TOP 100 OILERS: MIROSLAV SATAN (91)

Glen Sather is rightfully referenced as the architect who, in tandem with chief scout Barry Fraser, built the Edmonton Oilers into the team that would win five Stanley Cups and go into NHL folklore as the last true dynasty of the pre-salary cap era. 

But even GMs as celebrated as Sather, inducted into the HHOF, have their share of face-palming moments they’d rather just forget. Sather’s decision to trade skinny, raw, talented Slovak winger Miroslav Satan after two promising seasons with the Oilers for a bunch of nothing is one of those moments.

Miroslav Satan  #81

Right Wing

NUMBER:  81 BIRTHDATE: October 22, 1974
HEIGHT: 6′ 3″ BIRTHPLACE:  Topolcany, Slovakia
WEIGHT: 191 DRAFTED: EDM / 1993 NHL Entry Draft
SHOOTS: Left ROUND: 5th   (111th overall)

BY THE NUMBERS

CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
1995-96 OILERS 62 18 17 35 0 22 6 0 4 113 15.9
1995-96 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 5 0 3 3 6
1996-97 OILERS 64 17 11 28 -4 22 5 0 2 90 18.9
1996-97 SLOVAKIA-W-CUP 3 0 0 0 2
1996-97 SABRES 12 8 2 10 1 4 2 0 1 29 27.6
1997-98 SABRES 79 22 24 46 2 34 9 0 4 139 15.8
1998-99 SABRES 81 40 26 66 24 44 13 3 6 208 19.2
1999-00 SABRES 81 33 34 67 16 32 5 3 5 265 12.4
1999-00 DUKLA TRENCIN-SLOVAKIA 3 2 8 10 2
1999-00 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 9 10 2 12 14 5 2 1 37 27.0
2000-01 SABRES 82 29 33 62 5 36 8 2 4 206 14.1
2001-02 SABRES 82 37 36 73 14 33 15 5 5 267 13.9
2001-02 SLOVAKIA-OLYMPICS 2 0 1 1 0
2001-02 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 9 5 8 13 2
2002-03 SABRES 79 26 49 75 -3 20 11 1 3 240 10.8
2002-03 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 9 6 4 10 2
2003-04 SABRES 82 29 28 57 -15 30 11 1 5 206 14.1
2003-04 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 7 6 4 10 41
2003-04 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 9 4 4 8 4
2004-05 SLOVAKIA-W-CUP 4 0 0 0 -7 4
2004-05 HC SLOVAN SLOVNAFT BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 18 11 9 20 14
2004-05 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 7 2 2 4 8
2005-06 ISLANDERS 82 35 31 66 -8 54 17 0 2 253 13.8
2005-06 SLOVAKIA-OLYMPICS 6 0 2 2 2
2006-07 ISLANDERS 81 27 32 59 -12 46 7 1 2 216 12.5
2006-07 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 7 1 7 8 4
2007-08 ISLANDERS 80 16 25 41 -11 39 5 0 4 171 9.4
2008-09 PENGUINS 65 17 19 36 3 36 6 0 2 120 14.2
2008-09 WILKES-BARRE PENGUINS-AHL 10 3 6 9 1 4 2 0 0
2009-10 BRUINS 38 9 5 14 8 12 0 0 1 59 15.2
2009-10 SLOVAKIA-OLYMPICS 6 1 1 2 0
2009-10 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 2 0 0 0 0
2010-11 OHK DYNAMO MOSCOW-RUS-KHL 6 1 2 3 4
2010-11 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 10 10 6 16 22
2010-11 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 6 3 2 5 4 4 0 0 1
2011-12 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 49 23 29 52 127
2011-12 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 10 4 2 6 0 4 0 1 1
2012-13 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-KHL 21 7 5 12 22
2012-13 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 8 1 2 3 0 2 1 0 0
2013-14 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-KHL 23 9 3 12 8
2013-14 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 7 1 2 3 1 4 1 0 0 21
NHL TOTALS 1,050  363  372  735  20 464 120 16 50 2,582  14.1

CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
1996-97 SABRES 7 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
1997-98 SABRES 14 5 4 9 -9 4 4 0 1 20 25.0
1998-99 SABRES 12 3 5 8 3 2 1 0 1 25 12.0
1999-00 SABRES 5 3 2 5 2 0 0 0 0 11 27.3
2000-01 SABRES 13 3 10 13 4 8 1 0 0 40 7.5
2004-05 HC SLOVAN SLOVNAFT BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 18 15 7 22 16
2006-07 ISLANDERS 5 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 10 10.0
2006-07 SLOVAKIA-WC-A 0 0 0.0
2008-09 PENGUINS 17 1 5 6 1 11 0 0 0 21 4.8
2009-10 BRUINS 13 5 5 10 4 16 2 0 3 37 13.5
2010-11 OHK DYNAMO MOSCOW-RUS-KHL 2 0 0 0 0
2011-12 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-SLOVAKIA 12 8 14 22 10
2013-14 HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA-KHL 2 1 0 1 0
NHL TOTALS 86 21 33 54 4 41 8 0 5 169 12.4

NOTABLE

By the time Satan played his first game in Edmonton in 1995-96, the Oilers were a bargain basement outfit being run on a shoestring payroll as owner Peter Pocklington cut corners. Outside of Doug Weight, Zdeno Ciger and Jason Arnott, they didn’t have an abundance of offensive talent up front.

Even so, Satan, just 21, scored 18 goals and had 35 points in just 62 games in his rookie season. Like many young players, Satan was obviously talented and capable of spectacular moments, but inconsistent. Warts and all, most people inside and outside the organization saw a real player there.

In his second season, Satan had 17 goals through 64 games when Sather, not making the progress wanted in contract talks with Satan’s agent and fearing he might return to the Czech Republic, went Full Palmer and pulled the trigger on a deal that sent him to Buffalo for Craig Millar and Barrie Moore.

THE STORY

If you’re wondering who they were, you’re not alone. Millar, a defenseman, would play 36 games with the Oilers. Moore, a winger, wore Oiler silks in just four games. After 126 games with the Oilers, Satan would go on to play another 924 games with the Sabres, New York Islanders, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Satan hit the 20-goal mark 10 times, had 30-or-more goals four times and 40 goals once on the way to finishing up with 363 goals for his career – he added another 21 in 86 playoff games. The Oilers damn sure could have used some of what Satan delivered during some lean seasons in the late-1990s, but it wasn’t to be.

The Oilers never got the best of Satan because money got in the way, and that’s a shame. He’d be a dead-sure top-25 guy on this list if he’d have put up the numbers he did as a member of the Oilers, but fans here got only a glimpse of what was to come.

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.

RECENTLY BY ROBIN BROWNLEE  

  • ubermiguel

    I recently heard Satan referred to as the “legendary” Slovak hockey player and I thought “that’s over-stating it a bit” so I looked at the top scoring Slovaks ever in the NHL and was proven wrong. Ahead of him are only: Peter Stastny, Marian Hossa, Bondra, Demitra, and Gaborik.

  • ubermiguel

    He’s been doing a little bit of acting lately; appeared in a short historical film for Slovak television about the WWII uprising in that country. It’s here, if you’re interested (it’s about 5 minutes long — in Slovak, obviously):

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Good work on these RB

    I thought it was Ronnie Low who couldn’t stand Miro? Or was Burnett still coaching the year Miro came into the league?

    Regardless, He was a big winger the Oiler really could have used going forward in the 90’s

    Miro might have been on the outside because didn’t the Oilers think they had a real player in Oilver? I also recall that’s the year that Slats fleeced Kennan too on a trade, a lot of good young talent left the oilers during those days.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Comment #6 is correct. Ron Low wouldn’t play Satan. Low saw him as “soft” despite his playing a shift with a collapsed lung; referred to him a “ballerina” (which meant skilled player in Ron Low-speak), so Sather traded him because Low wouldn’t play him. Slats was quoted to that effect at the time.

    I remember seeing Satan in warm-ups, deliberately putting 5 shots at the crossbar as part of his pre-game ritual. Most times, he’d get 5 for 5 or 4 for 5. Not a superstar, but plenty of skill on a team sorely short of it at the time.

    Slats should have dumped Low instead.

    • Leaking5w-30

      In think you nailed it. I read an interview with satan after he retired and he talked about how oilers coaches sat him and put him down for not banging and crashing.

      • Morgo_82

        That was the same Oiler, I blame it on Ron Lowe, that they let Ray Whitney go even though he was the one of the best offensive players for the Oiler’s in the preseason.

        Seems to he was on the team and Ron, and I am a Ron Lowe the goalie fan, wouldn’t play him.