Home > Edmonton Oilers, Trades > Happy 20th Anniversary Takko Bell

Happy 20th Anniversary Takko Bell

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

In sports (and life too) there are moments that you never forget, moments that are frozen in time. The proverbial “Where were you when?” moments. Most Oiler fans know exactly where they were on August 9, 1988 when Gretzky was traded (sold) to the Kings along with McSorley and Krushelnyski, for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings’ first-round draft picks in 1989, 1991, and 1993. I was nine years old when that trade happened and I doubt I will ever forget the excruciating details of that day.

I don’t think anyone would dispute that the Gretzky trade is the biggest trade in Oilers history and it taught all Oiler fans a very important lesson: eventually everyone will leave this team. Nobody is safe from being traded. See the Smyth trade just hours before the Messier jersey retirement ceremony as an example. But not every trade can be a forever memorable, earth shattering deal and in Oilers history there have been plenty of other trades far less memorable than Gretzky’s. There have been good trades (trading with the Blues for Pronger) and there have been bad trades (trading Pronger to the Ducks). And there is one trade that stands out in my mind as just kind of funny. The trade I’m referring to is the deal between the Oilers and North Stars that involved Bruce Bell and Kari Takko; thus creating the Takko Bell trade and it happened on this day 20 years ago.

Bruce Bell was originally drafted by the Nordiques and also spent time with the Blues and Rangers before joining the Oilers in February of 1990. He played in just one game (a game that turned out the be his last in the NHL) and didn’t register a point for the Oilers before the end of the 1989-90 season. He started the 1990-91 season in Cape Breton with the Oilers farm club playing 14 games before he was trade. In return for Bell the Oilers got Kari Takko. Takko first appeared in the NHL in 1985-86 with the North Stars and spent the next six season bouncing back and forth between the North Stars and their AHL and IHL farm clubs winning a career high 13 games for the Stars in the 1986-87 season. Takko would play in 11 games as a backup to Bill Ranford in the 1990-91 season posting a 4-4-0 record and a 4.20 GAA. After his time with the Oilers Takko returned to Finland and never played in the NHL again.

Most people would simply write this trade off as a minor deal. After all they played just 12 games for the Oilers between them and for both their NHL careers ended here in Edmonton. But for me the Takko Bell trade will live on because it has a funny name. Funny name aside though, I do wish that the Oilers were a better team right now because if they were I probably wouldn’t have looked this up.

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