January 15 2012 10:31AM
The Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings have done business a lot over recent history. Will they make another deal at the deadline?
This is Slava Voynov of the Los Angeles Kings. He's a 21-year old puck moving defenseman, undersized and perhaps a bit challenged defensively but certainly a player worthy of an NHL roster spot as the '10s roll out. He's "opposite George" to Colten Teubert, the defensemen Edmonton plucked from LAK last trade deadline. He's just back from injury, played 15.5 minutes last night in CGY and should be in the lineup this evening against the Oilers.
If we're putting together next year's Oilers, Voynov's skills are somewhat similar to Jeff Petry (I would suggest Petry has a wider range of skills) so he might not be an ideal acquisition for the roster. A RH blue of Gilbert, Petry and Teubert might be the better plan for next season but Voynov would certainly be among the 6 best defenseman on the Oilers roster as it sits idling in the driveway this morning.
The price? Likely Ales Hemsky, and even then I'm not certain how much of the future Dean Lombardi plans on sending to Edmonton. Anyway, it's something to watch for tonight.
For Oiler fans, addressing the blue isn't going to come via adding draft picks and young, unproven defensemen. However, it'll shore up the "asset bank" when Steve Tambellini goes shopping for a defenseman this summer.
Would Sam Gagner, Jeff Petry and the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 Entry draft get you a good defenseman? I think it would. If the Oilers grab a quality 2-way defender via trade and then sign some Whitney-insurance via free agency then next year's blue looks better:
- Rake redux-Whitney insurance
That's the kind of overhaul this blue has needed since 2006 summer. Move back the kids, have Marincin play his entire entry level deal in the AHL--hell Klefbom too if it takes that long--and move back the cluster among defensemen from "fresh off the bus" to "seasoned veteran."
The cost will be heavy. The only thing worse than trading all that offense? Staying the course and hiring recent buyouts and 5th defensemen from other non-playoff teams.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
We all enjoy pretty things. The Oilers defense hasn't been pretty for 6 years now. Get the guy.