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Edmonton Oilers Tickets
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Edmonton Oilers History:
The Edmonton Oilers struggled with their small-market status for years as big-market teams scooped up high-priced help. However, after the wiped-out 2004-05 NHL season, the Edmonton Oilers, like every other NHL team, started the season on a more equal financial level.
As the season approached, the Edmonton Oilers were able to land through free agency, former Hart and James Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger from the St. Louis Blues, and also traded for New York Islanders forward Michael Peca, two-time winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy for best defensive forward. To obtain these players, the club had to give up Mike York and Eric Brewer to the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues.
When the season began, the Oilers played with inconsistency, especially in goal and on offense. Goaltender Ty Conklin often was unreliable in net and highly touted prospect Jussi Markkanen showed potential, but still suffered from rookie mistakes. A streaky offence led by alternate captain Ryan Smyth had trouble putting goals in the net at times didn’t help either. Other plays struggled, and fans even wanted to fire Head Coach Craig MacTavish. Nothing happened, but by the end of December, the Edmonton Oilers led their division with a 22-18-4 record for 48 points.
The situation in Edmonton didn’t get better though. However, after the organization decided to trade for scoring defenseman Jaroslav Spacek from the Chicago Blackhawks and Dick Tarnstrom from the Pittsburgh Penguins, both defensemen, Spacek in particular, secured their suspect blue line, but, goaltending was still in doubt. To fill the need, the Edmonton Oilers added goaltender and 2004 All-Star, Dwayne Roloson, from the Minnesota Wild, and speedy forward Sergei Samsonov, a past rookie of the year, from the Boston Bruins.
The new acquisitions paid off, and Edmonton finished the regular season with 95 points, and clinched the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Edmonton Oilers rookies Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, and Jarret Stoll led the way in scoring, all with breakout seasons of 77, 73, and 68 points, respectively. Smyth finished with 66 points, his second best season to date. His 36 goals that season were also his second best, and rather outstripped the Edmonton Oilers' next-best goal-scorer, Raffi Torres and his 27. Surprisingly, the three players who finished the season on the Edmonton Oilers' roster, and who were first, second, and third in goals scored that season, were all left-wingers.
The Edmonton Oilers played the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, defeating the 2006 Presidents' Trophy winner in six games. It was the team's first playoff series win since 1998. In the Western Conference Semifinal, Edmonton defeated the San Jose Sharks, also in six games, making the Edmonton Oilers the first eighth-seeded team to reach the Western Conference Final since the NHL introduced the conference format in 1994. In the Western Conference Finals, the Edmonton Oilers beat the sixth-seeded Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in five games.
The Conference Final win made the Edmonton Oilers the winningest team of the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, having won it 7 times in franchise history. Edmonton faced the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Finals (marking the first time two former WHA teams met in Stanley Cup play). The series went to seven games, with Carolina defeating Edmonton 3-1 in Game 7 to claim the Cup.
The off-season started with Chris Pronger's surprise trade request on June 22, which cited personal reasons. On July 3, he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for budding sniper Joffrey Lupul, defensive prospect Ladislav Smid, and up to three high draft picks. In addition, many of the Edmonton Oilers' 2005-06 acquisitions signed for contracts elsewhere: Jaroslav Spacek signed with the Buffalo Sabres on July 5, Sergei Samsonov signed with the Montreal Canadiens on July 12, and Michael Peca signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 18. In addition, enforcer and fan favorite Georges Laraque, despite offering the Edmonton Oilers a substantial pay cut in exchange for a no-trade clause, wound up signing with the Phoenix Coyotes on July 5, and goaltender Ty Conklin, seeking to rebuild his reputation, signed a two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets the following day.
Despite these losses, many of the Edmonton Oilers' core players were resigned, many for long-term contracts. Playoff heroes Fernando Pisani and Dwayne Roloson signed as unrestricted free agents on the first day of eligibility, July 1. Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll, and Ales Hemsky all filed for arbitration, but all settled for multi-year deals before their hearings came up; Hemsky, in particular, signed for six years and $24.6 million. The Edmonton Oilers also resigned former centre Marty Reasoner from the Boston Bruins, prospect Tom Gilbert from the University of Wisconsin, defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist from the Minnesota Wild, and defenseman Jan Hejda from Mytishchi Khimik of the Russian Super League, whose rights were acquired from the Sabres for a seventh-round pick. As of July 26, the Edmonton Oilers are seeking to sign Lupul, as well as former first-round selection Alexei Mikhnov from Russia.
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