On this day in 1989, Oilers trade Jimmy Carson to Red Wings for Adam Graves, Joey Murphy and Petr Klima
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On this day in 1989, the Edmonton Oilers would trade promising young star Jimmy Carson to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Adam Graves, Joey Murphy, and Petr Klima.
Carson was anything but easy to deal with while playing in Edmonton. The promising young star was originally the Los Angeles Kings’ second overall pick in the 1986 draft where he would go on to have a 107-point season with 55 goals in just his second year with the team at 19 years of age. The young forward seemed on his way to success at the professional level, but when the news of the great Wayne Gretzky possibly being moved to another team, Carson didn’t know he too would be moving.
Gretzky was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988, in a deal that would give the Oilers Martin Gelinas, a first-round draft pick in 1991 (Martin Rucinsky), and 1993 (Nick Stajduhar), $15,000,000 in cash, and Carson.
What was Carson’s reaction to the trade, you ask? The young gun’s response to the news was short of humble… In an Edmonton Journal article, Cam Coel quoted the young forward when he told the media:
“This is the greatest trade in hockey history, and I’m probably the second most important part.”
Being “the second most important part” would come with its expectations meaning head coach Glen Sather and the rest of the Oilers organization would expect something similar of Carson as he did with the Kings in his sophomore season.
All seemed just hunky dory in Edmonton. The 20-year-old forward had another excellent season, with 49 goals and 100 points. The Oilers had just squeaked into the playoffs but ultimately fell short to the new hometeam of Gretzky in game seven, knocking them out of the playoff race.
The following season, Carson became a unique piece of the Oilers’ equation. Just four games into the year, the forward was benched during the third period of a game between Edmonton and Boston, resulting in an OT 3-3 tie on October 13. No one suspected anything to come out of the benching; it was just one lousy game.
5:30 a.m on October 14, the morning following the benching, Jimmy Carson would call his father, then contact his agent, Bill Watters, whereas Jim Matheson wrote in the Edmonton Journal that Watters told media:
“He’s had it. The party’s over. He’s not playing well and he feels if he’s going to play in Edmonton like he has the last while, then ‘to hell with it.’”
Carson ultimately went back home where he would sit — suspended — until he could go and play for an American team after making it apparently clear that he wanted nothing to do with the Canadian market.
Carson would get what he wanted and be traded to his hometown of Detroit to play for the Red Wings alongside a fifth-round pick in 1991(later traded to the Montreal Canadiens) and Kevin McClelland. Shopping the young forward turned out fabulously for the Oilers allowing them to acquire Jeff Sharples, veteran Petr Klima, and young guns Adam Graves and Joe Murphy.
Klima would score the game-winning goal in a triple overtime game against the Boston Bruins to secure the orange and blue their fifth Stanley Cup. He would record 40 goals and 68 overall points that season, with 13 points in the playoffs. He would have a successful career with Edmonton playing 258 games before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993 for a third-round draft pick in 1994 (Brad Symes) but made a short return in 1996-1997 playing only 16 games.
After winning the Stanley Cup, Graves would only remain in Alberta’s capital city for two years playing a total of 139 games. In Alberta’s capital city he would have average seasons holding nine goals and 20 points in 1990 and seven goals and 25 points in 1991. He then signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent at the end of the 1991 season, where he would spend the next decade.
Murphy however, would spend the next three years in Edmonton, having successful seasons following the Stanley Cup win in 1990. He would secure 69 goals and 169 points while in the Oilers uniform but after 222 games he would eventually be traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Igor Kravchuk and Dean McAmmond on February 24, 1993.
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