Seven Oilers You Miss (But Probably Shouldn't)

Cat Silverman
July 23 2016 07:00AM


The Edmonton Oilers have had a lot of pretty forgettable players over the last decade. 

That's resulted in a lot of irrational cult love. 

Let's face it. 

Outside of Edmonton's unfairly well-stocked collection of offensive first overall picks, pretty much any player on the roster for the last ten years has been replacement level for their position at best, and absolutely abhorrent at worst. 

"BUT CATHERINE, WHAT ABOUT TEDDY PURCELL?"

no. 

"SAM GAGNER!"

no. 

"TOBIAS RIEDER!"

do you mean Kale Kessy?

"JEFF PETRY!"

that one... we're not talking about that one. 

Were some players booted from the system due to bad management? Sure. 

I joke about the Rieder trade all the time, but that one hurts (thank you, Tambellini! Never change!). The Andrew Cogliano trade kind of stings, too, especially given how much he could probably have helped the team's forgettable supplementary offensive corp over the last few years. 

When your team doesn't give you a whole lot to be happy about, though, you get Hockey Player Stockholm Syndrome. You start to love those you shouldn't, and question every departing player - after all, what did management do to ever make you think they'd let go of the right pieces? 

With that, here's a trip through memory lane - taking a look at a handful players you probably hated to see leave, even when your heartbreak didn't make much sense. 

*disclaimer: if I left a player off, yes. It was because I personally hate you, and I was definitely trying to snub you and your Favorite Player Ever on purpose.*

1. Mark Arcobello

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Dude played just 78 collective games in an Oilers uniform, but how much do we love him? 

Answer: too much. 

Arcobello stands at just 5 foot 8 (on a good day), and was a supplementary scorer at best. A good one, sure, but that was it.

His tiny stature and willingness to score during Edmonton's darkest hours, though, earned him enough love to make his parting sting. He developed a cultish following during his 78 games, which resulted in Youtube video tributes and tears when he left. 

Did his departure probably hurt the team's scoring depth? Absolutely - but complaining about the loss of Mark Arcobello was like complaining that someone stole your car's radio when they also stole your transmission. We miss Marcobello - but let's be honest. We may miss him a little bit too much. 

2. Tom Gilbert

I'm pretty guilty of being irrationally attached to Tom Gilbert, but his affable personality during the team's darkest hours made it hard to hate him. 

The loss of Tom Gilbert on the blue line wasn't great, I get that (although the Nick Schultz the Oilers saw wasn't nearly the Nick Schultz the Flyers are seeing now, trust me). It wasn't Andrew Cogliano trade level bad, but it wasn't wonderful - and as time has gone on, that particular trade has looked less and less defensible. 

Of all the players we sometimes wax nostalgic for, though, this is one we maybe need to let go of. 

3. Ilya Bryzgalov

Remember when we were more excited about a player off the ice than we were about them on the ice, because the team was playing entire shifts down a man for no reason at all sometimes? 

What a magical time in Oilers history. 

4. Steve Macintyre


Who's got two thumbs and didn't care at all about Steve Macintyre and his contribution to the Oilers? 

This gal!

I know I'm fairly alone in that sentiment, though. A lot of Oilers fans had a real soft spot for the grit Macintyre brought to the table during the 26 games - literally, he played only 26 games - in which he managed to draw into Edmonton's lineup. 

Claimed off of waivers by the Florida Panthers in 2009, people were legitimately upset about this departure. If that's not Stockholm Syndrome... 

5. Richard Bachman

Look, I know that every single one of you reading this were DEFINITELY not one those frantic, almost desperate fans who wanted Richard Bachman to become a starter after he had like, 1.5 good NHL games a few years ago. I'm totally talking about a strawman, right? 

None of us also totally thought that he was going to DEFINITELY SAVE THE SEASON in 2015 when he got a shutout either, right? 

You're all liars. 

Nothing says "my team is so bad that I've started considering replacement-level players as my new saviour" quite like the morbid fascination Oilers nation had with Richard Bachman. Enjoy Vancouver, bud. 

6. Rob Schremp

I love me some Rob Schremp as much as the next person. Don't get me wrong. He's got flair and a decent Instagram account; what more could we ask for from a career AHLer? 

The sad fact of the matter is that Schremp was highly hyped in junior and just never cut it as an NHLer, and happened to be a first-round bust just when the team was really starting to sink into despair. 

As Oilers fans, the inclusion of Schremp on this list isn't necessarily a player that we 'miss' - but man, is he ever one we need to let go. 

Stop comparing Jesse Puljujarvi to Rob Schremp.

Stop comparing Jesse Puljujarvi to Rob Schremp. 

Stop comparing Jesse Puljujarvi to Rob Schremp. 

Stop comparing Jesse Puljujarvi to Rob Schremp. 

