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 The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771063]
Fri, 01 January 2021 11:08 Go to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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Happy new year all!

It's been a while since I posted here (stopped for various personal and health reasons), but I felt like starting a new Oilers related project for this year.

I love delving into Oiler history and this idea came to me to go through every Oilers' player in their history and I thought a great way to do it would be to do it on their birthday. So in this thread I will make a post every day in the year 2021 with a list of all the Oilers (former and current) that are celebrating their birthday that day. I'll give a brief summary of their Oiler career and whatever interesting biographical info I can find and think is interesting. It'll just be whatever I know from memory and can find easily through my google-fu skills--I'm not doing a PHd research project.

There have been 695 players that have suited up in at least one game (regular season or playoffs--preseason doesn't count) going back to 1972-73 (yes I'm even going to include the WHA days). By the time the 2020-21 season is going, we should be just over 700. I'll also include all the GMs and coaches, plus a few other people who I consider important to franchise history. So on average I'll be doing about two a day--something I'm hoping I can keep up for the full calendar year.

I'm hoping other contributors will comment on seeing players they maybe haven't thought about in a while. You'll be able to see how old they are now and hopefully give your opinions and memories if you like and even wish them a happy birthday. Maybe I'll be the only who cares, but I'm planning on enjoying myself doing this.



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 January 1 [message #771064 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 01 January 2021 11:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Location: Edmonton

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Ok, let's get this thread started with the four Oilers who were born on New Year's day.


Bob Falkenberg
Born: January 1, 1946 (turns 75 today) in Stettler, AB.
Position: Defenceman (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Claimed in general WHA player draft, Feb 12, 1972.
Oiler Career: 1972-73 to 73-74; 77-78: 157 games (6 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Sent to San Diego as the "future considerations" from acquistion of Bobby Sheehan in February, May 1974.
Reacquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, October 1977.
Left Oilers for good: Retired in 1977.

Falkenberg was a relaibe stay at home depth defencemen for the Red Wings for almost eight years (spending most of his time in the minors) before the WHA's birth allowed him a better taste of the show (as it did many fringe NHLers of the time) and a chance to play with his hometown team (he was an ex Oil King). The Oilers picked him in the general draft and he ended up playing 2 full seasons in those first two years of their existence. They sent him to San Diego to complete an earlier trade, but did reacquire him at the end of his career where he played 2 more games for the Oil before retiring in 1977. After retirement, he settled in Edmonton and worked for Labatt's as a promotions coordinator. Happy 75th Bob!


Joe Fortunato
Born: January 1, 1955 (turns 66 today) in Toronto, ON.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, August 1976.
Oilers Career: 1976-77; 1 game (0 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Retired from hockey in 1977

For not the last time, I'm guessing a lot of Oilfans are going "who?". Fortunato was the typical "cup of coffee" player. His one game with the Oilers during the 76-77 WHA season was his only taste of major pro-hockey--he spent the rest of his short career in the minors. If you're reading this Joe, take heart that your brief time in the show got you mentioned in this list some 43 years later! Happy 66th!



Dave Hunter
Born: January 1, 1958 (turns 63 today) in Petrolia, ON.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, June 1978.
Oilers Career: 1978-79 to 1987-88; 1988-89: 725 games (118 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Pittsburgh (with Paul Coffey and Wayne Van Dorp) for Dave Hannan, Chris Joseph, Moe Mantha, and Craig Simpson, November 24, 1987.
Reacquired by Oilers: Claimed on waivers from Winnipeg, January 14, 1989.
Left Oilers for good: Retired in 1989.

Even though he was drafted in the first round by Montreal, Hunter chose to sign with the Oilers in the WHA instead. The Oilers managed to retain his rights in their move to the NHL and he forged himself a long career with the team at a time when it was very good to be an Oiler. Despite being a first round pick, Hunter established himself as a premier Oiler checker and shadow, although he also had a tendency to take dumb penalties on occassion. He left the Oilers early in the 87-88 as throw-in when the Oilers shipped Paul Coffey to Pittsburgh. The Oilers elected to claim him on waivers the next year and he was able to retire an Oiler. Hunter continued to live in Edmonton after retiring which I assume he continues to do. Happy 63rd!


Gilbert Brule
Born: January 1, 1987 (turns 34 today) in Edmonton, AB.
Position: Centre (shoot right)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Columbus for Raffi Torres, July 1, 2008.
Oilers Career: 2008-09 to 2010-11: 117 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Claimed on waiver by Phoenix, January 10, 2012.

Brule was a highly touted junior player,and was a 5th overall pick in 2005. His NHL career in Columbus never got quite on track and the Oilers were able to acquire him in the 2008 offseason. The change of scenery didn't help greatly as his on ice Oiler career was unremarkable. Probably the two most memorable things that happened while he was here were off ice: he donated $10,000 to a young Edmonton boy who needed costly surgery for a facial deformity and later that year he picked up a hitchiking Bono while driving in BC. Bono even thanked Brule by name at the Edmonton U2 concert a few days later. Both these incidents got Brule positive media attention. In the 2011 training camp the Oilers demoted him to OKC. They did call him up in January, but he was claimed by Phoenix in re-entry waivers (remember that?). After finishing his NHL career with Phoenix that year, he went to play in Europe. He's spent the last six years in the KHL and his career continues there. A happy 34th birthday to a great guy!


All right I made my first post in this thread! Let's see if anybody cares. Regardless, I will be back tomorrow with the January 2 birthdays.

[Updated on: Fri, 01 January 2021 13:11]


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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771065 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 01 January 2021 12:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Oscargasm is currently online Oscargasm
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I LOVE this!!!

Welcome back benv!!!!!!!!



Survivor CHAMP S52 | S66
OG's #MUSTWIN Scale
Category 1 - Lightly Musty
Category 2 - Moderately Musty
Category 3 - Considerably Musty
Category 4 - Severely Musty
Category 5 - Incredibly Musty

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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771066 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 01 January 2021 17:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
welcometotheOC is currently online welcometotheOC
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Agreed, excellent idea! Especially for us oldish folk icon_wink
Happy New Year and welcome back!



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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771067 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 01 January 2021 18:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Skookum Jim  is currently offline Skookum Jim
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Welcome back Benv, good work! 👍


McDAVID! Oh YEAH Baby!!
Tic-Tac-Tao!
Keep on Rockin' in the Free World
P. Chiarelli math.. T. Hall = A. Larsson, Yak= bag o'pucks (OK he got one right...) K. Russell = $4.1 M+NMC, G. Reinhart= M. Barzal + A. Beauvillier, J. Eberle = R. Spooner,

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 January 2 [message #771072 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Sat, 02 January 2021 11:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Location: Edmonton

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There are three oilers alumni born on January 2, all short termers. See if anyone remembers these guys:

Don Herriman
Born: January 2, 1946 (turns 75 today) in Sault Ste Marie, ON.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by San Diego for Bob Wall, August 1974.
Oilers Career: 1974-75: 33 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Retired in 1975.

Not a lot of info on Herriman. What's strange is he played three WHA seasons, the last with the Oilers. In his previous two seasons with the Philadelphia Blazers and New York Golden Blades (anyone remeber these teams?) he got 104 points in 122 games--not bad at all. Then when he came to the Oilers he got 3 points in 33 games and then was demoted to the minors. Did something happen? He basically retired after the 74-75 season so who knows? Anyway, wherever you are Don, happy 75th birthday!


Claude St. Sauveur
Born: January 2, 1952 (turns 69 today) in Saint-Hyacinthe, QU.
Position: Left Wing/Centre (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Calgary (with Wayne Connelly) for cash, January 1977.
Oilers Career: 1976-77: 15 games (5 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to New England (with Kevin Devine, Rusty Patenaude, and Barry Wilkins) for Dave Inkpen, Blair MacDonald, and Mike Zuke, September 9, 1977.

