Pronger Edmonton

Edmonton columnist revisits Pronger trade, confirms Oilers made out well


The Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones — a recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee — wrote an interesting piece revisiting Edmonton’s 2006 Chris Pronger-to-Anaheim deal.

Then-Oilers GM Kevin Lowe flipped Pronger to the Ducks for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, Anaheim’s first-round pick in 2007, a conditional first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2008.

Here’s how it all panned out:

Smid: “This year, the defenseman the Oilers believed would develop into a major-minutes, total-pro top-four defenseman who came out of that deal,” Jones writres. “Ladislav Smid appears to have finally become.”

Lupul: Edmonton traded Lupul to Philly (with Jason Smith) for Joni Pitkanen, Geoff Sanderson and a 2008 third-round pick. Sanderson retired, the third-round pick was Cameron Abney and Pitkanen was traded for Erik Cole. Cole was turned into Patrick O’Sullivan (and a second round pick). O’Sullivan was turned into Jim Vandermeer and the second-round pick was turned into Ales Kotalik, neither of whom are with the team.

In short, Lupul became Abney.

2007 first-round pick: Traded (along with a second-round pick) to the Coyotes for their 21st overall selection, where the Oilers took Riley Nash. Nash was later traded to Carolina for Martin Marincin.

2008 Conditional pick: Because the Ducks made and won the Cup Final in 2007, the pick became a first rounder. Edmonton used it to select Jordan Eberle 22nd overall.

2008 second-round pick: Traded to the Isles for Allan Rourke and a third-round pick that originally belonged to the Oilers. That third round pick allowed Edmonton to offer-sheet Dustin Penner (Oilers had to compensate Anaheim with first-, second- and third-round picks, all of which had to be originals.)

Penner was then dealt for Colten Teubert, a 2011 first-round pick (Oscar Klefbom) and a third-rounder in 2012 than will become a second-rounder if LA makes the playoffs.

So what does it all mean in the end?

“Kevin Lowe traded Chris Pronger for Jordan Eberle, Ladislav Smid, Colten Teubert, Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Cameron Abney and a player to be determined,” Jones writes. “Helluva deal.”

In retrospect, maybe. But one wonders if Edmonton isn’t kicking itself for the questionable Nash selection (taken ahead of Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Blum and David Perron) and getting so little out of Lupul.

Video: Ryan Suter doesn’t seem very happy with his coach


As you can see in the video, apparently Ryan Suter doesn’t like being paired with fellow lefty Jonas Brodin.

The Wild defenseman rather openly questioned the coaching staff’s decision-making today after practice.

“Yeah, I don’t know what they’re thinking,” said Suter. “I need to play with a right-handed defenseman. To give me more options. Neutral zone. Offensively. And even coming out of the D zone, it’s not fair to put a guy on his off side.”

Suter didn’t know if the pairings were just for practice or not. The Wild play tomorrow in Chicago. Minnesota has just one win in its last seven games.

Suter also had something to say about that.

“It does no good to pout and get pissed off at each other,” said Suter. “You’ve got to come together and dig out of this. Now’s when you need leadership more than ever. It’s easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good.”

Yeo, by the way, has not been very happy with the Wild lately.  In fact, one could go so far as to say he’s been acting pretty “pissed off.”

For example, at today’s practice:

The Star Tribune has more on what went down today.

Yeo, you may recall, went a little “nuts” during a Wild practice last season.

Goalie nods: Sparks to make NHL debut for Leafs

Garett Sparks

We already knew this yesterday, but in case you missed it, Garret Sparks will make his NHL debut in goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight against Edmonton.

Sparks, 22, has been excellent in the AHL this season, going 8-2-1 with a .938 save percentage. He spent most of last season in the ECHL, where he also posted good numbers.

Sparks is getting the nod tonight because James Reimer is hurt and Jonathan Bernier has been struggling badly.

“He’s got an opportunity like lots of kids have had before him and it’s up to him to grab it,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said, per “He’s got the [second-best] save percentage in the AHL and he’s winning all the time down there. Obviously we’re in need of some saves and we’ll have to play well in front of him for sure. But it’s an opportunity for him.”

Bernier, meanwhile, will have to sit and watch. The 27-year-old has allowed at least four goals in four of his last five starts. His save percentage has fallen all the way to .888.

Anders Nilsson will be in net for the Oilers.


Cam Ward for the Hurricanes. Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers, who will try not to rely on him so much.

Semyon Varlamov for the Avs. Thomas Greiss for the Isles.

— The Canucks aren’t saying if it’ll be Ryan Miller of Jacob Markstrom. For the Ducks, it’ll be John Gibson.

Vigneault: ‘After three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention’

Alain Vigneault

Alain Vigneault has maintained for much of the season that the New York Rangers needed to play better.

The head coach said it a week ago, after the Blueshirts had beaten the Predators, 3-0, despite getting outshot, 31-19.

He’d said it a couple of weeks before that, after they’d beaten the Hurricanes in very similar fashion. (Final score: 3-0. Shots: 33-23 for Carolina.)

But as long as the Rangers kept winning, it was tough, according to Vigneault, to get the message across.

“Sometimes, the results might be going your way, so when you’re pointing out certain things, it might be a little bit more challenging for them to understand because the results are so positive,” Vigneault said, per the New York Post.

“But after three losses in a row, I think we’ve got everybody’s attention.”

Derek Stepan‘s injury — he’ll miss 4-6 weeks with broken ribs — has no doubt captured their attention as well. (Oscar Lindberg will center Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast tonight at home to Carolina.)

The Rangers also play Wednesday, in Brooklyn against the Islanders (on NBCSN).

Benn, Holtby and Galchenyuk are NHL’s three stars of the week

Cory Schneider, Alex Galchenyuk ,
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Stars winger Jamie Benn, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.


Benn shared the League lead in goals (4) and points (6) as the Stars (19-5-0, 38 points) won two of three games to continue their best start to a season in the franchise’s 48-year history.

Holtby posted a 4-0-0 record with a 1.75 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Capitals (17-5-1, 35 points) to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Galchenyuk tied for first in the NHL with four goals and added one assist to help the Canadiens (18-4-3, 39 points) earn five of a possible six points and reclaim first place in the League standings.

As much as the injuries to Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher have been frustrating for the Canadiens, those are short-term issues that should be forgotten soon enough. Galchenyuk’s play, in contrast, is reason for long-term optimism. The 21-year-old is trending towards becoming the elite No. 1 center the Habs have needed so badly. He’s not there yet, but when’s all said and done, he could turn out to be the best forward (or player, period) taken in the 2012 draft.