Ranking the 5 Best Free-Agent Signings in Edmonton Oilers History

Adam Bowen@truknorrisContributor IIIMay 12, 2013

Ranking the 5 Best Free-Agent Signings in Edmonton Oilers History

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    Though the Edmonton Oilers have had a tough time in recent years luring talented free agents to Edmonton, the Oilers have made significant signings that have helped shape the history of the club.

    With general manager Craig MacTavish promising big change in Oil Country this offseason, the Oilers will almost certainly look to improve the team through free agency this summer.

    Here is a ranking of the top five free-agent signings by the Edmonton Oilers, based on the impact each player had on the club and the legacy they forged while donning the blue and copper of the franchise. 

5: Charlie Huddy

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    Charlie Huddy played for a total of 694 games with the Edmonton Oilers and was a key part of all five of the Oilers' Stanley Cup championship teams.

    Huddy wasn't really an offensive threat on the blueline for the team, serving more as a role player but still managed to rack up an impressive 368 points in regular-season play and a total of 77 points in Oilers' playoff action.

    Huddy is another former Oiler who has had a significant impact behind the bench for the Oilers, having served as an associate coach with the team for nine seasons.

4: Randy Gregg

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    An Edmonton native, Randy Gregg spent all but one season with the Oilers and was a significant contributor to five Oilers' Stanley Cup championship teams.

    Gregg was already 26 when he debuted for the Oilers in 1982 and his maturity and physical presence was an essential piece to the formidable Oilers' teams of the 1980s.

    In his second season with the club, Gregg registered a career high in goals—13—and amassed 40 points and helped the Oilers to their first of five championships in the next seven seasons.

3: Dwayne Roloson

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    If it wasn't for Dwayne Roloson's incredible performance during the 2005-2006 season, the Edmonton Oilers almost certainly wouldn't have made their Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where the team fell one game short of the championship.

    Edmonton paid a hefty price for the veteran netminder but no one could have expected the impact he would have on the team when it traded a first-round pick and a conditional draft pick to Minnesota.

    The Oilers were in serious need of a legitimate No. 1 goaltender when Kevin Lowe made the move with Minnesota and considering that the draft picks that were traded never really amounted to anything significant, Roloson was a steal for the club.

2: Chris Pronger

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    Chris Pronger may have departed Edmonton under dubious circumstances, but the impact that the defensive stalwart had on the franchise cannot be overlooked. Though he only suited up for Edmonton for one season, he will forever live on in lore (and infamy). 

    Pronger's signing in Edmonton was one of (if not the most) high-profiled signings in Oilers history, and the influence he had on the club was immediate.

    Pronger played in 80 games during the 2005-2006 season and registered an impressive 56 points en route to helping the Oilers capture the eighth seed in the Western Conference, but it was the 21 points in 24 playoff games that helped the Oilers within one game of the Stanley Cup.

    Though his departure from Edmonton has been the subject of many rumors, his brief tenure with the team was memorable for a multitude of reasons, and the impact he had in his lone season is one that has yet to be replicated by a free-agent signing in Edmonton. 

1: Craig MacTavish

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    Craig MacTavish may not have been the flashiest player, but based on the impact that the former player, coach and now current Oilers general manager has had on the team, he is almost certainly their best and most important free-agent signing. 

    MacTavish was part of three Oilers championship teams and over his nine seasons in Edmonton totaled 331 points.

    His impact on the ice was replicated behind the bench as MacTavish was the head coach and had a huge influence on the team during its impressive playoff run in 2005-2006.

    While it has yet to be seen the impact that the former Oilers captain will have at the general manger level, the contributions that MacTavish has had in Edmonton at all levels is perhaps the most significant in team history.