St. Sauveur had a decent pro career mostly in the WHA (he did play one full year in the NHL). He was an offensive forward and the Oilers accquired him from the financially struggling Calgary Cowboys for cash in their 1977 playoff drive. That partial season would be all he would see with the Oil as he was part of massive 7 player deal to begin the 1977-78 season. His 12 points in the 15 games he played with the Oil is quite respectable! Happy 69th Claude!


Ales Pisa
Born: January 2, 1977 (turns 44 today) in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia.
Position: Defense (shoots right)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 272nd overall in 2001.
Oilers Career: 2001-02 to 2002-03: 50 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to NY Rangers (with Anson Carter) for Cory Cross and Radek Dvorak, March 11, 2003.

Pisa was a 9th round pick (that doesn't happen anymore) by the Oilers in 2001 (when he was already 24--that doesn't really happen much anymore either) after a lengthy career with his hometown team in the Czech league. After coming over to North America, he played most of his first year with Hamilton in the AHL (he did get in 2 games with the big club), but managed to crack the Oilers permanently at the start of the 02-03 season. He was basically their 6th defencemen for most of the year before being thrown in a trade with Anson Carter to acquire Radek Dvorak and Cory Cross. He played only three games with the Rangers before he returned to Europe and played 12 more season in Russia and the Czech Republic. I assume he still lives in the Czech republic--happy 44th Ales!

And that's January 2. Two days down, 363 to go. Be back tomorrow with a multitude of January 3 birthdays.

[Updated on: Sat, 02 January 2021 11:31]


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 Re: January 2 [message #771073 is a reply to message #771072 ]
Sat, 02 January 2021 11:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
MJ  is currently offline MJ
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Aleš Píša! The second prince of Pardubice hockey that came to the Oilers! 3 players would play for the Oilers from Pardubice, Czechia - Musil, Pisa and Hemsky.

This series is going to be a fun "let's remember some guys" throughout the year. Love this on-going series benv!



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 Re: January 2 [message #771074 is a reply to message #771072 ]
Sat, 02 January 2021 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
welcometotheOC is currently online welcometotheOC
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Definitely remember Pisa and St. Sauveur, though for the latter your post rang the bell. I remember thinking he was really good at the time then poof! he was gone.
I thought Pisa would be more of a player though despite the draft position.



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 January 3 [message #771103 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Sun, 03 January 2021 12:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Location: Edmonton

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A full slate today with seven Oilers' alumni celebrating a birthday today. Let's get right to it:


Barry Long
Born: January 3, 1949 (turns 72 today) in Red Deer, AB.
Position: Defense (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Selected in WHA general player draft, Feb 12, 1972.
Oilers Career: 1974-75 to 1976-77: 158 games (4 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to Winnipeg for future considerations, October 1976.

After two years with the Kings in the NHL, Long sought a more offensive role and signed with the Oilers (who had is WHA rights) in 1974. He had an impressive 20 goals and 60 points as an all star defenceman that first year with the Oil. After two solid season with the Oilers they decided to trade him to Winnipeg early in the 76-77 season where he continued his career going into the NHL with the merger. He unfortunately suffrered a career ending injury in 1981. He went into coaching and was a head coach with the Jets for a while in the mid-80s. Can't find much info on him after that--wherever you are Barry, happy 72nd!


Kevin Primeau
Born: January 3, 1955 (turns 66 today) in Edmonton, AB.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, March 8, 1978.
Oilers Career: 1977-78: 7 games (2 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Left to play in Switzerland in 1978.

Primeau was an Edmonton native whom the Oilers plucked right off of the UofA roster to play for them in 1978. He only got in 7 games plus a couple more in the playoffs. He decided to try his luck in Switzerland the following year. He played for the Canadian Olympic team in 1980, got a cup of coffee with the Canucks in 1980-81, before retiring a couple years later. He went into coaching after that, and most prominently was an assistant coach with the Oilers for six years (91-92 to 96-97). Last info I can find of him is coaching in Switzerland about six years ago. Happy 66th Kevin!



Marc Laforge
Born: January 3, 1968 (turns 53 today) in Sudbury, ON.
Position: Defense (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Hartford for Cam Brauer, March 6, 1990.
Oilers Career: 1993-94: 5 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to NY Islanders for Brent Grieve, December 15, 1993.

Laforge was a career minor league stay at home defenseman and enforcer. He had a cup of coffee with the Whalers before they dealt him to Edmonton where he toiled in the minors for a few years before getting a quick 5 game look early in the 93-94 season. The Oilers subsequently dealt him to the Islanders and he would never play in the NHL again, finally retiring from pro hockey in 2001. His most infamous claim to fame happened in junior when he was essentially ejected from the OHL (a two year suspension while playing for his hometown Sudbury Wolves) for his part in a post game brawl with Guelph--he allegedly attacked eight different players, including driving Guelph netminder Andy Helmuth's head into the ice. A happy birthday to a hopefully more calm Marc Laforge at the wise age of 53!



Cory Cross
Born: January 3, 1971 (turns 50 today) in Lloyminster, AB.
Position: Defense (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by NY Rangers with Radek Dvorak for Anson Carter and Ales Pisa, March 11, 2003.
Oilers Career: 2002-03 to 2005-06: 113 games (6 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to Pittsburgh with Jani Rita for Dick Tarnstrom, January 26, 2006.

Cross was a rugged stay at home defenceman who managed to carve out a 12 year NHL career. There were ups and downs in his parts of 3 seasons with the Oilers--I'm sure many who remember that time will say more downs than ups. Despite basically being a hometown boy (played for the UofA) he heard a lot of boos from the fans during home games for his sometimes shaky play--if I recall he even admitted it got to him a bit. Thus it was probably for the best when he was shipped off to Pittsburgh prior to the Oilers legendary cup run in 06. Cross retired in 2007 and has been quite active since then. He's done some coaching, is part owner of an oil and gas service company, and co-founded the ProSmart online hockey learning platform. He currently lives in Kelowna with his wife and two children. Happy 50th Cory--way to get revenge on your detractors by living well!


Drake Berehowsky
Born: January 3, 1972 (turns 49 today) in Toronto, ON.
Position: Defense (shoots right)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, September 30, 1997.
Oilers Career: 1997-98: 67 games (12 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to Nashville with Greg DeVries and Eric Fichaud for Jim Dowd and Mikhail Shtalnekov, October 1, 1998.

Berehowsky was long time NHL defenceman with a one year stop in Edmonton. He didn't provide much offense (7 points in 67 games), but he was steady enough to get a regular rotation in the defense and play in all 12 playoff games that year as a solid contributor. The Oilers need for a new goalie meant Berehowsky's Oiler career would be just the one season, after they dealt him to Nashville as part of a package to acquire Mikhail Shtalenkov. Since retiring, Berehowksy has worked steadily as a coach in both the WHL and ECHL. He is currently the head coach of the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL). Happy 49th Drake!


Mike York
Born: January 3, 1978 (turns 43 today) in Waterford, Michigan.
Position: Left Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by NY Rangers with 4th round pick (Ivan Koltsov) for Rem Murray and Tom Poti, March 19, 2002.
Oilers Career: 2001-02 to 2003-04: 144 games (6 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to NY Islanders with 4th round pick (Kevin Montgomery) for Mike Peca, August 3, 2005.

The Oilers acquired Mike York for Tom Poti at the 2002 trade deadline (the two had been teammates on the US Olympic team just a few weeks earlier). Poti had lost favour in Edmonton and York was an offensive minded winger who during his parts of three season with the Oilers was one of their top scorers and penalty killing forwards. Following the 2004-2005 lockout, York was deemed an expendable price to pay to acquire Mike Peca prior to the 05-06 season. After departing the Oilers, York bounced around the NHL a bit before settling in Germany to finish his career, where he retired in 2016. At last report he was at his home state University of Michigan getting his communications degree and acting as an assistant coach in the hockey program. A very happy 43rd birthday Mike!


Shawn Belle
Born: January 3, 1985 (turns 36 today) in Edmonton, AB.
Position: Defense (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 13, 2010.
Oilers Career: 2010-11: 5 games (0 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to Colorado for Kevin Montgomery, February 28, 2011.

