Edmonton Oilers\' GM Kevin Lowe answers questions at a pre-game press conference over the deadline trade of Oilers\' Ryan Smyth in Edmonton, Tuesday, February 27, 2007. (CP PHOTO/ Jimmy Jeong)
Anaheim's trip to the Stanley Cup final triggered a conditional pick in Edmonton's blockbuster Pronger deal with Anaheim last summer - the Oilers getting the Ducks' 2008 first-round draft choice. "It's been an interesting spring, trying to convince people that after all the fallout (from the Pronger deal) we needed to be cheering for Anaheim up until now," Lowe told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.
"It's official, we can start cheering for Ottawa as of last night."
It closes the book on a trade that was hard to digest in Edmonton after Pronger demanded a deal following last season's Cup final run.
The superstar defenceman was dealt to the Ducks last July 3 in exchange for winger Joffrey Lupul, prospect defenceman Ladislav Smid, a first-round draft pick in the 2007 entry draft, a second-round draft choice in the 2008 draft and "future considerations."
That became a first-round pick in 2008 the second the buzzer sounded in Anaheim's 4-3 win to knock off the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference final on Tuesday night.
"I'm very happy to pay it," Ducks GM Brian Burke told CP from Anaheim on Wednesday. "What happened is that we were getting the deal done and Kevin said, 'I'm giving you a ticket to the final.' So I said, 'Well if we make it to the final I'll put in another first-rounder."'
The Oilers, who missed the playoffs this season, will take it.
"It's still tough to swallow, our season, but hopefully for the team it'll be a good thing," Lowe said from Vancouver where he's attending the Memorial Cup.
"We're a little bit better today than we were before the game last night," added Lowe. "We've now got five first-rounders over the next two years. You can build a lot for the organization for a number of years."
In addition to their own first-round pick in the upcoming draft (sixth overall), they also own the New York Islanders' top pick from the Ryan Smyth deadline trade this year and the Ducks' first-rounder from the Pronger deal.
Then there's two first-rounders in '08, considered by scouts a deeper draft, as well as Anaheim's second-rounder.
"Now the perfect storm is that whatever happens this year, they (the Ducks) fall back next year so the first-rounder is a better pick and of course that makes the second-rounder a better, pick, too," said Lowe.
"It'd be nice to have three picks in the top 40 next year."