SUN Hockey Pool

'Didn't see it coming'

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The 30 stitches in Marty Reasoner's right ear are evidence enough that he's used to being blindsided.

But the trembling in his lip and the tears welling up in his eyes told you he wasn't ready for this.

"I didn't really see it coming," said Reasoner, shortly after being told he was traded to the Boston Bruins for Sergei Samsonov.

"I didn't think anything would happen. It's funny, there's been so many trade deadlines when I was younger. Especially in St. Louis, there was always a lot of rumours about being moved and it never happened.

"Whenever you let your guard down is when it seems to get you."

It seemed to get Reasoner more strongly than most. He's genuinely sad to be leaving here and struggled to keep his composure during his media scrum in a San Jose hotel lobby.

"I had a great experience with the Oilers, met a lot of great people and made a lot of great friends," said the last player left from the 2001 trade that sent Doug Weight to St. Louis.

"You're picking up from a place you kind of called home for a while. It's the relationships that you build, the people that you're with. You invest a lot of time and effort into it and to pick up and move can be hard. But when you sign up to be a professional athlete you know that that's the down side of it. You deal with it and you move on.

"I saw the guys. It's always a little difficult but I'm glad I got to say goodbye and sit down and talk for a little bit before I go."

Head coach Craig MacTavish called Reasoner an ultimate team player, willing to step into any role, healthy or hurt, and do whatever it took to help his side win.

On a day when the Oilers added the kind of scoring boost they only used to dream about at trade deadlines, their first thoughts were with the guy going the other way.

"You really try and build your organization with the type of qualities that Marty Reasoner has," said MacTavish.

"He plays hurt, he sacrifices himself, he's a great teammate, he's very supportive of everybody. When you lose a guy like that it's a stinger. He'll be missed in the locker-room. He's a very popular figure, not only because of his personality, but because of the way that he plays the game.

"You can talk about Jason Smith and Ethan Moreau, and rightfully so, but Marty is in that group of people for sure.

"He comes back from a terrible injury (bruised lung), gets a Pronger one-timer off the ear, rips his ear in half, and comes back and plays the third period. He embodies a lot of the characteristics that we hold dear in our organization."

The fact that Reasoner leaves just as the Oilers seem poised to finally make something of themselves in the playoffs, hurts as much as anything.

"We've battled so hard for so long to get into the playoffs and be in a position of power, and you can feel that this team is on the cusp of that. That is a little disappointing, but there's nothing I can do about it now."

It's been a rough month for the 29-year-old. The lung and ear injuries happened in back-to-back games before and after the Olympic break, and now this.

"Supposedly things happen in threes so this is the end of it," he said. "It's been somewhat of a rocky road but hopefully it'll be behind me and I can move forward."

At least he's going to a familiar setting. He played college hockey at Boston College and his family is from the area.

"He was a big part of our team, very popular in the locker-room and he played hard," said Ethan Moreau. "I'm sure Boston is going to find that out right away."


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