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IN DEPTH: Oilers Trade Deadline History

by Chris Wescott & Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers
MARCH 11, 1980

The Oilers were busy on their first-ever trade deadline in the NHL. They moved Don Murdoch to the New York Rangers in exchange for Cam Connor and a third-rounder in 1981, which turned out to be Peter Sundstrom. Ron Low was also acquired from the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for the franchise’s first captain, Ron Chipperfield.

To make room for Low, Edmonton dealt goaltender Jim Corsi to the Minnesota North Stars for future considerations.

Low went on to tend goal for the team for parts of three seasons and later was on the Oilers coaching staff for 11 years, including five as head coach.

MARCH 10, 1981
Pat Hughes. Photo by Getty Images.

Edmonton made four moves at the tail-end of the 1980-81 season. GM Glen Sather moved Pat Price to the Penguins in exchange for Pat Hughes and moved John Hughes to the New York Rangers for Ray Markham.

The Oilers also moved their captain for the second year in a row, dealing Blair MacDonald along with Lars-Gunnar Pettersson to the Vancouver Canucks in return for Ken Berry and Garry Lariviere.

Edmonton also added veteran centre Garry Unger from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 1981 seventh-round pick (Craig Hurley).

Hughes ended up being the biggest acquisition at the ’81 deadline. He only played two games that season and five more in the playoffs but did play the next four seasons on the team and was a part of the 1983 finalist and 1984 Stanley Cup squad. He scored 24 or more goals in three of those four seasons.

MARCH 9, 1982

The Oilers made three moves at the ’82 deadline. Stan Weir was traded to Colorado in exchange for Ed Cooper, Phil Droulliard and Walt Poddubny were sent to Toronto for Laurie Boschman and Todd Bidner was acquired from Washington for Doug Hicks.

MARCH 7, 1983

Boschman didn’t last long as an Oiler. He was traded at the following year’s deadline to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Willy Lindstrom. Boschman had 10 goals in 73 games as an Oiler over parts of two seasons but his career really took off in Winnipeg. He had seasons for 28, 32, 27 and 25 goals over seven seasons with the Jets.

Meanwhile, Lindstrom, who was a Jets legend in playing eight seasons in Manitoba over the WHA and NHL, was a huge contributor for the Oilers in their 1983, 1984 and 1985 Cup runs. He had five goals in the ’84 and ’85 playoffs. His best season as an Oiler was 1983-84 when he had 22 goals.

MARCH 6, 1984

The Oilers made two moves at the 1984 deadline. Risto Jalo was acquired from Washington in exchange for a fourth-round selection (Larry Shaw). Jalo would only play three games as an Oiler — all in 1985-86.

John Blum was also traded to Boston for Larry Melnyk. Manlike bounced up and down from the AHL in his three seasons in Edmonton but did play 12 games in the 1984-85 Stanley Cup run.

MARCH 5, 1985

The Oilers didn’t make any moves but that didn’t stop them from capturing a second-straight Stanley Cup later that season. Two weeks earlier, the team signed Craig MacTavish as a free agent.

MARCH 9, 1986

Once again, the Oilers didn’t make a move. Unfortunately, this time they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Calgary Flames.

MARCH 10, 1987

Moe Lemay was acquired by the Oilers in exchange for Raimo Summanen. Lemay only played 15 games with the Oilers but Summanen only played 19 for the Canucks. The Oilers also completed an eight-player deal from October 2, 1986 which sent Don Jackson to the New York Rangers in exchange for Jim Wiemer and Reijo Ruotsolainen among others. Stu Kulak was sent to New York to complete the trade.

The Oilers were also very busy leading up to the ’87 deadline. On March 2, they acquired Kent Nilsson from the Minnesota North Stars for future considerations (it ended up being a second-round pick with which the North Stars drafted Link Gaetz). On March 6, they traded longtime Oiler Lee Fogolin along with Mark Napier for Normand Lacombe and Wayne Van Dorp. And on March 9, they moved Jeff Brusker to Philadelphia for Dom Campedelli in a minor deal.

