeff Beukeboom

After serving to lead the Oilers to 5 Stanley Cup championships alongside 1034 factors in 851 video games performed, Mark Messier requested a commerce out of Edmonton, upset that the crew had let an up and coming Adam Graves check Free Agency and signal with the New York Rangers.

So, the Oilers re-united the pair, sending Messier to the Rangers in return for a handful of gamers, most notably Bernie Nicholls, who would go on to play in simply 95 video games with the Oilers earlier than he too was traded. In DeBrusk, the Oilers obtained a grinder who performed 5 seasons with the membership, but was greatest recognized for his potential to guard his teammates. Further, Rice, who spent two seasons with the Oilers, compiled 39 factors over 91 video games, whereas Shaw performed in simply 12 video games with the membership. Both had been traded by Edmonton inside two years time.

Meanwhile, Messier went on rating 691 factors in 698 video games with the Rangers, whereas additionally main them to a Stanley Cup Championship in 1994. He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Expendable One

Oilers Acquire: Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, three first spherical picks (Corey Foster, Martin Rucinsky, Nick Stajduhar) and $15 Million.

Kings Acquire: Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley

August 9, 1988.

This day has by no means been forgotten by Oilers devoted, because it method the day in which they watched the most effective participant in NHL historical past depart city in a commerce with the Los Angeles Kings. Peter Pocklington, the Oilers’ proprietor on the time, had been experiencing properly documented monetary issues, a difficulty which generated the preliminary thought of buying and selling Gretzky.

In the deal, the Kings not solely obtained the most effective participant in the sport, but in addition his intimidating line-mate in Marty McSorely, one of many recreation’s premier enforcers who might additionally do injury offensively. Further, they landed Mike Krushelnyski, an offensive ahead who had scored 43 targets with the Oilers 4 years prior. Gretzky and McSorely helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final in 1993, whereas Gretzky fairly clearly went on to set quite a few insurmountable NHL data.

Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings
Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings, Dec. 4, 1994 (Photo By Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Oilers, fairly clearly recognized for his or her incapability to land a strong return in main trades, landed a talented participant in Jimmy Carson, but after one season and 100 factors later, the Oilers determined to commerce him too. He wound up in Detroit whereas Adam Graves returned to the crew, having primarily value them each Messier and Carson. In Martin Gelinas, the Oilers obtained 4 seasons of mediocre manufacturing earlier than they determined to commerce the then 22 year-old to the Quebec Nordiques. Yet to really develop, Gelinas carved out a extremely profitable profession in the NHL outdoors of Edmonton.

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Lastly, let’s not overlook the three first spherical picks obtained by the Oilers in the deal. The first of which, the Kings’ 1989 first spherical decide, was traded by the Oilers to New Jersey for Corey Foster, who by no means performed a recreation for the Oilers. In 1991, the Oilers used their second decide from the Kings to draft Martin Rucinsky twentieth general, but after he didn’t change into a celebrity two video games into his profession with Edmonton, he was traded (surprisingly) to the Nordiques. He went on to play practically 1000 NHL video games and file over 600 profession factors. Finally, the Oilers used their closing decide from the Kings to pick Nick Stajduhar sixteenth general in 1993. He performed two video games with the Oilers scoring no factors.

The $15 Million was an vital characteristic, but in no method would it not ever substitute the potential Stanley Cup Championships which might have been had the Oilers held onto Gretzky.


What Oilers commerce do you are feeling is the worst of all-time? Feel free to remark beneath!




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