Oilers' Cogliano traded to Ducks

Andrew Cogliano tries to knock a puck out of the air with the butt end of his stick during an...

Andrew Cogliano tries to knock a puck out of the air with the butt end of his stick during an Edmonton Oilers' team practice at Rexall Place in Edmonton, prior to the NHL trade deadline, Monday February 28, 2011. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI AGENCY )

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:41 PM ET

EDMONTON - If a person can be sad to leave, but happy to go, it’s Andrew Cogliano.

The former Oilers hates saying farewell Edmonton but loves that he’s going to Anaheim.

“I loved playing in Edmonton, I loved living there, loved the people, loved the team, it’s a great organization,” said the 24-year-old centre, after being traded to the Ducks for a second round draft pick in 2013. “It’s sad to leave something like that, but on the other hand it’s a good situation for me, it’s exciting, it’s a fresh start and it’s a good step for my career.”

Cogliano, a first round pick (25th overall) in 2005, had back-to-back 18 goal seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and scored overtime winners in an NHL record three consecutive games, but with the Oilers loading up on draft picks and adding three more forwards on July 1, fell victim to a numbers game.

“We’ve been acquiring assets for some time and the result of that is we have a lot of players,” said general manager Steve Tambellini. “We can’t keep everyone.”

Cogliano was a good soldier, never complaining, nor missing a single game, in his four seasons with the Oilers, but his puzzle piece just never seemed to click all the way in.

“In Edmonton it was just a matter of situation, there were a lot of similar players who did the same thing and at the end of the day things had to change, somebody had to go,” he said, adding he sort of saw it coming. “I had a little bit of an idea when they signed (Eric) Belanger and brought in some more veteran guys that something was going to happen. There were a lot of forwards.”

“It’s sad, but I’ve had good talks with their GM, a good talk with Steve and a great talk with Tom Renney, who at the end of the day really rejuvenated my career and gave me the opportunity to play so that other teams would have interest.”

While he’s been advised to re-invent himself as Todd Marchant, and has been traded to the team Marchant just retired from, Cogliano also views Anaheim as an opportunity to pursue the offensive side of his game.

“(Marchant) had a great career and played a long time and at the end of the day that’s the goal for anyone in the league,” said Cogliano, who had 146 points in 328 career games, mostly on the third line. “I feel like I can take that next step and be a second line centre, I really do. My offensive instincts haven’t really tapped out yet. My first year showed me I can do that and the goal for me now is to put it all together. Play the defensive side but also be offensive too.

“Anaheim is a great fit. To have (Ryan) Getzlaf as your No.1 centre, one of the best players in the league, and Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan...hopefully I can find support them - be a guy who plays PK and contributes offensively. For me it’s exciting.”

There are a lot worse landing spots than Anaheim, a winning team in a city where it isn’t either pouring rain or swarming with mosquitoes during the two-month summer.

“I’m going to miss my teammates there and the city, I really enjoyed playing there but I think you have to move on,” he said. “I have life-long friends there. I don’t think you can really replace the people and the energy of the fans, but it’s exciting to go to a new place and a team that’s playing in the playoffs, has great players and you’re also in California, which is a pretty nice place to live.”

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