Days Until The First Oilers Game: 42 – Tony Salmelainen
Today’s Player: Tony Salmelainen. “You’re not Jesse Niinimaki bad, but you’re still bad”.
Career Oilers Stats:
Tony Salmelainen represented everything the Oilers were about from 1999-2005. Just a plethora of terrible draft picks usually from a country not named Canada. Whether it was Jani Rita, or super bust Jesse Niinimaki. Whether it was Alexei Mikhnov, or Tony Salmelainen. Didn’t matter. Like the Raptors, we were guaranteed to walk on stage and pick that bad European/Russian nobody had ever heard of because I guess we thought we had these hidden gems, like Detroit does. Only, instead of waiting until pick 204 to draft these talent-challenged outsiders, we picked them 15th overall. The one time we drafted a North American it was Marc-Antoine-Goddamn Pouliot.
Why We Liked Him:
In NHL 07 this guy was like a 98 overall. I swear to God. They introduced European leagues for the first time and made their skill representative of their respective leagues. So goddamn Tony was fresh off an electric season with HIFK in Finland, and he was given an obnoxiously high rating in the game. Problem was, they didn’t prorate it to the NHL level. It was hilarious. He was the Sabrina Ladha of Europe.
Why We Didn’t Like Him:
We drafted him in the second round in 1999, and by the time he finally changed franchises in 2006 he had played 13 games for us. And when he was a 98 in NHL 07 he had already been dealt to Chicago. We couldn’t even enjoy him being pretend good on the Oilers in a video game. Fuck Tony Salmelainen.
Where Is He Now?
Don’t have a clue. Probably showing off his rookie cards to some little Finnish kids.