Top 'tenders were found in past ...

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

History shows the price of a proven first-string goaltender isn't necessarily ridiculously steep.

While timing and circumstances are obviously significant factors in the price tag a first-rate stopper carries, the last two big trades the Edmonton Oilers made for goaltenders came about without gutting the roster or mortgaging the future by handing over blue-chip prospects.

The Oilers acquired Tommy Salo from the New York Islanders March 20, 1999 in a deadline deal in which GM Glen Sather shipped Mats Lindgren and an eighth-round pick (Radek Martinek) to Long Island.

Salo, of course, was on the outs with GM Mike Milbury, who'd ripped him in an arbitration hearing, and the Swede was struggling with a 17-26-7 record on a bad team when the deal was done.

By the time Salo's tenure here ended in 2004, he had a 2.44 goals-against average in 334 games and he departed as the franchise's career leader in shutouts, with 23. Salo still sits third in wins, with 147, on a record of 147-128-51.

The Oilers got Curtis Joseph from St. Louis in August of 1995, a trade that also landed Mike Grier, for first-round picks in the 1996 and 1997 Entry Draft - one of which the Blues used to select Marty Reasoner.

Before leaving for Toronto as an unrestricted free agent, Joseph went 76-76-20 in 177 games with the Oilers and he backstopped their 1997 first-round playoff upset over Dallas. Joseph is second in franchise record books with 14 shutouts.


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