MARCH 8, 1988
Bill Ranford. Photo by Getty Images.

Edmonton made a big splash at the 1988 NHL Trade Deadline and it was a move that would shape the team for years to come. The Oilers traded goaltender Andy Moog to the Boston Bruins and also Moe Lemay in exchange for goaltender Bill Ranford as well as Geoff Courtnall, Alan May and a second-round draft pick (Petro Koivunen).

The Ranford acquisition would really pay off in 1990 when he led the Oilers to their fifth Stanley Cup, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. Ranford would end up as the Oilers all-time leading in games played among goaltenders with 449, minutes played with 25004 and second in wins at 167.

Later that season, the Oilers would meet Andy Moog’s Bruins and beat them in the Stanley Cup Final.

MARCH 7, 1989

The Oilers first post-Gretzky trade deadline was very quiet. They made two moves, sending Alan May and Jim Wiemer — two past trade deadline acquisitions — to Gretzky’s Kings for John English and Brian Wilks. Edmonton also sent Greg Adams to Vancouver along with Doug Smith for John LeBlanc and a fifth rounder (Peter White).

MARCH 6, 1990

The Oilers made a couple of minor moves, sending Jeff Sharples to New Jersey to re-acquire Reijo Ruotsalainen. They also acquired Marc Lafarge from the Hartford Whalers for Cam Brauer.

The Ruotsolainen trade was a stroke of genius by Sather. Sharpies never did suit up for the Oilers and would never play another game in the NHL but Ruotsalainen was a key component of the Oilers blueline in the 1990 playoffs. He had two goals and 13 points in 22 games in the postseason and then never played in the NHL again after that. Ruotsalainen did walk away from his NHL career with two Stanley Cup rings, however (1987 and 1990).

MARCH 5, 1991

It was a very quiet 1991 trade deadline for Edmonton, with their only move being to acquire Brad Aitken in exchange for Kim Issel.

MARCH 10, 1992

Martin Rucinsky only played two games for the Oilers after being drafted by them in the first round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. The 20-year-old winger was moved at the 1992 trade deadline less than a year after being drafted in exchange for goaltender Ron Tugnutt and Brad Zavisha.

Tugnutt would play 29 games for the Oilers over two seasons before moving on to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Rucinsky would go on to play 959 more games in the NHL, scoring 241 goals and 612 points.

MARCH 22, 1993
Doug Weight. Photo by Getty Images.

There was only a minor trade at the 1993 deadline, when the Oilers acquired Mike Hudson in exchange for Craig Muni. Hudson would only play five games as an Oiler but did get 416 into his entire NHL career spanning seven teams.

The big trade came on March 17, 1993. With the Oilers on the road at Madison Square Gardens, Esa Tikkanen and Doug Weight swapped dressing rooms. Tikkanen remains eighth on the Oilers in all-time goals with 178 while Doug Weight finished his career ninth in goals at 157 and sixth in assists at 420.

MARCH 21, 1994

The Oilers made two moves at the 1994 deadline, first sending current GM — and team captain at the time — Craig MacTavish to New York Rangers for Todd Marchant. MacT would go on to win the Cup with New York but Marchant proved to be a very effective piece for the Oilers. He played the next nine seasons in Edmonton including a career-high 20 goals and 60 points in 2002-03. Trading MacTavish was the third time the Oilers had dealt a current captain at the deadline with the previous two occurring in the franchise’s first two NHL seasons.

Edmonton was very busy at and around the ’94 deadline. In addition to the Marchant trade, they signed Greg de Vries as a free agent and added Steve Passmore from the Quebec Nordiques for Brad Werenka.

A week before the deadline, the Oilers acquired Boris Mironov, Mats Lindgren and a first and fourth round draft choice in exchange for Dave Manson and a sixth-round pick. The first rounder was Jason Bonsignore and the fourth rounder was Adam Copeland.

