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60 Days Until The Season Begins

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Zach Laing
1 month 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.
As far as cups of coffee go, few had shorter than Sebastien Bisaillon with the Edmonton Oilers.

A March 20, 2007 article in the Edmonton Journal details Sebastian Bisaillon’s NHL debut.

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Bisaillon grew up playing his minor hockey in Quebec, and spent his full major junior career with the Val-D’Or Foreurs. While his rookie season was unspectacular in 2003-04 scoring four goals and 18 points in 67 games, the 6’0 right-shot rearguard blew the doors off in his second season with his point total rising to 48.
It led him to a tremendous 2005-06 campaign where he scored 35 goals — the most among QMJLHL defencemen — and a carer high 71 points in 63 games. Ahead of the 2006-07 season, the Oilers signed Bisaillon to a three-year entry-level deal.
“He has the same history as Bergy,” said Oilers vice-president of hockey operations Kevin Prendergast at the time of the signing, comparing Bisaillon to Marc-Andre Bergeron.
Bisaillon would attend training camp for the Oilers that fall, but would be sent back to Val-D’or for his final season. While it saw his production dip, but as an assistant captain, helped the Foreurs go on a run to the finals where they were swept by a powerhouse Lewiston Maineiacs team who not only went a league-best 50-14-2-4 in the regular season, but lost just one game in the playoffs.
The big club, meanwhile, was going through a turbulent season off their run to the Stanley Cup finals and traded their heart-and-soul, Ryan Smyth, to the New York Islanders.
In a March 17, 2007 game, defenceman Ladislav Smid took a shot off the ribs leading to bruising and thus, Bisaillon got his first recall to the NHL as the QMJHL season was in its final days.
“I know the situation is not easy here,” Bisaillon told the Edmonton Journal, “but this is a dream come true. This is my debut.
“I thought about it a lot on the plane but it’s different when you’re on the ice. It’s better.
“This might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me. I might not play another game in the NHL. I’ll do my best to make this team one day, but you never know in hockey.”
Bisaillon would play plenty in that first game on March 19th — a game the Oilers dropped 2-1 to the Vancouver Canucks — getting 19:15 in ice time taking two shots on net. While Bisaillon would play another game two nights later, that would be his only taste of NHL action.
His foresight was spot on.
He would turn pro after that season and spent the 2007-08 and 2008-09 season with the Oilers’ AHL and ECHL affiliates. In the A, he score eight goals and 22 points in 52 games, while in the ECHL it was nine goals and 29 points in 71 games.
He would spend the 2009-10 season playing in Germany for Kassel Huskies. The 2010-11 season would see him return to North America to play between the AHL and ECHL again — this time out of the Oilers’ organization, and has since gone on to play a long career in France.
Between 2013 and 2022, he played in the Ligue Magnus league for three teams scoring 48 goals and 193 points in 300 games.
Bisaillon came in at number 14 in Oilersnation’s 2009 prospect rankings, and was a guest on Episode 60 of Oilersnation Radio.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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