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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Farewell to Laurent Brossoit, the backup that never panned out

When the Edmonton Oilers picked up goaltender Laurent Brossoit in the trade that sent defender Laddy Smid to the Calgary Flames, the first few years post-trade seemed like a home run for the Oil in a slew of years that didn’t pan out.

Of course, things didn’t work out quite the way they looked like they were going to.

After a few seasons as a fantastic prospect in the AHL – with a few NHL games here and there that saw Brossoit do everything in his power to win absolutely unwinnable games – the 25-year-old found himself hitting free agency for the first time in his career a few years earlier than expected.

Jan 21, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) celebrate win with center Connor McDavid (97) and center Mark Letestu (55) after the game against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Edmonton Oilers won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers, frustrated by Brossoit during his brief stint as their number two this past season, had sent him back down to the AHL to get his game back in shape. He was able to do so at the minor league level, posting a .912 save percentage in 29 games for the Bakersfield Condors en route to a last-minute heartbreaker playoff miss, but the team still turned elsewhere for the coming year.

Now, he’s headed east (well, *more* east), with a deal to bring him on board with the Winnipeg Jets.

And with that, his time in Edmonton has come to a close.

It’s hard to truly look back on that trade as a win right now, especially since Brossoit didn’t manage to fetch anything as a trade asset (assuming the team even considered that, which all sources I’ve spoken to indicate that wasn’t the case).

A lot of what happened with Brossoit, though, was a letdown likely for both the team and the player; from his struggles to adapt to the NHL full-time to the almost futility of some of the stretches he played, there wasn’t a lot of positivity when he got a chance to play up.

For the Oilers, parting ways here is probably the best thing for both parties.

Although Brossoit started out strong, his inability to maintain NHL numbers while up with the big club was either an ultimate on-ice shortcoming or a loss of confidence with the team, and a change of scenery was likely the only way to get him back to where he could be in the case of the latter. For the team, holding on desperately to a young prospect who was only continuing to flounder wasn’t going to go well in the long run.

For Brossoit, the hope here is that heading to Winnipeg will give him a chance to really get his game back, and hopefully finally establish himself as a full-time NHL backup. If his old fans can’t be happy for him, it may disappoint, but it will be pretty understandable.

If there is any consolation, though, one former ‘good’ Oilers trade finally died as a former ‘bad’ Oilers trade came full circle. While we move on from the underwhelming final season Brossoit had with Edmonton, we can welcome Tobias Rieder back with open arms; the next time he scores back-to-back shorthanded goals, we can know it won’t be on us.