Photo credit:Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers
62 Days Until The Season Begins
By Zach Laing6 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.
Happy Marcobello day to all those who celebrate.
A Feb. 7, 2013 Edmonton Journal article details Mark Arcobello’s NHL debut.
There are few more obscure Oilers numbers than that of 62. It was first donned by Tim Sestito when he made his NHL debut in November 2008 — his lone game with the Oilers — and then once again by Arocbello in his debut in February 2013.
For Arcobello, the journey to the NHL was a long one. After wrapping up his high school tenure, he went to Yale University where in his junior year he was named to the NCAA’s first all-star team helping the Bulldogs win an ECAC championship. His time in the college ranks wrapped up after the 2009-10 season and turned pro after scoring 49 goals and 116 points in 131 games.
He signed on with the Oklahoma City Barons, the then Oilers AHL affiliate, and had a great first year in the organization splitting time between that league, and the ECHL. In the A, he scored 11 goals and 22 points in 26 games, and racked up another seven goals and 20 points in 33 ECHL games.
He earned a two-year deal with the Oilers inking the deal in April 2011, and showed well with another strong performance in AHL scoring 17 goals and 43 points in 73 games.
And in February 2013, Arcobello would get this first taste of the NHL. Shawn Horcoff had broke his knuckle early in the month taking a puck off his hand, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got shaken up, too, leading to Arcobello getting the call.
“He’s the best player down there,” said then-head coach Ralph Krueger of Arcobello’s play in the AHL that year in an Edmonton Journal article.
He wasn’t wrong as his 39 points in 43 games to that point in the season was among the best in the league, and the Oilers treated him as such.
He drew in on the Oilers’ top line on February 6th alongside Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as they took on the Dallas Stars. Arcobello would take 19 shifts that night playing 18:15, but wouldn’t register on the scoresheet in anyway.
“He worked hard to get to this point, and you’re excited every time you see players who weren’t drafted get up here,” said linemate Eberle after the game. “He’s a smart player.
“That’s probably the biggest thing that makes up for his size — much like Nuge when he first came in. He’s got great vision, he thinks the game well, he’s got a great shot, and he’s good in his d-zone.”
Arcobello was sent back down the Barons where he would finish the season. In 74 regular season games, he racked up 22 goals and 68 points adding another 12 tallies and 20 points in 17 playoff games.
He would come into training camp ahead of the 2013-14 earning a spot on the roster, and debuted in game one of the season on the Oilers’ second line alongside David Perron and Jordan Eberle. Arcobello would stick for a good run that season staying with the big club until late January when he became a healthy scratch.
Reassigned to the Barons in early February 2014, Arcobello would finish his first true NHL stint scoring four goals and 18 points in 41 games. Through the end of the year with the Barons, Arcobello would light it up scoring 10 goals and 28 points in 15 games.
Once again, Arcobello made the Oilers roster out of came ahead of the 2014-15 season opening the year on the third line alongside Perron, once again, and Teddy Purcell. For Arcobello, however, it was the beginning of the end of his time in the NHL.
While he chipped in some more depth offence with seven goals and 12 points in 36 games, the Oilers would trade him to the Nashville Predators in a one-for-one deal to acquire Derek Roy in Dec. 29, 2014 deal amid a flurry of other moves that month.
An Edmonton Journal article from Dec. 30, 2014 details the Edmonton Oilers trading Mark Arcobello for Derek Roy.
The move came not long after then GM Craig MacTavish’ infamous “blood all over my hands” quote from when he fired head coach Dallas Eakins. The same day of the Arcobello-for-Roy swap, MacTavish claimed 24-year-old forward Matt Fraser off waivers.
“The moves we made were lateral moves and there will be more, certainly, from now till the end of the year, but all those decisions will be based on as situational basis,” MacTavish told the Edmonton Journal. “The move (for Roy) was for the sake of making some change.
“He’s a player who’s had a high pedigree in the past. He’s coming off quite a few opportunities where he hasn’t been able to capture the same degree of performance level that he had when he was productive in Buffalo.”
A move to make a move was the best way to describe it.
The Oilers did find some value out of it, but in the end, it was all for naught. Roy helped the beleaguered Nail Yakupov play some of his best hockey in the NHL, while he himself chipped in 11 goals and 22 points in 46 games.
Roy would retire at season’s end, while Yakupov would only last with the Oilers for one more season.
Arcobello, meanwhile, would live out of a suitcase for the following months. He played just four games with Nashville before being claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he played 10 games before once again getting scooped off waivers — this time by the Arizona Coyotes playing 27 games before the end of the season.
He signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs that offseason and would split time between the NHL and AHL scoring three goals and four points with the big club, and 25 goals and 59 points in 49 games with the Marlies.
Ahead of the 2016-17 season, Arcobello signed in the Swiss League with SC Bern playing there for four seasons, before joining HC Lugano ahead of the 2020-21 season where he’s played since.
Arcobello has turned out one heckuva career in Switzerland. In 2016-17, he helped guide Bern to team success as league champions, but landed himself media awards as the most valuable player, best forward and a spot on the all-star team. He scored the most points in the league in the regular season (25-30—55 in 50 GP) and in the playoffs, (8-12—20 in 16 GP).
When he joined Lugano in 2020, Acrobello was named captain — a role he still holds with the club. Over 345 Swiss league games over the last eight years, Arcobello has scored 125 goals and 329 points, adding another 24 goals and 55 points in 58 playoff games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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