Despite being a first round pick in the very deep 2003 draft, Belle was a highly touted defenceman who never quite found his pro game. After bouncing around to a few NHL teams early in his career, the Oilers signed the hometown boy in 2010. He did get in 5 games with the big club (thus his inclusion here), but he spent most of his time in the AHL and the Oilers ended up dealing him to Colorado at the deadline. Belle would never quite get his career on track appearing in only 20 NHL games total. He ended his career in Germany before retiring in 2015 and becoming an assistant coach with the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Since then he's worked as an associate coach with NAIT and is currently part of the Okanagan hockey academy. Happy 36th Shawn!


Phew, quite a calendar day for the alumni birthday card committee. Be back tomorrow for more.




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 Re: January 3 [message #771106 is a reply to message #771103 ]
Sun, 03 January 2021 16:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam is currently online Adam
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benv wrote on Sun, 03 January 2021 12:55


Kevin Primeau
Born: January 3, 1955 (turns 66 today) in Edmonton, AB.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, March 8, 1978.
Oilers Career: 1977-78: 7 games (2 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Left to play in Switzerland in 1978.

Primeau was an Edmonton native whom the Oilers plucked right off of the UofA roster to play for them in 1978. He only got in 7 games plus a couple more in the playoffs. He decided to try his luck in Switzerland the following year. He played for the Canadian Olympic team in 1980, got a cup of coffee with the Canucks in 1980-81, before retiring a couple years later. He went into coaching after that, and most prominently was an assistant coach with the Oilers for six years (91-92 to 96-97). Last info I can find of him is coaching in Switzerland about six years ago. Happy 66th Kevin!




Also, my Dad's cousin. Not quite as famous as my grandmother's cousin Denis Potvin though...

Welcome back benv! Really happy to see you back in action, and hope you're healthy now! You'll be thrilled to know your memory has lived on with Oilfans Survivor. CrusaderPi picked up the mantle and ran with it. While I had very little to do with keeping it alive, I did gamely play it several times unsuccessfully including some just atrocious picks.




"This team needs an enema!"
#FireLowe #FireMacT #FireHowson #FireBuchberger #FireHowsonAgain #FireChiarelli #FireMcLellan #FireBobbyNicks and...SIGH...#FireTheGretzkys

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 January 4 [message #771123 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Mon, 04 January 2021 08:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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Here are today's alumni birthdays, including our first current Oiler:

Brad Zavisha
Born: January 4, 1972 (turns 49 today) in Hines Creek, AB.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Quebec (with Ron Tugnutt) for Martin Rucinsky, March 10, 1992.
Oilers Career: 1993-94: 2 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Philadelphia with 6th round pick for Ryan McGill, March 13, 1995.

Zavisha was a career minor league forward whose career was hampered by a serious knee injury which caused him to miss an entire season. The Oilers took a chance and traded for him at this time. He spent 3 years with the organization but only got in 2 NHL games (the only two of his career). After the Oilers dealt him away at the deadline in 1995, he drifted between the minors and Europe before retiring in 1998. Happy 49th Brad.


Greg de Vries
Born: January 4, 1973 (turns 48 today) in Sundridge, ON.
Position: Defenseman (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, March 20, 1994.
Oilers Career: 1995-96 to 1997-98: 115 games (19 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Nashville (with Drake Berehowsky and Eric Fichaud) for Jim Dowd and Mikhail Shtalenkov, October 1, 1998.

De Vries was undrafted and an astute signing by the Oilers back in 1994, as he eventually turned into a pretty good NHL defenseman. He played parts of 3 seasons with the Oilers and was a contributor to their memorable playoff upsets in both 1997 and 1998. Unfortunately, after CuJo's defection to Toronto, de Vries was one of the players sacrificed to acquire another goalie just prior to the 98-99 season. He would go on to play another decade in the league with various teams, never seeing the minors again, before retiring in 2009. He currently splits his time in both Ontario and Tennessee. A very happy 48th to Greg.


Patrick Russell
Born: January 4, 1993 (turns 28 today) in Birkerod, Denmark.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, May 9, 2016.
Oilers Career: 2018-19 to present: 51 games and counting (0 playoff games).

Another undrafted player, Russell was signed by the Oilers in 2016 and has been in their organization since. After a couple of years in Bakersfield, he's found himself getting some games with the big club in the last couple of years, although his time in the minors may not be done yet. The coaches seem to like his defensive game, though it would be nice if we could see some offence (no NHL goals yet). He is the second ever Danish born Oiler player (100 Oiler nerd points to you if you know who the first was). A happy 28th to Patrick.

[Updated on: Mon, 04 January 2021 08:47]


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 Re: January 4 [message #771134 is a reply to message #771123 ]
Mon, 04 January 2021 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam is currently online Adam
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benv wrote on Mon, 04 January 2021 08:45


Patrick Russell
Born: January 4, 1993 (turns 28 today) in Birkerod, Denmark.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, May 9, 2016.
Oilers Career: 2018-19 to present: 51 games and counting (0 playoff games).

Another undrafted player, Russell was signed by the Oilers in 2016 and has been in their organization since. After a couple of years in Bakersfield, he's found himself getting some games with the big club in the last couple of years, although his time in the minors may not be done yet. The coaches seem to like his defensive game, though it would be nice if we could see some offence (no NHL goals yet). He is the second ever Danish born Oiler player (100 Oiler nerd points to you if you know who the first was). A happy 28th to Patrick.



One extra point about Patrick Russell - he's chasing an Oilers record this year. It took JF Jacques until his 56th game to score his first NHL goal with the Oilers. Russell isn't far off that mark now, but the team has signed a number of players this year - will he get in the lineup enough to challenge that mark? If he does, can he stay offensively inept enough to take over that record?

For what it's worth, I don't remember if the record is only for forwards, or for any skaters (I believe it's any skater though - defence included). It also isn't the longest a player has gone without scoring for the team. There's been a few miserable streaks:

- Tobias Rieder of course went a full season without a goal in 67 games
- in 1992-93 Craig Muni went the full season (72 games) without scoring
- in 1999-2000, the Oilers had TWO defencemen with 50+ games without a goal - Christian Laflamme (50 games) and Bert Robertsson (52 games)
- Ladislav Smid went through all of 2007-08 (65 games) and then the entire next season (60 games) with no goals - and then AGAIN went an entire year without (70 games) in 2010-11
- Nick Schultz managed a scoreless season in 2013-14 (60 games)
- Dave Brown played 60 games in 1989-90 without scoring once - the only forward outside of Rieder to play 50 or more games and not score a goal.

The longest from start of career mark still sits with Jacques, and the above list - which is every player in Oilers history to go a full season without scoring while playing over 50 games - shows how much of an accomplishment it is to get in 50 games as a forward and to never score. Hell, Steve MacIntyre couldn't skate and he had two goals in his 60 games in an Oilers uniform.

Generally, if you show that level of ineptitude at finding the net, you don't last with the team.



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#FireLowe #FireMacT #FireHowson #FireBuchberger #FireHowsonAgain #FireChiarelli #FireMcLellan #FireBobbyNicks and...SIGH...#FireTheGretzkys

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 Re: January 4 [message #771137 is a reply to message #771123 ]
Mon, 04 January 2021 14:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leia  is currently offline Leia
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benv wrote on Mon, 04 January 2021 08:45


Brad Zavisha
Born: January 4, 1972 (turns 49 today) in Hines Creek, AB.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Quebec (with Ron Tugnutt) for Martin Rucinsky, March 10, 1992.
Oilers Career: 1993-94: 2 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Philadelphia with 6th round pick for Ryan McGill, March 13, 1995.

Zavisha was a career minor league forward whose career was hampered by a serious knee injury which caused him to miss an entire season. The Oilers took a chance and traded for him at this time. He spent 3 years with the organization but only got in 2 NHL games (the only two of his career). After the Oilers dealt him away at the deadline in 1995, he drifted between the minors and Europe before retiring in 1998. Happy 49th Brad.


