Yes, Marc-Andre Bergeron. While most fans of the Edmonton Oilers would just as soon forget Bergeron ever donned team silks at all, he gets the first spot in our list of the Top 100 Oilers of 1979-80 to 2014-15 in a series we’ll be running over the next 24 months or so. What, you wanted Bob Beers?
Bergeron spent 189 regular season games and 19 more in the playoffs with the Oilers, but he’ll be forever etched in the minds of Oiler fans for riding Andrew Ladd into the goal crease in the final six minutes of the first game of the 2006 Stanley Cup final against the Carolina Hurricanes. Roloson wouldn’t play another minute and, uh, well, after that . . .
|NUMBER:||47||BIRTHDATE:||October 13, 1980|
|HEIGHT:||5′ 9″||BIRTHPLACE:||Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada|
BY THE NUMBERS
|2004/05||BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN||10||3||2||5||72|
|2004/05||BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN-Q||9||1||2||3||8|
|2013/14||ZSC LIONS ZURICH-SWISS||46||7||26||33||40|
|2014/15||ZSC LIONS ZURICH-SWISS||46||4||16||20||38|
CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS
|2013/14||ZSC LIONS ZURICH-SWISS||14||2||6||8||31|
|2014/15||ZSC LIONS ZURICH-SWISS||13||0||5||5||10|
Bergeron will always wear the goat horns for taking Ladd into Roloson, wrecking his right knee and knocking him out of the Cup final, but he had plenty of company in a Game 1 the Oilers had absolutely no business losing.
The Oilers – with Roloson in goal – blew a 3-0 lead. Ty Conklin, in for Roloson and playing for the first time since the end of the regular season, and captain Jason Smith botched a puck transfer behind the net, allowing Rod Brind’Amour to snag the rubber and wrap it in for a 5-4 lead with 31.1 seconds remaining in regulation time.
“I think I just held on to the puck too long,” lamented Conklin. “I didn’t make the play quickly. That was not a mistake that I think I would normally make.” Taking Ladd in on Roloson like he did is not a mistake Bergeron would “normally” make either, but he did. The rest we know.
Overshadowed by Bergeron’s gaffe to open the 2006 Cup final is the fact that he was a pretty good offensive defenceman and a power-play option with a big shot on a team that didn’t have a surplus of what he brought to the table. Undrafted, he had 101 points with Shawinigan of the QMJHL in 2000-01.
In the season the Oilers went to the Cup final, Chris Pronger led Edmonton blueliners in scoring with 56 points. Bergeron was second with 35 points. In 2003-04, Steve Staios led Oiler D-men in scoring with 28 points through 82 games. Bergeron was second, managing 26 in just 54 games.
The Ladd-Roloson fiasco will always be remembered as Bergeron’s Bill Buckner moment, but he was a reasonably significant player with the Oiler teams he played on.
This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.