On this day in 2007, Patrik Stefan missed an empty net goal against the Edmonton Oilers

Cam Lewis
5 months ago
January 4, 2007 — The Edmonton Oilers scored one of the strangest goals in team history against the Dallas Stars.
With the Stars up by a score of 5-4 late in the third period, Dallas forward Patrik Stefan poked the puck away from Oilers defender Marc-Andre Bergeron and skated in for what appeared to be the easiest goal of all-time, as Edmonton had pulled goaltender Dwayne Roloson for an extra attacker.
But rather than firing the puck into the open net, Stefan tried to feather it in on his backhand. The puck bounced over his stick and Stefan fell to the ice as he tried to salvage the play. Oilers forward Jarret Stoll grabbed the loose puck and quickly turned it up ice, and Ales Hemsky managed to score to tie the game with just two seconds left on the clock.
Though the Stars wound up winning the game in the shootout, this flub is largely what Stefan is remembered for in his NHL career. A big, skilled centre from the Czech Republic, the Atlanta Thrashers made Stefan their first-ever draft choice with the first overall pick in 1999 but he never lived up to the billing. Stefan wound up getting dealt to Dallas after six seasons with Atlanta and he was out of the league after one year with the Stars.
Ray Ferraro, who played with Stefan for a few seasons in Atlanta, was doing colour commentary for the home broadcast and ripped his former teammate after the play. Following a long pause, Ferarro said “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Patrik Stefan, you should be embarrassed for what you just did. That does not belong in the National Hockey League.”

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How Patrik Stefan’s infamous flub against the Edmonton Oilers led to the Chicago Blackhawks getting Patrick Kane

Another interesting thing about this whole situation is what it meant for the standings at the end of the season and the subsequent draft.
The Oilers took a step back in 2006-07 following their run to the Stanley Cup Final the previous season after the likes of Chris Pronger, Jaroslav Spacek, and Michael Peca left the team in the summer. By the time the trade deadline rolled around in late February, the Oilers were falling out of a playoff spot, and the team opted to trade pending free agent Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders for futures.
Following that trade, the Oilers completely imploded and only won twice in their final 19 games. They wound up finishing the season tied for fifth last in the league standings with the Chicago Blackhawks. But since the Oilers had one more win than the Blackhawks did, Edmonton was considered the sixth-worst team and Chicago wound up in the draft lottery as the fifth-worst team.
The Blackhawks had their lottery ball drawn and landed the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, where they selected Patrick Kane. If not for the extra point the Oilers got by tying that game to force overtime back in January, they’d have been in the draft lottery instead of the Blackhawks. Well, unless the league wanted them to pick first, of course.

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