Obscure Moments in Canuck History: Tomáš Mojžíš debuts, Canucks fall in Edmonton

February 4, 2006: Czech defenseman Tomáš Mojžíš makes his Canuck and NHL debut in a 3-1 loss at Edmonton. Mojžíš (pronounced “Moy-SHEESH”), the only Canuck ever to wear #45, has an assist in 12:32 of ice time, last among a D corps that also includes Steve McCarthy, Mattias Ohlund, Bryan Allen, and two current Canucks, Salo and Bieksa. He ends the night +1, the only plus Canuck other than the Sedin twins and #77 Anson Carter (who would score 33 goals in his only season as a Canuck but would retire with HC Lugano of the Swiss League two years later, after an 11 goal season with the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes).

Mojžíš, an 8th round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2001 draft (246th overall, behind Kovalchuk at #1 and Spezza at #2, and ahead of only replacement player types such as Petr Cajanek, P.A. Parenteau, Ivan Majesky, and Mikko Lehtonen), was traded to the Canucks in 2002 for the equally obscure Brad Leeb (one career game as a Leaf, zero career NHL points), and would himself be traded after a mere 7 games with Vancouver to the St. Louis Blues (plus a draft pick that would become current Devil Vladimir Zharkov) for ex-Flyer/Devil/Blackhawk/Whaler/Bruin/Hab Eric Weinrich. Mojžíš would play a total of 17 NHL games for the Canucks, Blues, and Wild before ending up with Minsk of the KHL for the 2010-11 season.

The Oilers outshoot the Canucks 40-17, current Canuck Raffi Torres scores a PP goal, and (shocking to Oiler fans) J.F. Jacques has 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 shots, and 1:49 total ice time, or almost a full three minutes less than Canuck 4th liner Tyler Bouck. Moby doppelgänger Alex Auld makes 37 saves for the Canucks, who are nonetheless shut down by Mike Morrison.

Vancouver will miss the playoffs with a 42-32-8 record, three points behind the Oilers, who will eventually lose a seven game Stanley Cup final to ex-Canucks Bret Hedican and Frantisek Kaberle of the Hurricanes. (The Philadelphia Daily News headline will read DIXIE CUP.) In the offseason, the Oilers will trade MVP defenseman Chris Pronger to the Ducks for Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, and draft picks (thanks, Lauren!); the Canucks will trade Auld, Todd Bertuzzi, and Bryan Allen to the Panthers for Hockey Jesus Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek, and a pick (thanks, Iron Mike!) (bonus quote: “Cloutier will be ready for next season, and because the Canucks also have Mika Noronen, Auld was expendable”). Oilers fans will, however, always have February 4.

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