APRIL 7, 1995

Roman Oksiuta was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Jiri Slegr and Scott Pearson was sent to Buffalo for Ken Sutton. Sutton lasted less than a season as an Oiler — 44 games — but did manage a 388-game NHL career. Slegr played 622 career games but only 69 with the Oilers before he was dealt to Pittsburgh for a third-round pick in August 1997.

MARCH 12, 1996

1996 was a very quiet deadline for the Oilers. They traded Kirk Maltby to Detroit in exchange for Dan McGillis. McGillis played two seasons with the Oilers before getting traded at the 1998 deadline while Maltby would play 13 seasons in Detroit before retiring in 2010. Maltby played 1072 games in his NHL career.

for a third-round pick in August 1997.

MARCH 18, 1997

The Oilers made two moves at the 1997 NHL Trade Deadline. First, they traded Jeff Norton to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Drew Bannister and a sixth-round pick.

Then they traded Miroslav Satan to the Buffalo Sabres for Craig Millar and Barrie Moore. Satan had played two seasons with the Oilers but would go on to a stellar NHL career primarily with the Sabres that spanned 1050 NHL games including 363 goals and 735 points. His best season came in 1998-99 when he scored 40 goals.

Moore and Millar combined for 15 games as an Oiler and 153 career NHL games.

for a third-round pick in August 1997.

MARCH 24, 1998

The Oilers made up for a sub-par 1996 and 1997 trade deadline with some stellar acquisitions in 1998 and 1999. It started with adding Janne Niinimaa from the Philadelphia Flyers in 1998 in exchange for Dan McGillis and a second-round choice (Jason Beckett).

Niinimaa would play five seasons in Edmonton — the best five of his NHL career — with point totals of 28, 33, 46 and 44 helping the team to a first-round playoff upset that spring over the Colorado Avalanche.

for a third-round pick in August 1997.

MARCH 23, 1999
Ethan Moreau. Photo by Getty Images.

At and leading up to the 1999 NHL Trade Deadline, The Oilers made a series of moves which really helped solidify the core of what would be a very good NHL team for the next seven years.

First, on March 20, the Oilers acquired Tommy Salo from the New York Islanders in exchange for Mats Lindgren and an eight-round pick (Radek Martinek). Then on the actual deadline day, the team acquired Daniel Cleary, Chad Kilger, Christian Laflamme and Ethan Moreau from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jonas Elofsson, Dean McAmmond and Boris Mironov.

The Oilers followed up that move with acquiring future captain Jason Smith from Toronto for a fourth-round pick (Jonathan Zion) and a second-round pick (Kris Vernarsky).

From those moves, the team had added four key components in Cleary, Salo, Moreau and Smith.

Cleary played 220 games as an Oiler with 31 goals and 86 points and would go on to an NHL career of 934 regular season games, 165 goals and 387 points.

Moreau played 928 games in his NHL career, the majority with Edmonton over 10 seasons. He was also Oilers captain from 2007 until 2010.

Smith was with the Oilers for seven seasons and 682 regular season games. He captained them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

Salo played 334 games with a 2.44 goals-against average and a record of 147-128-51 with 23 shutouts. He remains the Oilers all-time leader in shutouts and goals-against average and is third in all-time games played among net minders.

for a third-round pick in August 1997.

MARCH 14, 2000

The Oilers made just one trade on deadline day in 2000, sending Josef Beranek to Pittsburgh for German Titov. The Russian centre played just seven games in the regular season for Edmonton, scoring four assists. He played in all five of Edmonton’s playoff games, as the Oilers fell to the Dallas Stars 4-1. Titov had a goal and an assist in that series.

In the days leading up to the deadline, the Oilers executed another trade. They traded Christian Laflamme and Matthieu Descoteaux to the Montreal Canadiens for Alain Nasreddine and Igor Ulanov on March 9.

Ulanov gave the Oilers the most in return, with the defenceman scoring 23 points in 67 games the next season.