Good old Brad Zavisha we in Manchester had the pleasure of his services way back in 96/97.. A very average year from a player who had at least reached the NHL, 40 GP, 10 g, 13 a, 23 pts and 18 pm.

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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771124 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Mon, 04 January 2021 08:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi is currently online CrusaderPi
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I'm very happy to see you posting again benv with another great thread idea.


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 January 5 [message #771196 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Tue, 05 January 2021 14:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Sad to hear about John Muckler's passing last night. I will talk about him more when we get to his birthday, but for now I will continue with the January 5 birthdays:

Alex Tidey
Born: January 5, 1955 (turns 66 today) in Vancouver, BC.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Buffalo for John Gould, November 13, 1979.
Oilers Career: 1979-80: 5 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Signed as free agent by Los Angeles, August 1, 1980.

Tidey's story is a familiar one--a career minor leaguer who only got a few looks in the majors. After playing a full season in the WHA with San Diego (75-76), Tidey could never quite find his footing in the NHL. The Oilers acquired him from Buffalo early in their inaugural NHL season and did give him a 5 game look. He couldn't stick, though and the Oilers let him walk as a free agent at the end of the year. He retired in 1981, and I can't find what he's been up to since. Wherever you are Alex (some sources say Alec, though I'm going with the majority), happy 66th birthday.


Mike Grier
Born: January 5, 1975 (turns 46 today) in Detroit, Michigan.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by St. Louis (with Curtis Joseph) for two first round picks, August 4, 1995.
Oilers Career: 1996-97 to 2001-02: 448 games (34 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Washington for 2nd and 3rd round picks, October 7, 2002.

Grier has the distinction of being the first American born and trained African-American player in the NHL--amazing that that didn't happen until the late 90s. He was an aggressive power forward that served a long useful term on the Oilers' spunky teams of the late 90s/early 00s. After being acquired from St. Louis (with Curtis Joseph as compensation for the Blues' signing of Shayne Corson) Grier never looked back and had a great run with the Oilers, often teaming up with Todd Marchant and Ethan Moreau to form a great checking line with some offense. After six solid years, the Oilers decided he didn't fit anymore and traded him to the Capitals for picks in 2002. He played another nine years, bouncing around a bit before retiring in 2011. Since retiring he went into coaching and is currently an assistant with the New Jersey Devils. A happy 46th to Mike.


Corey Potter
Born: January 5, 1984 (turns 37 today) in Lansing, Michigan.
Position: Defenseman (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 1, 2011.
Oilers Career: 2011-12 to 2013-14: 111 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Claimed on waivers by Boston, March 5, 2014.

Potter had been a depth defenseman with both the Rangers and Penguins before the Oilers took a chance on him in 2011. He had a bigger role with the Oilers than he had before (coach Tom Renney trusted him) when he became one of their power play defenseman and ended up playing the full 11-12 season with the Oilers (he was the one whose skate cut Taylor Hall's face during a pregame skate, causing Hall to miss a bunch of games that season). After playing most of the lockout shortened 12-13 season with the Oilers, his fortunes seemed to go down as he would only get in 16 games in 13-14 (maybe Eakins didn't like him as much?). The Oilers tried to demote him but he was plucked on waivers by Boston. For the next couple of years he bounced around between the minors and various NHL teams before he went to play in Germany in 2016. He retired in 2019. Happy 37th Corey!

That's it for today. Back tomorrow for more.



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 Re: January 5 [message #771243 is a reply to message #771196 ]
Wed, 06 January 2021 10:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
OilPeg  is currently offline OilPeg
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benv wrote on Tue, 05 January 2021 15:03

Sad to hear about John Muckler's passing last night. I will talk about him more when we get to his birthday, but for now I will continue with the January 5 birthdays:

Alex Tidey
Born: January 5, 1955 (turns 66 today) in Vancouver, BC.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Buffalo for John Gould, November 13, 1979.
Oilers Career: 1979-80: 5 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Signed as free agent by Los Angeles, August 1, 1980.

Tidey's story is a familiar one--a career minor leaguer who only got a few looks in the majors. After playing a full season in the WHA with San Diego (75-76), Tidey could never quite find his footing in the NHL. The Oilers acquired him from Buffalo early in their inaugural NHL season and did give him a 5 game look. He couldn't stick, though and the Oilers let him walk as a free agent at the end of the year. He retired in 1981, and I can't find what he's been up to since. Wherever you are Alex (some sources say Alec, though I'm going with the majority), happy 66th birthday.


Mike Grier
Born: January 5, 1975 (turns 46 today) in Detroit, Michigan.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by St. Louis (with Curtis Joseph) for two first round picks, August 4, 1995.
Oilers Career: 1996-97 to 2001-02: 448 games (34 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Washington for 2nd and 3rd round picks, October 7, 2002.

Grier has the distinction of being the first American born and trained African-American player in the NHL--amazing that that didn't happen until the late 90s. He was an aggressive power forward that served a long useful term on the Oilers' spunky teams of the late 90s/early 00s. After being acquired from St. Louis (with Curtis Joseph as compensation for the Blues' signing of Shayne Corson) Grier never looked back and had a great run with the Oilers, often teaming up with Todd Marchant and Ethan Moreau to form a great checking line with some offense. After six solid years, the Oilers decided he didn't fit anymore and traded him to the Capitals for picks in 2002. He played another nine years, bouncing around a bit before retiring in 2011. Since retiring he went into coaching and is currently an assistant with the New Jersey Devils. A happy 46th to Mike.


Corey Potter
Born: January 5, 1984 (turns 37 today) in Lansing, Michigan.
Position: Defenseman (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 1, 2011.
Oilers Career: 2011-12 to 2013-14: 111 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Claimed on waivers by Boston, March 5, 2014.

Potter had been a depth defenseman with both the Rangers and Penguins before the Oilers took a chance on him in 2011. He had a bigger role with the Oilers than he had before (coach Tom Renney trusted him) when he became one of their power play defenseman and ended up playing the full 11-12 season with the Oilers (he was the one whose skate cut Taylor Hall's face during a pregame skate, causing Hall to miss a bunch of games that season). After playing most of the lockout shortened 12-13 season with the Oilers, his fortunes seemed to go down as he would only get in 16 games in 13-14 (maybe Eakins didn't like him as much?). The Oilers tried to demote him but he was plucked on waivers by Boston. For the next couple of years he bounced around between the minors and various NHL teams before he went to play in Germany in 2016. He retired in 2019. Happy 37th Corey!

That's it for today. Back tomorrow for more.


Corey Power Potter Play!!



Skookum Jim wrote on Sat, 02 June 2012 00:29

But he (Belanger)'s as soft as room temp. margarine.

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 January 6 [message #771246 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Wed, 06 January 2021 10:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Four players to talk about today--all more on the obscure side of things. See if you remember any of these guys:


Gary Doyle
Born: January 6, 1949 (turns 72 today) in Smith Falls, ON.
Position: Goalie (catches left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, September 1973.
Oilers Career: 1973-74: 1 game (0 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Retired in 1975.

Doyle was a goalie who played 1 game with the Oilers in the WHA (his only major pro-game) allowing 4 goals on 34 shots and picking up the victory (must have been a good night for the Oilers' offense). He spent the rest of his career in the minors and retired in 1975. Following his career, he went into municipal politics, eventually becoming a county warden in Lanark County, Ontario. Wherever you are now Gary, I hope you're doing well and a happy 72nd birthday.


Kari Jalonen
Born: January 6, 1960 (turns 61 today) in Oulu, Finland.
Position: Centre (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, December 1, 1983.
Oilers Career: 1983-84: 3 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Left to play in Europe in 1984.

Jalonen has the distinction of being the first ever player to play for the both Flames and Oilers in the same season. After a few years playing in Finland, Jalonen decided to try his luck in the NHL, playing 34 games for the Flames before they cut him loose and the Oilers decided to give him a look. He only got in 3 games with the Oilers in 83-84 (although that was a really tough team to get playing time as a forward) and he eventually decided to go home and play in Finland. He stayed in Europe playing in many different leagues before finally retiring in 1996. Since then he has been a career hockey coach, head coaching many Finnish world championship teams as well as coaching in the KHL, Finnish league and most recently the Swiss league. Happy 61st Kari.


