The Ten Worst Trades in Oilers History

Before July 1st, Steve Tambellini said the Oilers would actively be pursuing trades to improve the team. So far? Nothing. So while we wait, let’s take a look back at some of the deals of the past. Today, the worst. Next time, the best.

Here are the ten worst trades in Oilers history.

10. Dec. 11, 1992: Kevin Lowe to the Rangers for Roman Oksiuta and a 3rd round draft pick in 1993 (Alexander Kerch). This trade was part of the Rangers’ “How Many Former Oilers Can We Add to Our Team” plan.

9. March 4, 2009: Erik Cole and a 5th round draft pick in 2009 (Matt Kennedy) to the Hurricanes for Patrick O’Sullivan and a 2nd round draft pick in 2009 (later traded to the Sabres). O’Sullivan was awful. Enough said.

8. Aug. 27, 1992: Vincent Damphousse and a 4th round draft pick in 1993 (Adam Wiesel) to the Canadiens for Shayne Corson, Brent Gilchrist, and Vladimir Vujtek. Glen Sather once said of Damphousse that among French-Canadian players, only Mario Lemieux was better. Too bad the Oilers didn’t receive a better return for him.

7. June 21: 2003: The #17 overall pick in the 2003 draft to the Devils for the #22 and #68 picks. This swap of picks was a disaster for the Oilers. The Devils selected Zach Parise, while the Oilers drafted Marc-Antoine Pouliot and J. F. Jacques.

6.  March 18, 1997: Miroslav Satan to the Sabres for Barrie Moore and Craig Millar. This deal was pure evil.

5. Feb. 27, 2007: Ryan Smyth to the Islanders for Ryan O’Marra, Robert Nilsson, and a 1st round draft pick (Alex Plante). Of the three former first round draft picks, only Plante remains Oilers’ property. But tears turned to joy when Smyth returned to the Oilers last season. 

4. Nov. 24, 1987: Paul Coffey, Dave Hunter, Wayne Van Dorp to the Penguins for Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha, and Chris Joseph. Simpson had some good years for the Oilers, but Coffey was clearly the best player in this trade. The Oilers needed mo’, not Moe.

3. July 3, 2006: Chris Pronger to the Ducks for Joffery Lupul, Ladislav Smid, and 1st round draft picks in 2006 (later traded to the Coyotes) and 2007 (Jordan Eberle), and a 2nd round draft pick in 2007 (later traded to the Islanders). In 2006, this trade was devastating to the Oilers. Now, it doesn’t look quite so bad.

2. Oct. 4, 1991: Mark Messier and future consideration (David Shaw) to the Rangers for Bernie Nicholls, Steven Rice, Louie DeBrusk, and future considerations (Jeff Beukeboom). Nicholls didn’t last long in Edmonton. Of course, Messier led the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

1. Aug. 9, 1988: Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski, and Marty McSorely to the Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, first round draft picks in 1989 (later traded to the Devils), 1991 (Martin Rucinsky), and 1993 (Nick Stadjuhar), and $15 million. This was more of a sale than a trade. How many more cups would the Oilers have won if they had kept Gretzky, Messier, Coffey and the rest? Sadly, we’ll never know.

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