Source: Detroit Free Press
Jimmy Devellano made a lot of great decisions for the Red Wings during his years as general manager, and he made one really bad one.
Devellano shipped Adam Oates and Paul MacLean to the St. Louis Blues following the 1988-89 season for Bernie Federko and Tony McKegney. Oates went on to play 19 seasons in the NHL and ranks sixth in all-time assists.
"It's not a trade that I particularly am fond of, for sure," Devellano said Tuesday, after Oates was announced as part of the latest class entering the Hockey Hall of Fame. Oates also was named head coach of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Credit must be given to Devellano and the Wings for giving Oates a shot at pro hockey, signing him as an undrafted free agent out of RPI in 1985.
"We were the team that had the moxie to sign him," Devellano said. "We were a team that wasn't very good, and we were looking for a way to try and upgrade our skill level. We signed a bunch of free agents out of college that particular year, and Adam Oates (was) the best of those college free agents."
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