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On this day in 2007, the Oilers acquire Denis Grebeshkov from the New York Islanders in exchange for Marc-Andre Bergeron

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Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
On this day in 2007, the Edmonton Oilers traded Marc-Andre Bergeron and a 2008 third-round pick to the New York Islanders for defenceman Denis Grebeshkov.
Neither Bergeron nor Grebeshkov had it easy with the Oilers, but in one way or another, they each made a name for themselves in Alberta’s Capital City. 
Bergeron joined the Oilers as a 21-year-old free agent signing with the team in 2001. He spent his first year largely with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, but the Oilers saw a Paul Coffey-esque style to his game. He had swift movements during end-to-end rushes and featured an absolute rocket of a slapshot that helped him produce the powerplay.
He finally joined the team full-time during the 2005-06 season. Of course, as all Oilers fans know, this was the up-and-down Cinderella season that edged the Oilers into a successful but nearly unbelievable playoff run. In the regular season, Beregon played 75 games, scoring 15 goals and 35 points and struggled in the playoffs, scoring two goals and three points through 18 games. 
Oilers Bergeron pushes Carolina’s Andrew Ladd into Dwayne Roloson
His performance on the ice isn’t why his name stands out to people, however, as he is infamously known for playing a contributing role in Dwayne Roloson’s injury suffered in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals, sidelining him for the rest of the series.
Late into the third period of game one, Bergeron saw Carolina forward Andrew Ladd blazing toward the net. In an attempt to throw him off his path, Bergeron accidentally drove Ladd straight into Roloson, sending both players barrelling into the Oilers’ star goaltender. Just like that, the Oilers would look toward their backup, Jussi Markkanen, for the remainder of the series.
“He was coming at the net with a lot of speed and I didn’t want to let him go through,” Bergeron explained to the Edmonton Journal’s Joanne Ireland.
“It’s just reaction. And bad luck. Roli’s been run over a few times in the playoffs and he’s always been fine. He’s been our backbone, but we’re going to deal with it. We have lots of character. This won’t stop us.”
Unfortunately, the Cinderella story wouldn’t come to a heartwarming end like in the movie. It would end in a game seven heartbreak as the Oilers watched the Hurricanes lift the one thing they all had their eyes set on, the Stanley Cup.
Bergeron wouldn’t last in Edmonton. While he appeared in 55 games scoring 25 points for the Oilers in 2006-07, the taste left in everyone’s mouth was far too bitter for him to remain in Oil County.
Much like was seen with Bergreon, Grebeshkov had his own struggles in town. While it didn’t end in a game seven loss in a race for the cup, it was just a series of bad luck, so it seems. 
When the Oilers acquired Grebeshkov he had been playing overseas in Russia for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in thanks to a contract dispute with Islanders. Kevin Lowe signed him to a one-year deal to return to North America for the 2007-08 season and his first achievement came scoring the 8000th goal in franchise history in a 5-4 loss to the Nashville Predators on February 19, 2008.
The 2008-2009 season is where Grebeshkov shone for the blue and orange, scoring seven goals, 32 assists and 39 points, all career highs. Thanks to that season, he became one of the best defencemen for the Oilers.
He wouldn’t last long in Edmonton, however, as he was dealt to the Nashville Predators for a second-round pick in 2010 in March of that year. The Oilers used that pick on forward Curtis Hamilton. And even while Grebeshkov returned on a one-year deal in 2013-14, he only played seven games with the big club, instead appearing in 39 games for the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

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