Scott Metcalfe
Born: January 6, 1967 (turns 54 today) in Toronto, ON.
Position: Centre (shoot left)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 20th overall, June 15, 1985.
Oilers Career: 1987-88: 2 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Buffalo (with 9th round pick) for Steve Dykstra and 7th round pick, February 11, 1988.

Metcalfe was a high scoring forward out of the OHL, drafted by the Oilers in the first round. He finally got his first taste of the big leagues, playing 2 games for the Oilers during 87-88 season, but there was clearly no room for him on those Oilers and they ended up dealing him to Buffalo. The change of scenery didn't help Metcalfe greatly, as he would only play 16 games for the Sabres over the next 3 years, before going to Europe to continue his career. He spent the rest of his career in either the AHL or European leagues before retiring in 2002. Can't find info on what he's been up to since, but I'll wish him a happy 54th birthday.


Scott Ferguson
Born: January 6, 1973 (turns 48 today) in Camrose, AB.
Position: Defenseman (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, June 2, 1994.
Oilers Career: 1997-98; 2000-01 to 2003-04: 201 games (11 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Ottawa for Frantisek Musil, March 9, 1998.
Reacquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 5, 2000.
Left Oilers for good: Signed as free agent by Minnesota, August 4, 2005.

Ferguson was undrafted and given a chance by the Oilers in 1994, toiling for four years in their minor league system and playing in just one Oiler game in 97-98 before they traded him to Ottawa. Two years later the Oilers decided to give him another shot and this time he spent four season with them as a defensive minded 6th/7th defender playing 200 more games (this might be the "quietest" 200 games ever played as an Oiler--I remember him, but it's hard to believe he played that many games). They opted not to resign him after the 04-05 lockout and he went to Minnesota (playing mostly in the minors) and finally finishing his career in Germany before retiring in 2008. He worked as an assistant coach with the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL until 2011, and seems to have dropped off the radar since then. Wherever you are Scott, enjoy your 48th birthday!

And that concludes our look at the Oilers alumni born on January 6. Back again tomorrow.

[Updated on: Wed, 06 January 2021 10:32]


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 Re: January 6 [message #771259 is a reply to message #771246 ]
Wed, 06 January 2021 12:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leia  is currently offline Leia
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benv wrote on Wed, 06 January 2021 10:30


Scott Metcalfe
Born: January 6, 1967 (turns 54 today) in Toronto, ON.
Position: Centre (shoot left)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 20th overall, June 15, 1985.
Oilers Career: 1987-88: 2 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Buffalo (with 9th round pick) for Steve Dykstra and 7th round pick, February 11, 1988.

Metcalfe was a high scoring forward out of the OHL, drafted by the Oilers in the first round. He finally got his first taste of the big leagues, playing 2 games for the Oilers during 87-88 season, but there was clearly no room for him on those Oilers and they ended up dealing him to Buffalo. The change of scenery didn't help Metcalfe greatly, as he would only play 16 games for the Sabres over the next 3 years, before going to Europe to continue his career. He spent the rest of his career in either the AHL or European leagues before retiring in 2002. Can't find info on what he's been up to since, but I'll wish him a happy 54th birthday.


Scott Metcalfe remember him in the UK playing for Sheffield. He was involved in a hell of line brawl between Sheffield and Manchester way back on New Years Eve 2000, that has gone down in infamy among the two sets of fans. The rivalry between us and them whilst not quite BOA level, it's still intense. His season wasn't spectacular at all in the UK and for someone who reached the big show he was quite disappointing to be honest.

The fight is on youtube...



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 Re: January 6 [message #771267 is a reply to message #771259 ]
Wed, 06 January 2021 13:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Adam is currently online Adam
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Leia wrote on Wed, 06 January 2021 12:09

benv wrote on Wed, 06 January 2021 10:30


Scott Metcalfe
Born: January 6, 1967 (turns 54 today) in Toronto, ON.
Position: Centre (shoot left)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 20th overall, June 15, 1985.
Oilers Career: 1987-88: 2 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Buffalo (with 9th round pick) for Steve Dykstra and 7th round pick, February 11, 1988.

Metcalfe was a high scoring forward out of the OHL, drafted by the Oilers in the first round. He finally got his first taste of the big leagues, playing 2 games for the Oilers during 87-88 season, but there was clearly no room for him on those Oilers and they ended up dealing him to Buffalo. The change of scenery didn't help Metcalfe greatly, as he would only play 16 games for the Sabres over the next 3 years, before going to Europe to continue his career. He spent the rest of his career in either the AHL or European leagues before retiring in 2002. Can't find info on what he's been up to since, but I'll wish him a happy 54th birthday.


Scott Metcalfe remember him in the UK playing for Sheffield. He was involved in a hell of line brawl between Sheffield and Manchester way back on New Years Eve 2000, that has gone down in infamy among the two sets of fans. The rivalry between us and them whilst not quite BOA level, it's still intense. His season wasn't spectacular at all in the UK and for someone who reached the big show he was quite disappointing to be honest.

The fight is on youtube...


Metcalf was one of a series of underwhelming first round picks in the mid-1980s. Selmar Odelein, Metcalfe, Kim Issel, Peter Soberlak, Francois Leroux, Jason Soules, Scott Allison. Between them - 290 games, of which Leroux, basically a Coke machine on skates, played 249.

To be fair, Odelein had a knee injury end his career, and for many of the rest of them, that was a pretty tough lineup to crack in to. The Oilers weren't dressing a lot of raw rookies in the Stanley Cup years.



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 January 7 [message #771345 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Thu, 07 January 2021 10:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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Just one short term Oiler alumnus to add to the thread today:

Chris Wideman
Born: January 7, 1990 (turns 31 today) in St. Louis, Missouri.
Position: Defenseman (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Ottawa for 6th round pick, November 22, 2018.
Oilers Career: 2018-19: 5 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Florida (with 3rd round pick) for Alex Petrovic, December 30, 2018.

Wideman was a high scoring AHL defenseman before he permanently joined the Ottawa Senators in 2015-16. His baudy AHL numbers, didn't quite transfer to the NHL, and after a few seasons in Ottawa he was dealt to the Oilers (an infamous video made by a nosy Phoenix Uber driver showing Wideman and his teammates badmouthing the Senators' coaching staff didn't help). His Oiler stint was short--he didn't have much time to make an impact in one month and 5 games--before the Oilers subsequently dealt him to Florida. Since leaving the Oilers he played mostly in the AHL, before signing in KHL (where he currently plays) for the 20-21 season. Happy 31st Chris.


That was quick and painless. We'll have more tomorrow.



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 January 8 [message #771387 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 08 January 2021 10:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
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We have two players to talk about today: one is still with the Oilers and the other is no longer with us at all.

Igor Vyazmikin
Born: January 8, 1966 in Moscow, USSR.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 252nd overall, June 13, 1987.
Oilers Career: 1990-91: 4 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Returned to play in Europe in 1992.
Died: October 30, 2009 (age 43) in Moscow, Russia of an alleged pill overdose.

I mentioned before how surprised I was that Scott Ferguson played over 200 games with the Oilers--with Vyazmikin it's the opposite; I remember all the hype about him and Anatoli Semenov joining the Oilers as the first two Russian players on the team. So it's a bit of a shock he only played 4 games with the Oilers, spending the bulk of his time in North America on the farm. He came over as a seasoned Soviet veteran and there was hope he could have a good NHL career. But those four games were the only ones he would play in the NHL as he returned to Europe in 1992 and finished his career in various leagues there before retiring in 1999. Vyazmikin suffered from health problems his entire life and developed a pill addiction that ended up costing him his life at the age of 43. RIP Igor.

Joakim Nygard
Born: January 8, 1993 (turns 28 today) in Stockholm Sweden.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, May 24, 2019.
Oilers Career: 2019-20 to present: 33 games and counting (0 playoff games).

