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?

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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)



2007-08 OILERS 82 18 27 45 1 20 1 2 5 98 18.4
2008-09 OILERS 82 18 20 38 -6 22 4 0 4 116 15.5
2009-10 OILERS 82 10 18 28 -5 31 1 0 1 139 7.2
2010-11 OILERS 82 11 24 35 -12 64 0 1 3 129 8.5
2011-12 DUCKS 82 13 13 26 -4 15 2 0 2 115 11.3
2012-13 DUCKS 48 13 10 23 14 6 0 2 1 79 16.5
2013-14 DUCKS 82 21 21 42 13 26 0 3 5 157 13.4
2014-15 DUCKS 82 15 14 29 5 14 0 3 2 134 11.2
2015-16 DUCKS 47 4 11 15 -12 12 0 1 2 73 5.5
NHL TOTALS 669 123 158 281 -6 210 8 12 25 1,040 11.8


2012-13 DUCKS 7 0 1 1 -3 4 0 0 0 11 0.0
2013-14 DUCKS 13 1 6 7 -2 8 0 1 1 17 5.9
2014-15 DUCKS 16 3 6 9 9 4 0 0 0 47 6.4
NHL TOTALS 36 4 13 17 4 16 0 1 1 75 5.3


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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.


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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. 

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Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.


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  • Jay (not J)

    In a decade of low moments, Danny Heatly saying “F*** no!” to a trade to Edmonton sure felt like one of the lowest, even though in hindsight it’s hard to believe that the Oilers’ situation today would be any different if the deal had been made. Cogs was really young here. I remember the tears when Erik Cole got moved out (there’s another disaster story)and a few interviews where you could really see his heart on his sleeve. Good to see that he’s really found a role for himself in Anaheim.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Remember him well……..not a lot of skill but lot’s of heart combined with blistering speed.

    Steve Tambellini was never known for forward thinking or any critical thinking for that matter. Mr Dithers belongs in a column of his own, as the worst GM the oilers have employed. I remember him making the Jarrred Smithson trade and telling the fans help is on it;s way………sure.

    One other thing about Cogs that we could use now is his durability!

    • Jay (not J)

      There’s a summer project for someone to take on. Take a look and see if any GM around the league was ever as disastrous as (I’m with Oil Is My Blood on banning his name) Kevin Lowe’s apprentice.

        • Jay (not J)

          Milbury DEFINITLY belongs in the conversation. If I remember correctly though, the Islanders were trying to do things as cheaply as possible during his day, which does make the job of competing a lot more difficult. Our clown had a deep pocketed new owner who was eager to demonstrate that his ownership was going to mean that the Oilers were now to become a big cheque writing, FA grabbing powerhouse. Definitely a different set of circumstances to be working in.

          • When Kevin Lowe said the master plan is unfolding as expected. What I hear is the master plan was to keep myself and my cronies employed long term, even though everyone in the hockey world knows these clowns were not qualified for the positions they were gifted. The litany of mistakes would make a book about the size of War And Peace.

    • Marchant would definately hold the NHL record for that stat.

      The guy had a breakaway per game, often shorthanded, and scored 15 goals a year.

      But he redeemed himself with that game 7 OT beauty vs Dallas way back when…

  • lucky

    I seriously think, in those days, that the team was Daryl Katz’ new toy and he was chiming in and vetoing hockey decisions. The master plan is unfolding as Katz wanted … generational phenom and new rink. 5 years from now, who knows, maybe we are (figuratively) carrying Katz on our shoulders down Jasper Ave. Will these laughing stock years have been worth it?

    • Not for me.We will probably all wonder for years if this was deliberate or not. Are they that smart or are they that stupid? I will go with the latter. Any self respecting owner would have skidded Lowe after his six ring , two tier fan disaster press conference. That we are still subjected to the three stooges mugs showing up everywhere is the ultimate disrespect to the fan base.

    • Serious Gord

      It will never be worth it. The losing,the lost seasons. The excuses. This year it’s injuries, (it seems to be injuries a lot.)