MARCH 13, 2001

In 2001, the Oilers made one move at the deadline that involved a former second-round pick. The Oilers traded Dan LaCouture, taken 29th overall in 1996, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for German defenceman Sven Butenschoen.

Butenschoen played seven games to end that season, scoring a goal and an assist. He played just 14 games with Edmonton in 2001-02, spending the bulk of his time in the AHL (61 games, 44 points) with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

MARCH 19, 2002

The Oilers were a little more active in 2002, executing two trades at the deadline. The Oilers traded their former first-round pick Sean Brown to the Boston Bruins, in exchange for defenceman Bobby Allen.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, Allen played just one game for the big club. He spent the majority of his time with the Oilers down on the farm. Allen returned to the Bruins in 2006.

Also on March 19, 2002, the Oilers traded Tom Poti and Rem Murray to the New York Rangers for Mike York and a fourth-round pick in the 2002 draft. York played 144 games as an Oiler over three years, scoring 40 goals and 57 assists.

The fourth-round pick from the Rangers was used on defenceman Ivan Koltsov. Murray later returned to the Oilers in 2006 as a free agent.

MARCH 11, 2003

The Oilers were busy on March 11, 2003. On this deadline day the Oilers executed multiple moves.

Edmonton traded Anson Carter and Ales Pisa to the New York Rangers for Cory Cross and Radek Dvorak. Cross played 113 games for the Oilers before being traded to Pittsburgh on January 26, 2006.

Dvorak played 154 games for the Oilers, as well as 20 playoff games. During the 2006 playoff run, the winger had two assists. Dvorak was still in the league up until last season, playing 60 games for Carolina in 2013-14. He announced his retirement this January.

In a separate trade, the Oilers acquired Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres from the New York Islanders for Janne Niinimaa and a conditional second-round pick in the 2003 draft.

Isbister played just 64 games with the Oilers before being traded to Boston on August 1, 2005.

Torres started his career in the organization down in the AHL. After the 2004-05 lockout, he became a full-time NHLer in 2005-06 with the Oilers. In the 2006 Western Conference Final, Torres scored the game-winning goal in game five to advance the Oilers to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1990.

Torres finished those playoffs with 11 points (4-7-11) in 22 games. Torres was traded to Columbus for Gilbert Brule on July 1, 2008. He played five games last season for the San Jose Sharks after spending time with Columbus, Buffalo, Vancouver and Phoenix.

MARCH 9, 2004
Tom Gilbert. Photo by Getty Images.

A day before the deadline in 2004, the Oilers acquired defenceman Tom Gilbert for Tommy Salo and a 2005 sixth-round pick (Justin Mercier).

Gilbert played with the Oilers in six seasons from 2006-2012. He scored 13 goals during the 2007-08 campaign, setting the record for the most goals by an Oilers rookie defenceman, surpassing Paul Coffey and Marc-Andre Bergeron. He also holds the record for most points as a rookie defenceman with 33.

Gilbert played 384 games for the Oilers. He was traded to Minnesota during another deadline on February 27, 2012. He is currently with the Montreal Canadiens.

MARCH 9, 2006
Dwayne Roloson. Photo by Getty Images.

A day before the deadline in 2006, the Oilers executed a big trade that sent a first (Trevor Lewis-Los Angeles) and third-round pick (Spencer Machacek-Atlanta) to the Minnesota Wild for goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Roloson backstopped the Oilers to a 12-5 record through the 2006 playoffs before being injured in game one of the Stanley Cup Final. From 2006-2009, Roloson played in 193 games for Edmonton. His best season save-percentage wise was also his last with the Oilers. The netminder had a .915 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average in 63 games. He eventually played two seasons each for the Islanders and Lightning.

On deadline day, the Oilers traded Marty Reasoner and Yan Stastny and a 2006 second-round pick (Milan Lucic) to Boston, in exchange for Sergei Samsonov.

Samsonov played just 19 games for the Oilers in 2006, scoring 16 points (5-11-16). He scored four goals and 11 assists in 24 playoff games.