Nygard played for seven years in the Swedish elite league as a speedy forward, finally attracting some NHL interest. The Oilers won the NHL bidding war for Nygard, signing him to a 1 year deal in 2019. So far results are not overwhelming with him getting 9 points in his 33 games in a season where he was hampered by injuries (cracked ribs early and then a broken hand later). We all await to see how he can improve on that in this upcoming season when he will have to battle for his playing time. Whatever happens we can wish him a happy 28th birthday today.

Hope everyone has great weekend; I will be back tomorrow with more.



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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771389 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Fri, 08 January 2021 10:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
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This might be one of my favourite threads on here ever, with a fun mix of history from different eras without putting in a negativespin. Keep it up!


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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771392 is a reply to message #771389 ]
Fri, 08 January 2021 11:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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oilfan94 wrote on Fri, 08 January 2021 10:31

This might be one of my favourite threads on here ever, with a fun mix of history from different eras without putting in a negativespin. Keep it up!


Corey Cross sure got off easy on the 3rd :)

Thanks for starting this thread benv!



"The Edmonton Oilers are not where they should be right now and that is unacceptable. We need to get better immediately. That starts today"
-Kevin Lowe, April 2013


"Next year (15/16) I would forecast as another developmental year"
- #2, April 2015

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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771393 is a reply to message #771392 ]
Fri, 08 January 2021 11:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi is currently online CrusaderPi
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Kr55 wrote on Fri, 08 January 2021 11:22

oilfan94 wrote on Fri, 08 January 2021 10:31

This might be one of my favourite threads on here ever, with a fun mix of history from different eras without putting in a negativespin. Keep it up!


Corey Cross sure got off easy on the 3rd :)

Thanks for starting this thread benv!

You could resurrect the Crossies and do a negative companion piece to this super thread.



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 January 9 [message #771455 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Sat, 09 January 2021 11:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Another four names to add to the thread today:

Dennis Patterson
Born: January 9, 1950 (turns 71 today) in Peterborough, ON.
Position: Defenseman (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, October 1976.
Oilers Career: 1976-77: 23 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Not re-signed following 1976-77 season.

Patterson was basically a long time minor league defenseman who got a few looks in the big leagues, first with Kansas City (does anyone still remember the Scouts?) where he played two full NHL seasons. The Oilers signed him the following season and he played 23 games with them but they were obviously not impressed enough to keep him after that one look. Apart from a brief 3 game look with the Flyers in 79-80, Patterson would spend the rest of his career in the AHL, finally retiring in 1983. Following his retirement he worked as hockey scout and has been employed in the Minnesota (North Stars), Florida, and Philadelphia NHL organizations at various times. A happy 71st to Dennis.



Jim Wiemer
Born: January 9, 1961 (turns 60 today) in Sudbury, ON.
Position: Defenseman (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by NY Rangers (with Clark Donatelli, Vile Kentala, and Reijo Ruotsalainen) for Miroslav Horava, Don Jackson, and future considerations (Stu Kulak), October 2, 1986.
Oilers Career: 1987-88: 12 games (2 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Los Angeles (with Alan May) for John English and Brian Wilks, March 7, 1989.

Wiemer was a forward converted to a defenseman that had bounced up and down from the NHL to the minors throughout his career, with the usual pattern of having good numbers (sometimes a point a game--excellent for a defenseman) in the AHL and not quite as good in the NHL. The Oilers acquired him in a big 7 player deal with the Rangers and he managed 12 games with them in 87-88 in addition to playing 2 playoff games during their cup run that year. In 88-89 he didn't get a sniff with the big club and they traded him to the Kings at the deadline. He would come back to haunt the Oilers in the playoffs when he scored the pivotal late (and fluky) game winning goal in game 6 of the Oilers-Kings series when the Oilers blew their 3-1 lead to lose the series. I bring this up because over 30 years later, that loss still really irks me--I can still see the press conference when a reporter (might have been Jim Matheson, but I don't remember) asking Sather if he regretted trading Wiemer after that goal. Paraphrasing, Sather basically said "Screw you, youre going to judge the trade based on one lucky goal?!". I digress--Wiemer continued to bounce between the NHL and AHL until retiring in 1995. No info on what he's been up to since. I guess I will be gracious and forget about that goal (it still bugs me) and wish Jim a happy 60th birthday.

Scott Thornton
Born: January 9, 1971 (turns 50 today) in London, ON.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Toronto (with Vincent Damphousse, Peter Ing, and Luke Richardson) for Glenn Anderson, Craig Berube, and Grant Fuhr, September 19, 1991.
Oilers Career: 1991-92 to 1995-96: 209 games (1 playoff game).
Left Oilers: Traded to Montreal for Andre Kovalenko, September 6, 1996.

Scott Thornton (Joe is his cousin, in case you're wondering) was a strong prospect in Toronto (3rd overall pick) and came to Edmonton as part of a big blockbuster trade when the Oilers were dealing off the "Boys on the Bus" and trying to get younger and cheaper. He spent most of his first two years in the minors, but finally made it as a regular on the big team starting in 93-94 and would never see the minors again. He was never a big scorer with the Oilers (like he was in junior) but he functioned as a gritty checking forward. The Oilers swapped him to Montreal for Andre Kovalenko in the 1996 offseason. He went on to play 13 more NHL seasons before retiring in 2008. He's currently enjoying his retirement in Collingwood, Ontario. A happy 50th to Scott.

Mathieu Garon
Born: January 9, 1978 (turns 43 today) in Chandler, QU.
Position: Goalie (catches right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 3, 2007.
Oilers Career: 2007-08 to 2008-09: 62 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Pittsburgh for Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, and 4th round pick.

Garon had been a bubble goalie for several years (bouncing between the NHL and AHL) before finally showing some great stuff in the 05-06 season when he played 63 games with the Kings. The Oilers signed him to back up Dwayne Roloson for the 07-08 season, but Garon actually outplayed Roloson and took the starting job from him. Unfortunately, Garon was injured late in the season and could never quite get back up to form with the Oilers the following season. They ended up trading him halfway through the 08-09 season to clear space for their younger upcoming goalies Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk. Garon would play five more NHL seasons before finishing up in the KHL and retiring in 2014. Since retiring Garon has taught in a goaltending school in Tampa Bay. A happy 43rd.



I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have commented and told me they enjoy the thread. It really helps to know I'm not doing this just for myself. I'll be back tomorrow with more.



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 Re: January 9 [message #771518 is a reply to message #771455 ]
Mon, 11 January 2021 10:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
oilfan94  is currently offline oilfan94
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benv wrote on Sat, 09 January 2021 13:56


Mathieu Garon
Born: January 9, 1978 (turns 43 today) in Chandler, QU.
Position: Goalie (catches right).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 3, 2007.
Oilers Career: 2007-08 to 2008-09: 62 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Pittsburgh for Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, and 4th round pick.

Garon had been a bubble goalie for several years (bouncing between the NHL and AHL) before finally showing some great stuff in the 05-06 season when he played 63 games with the Kings. The Oilers signed him to back up Dwayne Roloson for the 07-08 season, but Garon actually outplayed Roloson and took the starting job from him. Unfortunately, Garon was injured late in the season and could never quite get back up to form with the Oilers the following season. They ended up trading him halfway through the 08-09 season to clear space for their younger upcoming goalies Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk. Garon would play five more NHL seasons before finishing up in the KHL and retiring in 2014. Since retiring Garon has taught in a goaltending school in Tampa Bay. A happy 43rd.




I just have to add that I always thought it was amazing that the 2011-12 Lightning decided to go with the Oilers same goalie tandem from 2007-09. Fun fact, Garon was replacing Mike Smith who had been there with Roloson the year before, and Eric Brewer and M-A Bergeron were on that Lightning team too.



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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771457 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Sat, 09 January 2021 18:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NetBOG  is currently offline NetBOG
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benv, this is great.

