Warning: facetiousness ahead.
It’s been 25 years to the day since that fateful day which saw Los Angeles Kings forward and all-round NHL superstar Jimmy Carson traded to the Edmonton Oilers.
The fact that the Oilers acquired him for as little as they did is miraculous, given how fast his star was rising in the league. I mean, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski? Decent players in their day but yeesh, try and win a trade once in a while LA! Some other dude was involved in the trade, but it may as well have been that most mystical of all things, “future considerations”, for all the good citizens of Edmonton could care.
Sure they’d miss having the bruisin’ twosome of Marty and Krush on the ice, protecting Edmonton’s elite cast of skaters, but when you’re getting back a guy of the calibre and character of Carson as well as a big fat pile of cash for the beloved Peter Pocklington? Sign me up for that any day of the week.
Oh yeah, it’s coming back to me, the other bum headed out to Hollywood had an ego the size of the Mad Hatter and promised he wouldn’t make a mess when he left. Or something. Gretzky, that’s it. Nah, never a fan. It was always “Wayne Wayne Wayne”, I mean 92 goals in one season? Pass the puck a little buddy!
And people say I have a selective memory.
What I do remember is that this trade brought us:
- 84 magical games of Jimmy Carson, the boy wonder who was so considerate, he demanded a trade when he felt he was hogging the limelight;
- the wonderous Kid Line of Adam Graves, Joe Murphy an Martin Gelinas, who were so effective in supplying skill and energy to that 1990 Cup-winning squad;
- Petr Klima and his fantastic bucket, to this day the last Oiler to score 40 goals (Klima, not the bucket);
- Reijo Ruotsalainen (again) providing brilliant offense from the back-end;
- 149 games of Scott “The Melon” Mellanby;
- six seasons of Dean McAmmond and his quality two-way play for the Little Team That Could;
- 3 seasons of Danny Cleary, who proved that Edmonton has such an eye for talent but didn’t want to be mean and keep him all to themselves;
- nearly 11 seasons of Ethan Moreau and his gritty style, leadership and knack for throwing the opposition of their game with a well timed penalty;
- just over a season of the Russian Tank, Igor Ulanov, who was so effective the Oilers brought him back later for another 2 seasons;
- 2 entire games of Czech wonderboy Martin Rucinsky;
- 29 unforgettable games of Ron “What’s a Shutout?” Tugnutt;
- parts of 5 seasons of Scott “Boy I lived up to my draft status” Thornton;
- six seasons of the actually-quite-decent Luke Richardson;
- 1 brilliant year of Vincent Damphousse;
- and finally, less than one day of Alexandre Daigle, which is more than anyone should get.
Oiler fans call it The Gretzky Sale for a reason…