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37 Days Until The Season Begins

Cam Lewis
5 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. 37, we have one of the one-and-done wonders from the ’06 Stanley Cup Final run, Mike Peca.
Peca was the first-round pick in the 1990 OHL draft by the Sudbury Wolves but didn’t break out until a couple of years later when he was traded to the Ottawa 67’s. He scored 102 points across 55 games with Ottawa in 1991-92 and was selected in the second round of that summer’s NHL draft by the Vancouver Canucks.
He made his NHL debut during the 1993-94 season and broke through as a full-time player on the Canucks during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. That following off-season, Peca was traded along with Mike Wilson and a first-round draft pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for star winger Alex Mogilny.
While in Buffalo, Peca developed into one of the league’s best two-way centres. He won the Frank J. Selke Trophy with the Sabres in 1996-97 and captained the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998-99.
The Sabres and Peca couldn’t come to terms on a contract for the 2000-01 season and he wound up holding out for the entire year. During the following summer, the Sabres dealt Peca to the New York Islanders and he won the Selke Trophy in his first season back.
Peca spent three years with the Islanders before he was traded to the Oilers following the end of the lockout in the summer of 2005. Edmonton acquired Peca just one day after they had acquired star defenceman Chris Pronger from the St. Louis Blues.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping from August 4, 2005.

Peca only scored 23 points over 73 regular season games for the Oilers but he was huge for the team during the playoffs. He scored six goals and 11 points during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final and was often tasked with being the shutdown centre who went up against the other team’s top line.
Following the 2005-06 season, Peca inked a one-year contract to join his hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. After an injury-riddled season in Toronto, Peca played two more years with the Columbus Blue Jackets before retiring in 2010.
In the off-season, Peca was named an assistant coach on Peter Laviolette’s staff with the New York Rangers. Laviolette coached Peca while with the New York Islanders back in the early 2000s.

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