It's not only a good read every day this year but will stand as a great reference for the future. Unfortunately, it's gonna get huge and it will be hard to find anything without an index. While it's still early, is there any way that you could add an index to the very first post? It's a little work to add the first 10 days, but after that it can just be added to as the thread grows. I suggest just sorted alphabetically (by last name) with birthday and thread page number. Thats all thats needed to find anything in the future. The data organization nerd in me would really appreciate it.

Again, this is awesome. Thank you.



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 Re: The 2021 Edmonton Oilers' Birthday thread [message #771462 is a reply to message #771457 ]
Sun, 10 January 2021 10:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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NetBOG wrote on Sat, 09 January 2021 18:15

benv, this is great.

It's not only a good read every day this year but will stand as a great reference for the future. Unfortunately, it's gonna get huge and it will be hard to find anything without an index. While it's still early, is there any way that you could add an index to the very first post? It's a little work to add the first 10 days, but after that it can just be added to as the thread grows. I suggest just sorted alphabetically (by last name) with birthday and thread page number. Thats all thats needed to find anything in the future. The data organization nerd in me would really appreciate it.

Again, this is awesome. Thank you.



It never occurred to me that anyone would want to use this as a reference. I'm actually working off a list I have in excel that would be easy enough to add at the very end. I'll certainly give it some thought.



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 January 10 [message #771461 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Sun, 10 January 2021 10:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

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Here are another four Oilers' alumni turning a year older today:

Bill Butters
Born: January 10, 1955 (turns 66 today) in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Position: Defence (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Minnesota (with 6 other players) for cash, January, 1977.
Oilers Career: 1976-77: 7 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to New England (with Mike Antonovich) for Ron Busniuk and Brett Callighen, February 5, 1977.

Butters was a steady defenseman that spent most of his career in the WHA. He had a very short stint with the Oilers in 1977. They bought his contract along with a bunch of others from the cash strapped Minnesota Fighting Saints, and he played only 7 games for the Oilers before being traded a month later to New England. After his stint with the Whalers, he did play briefly with the North Stars in the NHL, before hanging up his skates in 1980. Since retirement he has sporadically been an assistant coach at both the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as being involved in Christian Hockey Camps International. Happy 66th to Bill.

Tom Gilbert
Born: January 10, 1983 (turns 38 today) in Bloomington, Minnesota
Position: Defence (shoots right).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Colorado for Tommy Salo and 6th round pick, March 9, 2004.
Oilers Career: 2006-07 to 2011-12: 384 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Traded to Minnesota for Nick Schultz, February 28, 2012.

Back to back Minnesotans. Gilbert was a prospect defenseman with the Avs when the Oilers dealt an aging Tommy Salo to get him at the 2004 trade deadline. It proved an astute pick-up as Gilbert went on to play almost 6 seasons with the Oilers as a useful offensive minded defender who was usually one of their top 4. At the trade deadline in 2012, the Oilers dealt him to the Wild straight up for the defensive minded Nick Schultz--a move that was many questioned. Gilbert went on to play 5 more season in the NHL before going to play in Germany in 2017 where he continues to play today. A happy 38th birthday to Tom.

Robert Nilsson
Born: January 10, 1985 (turns 36 today) in Calgary, AB.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by NY Islanders (with Ryan O'Marra and 1st round pick) for Ryan Smyth, February 27, 2007.
Oilers Career: 2006-07 to 2009-10: 199 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Left to play in Europe in 2010.

Nilsson was a top prospect in the Islanders system when the Oilers got him as part of the package for Ryan Smyth. After a shaky start to his Oiler career, Nilsson seemed to find some chemistry in 2008 playing with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano and was pivotal in a late season playoff drive. However his star faded the following two seasons as his playing went down and he failed to deliver on his potential. The Oilers elected to buy out the last year of his contract after the 09-10 season (a move that caused father Kent--an Oilers scout at the time--to quit the team in a huff). Nilsson spent the rest of his career in Europe playing in various leagues, most prominently the KHL until he retired in 2018. He is currently married to Sasha Khabibulina--the daughter of his ex-teammate Nikolai Khabibulin (whom we will talk about in a few days). Anyway, happy 36th birthday Robert.

Tobias Rieder
Born: January 10, 1993 (turns 28 today) in Landshut, Germany.
Position: Right Wing (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 1, 2018.
Oilers Career: 2018-19: 67 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Signed as free agent by Calgary, September 29, 2019.

Rieder was originally drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round in 2011. The Oilers traded his rights to Phoenix for Kale Kessy--another prospect drafted around the same time. Suffice it to say it was a bad deal for the Oil; Kessy would never play in the NHL, while Rieder turned into a serviceable two-way NHL forward. The Oilers tried to right the mistake when they signed Rieder in 2018. Unfortunately his one season with the Oilers did not go as expected. After getting about 15 goals a year the previous four years, Rieder famously got 0 goals in his 67 games with the Oilers. Team president Bob Nicholson even called him out in a meeting with season ticket holders--something that didn't look good on anyone. Not surprisingly, Rieder was gone the next year, signing with Calgary. He's currently signed with the Sabres as we await the 20-21 season. Happy 28th birthday to Tobias.

And that's your January 10 report.

[Updated on: Mon, 11 January 2021 09:49]


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 Re: January 10 [message #771474 is a reply to message #771461 ]
Sun, 10 January 2021 17:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Skookum Jim  is currently offline Skookum Jim
Messages: 5837
Registered: March 2006
Location: Burnaby, BC

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benv wrote on Sun, 10 January 2021 09:48

Here are another four Oilers' alumni turning a year older today:

Robert Nilsson
Born: January 10, 1985 (turns 36 today) in Calgary, AB.
Position: Left Wing (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by NY Islanders (with Ryan O'Marra and 1st round pick) for Ryan Smyth, February 27, 2007.
Oilers Career: 2006-07 to 2009-10: 199 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Left to play in Europe in 2010.

Nilsson was a top prospect in the Islanders system when the Oilers got him as part of the package for Ryan Smyth. After a shaky start to his Oiler career, Nilsson seemed to find some chemistry in 2008 playing with Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano and was pivotal in a late season playoff drive. However his star faded the following two seasons as his playing went down and he failed to deliver on his potential. The Oilers elected to buy out the last year of his contract after the 09-10 season (a move that caused father Kent--an Oilers scout at the time--to quit the team in a huff). Nilsson spent the rest of his career in Europe playing in various leagues, most prominently the KHL until he retired in 2018. He is currently married to Sasha Khabibulin--the daughter of his ex-teammate Nikolai Khabibulin (whom we will talk about in a few days). Anyway, happy 36th birthday Robert.




Robert did pretty good!


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McDAVID! Oh YEAH Baby!!
Tic-Tac-Tao!
Keep on Rockin' in the Free World
P. Chiarelli math.. T. Hall = A. Larsson, Yak= bag o'pucks (OK he got one right...) K. Russell = $4.1 M+NMC, G. Reinhart= M. Barzal + A. Beauvillier, J. Eberle = R. Spooner,

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 January 11 [message #771517 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Mon, 11 January 2021 09:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

A slow news day today--just one guy from the WHA days to talk about:

Bobby Sheehan
Born: January 11, 1949 (turns 72 today) in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Position: Center (shoots left).
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by New Jersey for futures (Bob Falkenberg), March, 1974.
Oilers Career: 1973-74 to 1974-75: 87 games (5 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Signed with Chicago (NHL), September, 1975.

Sheehan was an offensive forward with a long pro career. He spent 13 years constantly changing teams among the AHL, WHA, and NHL. He spent a little over a year on the Oilers; they acquired him for their playoff drive in 1974 from the New Jersey Knights (love bringing up those old forgotten WHA teams). He would then spend the entire 74-75 season with the Oilers scoring 58 points in 77 games. The Oilers lost him at the end of that season when he fled for the NHL and signed with the Hawks, after which he continued to change teams and leagues consistently. His strangest season was 78-79 when he spent the entire season in the AHL--until the playoffs when the Rangers called him up and he was a big part of their drive to the Stanley Cup finals, playing in 15 out of the 18 games (these would be the only games he would ever play with the Rangers--never appeared in the regular season for them). He finally retired in 1983. Can't find much of a trace of him since then--wherever you are Bobby, happy 72 birthday.



