RE-LIVE THE EDMONTON OILERS 1994-95 SEASON

95Draft

In hindsight, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that the 1994-95 season was shortened to 48 games by a lockout. It saved Oiler fans from enduring a full season of watching a team that not only saw fit to name Shayne Corson as captain and George Burnett as coach, but that would miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Burnett, promoted from Cape Breton, where he’d won a Calder Cup with Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in 1993, actually got the Oilers off to a relatively decent start (12-13-2), but a 10-game stretch in which the team managed just one tie spelled the end of the rookie coach. That put former Oiler goaltender and assistant coach Ron Low squarely in the hot seat.

RECORD: 17-27-4 38 points. Finished 5th in Pacific Division

GD 136-183 minus-47 SH% 9.5 SV% .877

NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS

1995-04-07

Roman Oksiuta traded to Vancouver for Jiri Slegr.

1995-04-07

Scott Pearson traded to Buffalo for Ken Sutton.

1995-03-13

Ryan McGill traded by Philadelphia for Brad Zavisha and 6th round pick in 1995 (Jamie Sokolsky).

1995-03-13

Brad Zavisha traded to Philadelphia with 6th round pick in 1995 (Jamie Sokolsky) for Ryan McGill.

1995-03-07

Len Esau claimed on waivers by Calgary.

1995-03-03

Iain Fraser claimed on waivers from Dallas.

1995-01-18

Micah Aivazoff claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh.

1995-01-18

Len Esau claimed on waivers from Calgary.

1995-01-18

Dean Kennedy claimed on waivers from Winnipeg.

1994-09-18

Ilya Byakin signed as free agent by San Jose.

1994-08-30

Bryan Marchment acquired from Hartford as compensation for signing Steven Rice.

1994-08-29

Bob Beers signed as free agent by NY Islanders.

1994-08-25

Dennis Bonvie signed as free agent.

1994-07-27

Shjon Podein signed as free agent by Philadelphia.

1994-07-07

Brent Grieve signed as free agent by Chicago.

1994-06-28

Ladislav Benysek drafted 266th overall.

1994-06-28

Jason Bonsignore drafted 4th overall.

1994-06-28

Ryan Smyth drafted 6th overall.

1994-06-28

Mike Watt drafted 32nd overall.

1994-06-02

Scott Ferguson signed as free agent.

1994-05-27

Jeff Chychrun signed as free agent by Hartford.

LEADING SCORERS

Rk

Player

Pos

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

PIM

S

S%

1

Doug Weight

C

48

7

33

40

-17

69

104

6.7

2

Jason Arnott

C

42

15

22

37

-14

128

156

9.6

3

Shayne Corson

LW

48

12

24

36

-17

86

131

9.2

4

David Oliver

RW

44

16

14

30

-11

20

79

20.3

5

Todd Marchant

C

45

13

14

27

-3

32

95

13.7

6

Kelly Buchberger

RW

48

7

17

24

0

82

73

9.6

7

Scott Thornton

LW

47

10

12

22

-4

89

69

14.5

8

Igor Kravchuk

D

36

7

11

18

-15

29

93

7.5

9

Mike Stapleton

RW

46

6

11

17

-12

21

59

10.2

10

Roman Oksiuta

RW

26

11

2

13

-14

8

52

21.2

SEASON RECAP

When Low took over from Burnett after 35 games, he became Edmonton’s fourth head coach in a span of just two seasons, following Ted Green, GM Glen Sather and Burnett. While that doesn’t equal the carousel of coaches the Oilers have run behind the bench during the current 10-year-stretch out of the playoffs, it was a tell-tale sign of a team going nowhere fast.

Edmonton’s problems this season very much mirrored the issues of the previous season. While the Oilers had some decent young talent up front in Doug Weight, Jason Arnott and David Oliver, the blue line was a dog’s breakfast in front of goaltenders Bill Ranford, Fred Brathwaite and Joaquin Gage. The Oilers were middle of the pack (13th) in goals-for with 136, but were dead-last in goals-against with 183. Sound familiar?

Even by the relatively loose standards of the day, Edmonton’s team save-percentage of .877 was atrocious (the league average was .901). Ranford was thrown in as the clay pigeon in 40 of 48 games and his .883 save-percentage should have qualified him for an award of some sort playing behind the group of blueliners Burnett and Low had at their disposal.

LOOKING BACK

Weight and Arnott again finished one-two in team scoring with 40 and 37 points, respectively, and Corson, to be fair, had a pretty solid season in terms of numbers with 36 points despite being more concerned about the name on the back of his jersey than the crest on the front.

While Corson wore the “C,” Weight was driver with this group as he continued to emerge as the best player and team leader. There was no sophomore slump for Arnott, who’d finished second in Calder Trophy voting the season before and could be seen doing runner-up laps around town in his red Viper when he wasn’t at the rink.

This was also the season Oiler fans got their first look at baby-faced first-rounder Ryan Smyth, who’d been taken sixth overall in the 1994 Entry Draft, two spots behind Jason Bonsignore. Smyth, 18, who’d score 41 goals in just 50 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors that season, got a three-game look-see with the Oilers in 1994-95.


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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