Andy Moog, one-half of the Edmonton Oilers’ goaltending tandem
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Andy Moog, one-half of the Edmonton Oilers’ goaltending tandem for the past five years, has joined the Canadian Olympic team under an unusual agreement that will allow him to play in the 1988 Games.
The deal, negotiated by Moog’s agent, Herb Pinder, makes the 27-year-old goaltender an employee of IGA. He will do some promotional work for the supermarket chain, but his main job will be playing for the Olympians through the Games next February.
″I think we could be breaking some significant new ground here,″ Pinder said. ″If it pays off for them (IGA), I hope other companies will do it.″
″I don’t think it’s the wave of the future, but it’s an interesting way to do it,″ Canadian Olympic Coach Dave King said. ″As long as it’s a sponsor compatible with our program, which this is, it’s a very good situation.″
Moog expressed excitement at the ″once-in-a-lifetime opportunity″ to play in the Olympics. But he admitted he had few other choices after playing out his option and leaving the Stanley Cup champion Oilers.
NHL rules stipulate a team signing a top-caliber free agent has to compensate the player’s previous club with a first-round draft choice. Pinder said some teams were willing to pay that price.
But the rules also give the Oilers the right to match any offer. The agent said Oilers general manager Glen Sather indicated that if a team made an offer to Moog, Edmonton would match it and trade the goalie to another team.
Sather also refused trade offers from five teams, according to Pinder.
When IGA proposed that Moog examine the Olympic option, the deal came together quickly.
Moog was interested because his father played for Canada in the 1955 World Championships. He also had been encouraged by former Olympic team members Pinder (1968) and Randy Gregg (1980), and he had played goal for King on a junior team a decade ago.
Moog’s main reason for playing out his option was his second-string status behind Grant Fuhr. Although Moog averaged 43 games a year the last four seasons, he played only 12 playoff games during that span.
″I was one of the happiest guys in the room the day we won (the Stanley Cup),″ he said. ″But the excitement didn’t last as long as it would have if I’d been playing.
″The important games weren’t mine, they were Grant’s. There was no reward for me at the end of the season.″
Sather said Moog’s decision to join the Olympic team was ″a little hasty. He’ll get traded eventually.″
Pinder and Moog are still hoping for a trade that will allow the goalie to return to the NHL after the Olympics.
Moog will join Sean Burke, a New Jersey Devils prospect, in net for the Olympic team. Rick Kosti, who alternated with Burke for the last year, will likely return to the Calgary Flames.
King, who has actively sought help from NHL teams for his program, stressed that Hockey Canada did not pursue Moog rather ″he approached us.″