Top five Oilers in-season trades: No. 1 — The 2005-06 trades
By Zach Laing2 months ago
The soup de jour in Oil Country these days is trade talks. After a sluggish start to the season, the Oilers are in a position where they should be active in the trade market. That inspired me to look back at some of the biggest in-season trades in Edmonton Oilers history.
Happy Saturday, and welcome to the series finale. To get you caught up, here’s the prior four from the countdown:
- No. 5 — The Bill Guerin deals
- No. 4 — The Paul Coffey for Craig Simpson trade
- No. 3 — Bringing in Kent Nilsson
- No. 2 — Willy Lindstrom plays key roles in Stanley Cup wins
And today, the most crucial in-season trade(s) in Oilers history: the 2005-06 trades, some the team could look back on today.
It goes without saying how “right” everything fell for the team in 2005-06. The Oilers had a great off-season, acquiring Chris Pronger and Michael Peca, who played key roles for that year’s squad. But as the season went on, proactive trades helped push the Oilers in the right direction.
Look no further than the acquisitions of Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom on January 26. The club was right at the playoff cut line with 60 points, six up on the Anaheim Ducks, and while the Oilers had a “Mutt ‘n’ Jeff tag-team of Chris Pronger and Marc-Andre Bergeron,” the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson noted at the time, they needed some other elements.
A January 27, 2006 article from the Edmonton Journal details the Oilers acquisitions of Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom.
Spacek, acquired from Chicago for failed first-round pick Jani Rita and the rights to Tony Salmelainen, would fit in like a glove, scoring five goals and 19 points in 31 games down the stretch, adding three tallies and 14 points in 24 playoff games. Tarnstrom picked up from Pittsburgh for Cory Cross, provided depth on the blue line, playing 22 regular season games and another dozen in the postseason.
“We feel we needed some help now, get ’em in and get ’em acclimatized and get them peaking at the right time… and also take them out of the pool of available players,” GM Kevin Lowe told Matheson. “We didn’t have to give up any of our long-term future in these deals. Their best assets are their puck-moving ability and we’ve put a huge premium on that for our hockey club this year.
“We just feel real good about our defence right now, all eight of them.”
A March 9, 2006 edition of the Edmonton Journal details the Oilers acquisition of Dwayne Roloson.
And as the March 9 trade deadline approached, the Oilers jumped the market again, this time a day before acquiring goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Minnesota Wild for a first and third-round pick. This move was massive for the Oilers, who had a rag tag of Jussi Markkanen, Mike Morrison and Ty Conklin splitting time in the crease.
Roloson would go 8-7-4 with a .905 save percentage as the Oilers starter down the stretch, with his 2.1 goals saved above average well above the other netminders. However, he hit another level in the playoffs, going 12-5 with a .927 save percentage, a key piece of the Oilers’ puzzle.
“Roloson was at the top of our list, but we wondered if Minnesota would trade him to us becasue we’re in the same division and competing for a playoff spot,” Lowe said at the time of the deal, adding he still wasn’t done ahead of the deadline.
On deadline day, Lowe would send Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a 2nd round pick, later used to select Milan Lucic, to the Boston Bruins for Sergi Samsonov — the power forward they coveted. He was electric for the Oilers down the stretch, with five goals and 16 points in 19 games in the regular season, and another four goals and 15 points in 24 playoff games.
“Sergei is a guy who can provide offence single handedly,” said head coach Craig MacTavish after the trade. “He looks to be a guy who can really help us on the power play.”
All of these moves were critical to the Oilers’ success, and Kevin Lowe ticked off all the boxes that team needed to push them over the top and into the playoffs.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
Recent articles from Zach Laing