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 January 12 [message #771644 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Tue, 12 January 2021 11:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

For the second day in a row, just one WHA alumnus to discuss:


Dennis Sobchuk
Born: January 12, 1954 (turns 67 today) in Lang, SK.
Position: Centre (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Cincinnati for Dave Debol and futures, December 17, 1977.
Oilers Career: 1977-78 to 1978-79: 87 games (17 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Claimed by Philadelphia in WHA dispersal draft, June 9, 1979.

After being a phenomenal scorer with Regina (where he is apparently still a legend to this day) in the WHL, Sobchuk was a high scoring, all star forward in the WHA starting in the 74-75 season. In his fourth pro-season the Oilers plucked him from Cincinnati (again taking advantage of a cash poor team). The next year, Sobchuk was a big contributor in the Oilers' last WHA season when they were clearly the class of the league. He got 12 points in 12 playoff games where the Oilers fell just short in the last AVCO cup championship. When the Oilers moved to the NHL the next year, Sobchuk was one of many players plundered from them in the WHA dispersal draft. For whatever reason, Sobchuk never had much success in the NHL as he did in the WHA. He played only 35 NHL games and spent most of the rest of his career in the minors before retiring in 1983. Not much info on him since his retirement; I can report that he was an honorary captain at the 100th Memorial cup in 2018, representing the WHL. Happy 67th Dennis.

Back tomorrow for more.



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 January 13 [message #771738 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Wed, 13 January 2021 09:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

Hey it's the start of the season! And a current Oiler will get to open the season on his birthday, probably for the only time in his career. No one important I'm sure...


Frank Turnbull
Born: January 13, 1954 (turns 67 today), in Winnipeg, MB.
Position: Goalie (catches left).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, September, 1975.
Oilers Career: 1975-76 to 1977-78: 4 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Not re-signed following 77-78 season.

I can find almost nothing on Turnbull. He was an undrafted goalie who the Oilers took a flyer on at the beginning of the 75-76 season. He spent three years in the organization, almost all of it in the minors. He got in 3 games in the 75-76 season and then one more during the 77-78 season. His stats would certainly explain his inability to stick in the bigs--nothing to write home about. This would be the extent of his major pro career and he retired in 1983 without getting another sniff. Wherever you are Frank, I hope you are well and happy 67th.


Nikolai Khabibulin
Born: January 13, 1973 (turns 48 today) in Sverdlovsk, USSR.
Position: Goalie (catches left).
Acquired by Oilers: Signed as free agent, July 1, 2009.
Oilers Career: 2009-10 to 2012-13: 117 games (0 playoff games).
Left Oilers: Signed as free agent by Chicago, July 5, 2013.

Khabibulin was a late (9th round) pick in 1992, but he quickly established himself as a top NHL goalie. By the time he signed with the Oilers in 2009 he had nearly 15 years of NHL experience as a starter including leading the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2004, although he was way past his prime, on the cusp of being 40. His Oiler career, was marred by injuries, erratic play, and an impaired driving charge. His first season was a disaster when he made a huge flub to cost the Oilers a game against Calgary in his Oiler debut. He would soon after suffer an injury and miss the rest of the season, get charged with impaired driving during the off season and then miss a big chunk of games the following season (another bad one). In 11-12, the signing finally seemed to bear fruit when Khabibulin was phenomenal leading to the Oilers tearing things up out of the gate. His play would fall off however, and he played out his contract eventually losing his starting job to Devan Dubnyk, and leaving for Chicago following the 12-13 season; he retired in 2015. It's too bad the Oilers could never see Khabibulin at his best here--nevertheless we wish him a happy 48th.

Connor McDavid
Born: January 13, 1997 (turns 24 today) in Richmond Hill, ON.
Position: Centre (shoots left)
Acquired by Oilers: Drafted 1st overall, June 26, 2015.
Oilers Career: 2015-16 to present: 351 games and counting (17 playoff games).

Seriously? You're on this site, and you need me to tell you about Connor McDavid? Ok the short version: in 2015, McDavid was the most anticipated prospect since Crosby. The lottery balls fell the Oilers way and we got him. Since then he's torn up the league, living up to expectations. We would like some more team success--two playoff appearances in his 5 years here could be better--but we can hope that's still to come. As we drop the puck on the NHL season tonight, let's hope for a win and a bucket of points for Connor on his 24th. For more information on McDavid I refer you to the rest of the internet.

So to close this post here's a fact that you won't get on any of the other places that write about McDavid: Today, on Wednesday, January 13, I note that Connor McDavid has been on this earth exactly half as long as Nikolai Khabibulin. See you tomorrow (hopefully after an Oiler win) for more of these hard hitting truths.



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 Re: January 13 [message #771744 is a reply to message #771738 ]
Wed, 13 January 2021 10:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CrusaderPi is currently online CrusaderPi
Messages: 12850
Registered: December 2003
Location: AB Highway 100

6 Cups

benv wrote on Wed, 13 January 2021 09:53


Connor McDavid
...
(17 playoff games).



...and counting?



This is fine.

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 January 14 [message #771975 is a reply to message #771063 ]
Thu, 14 January 2021 09:50 Go to previous message
benv  is currently offline benv
Messages: 623
Registered: May 2006
Location: Edmonton

No Cups

Two guys (coincidentally born the exact same year) to talk about today:


Alan May
Born: January 14, 1965 (turns 56 today) in Barrhead, AB.
Position: Right Wing (shoots right)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Boston for Moe Lemay, March 8, 1988.
Oilers Career: 1988-89: 3 games (0 playoff games)
Left Oilers: Traded to Los Angeles (with Jim Wiemer) for for John English and Brian Wilks, March 7, 1989.

May was tough gritty forward, that managed to carve out a reasonable NHL career based on his skill set. He was a prospect in the Bruins system when the Oilers acquired him at the 1988 trade deadline. He would spend most of his time in the Oilers' system in the minors and only managed a quick 3 game look during the 88-89 season. The Oilers dealt him at the 1989 trade deadline (at one point May had the record of being dealt the most at the trade deadline--4; since matched by Tomas Vanek) to the Kings, but his fortunes would turn the next year when he became a regular for five years on the Capitals roster. He bounced to a couple of more teams then eventually to the IHL before retiring in 1999. He currently works as a hockey analyst for NBC sports Washington. A happy 56th to Alan.


Bob Essensa
Born: January 14 1965 (turns 56 today) in Toronto ON.
Position: Goalie (catches left)
Acquired by Oilers: Traded by Detroit for futures, June 14, 1996.
Oilers Career: 1996-97 to 1998-99: 74 games (1 playoff game).
Left Oilers: Signed as free agent by Phoenix, September 5, 1999.

In the early 90s, Essensa established himself as a bonafide number one goalie being the main starter for the Jets for four seasons, even being a Vezina nominee one year. Things started to sour a bit after a trade to the Red Wings and Essensa was demoted first to Mike Vernon's backup and then to the minor leagues until the Oilers plucked him in the 96 offseason to backup Curtis Joseph. Essensa got his career back on track in Edmonton and during the next two years playing with the Oilers, he was considered one of the top backups, despite getting limited playing time due to Joseph's workload. When Joseph left in the 98 offseason Essensa found himself in a 1a/1b situation with Mikhail Shtalenkov, although Essensa got the bulk of the starts. When the Oilers acquired Tommy Salo at the deadline in 1999, Essensa saw the writing on the wall, and decided to sign with Phoenix the following year. He bounced to a couple more NHL teams before retiring in 2002. Since 2003, Essensa has had steady work as a goaltender coach for the Boston Bruins. He lives in Michigan with his wife and three sons. A very happy 56th to Bob.

No Oiler birthdays on January 15 means I get my first day off from this thread tomorrow. I'll be back on Saturday with more.




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