I’m not sure if this is a sign of age, I’m going crazy or it’s a reflection of current turmoil, but my love for the 2006 Stanley team continues unabated 88 months later.
Many believe the 2006 team got "hot" or "lucky" during their run, but the fact is the 2005-06 Oilers were a powerhouse in search of goaltending pretty much the entire year. Much has been made of their just slipping into the playoffs, but once Dwayne Roloson came over from Minnesota the club was a tight unit, and after the deadline they were loaded for bear.
They were deep, ladies. Deep at center (veterans Horcoff, Peca and Stoll), deep at defense (Pronger, Smith, Spacek, Staios, Tarnstrom) and deep on the wing (Smyth, Hemsky, Samsonov, Pisani, Torres, Dvorak) and deep (but not deep enough, as it turned out) in goal.
They were a wonderful team, they caught fire and they ran deep into the spring and then well into summer.
The Oilers had a tremendous 6-pak of value contracts in 2005-06, and that helped increase their depth and quality to Stanley calibre levels:
Ales Hemsky ($901,740). Hemsky played 1375 minutes in the 05-06 season, slightly over 400 of them on the powerplay. His PP/60 number (6.17) was very nice, his EV number 2.25 but that PP number helped him lead the team in scoring (19-58-77) and he delivered 6-11-17 in the playoffs too. A wonderful payoff for less than a million, a season to remember.
Shawn Horcoff ($1M). Horcoff played almost 1600 minutes, almost 300 on the PP and 225 on the PK. In 05-06 he went 3-3-6 on the PK (about 1.6/60), went 4.82/60 on the PP and then 2.44 at EVs and this was against the other team’s good players.
Fernando Pisani ($611,800). In 05-06 he was excellent in the regular year and ridiculous in the postseason. Pisani played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 150 on the PP. He did a lot of heavy lifting at EVs and still managed to score 1.84/60 and 3.59 on the PP. Pisani was Guy Lafleur in the post season, 14-4-18 in a run I will never forget. At $611,800 he was ridiculous value.
Jarret Stoll ($501,600). Stoll played 1500 minutes in 05-06, 410 on the PP and 200 on the PK. He was a pretty valuable hockey player. On the PP he was 4.53 and at EVs he was 2.35 on the way to 82gp, 22-46-68 totals. At the price, he was extremely valuable.
Raffi Torres ($875,000). Raffi played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 224 of them on the PP. His EV number in 05-06 was 2.07 and his PP number was 2.95. Torres biggest moments in the season came during the playoffs when he made some massive hits (one of which had an impact on the SJS series). At this price, he was a bargain.
Marc Andre Bergeron ($931k). Bergeron played 1600 minutes in the 05-06 season, 350 of that on the powerplay. He delivered 2.74/60 with the man advantage but was pretty solid at EVs (1/60) and his 15-20-35 for the season was exceptional for the price.
- The quality of the youngsters in their entry level deals is actually higher now (Nuge, Yak, Schultz, etc) but the pricetag (that includes bonus dollars) is very dear, and gives the current team a distinct disadvantage. All those #1 overall’s come at a significant price, and there are few value deals on the current club that compare to the 2005-06 group (Petry, Arcobello, Belov being the best of the current group so far this season to my eye).
I am writing this in the exact spot I was sitting the night of G7 SCF. It’s a new sofa, but I never sit on this side–it still reminds me of G7 SCF 2006. Maybe I should sell the house.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Oilers Nation needs new memories. Soon. Situation critical. Shirts off for Yakupov? Soon, please. And one more thing: when this thing turns around, how about we make a deal that crushing Toronto every time is job 1?