Ranking the 5 Best American Players in Edmonton Oilers History

Adam BowenContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2014

Ranking the 5 Best American Players in Edmonton Oilers History

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The Edmonton Oilers have been lucky enough to see some of the greatest players from both Canada and the United States suit up for the team.

    When assessing the best American players in franchise history, one must take into account performance on the ice as well as intangible factors such as lasting legacy and impact on the fanbase.

    For a period of time during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Oilers were led by two of the most prominent American players in recent memory in Doug Weight and Bill Guerin, who both had a tremendous impact on the ice and in the community of Edmonton.

    Here are the five best American players in Edmonton Oilers history.

5: Mike Grier

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    Mike Grier was always a fan favorite during his time in Edmonton.
    Mike Grier was always a fan favorite during his time in Edmonton.Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    Mike Grier was a perennial fan favorite in Edmonton, and his place on this list is linked to the fact that the transaction that saw him come to the Oilers also netted Curtis Joseph.

    Grier was mainly a checker and grinder for the Oilers. He is probably best known for a confrontation with Chris Simon, when Simon struck Grier in the head with his stick and was subsequently suspended as a result.

    Grier was able to contribute offensively, registering two 20-goal seasons for the Oilers, but his affable personality and electric smile endeared him to Oilers fans the most.

4: Todd Marchant

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    Todd Marchant was the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers during his tenure with the team.
    Todd Marchant was the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers during his tenure with the team.CHRIS CARLSON/Associated Press/Associated Press

    Widely regarded as one of the fastest players during his prime, Todd Marchant was an electric member of the mid-1990s Oilers.

    He is perhaps best known for the short-handed goal he scored in Game 7 of the first round against the Dallas Stars.

    Marchant was never much of an offensive threat, only managing to reach 40 or more points for the club twice, but his speed and defensive-zone responsibilities stood out.

3: Lee Fogolin

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    Lee Fogolin was a steady presence for the Oilers during their dynasty years.
    Lee Fogolin was a steady presence for the Oilers during their dynasty years.Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Lee Fogolin could be higher on this list, as he was the first of four captains to lead the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final and was a member of two Stanley Cup championship teams in 1984 and 1985.

    Always a rock in his defensive zone, he provided much-needed stability to the freewheeling Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s.

    Though his play was often overshadowed by many of his future Hall of Fame teammates, his contribution to the franchise will always be remembered.

2: Bill Guerin

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    The Oilers have lacked a true power forward since Bill Guerin left the club.
    The Oilers have lacked a true power forward since Bill Guerin left the club.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    When the Edmonton Oilers acquired Bill Guerin from the New Jersey Devils for Jason Arnott, Oilers fans were treated to a player whose unique blend of size and skill has yet to be duplicated in an Oilers uniform.

    He was the type of player who could change the game in an instant, be it with his lightning-quick shot release or his brand of physical hockey.

1: Doug Weight

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    Doug Weight was one of the best captains in Oilers history.
    Doug Weight was one of the best captains in Oilers history.Ian Tomlinson/Getty Images

    Other than Wayne Gretzky, perhaps the hardest trade in Edmonton Oilers history was the one made on July 1, 2001 when Doug Weight was sent to the St. Louis Blues.

    When the Oilers acquired Weight from the New York Rangers, no one could have foreseen the player and leader that he would become.

    He was gifted offensive playmaker who had the ability to make his linemates better and make passes that seemed impossible. The line of Weight, Ryan Smyth and Bill Guerin gave the Oilers a legitimate No. 1 line each and every night.

    In his first full season with the team in 1995, Weight registered a remarkable 104 points and would go on to have eight remarkable seasons for the team.

    Though the Oilers didn’t have much playoff success during his tenure, his lasting impression on the team can still be felt.