Throwback to 1999: Edmonton Oilers acquire Tommy Salo and Ethan Moreau in trade deadline shake-up
By Cam Lewis8 months ago
On this day in 1999, the Edmonton Oilers woke up mired in a five-game losing streak and general manager Glen Sather decided it was time to shake things up.
Sather made two trades on March 20, 1999. One of them was a seven-player swap with the Chicago Blackhawks that saw Boris Mironov, Dean McAmmond, and Jonas Elofssonhead out and Ethan Moreau, Chad Kilger, Dan Cleary, and Christian Laflamme come back in return. The other one saw Mats Lindgren and an eighth-round pick sent to the New York Islanders for goaltender Tommy Salo.
The trade with Chicago made the Oilers younger, as Moreau, Kilger, and Clearly were all first-round picks from the previous few years, while the addition of Salo from the Islanders gave Edmonton the goaltender that they badly needed.
Both Moreau and Salo made an immediate impact on their new club when the Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-3 that night. Moreau lined up on a line with Mike Grier and Todd Marchant and assisted on all three of Grier’s hat trick goals and Salo stopped 23 of 26 shots in the win.
The Oilers went 8-4-2 the rest of the way and made the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They matched up against the Dallas Stars in the first round and got swept in four consecutive one-goal losses.
Salo was making his NHL playoff debut and posted a .926 save percentage in the sweep. He put together a breakout season for the Oilers the following year, posting a .914 save percentage over 70 games. All told, Salo put up a .906 save percentage in 334 games in Edmonton over parts of six seasons with the club before getting traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2004 for blueline prospect Tom Gilbert.
Kilger and Laflamme were both traded away in separate deals over the next year but Moreau and Cleary became fixtures in Edmonton’s forward group. Cleary played 220 games with the Oilers before leaving as a free agent following the 2002-03 season and Moreau played 653 games with the Oilers over the span of 11 seasons and captained the team between 2007-08 and 2009-10.
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