TEN YEARS AGO, ON A COLD DARK NIGHT

Ten years ago today, Kevin Lowe traded for Chris Pronger. It set off a 12-month run in the city we’ve never really recovered from, but in those early hours after the deal, Edmonton erupted with fist pumps in celebration.

The Oilers gave up three defensemen of varying promise but the trade itself was a steal for Edmonton. Pronger was a giant with calm feet and a mean streak worthy of a true villain—and best of all, he was an Oiler. Honestly, the days from the trade announcement through the morning of G7 SCF were the best of the century for Oilers fans and it isn’t even close.

Chris Pronger made everything right. Good defenseman calm the waters, make bathroom trips at the house a
breeze and at their best allow a fan to be confident even during panic
moments like 2-on-1’s against Tommy Salo.

Opening Night Fall 2005

  • L1: Smyth-Horcoff-Dvorak
  • L2: Torres-Peca-Hemsky
  • L3: Moreau-Stoll-Pisani
  • L4: Harvey-Reasoner-Laraque
  • D1: Pronger-Staios
  • D2: Ulanov-Smith
  • D3: Cross-Bergeron
  • G1: Ty Conklin (Jussi Markkanen)

What a beautiful team. Lowe would add Dwayne Roloson in goal, a bunch of blue including Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom, and some nice things up front (Samsonov!) in an effort to win Stanley and they damn near did it.

I know the memories are painful because of what happened after the 2006 run, but today I choose to remember the day Pronger became an Oiler. I was listening to Jason Gregor and damn near fell off my chair. That’s the truth. Where were you?

  • Butters

    @LOWTIDE

    WHAT ????

    “Honestly, the days from the trade announcement through the morning of G7 SCF were the best of the century for Oilers fans and it isn’t even close.”

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Coffey, Anderson, Fuhr, Moog . . . .

    I THINK I’M TAKING OUT A CONTRACT ON YOU LOWTIDE . . . GONNA SICK SEMENKO ON YOU !

  • Jason Gregor

    LT,

    I remember the trade vividly. It broke around 11 p.m. I was the only show on air at the time so we went until 3 a.m. with calls. Oilers fans were absolutely stunned and pumped up.

    Most couldn’t believe they acquired him for so little. The one thing that stands out though was a caller, Steve (never will forget his name) who was adamant it was a terrible trade. He was convinced Lynch and Woywitka were both going to be top-four and the Oilers weren’t good enough to make a run with Pronger. There is always one doubting Thomas.

    It was a fun night of radio.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Can’t believe that was 10 years ago. Remember hearing it unfold on the JGS. Remember thinking what a genius Kevin Lowe was. Literally went out and bought a pair of season tickets the next day.

      Who new that would be the first and – to this point – only year of playoffs that I would see from those seats?

      If only Lauren didn’t decide to show up a couple of days early to “surprise” Chris ………

  • Spoils

    seriously – how does Pronger not show you the value of a #1D. how does are team not make a move to get a number 1 D?

    With Pronger, 50% of the game you had the best player quarterbacking your team. Slowing the game down and making the good first pass to create momentum.

    aside from McD, I would trade any player to get a Pronger type of player.

    Every team that has won a cup recently – Keith, Doughty, Chara…

  • Butters

    wow. i remember the trade like 911. i was 18 and in rome. first time i really went far. no italians cared but i was stoked and my younger bro was fired up. will never forget… ” We got Chris Pronger!”

    PS. calgary smells like elderberries.

    and cheers bro.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    It was a great run but was it just me, or did Pronger not show up to game 7? I never watched that game other than live and have always felt like Pronger threw it.

    Maybe my memory is just jaded from the way he left. Anybody know what I’m saying? I should probably rewatch it but it’s too painful.

  • AussieOil

    Memory Lane : Those were the days when six rings Lowe and MacT. really seemed to be on the ball with decisions . They get moved ,and everything falls apart like Humpty Dumpty . .

  • paul wodehouse

    …looking back and knowing how disgruntled the fan base is, I still can’t say enough about what Kevin did for this franchise in landing the likes of Chris Pronger…it was dreamlike and nightmare-ish at the same time …THAT team in 2006 and the wait til now has been well worth all the crap that’s gone down with all the decisions made good and bad…I applaud Kevin Lowe (Jason Gregors words regarding Graham James once upon a time) for his stick-to-it-ness (and pork pulling as well) and flip the bird to all the silly envious people who can’t handle the fact that GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT !

  • wiseguy

    Where was I?

    I was halfway up the stairs in my home when my brother told me. He was so pumped. To me, it felt like Edmonton was getting a superstar on the backend and would finally push them deep into the playoffs.

    But my favourite memory was when, after an Oilers vs. Flames game here in Calgary that my brother told a Flames fan that we’d be going to the Final that year.