You would need most of your fingers and toes to count the questionable and downright dim moves the management of the Edmonton Oilers has made during the last decade, and the way I see it (with the benefit of hindsight), the trading away of Andrew Cogliano counts as one of them.
In the span of two seasons, Cogliano went from being part of an emerging group of young players – Sam Gagner and Robert Nilsson were the others – that was supposed to lead the Oilers back to contention to being deemed a spare part. Cogliano got his get-out-of Edmonton ticket punched when GM Steve Tambellini thought it wise to trade a productive first-round draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for a second-round pick. How’s that working?
Andrew Cogliano #13
|NUMBER:||13||BIRTHDATE:||June 14, 1987 (AGE 28)|
|HEIGHT:||5′ 10″||BIRTHPLACE:||Toronto, ON, Canada|
|WEIGHT:||184||DRAFTED:||EDM / 2005 NHL Entry Draft|
|SHOOTS:||Left||ROUND:||1st (25th overall)|
BY THE NUMBERS
CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS
Despite scoring 18 goals in each of his first two seasons in Edmonton, the Oilers never figured out what to do with Cogliano. He was a speedster who was slotted in at centre but was better suited to the wing, as the Ducks have proven without any doubt since they stiffed Tambellini with a second-round pick that turned into centre Marc-Olivier Roy.
Cogliano was far from a perfect player. He wasn’t good enough on the face-off dot to be an effective centre. He wasn’t as committed to being a two-way player as he should have been. I remember how he bristled at the suggestion by Jim Matheson and me during an interview that he could be another Todd Marchant. He thought himself to be a more offensive player. Cogliano was a small player in a forward group that needed more size.
Things began to unravel in Edmonton for Cogliano, who set an NHL record in March of 2008 by scoring overtime goals in three consecutive games, in the summer of 2009. It was revealed then that Tambellini was offering the Ottawa Senators a package of players — Cogliano, Ladislav Smid and Dustin Penner — for Dany Heatley. Despite much begging by the Oilers, Heatley exercised his no-trade clause and the deal never did get done — bullet dodged.
Tough to say for sure how much, if any, effect that undone deal had on Cogliano, but his goal production dropped off to 10 and 11 the next two seasons. With Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi dubbed the key players when the Oilers finally made their rebuild “official,” Tambellini deemed Cogliano expendable and shipped him to Anaheim.
Cogliano has re-invented himself in Anaheim as a third-line winger who can check a little, score a little and kill penalties. He had a career-high 22 goals (and 42 points) in 2013-14 and he’s the NHL’s reigning ironman – Cogliano hasn’t missed a single game since breaking in with the Oilers in 2007-08.
Bottom line, Cogliano produced 57-89-146 in 328 games with Oiler teams that finished 19th, 21st, 30th and 30th before Tambellini further soiled his resume with another botched player move. For that, Cogliano is undoubtedly grateful.
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.