FEBRUARY 27, 2007
Ryan Smyth. Photo by Getty Images.

It’s known around Edmonton as a very sad day in Oil Country. Edmonton traded long-time Oiler Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra and a first-round pick in 2007.

Smyth would eventually return to Edmonton, ending his long and storied career with a fitting curtain call at Rexall Place following the season finale last year.

Nilsson played 199 games for the Oilers from 2007-2010. He scored 31 goals and added 67 assists. Ryan O’Marra played 31 games for the Oilers. Edmonton used the first-round pick acquired in the trade (15th overall) to take defenceman Alex Plante.

FEBRUARY 26, 2008

The Oilers made no trades at the deadline in 2008.

MARCH 4, 2009

This was the first trade deadline with Steve Tambellini as general manager. The Oilers sent Erik Cole and a 2009 fifth-round pick to Carolina for Patrick O’Sullivan and a 2009 second-round pick (Jesse Blacker-Toronto).

The Oilers then flipped that second-round pick for long-time Buffalo Sabres winger Ales Kotalik. The forward played 19 games that season for the Oilers, scoring seven goals and four assists.

O’Sullivan played 92 games for the Oilers, scoring 13 goals and 27 assists.

MARCH 3, 2010
Ryan Whitney. Photo by Getty Images.

On deadline day in 2009, Edmonton traded long-time Oilers winger Steve Staios to their rivals the Calgary Flames for Aaron Johnson and a 2011 third-round pick. Johnson played 19 games for the Oilers, scoring three goals and four assists with 16 penalty minutes.

That third-round pick was used to draft Travis Ewanyk 74th overall. Ewanyk is currently in his second professional season in Oklahoma City.

In their second trade, the Oilers acquired Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round pick for Lubomir Visnovsky. Whitney played 139 games for the Oilers from 2010-2013.

The sixth-round pick acquired in the trade was used to select defenceman Brandon Davidson.

The Oilers claimed Ryan Jones off waivers from Nashville that day as well.

FEBRUARY 28, 2011

The 2011 trade deadline brought a big trade for the Oilers. They traded Dustin Penner to Los Angeles, in exchange for defenceman Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 and a third-round pick in 2012.

Teubert played 24 games for the Oilers in 2011-12. The third-round pick was used to select Russian winger Daniil Zharkov, who is currently overseas with Chaika Nizhny Novgorod of the MHL.

The first-round pick was used on Oscar Klefbom, 19th overall in 2011. The Swedish defenceman is currently playing with Edmonton, showing promising signs in his development.

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

The Oilers acquired Nick Schultz from Minnesota for Tom Gilbert on February 27, 2012. Schultz played 128 games for the Oilers over three seasons, before being traded at the 2014 deadline.

APRIL 3, 2013

A day before this deadline, the Oilers acquired veteran forward Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers, in exchange for a fourth-round pick (Matt Buckles). Smithson finished out the season with 10 games for the Oilers and one goal.

In a minor league deal on that day, the Oilers traded Dane Byers to Washington for Garrett Stafford.

MARCH 5, 2014
Ales Hemsky. Photo by Getty Images.

In Craig MacTavish’s first season as general manager, the Oilers were active at the deadline.

It started on the day before the deadline, when the Oilers traded goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild for a 2014 fourth-round pick. That pick was used to select defenceman William Lagesson.

Also on March 4, 2014, the Oilers traded a 2014 fifth-round pick (Matthew Berkovitz) and a 2015 third-round pick to Anaheim for goaltender Viktor Fasth.

On deadline day, Edmonton acquired a 2014 fifth-round pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets, in exchange for Nick Schultz. That pick was later used in a trade for Nikita Nikitin.

Edmonton also traded long-time Oiler Ales Hemsky to the Ottawa Senators that day for a 2014 fifth-round pick and 2015 third-round pick. The 2014 fifth-round pick was used to take Liam Coughlin.

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