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2006 Stanley Cup champion Canes bucked the odds

by Adam Schwartz
When teams try to load up with big-name talent to win the Stanley Cup, history shows it rarely works. In 2006, however, Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford bucked the odds and added two key components en route to the franchise's first Cup victory.

The 2006 trade deadline also featured an abnormal number of NHL-ready goalies on the move, with Dwayne Roloson, Jose Theodore and David Aebischer changing addresses.

Here are a few trades of note:

JAN. 30

The St. Louis Blues trade Doug Weight and the rights to Erkki Rajamaki to the Carolina Hurricanes for Jesse Boulerice, Mike Zigomanis, the rights to Magnus Kahnberg, 2006 first- and fourth-round picks and 2007 fourth-round pick.

More than a month before the trade deadline the first major deal of the season took place, which enabled Weight to acclimate to Carolina. He had 13 assists and 16 points in 23 games in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs without playing on Carolina's top line. While Kahnberg played parts of 2006-07 in the AHL, the Blues turned the 2006 first-round pick into dynamic rookie forward Patrik Berglund.


The Minnesota Wild trade Dwayne Roloson to the Edmonton Oilers for a 2006 first-round pick.

First-round picks are precious to general managers, but Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe believed parting with the No. 17 pick was a worthwhile venture, even though the Oilers just barely squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The gamble nearly paid off as Roloson backstopped the Oilers to the Cup Final with a memorable hot streak. Roloson's injury in Game 1 of the Final may well have been the difference. Roloson still is in Edmonton, and has regained the starter's job after being part of a three-goalie rotation at the start of the season. The Wild traded the pick to the Kings as part of the Pavol Demitra deal; the Kings then selected Trevor Lewis.

The Montreal Canadiens trade Jose Theodore to the Colorado Avalanche for David Aebischer.

Aebischer played just 39 games for the Canadiens and lost a fight with Cristobal Huet for the top job. Aebischer signed with the Coyotes as a free agent in 2007, and has played in Switzerland the past two seasons. Theodore, however, hasn't exactly regained the form that earned him the 2002 Hart and Vezina trophies, but he did manage to help guide the Avalanche to the second round of the playoffs the past two seasons. Last summer, he signed with the Capitals, where he is a starting goalie for a team that most likely will win the Southeast Division.  


The Boston Bruins trade Sergei Samsonov to the Edmonton Oilers for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a 2006 second-round pick.

This was a rare trade that was good for both teams. The Oilers prospered in the short term as Samsonov helped them get to the Stanley Cup Final with 11 assists and 15 points in 24 playoff games. Reasoner finished the season in Boston, but re-signed with Edmonton that summer, while Stastny played just 38 games in two seasons with Boston. The Bruins used the second round pick (No. 50) on Milan Lucic, who skates on the club's top line with Phil Kessel and Marc Savard. His physical style of play, coupled with his offensive production, has made him a fan favorite in Boston and beyond. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade Mark Recchi to the Carolina Hurricanes for Niklas Nordgren, Krys Kolanos and a 2007 second-round pick.

Like Weight, Recchi added veteran leadership and offensive depth to Carolina's lineup, which paved the way to the Stanley Cup. Nordgren played 15 games for the Penguins and then left to play in Europe, while Kolanos spent the remainder of the season in the AHL and signed with the Detroit organization that summer. Recchi returned to Pittsburgh the next season, but his 16 points in 25 playoff games will always be remembered by Hurricanes fans. 

The New York Islanders trade Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel to the Los Angeles Kings for Jeff Tambellini and Denis Grebeshkov.

Sopel and Parrish played a combined 74 games with the Kings. Parrish signed as a free agent with the Wild that summer, while Sopel left for Chicago in 2007. Tambellini, drafted No. 27 in the 2003 Entry Draft, was supposed to be the big prize for the Islanders, but he's yo-yoed between the NHL and AHL. Instead Grebeshkov, who the Islanders dealt to the Oilers in 2008 for Marc-Andre Bergeron and a 2008 third-round draft pick, has turned into the gem of the deal and is having a breakout season. 

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