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10 Days Until The Season Begins

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Cam Lewis
7 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane. Today at No. 10 we have Esa Tikkanen, known as “The Grate One” because of his ability to irritate opposing players.
The Oilers selected Tikkanen in the fourth round of the 1983 draft and he came overseas and joined the club in the spring of 1985 after two successful seasons with HIFK in Finland’s top professional league. He made his NHL debut with the Oilers during the 1985 Stanley Cup Final against the Philadelphia Flyers, a series the Oilers eventually won in seven games.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From May 12, 1985.

Over the next few years, Tikkanen established himself as a very effective two-way winger. He reached the 30-goal and 70-point plateaus three times and finished in the top three in Selke Trophy voting for the league’s best defensive forward four times.
Tikkanen became a fan favourite for his chippy play, his knack for scoring clutch goals, and his ability to get under the skin of opposing players. Tikkanen’s chirping became known as “Tiki-Talk” because even other players from Finland couldn’t understand what he was saying.
“He brings something special. I don’t know what it is, but if you ask him, you couldn’t understand his answer,” Wayne Gretzky said about Tikkanen.
After winning the Stanley Cup with the team in 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990, Tikkanen was traded to the New York Rangers in 1993 in exchange for Doug Weight. Tikkanen was among the former Oilers who won the Stanley Cup with New York in 1994, including Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Adam Graves, Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe, and Jeff Beukeboom.
Tikkanen made stops with the St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Washington Capitals before spending his final few playing years in Europe. He retired in 2001 with 244 goals and 630 points over 877 NHL games and 132 points across 186 playoff games.

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