      The largest systemic issue relates to poor asset management.

      Years of no AHL team of their own.

      Holding on to Hemsky for too long.(I was guilty in hoping he would rebound.)

      Poor drafting in 2007 (I know hindsight and all. But Riley Nash was taken one spot before Max Pacioretty.Logan Courture was selected 3 after Gagner.The Plante pick was bad but at least there isn’t anyone taken within 3 spots of him that has become an All star.)The 2007 draft is when the rebuild started 3 1st round picks Wasted.

      I hated the Cogliano trade when it happened. I hate it even more in hindsight.

  • lucky

    Helps explain why the Oilers have been spinning their wheels for so long. Moving useful NHL-calibre players for picks when there is no obvious replacement player in the minors.

  • Meh, didn’t really get a good return for the player, but poor asset management was kind of Tambillini’s Hallmark.

    He is good for what he is, but what he is wouldn’t help the Oilers in any way.

      • .15 pt per game difference between the two.That counts as Pretty close in my books.

        One still is an NHler after realizing he had to change his game to succeed. The other has been traded for a player who was to be bought out.

        Then traded right away with salary being retained because it was cheaper than buying him out. For a sixth round pick and a 4th liner. Traded for -2million a sixth round pick and a fringe NHLer.

        Then traded for the contract of a retired player. So Phoenix could reach the Cap floor. 2 million in cap gained.

        The Flyers give him a fair shot but waive him in the end. The former 6th over all pick clears waivers. Not even worth his 3 million dollar salary to any team in the league.

        Yup its not even close. Gagner is a nice guy. I was a fan of his. I always hoped he’d take things to another level. I admired his work ethic. I’ve seen you defend him a few times.I can understand why.

        Cogliano > Gagner it WAS close while they were Oilers, it’s not even in the same league now. (Unless you count a one game recall and free press box tickets to a flyers game as being back in the NHL for good.)

        Brownlee I am enjoying this series very much. I do believe both players deserve to be on the list. Your bringing back some good memories for an Oilers fan like me. To make the statement that two players aren’t “even close”. Now ranks up there with.
        “Schultz has Norris Potential”
        “Gagner will be the next captain. ”
        The six rings “I know a thing or two about winning.” As laughable emotional charged statements.

        • “Oilers” saying Gagner belongs in the bottom 100 Oilers of all time is nothing more than trolling. When you do that, you get a sharp response in the same tone. That’s what he got.

          Nothing Gagner or Cogliano have done outside their time as Oilers impacts where I put them on the list or if I put them on the list at all. Anybody who took the time to read the set-up piece to this entire series knows that. I’ve also mentioned that several times since.

          There’s lots of room for debate that a given player belongs higher or lower on the list — or not on it at all — and that’s fine. It’s my list, and it’ll vary from yours. “Oilers” wasn’t doing that. Likewise, you’re over the top by suggesting my saying it isn’t close between Gagner and Cogliano ranks up there with MacTavish talking about Schultz and Norris potential. That’s really not close.

          • Agreed. Stating Gagner was horrible while here is far from the truth. He was an absolute professional. Like I said I admired his work ethic. He gave it his all.

            I don’t know the man personally, but I have experienced how hard it can be to come back from injury.

            The Cogliano vs Gagner debate could go on for a long time. I always preferred Cogs. Others preferences were towards Gagner.

            I’m looking forward to seeing your list in its entirety. You have already reminded me of several players I cheered like hell for but somehow got lost in the foggy places of my mind.


  • Shameless Plugger

    That whole Dany Heatley offer is Hockey GM 101 on not what to do when making deals. I didnt mund Cogliano here in Edmonton. He scoffed hard at the notion of being another Todd Marchant but the guy should be glowing at the comparion. Marchant was one of the premiere checking forwards of the game at one time or another. There was no one area of his game that stood out other then blazing speed. If Marchant didnt have the hands of stone he could carved out a 300 goal career in the NHL. Cogliano should be more then happy having a Marchant type career in the NHL, Marchant was a beauty.