7. Have we stopped missing Ladislav Smid yet? 

The Stockholm Syndrome-esque reaction to the Smid trade has finally died down, mostly because Smid himself has dropped off the face of the earth. He's more broken than Joffrey Lupul. 

It's an eerie feeling, though, to consider: if he was still a healthy player all year - despite having yielded goaltender Laurent Brossoit - there's a good chance people would still be bemoaning this trade. The only thing that seemed to upset some people more than the Smid trade was that Nick Schultz was also shipped out. 

Let's not revisit that time in our history. 

6e4628d4894419a7d14609846bb369f2
Hockey Development with the Arizona Coyotes. Embarrassing mom of a little goalie. If you want to learn more about goalies, I work with InGoal Magazine (and sometimes, I do stuff with USA Hockey). Was once told I'd have better access to scouting reports if I became an ice girl. Decided not to. Yes, I hate your favorite player.
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#51 I am Batman
July 23 2016, 02:57PM
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Powdered milk wrote:

So what your saying is Patrick hornqvist, Lee Stepniak, Justin Williams and Reilly Smith are "elite" as well?

Yeah, he is funny

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#52 Cain
July 23 2016, 03:00PM
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I am Batman wrote:

No.

He also gives away the puck, does not back check, fore check, or give a damn.

Elite = Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Sydney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, PK Subban, Carey Price, Oliver Ekman Larsson.... the list goes on and it can be a long one.

Eberle = not elite.

Re-read comment 38. The discussion is about top scoring right wingers.

Tretiak was a helluva a goalie, but hardly relevant to this discussion

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#53 I am Batman
July 23 2016, 03:02PM
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fisherprice wrote:

Jeff Petry was easily Montreal's best defender not named PK last year. He was actually better defensively (both regular and fancy stats bear this out) than the previous season while getting harder zone starts and competition. But hey, why let "facts" get in the way of anything.

OH God... here we go with the Petry cry babies.

The Petry I remember was soft, made a ton of mistakes and he was less than stellar. Sure, was he better than many here in Edmonton? Yeah, but that is like saying that you danced with the best looking girl in Nisku.

The argument of you falling in love with players who aren't worthy of that love is unreal, I have not seen in in any other sport or team in my life. You guys cheer for players not teams.

Petry is gone, for picks none the less (can't even remember which pick was that). We can blame management, the coach, the system or the universe for being so unfair (never our beloved player, why would we do that?) but the fact of the matter is that if you were putting a team together and you can choose any players you want, you'd be a fool to choose Jeff Petry as one of your defenders. Good riddance.

Plus he looks like Tom Gilbert, another freaking softy

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#54 Explicit
July 23 2016, 03:11PM
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I don't miss any of the guys on this list! The only guy still playing hockey that I miss is Hemsky. His scoring is down but he's playing some good all around smart veteran hockey for the stars.

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#55 Powdered milk
July 23 2016, 03:11PM
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Cain wrote:

Don't try to misdirect me, acknowledge that the numbers(which you suggested be looked up) prove Eberle to be an elite right winger.

You may not like him, but in your comment (number 38) you suggested someone look up Eberle's numbers from last season. I did. He was the 25th leading scorer in the best league in the world despite not playing a full season.

All of the players I mentioned finished ahead of Eberle is scoring last year, how is that misdirecting you? Are they now up to your elite standards or not?

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#56 Cain
July 23 2016, 03:19PM
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Powdered milk wrote:

All of the players I mentioned finished ahead of Eberle is scoring last year, how is that misdirecting you? Are they now up to your elite standards or not?

Eberle played less games than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle has put up the numbers for more years than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle is far more likely to repeat those numbers than the guys you mentioned.

Part of being an elite scorer is doing so on a consistent basis.

Now, are you going to admit the numbers show Eberle to be an elite scoring right winger, or not?

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#57 I am Batman
July 23 2016, 03:27PM
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Cain wrote:

Eberle played less games than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle has put up the numbers for more years than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle is far more likely to repeat those numbers than the guys you mentioned.

Part of being an elite scorer is doing so on a consistent basis.

Now, are you going to admit the numbers show Eberle to be an elite scoring right winger, or not?

Why don't you build Eberle a statue, and invite him to your place and cook for him an amazing diner to celebrate his eliteness?

If you can keep him there you will be doing us all a favour.

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#58 Powdered milk
July 23 2016, 03:28PM
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Cain wrote:

Eberle played less games than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle has put up the numbers for more years than the guys you mentioned.

Eberle is far more likely to repeat those numbers than the guys you mentioned.

Part of being an elite scorer is doing so on a consistent basis.

Now, are you going to admit the numbers show Eberle to be an elite scoring right winger, or not?

