The Edmonton Oilers' run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals was a feel-good story for the hockey world, as they became the first eighth-seeded team to earn a berth in the Finals.
Backstopped by the otherworldly play of journeyman Dwayne Roloson, the Oilers upset the top-seeded Red Wings, the Joe Thornton-lead San Jose Sharks and their fellow Cinderella team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, in order to claim the Clarence Campbell Trophy as the champion of the Western Conference.
Aside from Chris Pronger, the Oilers had a very pedestrian blue line, headlined by captain Jason Smith and longtime Oiler Steve Staios. Up front, the Oilers' best forwards were fan favorite Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll and Shawn Horcoff, but the team benefitted from key performances from role players like Fernando Pisani, Michael Peca and Sergei Samsonov.
Pronger lead the team in playoff scoring with 21 points in 24 games, and Pisani lead the way with an astounding 14 goals, just four less than his regular season career-high of 18 goals. The Oilers' magical run ended in Game 7 as Carolina prevailed 3-1, though the Oilers showed heart by battling back from a three games-to-one series deficit.
Though they came within a game of delivering Edmonton the franchise's first Cup since 1990, Pronger demanded a trade the following summer, and the team was forced into another painful rebuilding process. The 2006 Oliers were a solid group of hard-working players who believed in one another, but they were far from the best team in hockey that season.