Photo credit:Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
On this day in 2013, Oilers acquire Laurent Brossoit and Roman Horak from rival Flames
3 months ago
It was on this day that the Edmonton Oilers and the rival Calgary Flames made their second cross-province trade in NHL history, acquiring young forward Roman Horak and goaltender Laurent Brossoit from the Flames in exchange for defenceman Ladislav Smid and goaltender Oliver Roy.
The decade of darkness loomed over Rexall Place in Edmonton. There stood a team with a desperate need for change and a desperate need to win, and that meant two rival general managers had to discuss their options and conditions, and a trade was born.
When the 22-year-old centre received the phone call he’d be getting a second chance by coming to the Oilers, Horak was seemingly excited despite the squad having the worst goals-against average in the entire league at 3.85.
“My first game in an Oilers jersey is going to be huge for me,” Horak told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson.
His first game with the squad didn’t come right off the bat. Still, by New Year’s Eve of 2013, he was slotted in on the second line with Sam Ganger and Jordan Eberle, hoping that playing alongside the two would develop his skills further.
“This is a big opportunity for me. When you get a change like I am, playing with Ganger and Eberle, I’ve got to take it and, hopefully, I can establish myself as a regular NHL player.”
The Oilers fell 3-4 to the Phoenix Coyotes, and Horak was sent back down to the Oklahoma City Oil Barons in the AHL. He was recalled once more, scoring one goal, but by May of 2014, the forward was already moving on and chose to sign with the KHL’s Vityaz Podolsk.
Although he didn’t stay long in the organization, he played two games in the big leagues with the Oilers and 53 games with the Barons, scoring 21 goals and 48 points.
Oilers trade Smid and Roy to Flames, acquiring Brossoit and Horak
Horak was initially the fifth-round 127th overall pick by the New York Rangers in the 2009 draft, but never dawned their iconic colours. He was traded to the Flames as a part of the Tim Erixon deal, where he scored five goals and 18 points across three years and 82 games.
Of course, the targeted player in the trade with the Flames was the young rookie netminder and former Edmonton Oil King Brossoit.
The No. 1 goaltender for the Oil Kings sparked the interest of the Flames organization, which led to them drafting him 164th overall in 2011. Although a skilled netminder, he never made his debut with the Flames, but the Oilers were looking to change that.
He would start one game with the team throughout the 2014-15 campaign as the team utilized Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth more often between the pipes, which sent Brossoit to the Barons for 53 games.
As his time with the Oilers continued each year, he faced more playing time in the big leagues but seemed to get lost in the shuffle of goaltenders. He started five games in 2015-16, eight in 2016-17, and 14 in 2017-18, playing 28 games over four years with the squad posting a .897 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average.
Eventually, he looked for a fresh start and signed with the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent in 2018.
Losing Smid wasn’t easy for the Oilers as he was better known as a heart and soul shutdown defenceman. He dawned orange and blue for eight years after the Oilers drafted him 9th overall in the 2004 draft.
“I thought something was going to happen with the team, somebody might go, but I didn’t think it would be me,” Smid told Matheson.
“I had a great time in Edmonton and I’d like to think I took pride wearing the Oilers jersey… going to Calgary, that’s going to be weird. There’s such a rivalry there. I’m going to need a quick mind change.”
Smid played 474 games in Edmonton, scoring 11 goals and 65 points. He remained in Calgary for two years following the trade, scoring one goal and seven points across 109 games. In 2017-18, he opted to join the Czechia league with the Bili Tygri Liberec, where he remained until the end of the 2021-22 season.
As for Roy, he never landed a spot on the Flames roster after the trade and continued in the AHL with the Barons and eventually the Heat before moving into the International Central European Hockey League for the 2015-16 season, where he still plays today for the Fehervar AV19.
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