If averaging 50-60 points a year is elite to your standards... I'd hate to meet your wife/girlfriend

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#59 Cain
July 23 2016, 03:29PM
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I am Batman wrote:

Why don't you build Eberle a statue, and invite him to your place and cook for him an amazing diner to celebrate his eliteness?

If you can keep him there you will be doing us all a favour.

Another attempt to misdirect the discussion because the numbers don't support your bias.

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#60 Cain
July 23 2016, 03:34PM
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Powdered milk wrote:

If averaging 50-60 points a year is elite to your standards... I'd hate to meet your wife/girlfriend

Aaaaand yet another misdirection to avoid the issue.

Is it that hard to admit?

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#61 Explicit
July 23 2016, 03:37PM
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another is eberle elite discussion? Guess it all depends on your definition of elite.

I think he's a good scoring winger. I don't think he's a 6mil guy, and I don't think he does enough to be considered elite. He's got good hands in tight around the net, that's about all

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#62 Powdered milk
July 23 2016, 03:43PM
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Explicit wrote:

another is eberle elite discussion? Guess it all depends on your definition of elite.

I think he's a good scoring winger. I don't think he's a 6mil guy, and I don't think he does enough to be considered elite. He's got good hands in tight around the net, that's about all

By Cains definition it's any player that finishes top 25 at there position, so with LW C RW LD RD and G that makes 150 "Elite" players in the league

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#63 I am Batman
July 23 2016, 03:59PM
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Powdered milk wrote:

By Cains definition it's any player that finishes top 25 at there position, so with LW C RW LD RD and G that makes 150 "Elite" players in the league

You are elite at silly arguments in Oilers Nation.

Good job, pick up your balloon at the door on your way out.

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#64 nbandito
July 23 2016, 04:09PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Yeah, I sure miss him over handling the puck then passing it off from the slot to a guy in the corner.Not.

The only problem with Hemmer is that he was never given the C.

Hem-sky, Hem-sky, Hem-sky!

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#65 ubermiguel
July 23 2016, 04:32PM
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Arco was never going to be the solution, but he was a nice pro-scouting find. Then of course he was traded away for a player we could have had for free (Roy) the day before. His exit from Edmonton was just another laughable move by the amateurs that were managing this team.

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#66 Cain
July 23 2016, 04:39PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Arco was never going to be the solution, but he was a nice pro-scouting find. Then of course he was traded away for a player we could have had for free (Roy) the day before. His exit from Edmonton was just another laughable move by the amateurs that were managing this team.

Wasn't the reason for that a contract dump the other way?

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#67 beloch
July 23 2016, 04:54PM
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Smid was damaged goods by the time he was traded. The Flames haven't gotten more than a handful of barely adequate third pairing performances from him. The Flames' blueline will actually be improved this season if Smid stays on LTIR. If you really want this guy back, I'm sure he's free to a good home, and probably free to Edmonton too.

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#68 fisherprice
July 23 2016, 05:31PM
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I am Batman wrote:

OH God... here we go with the Petry cry babies.

The Petry I remember was soft, made a ton of mistakes and he was less than stellar. Sure, was he better than many here in Edmonton? Yeah, but that is like saying that you danced with the best looking girl in Nisku.

The argument of you falling in love with players who aren't worthy of that love is unreal, I have not seen in in any other sport or team in my life. You guys cheer for players not teams.

Petry is gone, for picks none the less (can't even remember which pick was that). We can blame management, the coach, the system or the universe for being so unfair (never our beloved player, why would we do that?) but the fact of the matter is that if you were putting a team together and you can choose any players you want, you'd be a fool to choose Jeff Petry as one of your defenders. Good riddance.

Plus he looks like Tom Gilbert, another freaking softy

I dunno man, you sure take the opportunity to insert Jeff Petry needlessly into the conversation all the time, just so you can fly off the handle and post a diatribe about how he's "soft" and how he was probably single handedly responsible for the Oilers defensive problems. In fact, do you make any posts that aren't just complaints about Petry or Eberle and how you think a bunch of professional NHLers who could absolutely destroy you on any given day of the week are "soft"?

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#69 Spydyr
July 23 2016, 09:19PM
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nbandito wrote:

The only problem with Hemmer is that he was never given the C.

Hem-sky, Hem-sky, Hem-sky!

You don't give the C to the first guy off the ice at every practice.

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#70 LibrarianMike
July 23 2016, 10:55PM
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Spydyr wrote:

You don't give the C to the first guy off the ice at every practice.

LOL okay Spec. I guess they should have given it to your boy Cam Barker instead?

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#71 Cheap Shot Charlie
July 24 2016, 12:01AM
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Umm, hello?!? Linus Omark!!!

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#72 Loop15
July 24 2016, 12:29AM
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Cheap Shot Charlie wrote:

Umm, hello?!? Linus Omark!!!

FR!! Should have been on here for sure. Linus is hype!

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