OILERS AT THE DEADLINE

Lowetide
March 13 2013 08:19PM

At last year's trade deadline, the Edmonton Oilers sent away 2-way defender Tom Gilbert in favor of veteran defensive defenseman Nick Schultz. It capped a 3-year period where Edmonton sent away quality, veteran players. Will we see the same this time?

2010 DEADLINE

  • March 1: Oilers trade D Denis Grebeshkov to Nashville for a 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft (Curtis Hamilton).
  • March 3: Oilers trade D Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim for D Ryan Whitney and a 6th rd pick in the 2010 draft (Brandon Davidson).
  • March 3: Oilers trade D Steve Staios to Calgary for D Aaron Johnson and 2011 3rd rd pick (Travis Ewanyk).

In what could be termed the 'great Barbara Ann Scott' purge of 2010, Edmonton sent away the sublime Lubo plus two other regular defensemen at a deadline that raised the white flag and sent fans to the draft preview websites.

2011 DEADLINE

  • February 28: Oilers trade L Dustin Penner to Los Angeles for D Colten Teubert, 1st rd pick in 2011 (Oscar Klefbom) and a conditional 3rd rd pick in 2012 (Daniil Zharkov).

This is a classic 'rebuilding team at the deadline' trade save for the fact Penner had another season left on his contract. Edmonton had long since tipped their hand to the fanbase that the rebuild would continue until further notice, and the deal resembles the Ryan Smyth deal of 2007 in that there were 'three assets' in return for a useful player who could contribute in a significant way to a championship run.

The Oilers have not received much at the NHL level from the deal, but that should change starting this fall and could pay dividends rolling out over a decade or more; it could also crash in a heap. Such is the nature of offloading proven talent for picks and prospects.

2012 DEADLINE

  • Februrary 27: Oilers deal D Tom Gilbert (signed through 2014 summer) to Minnesota for D Nick Schultz (also signed through 2014 summer).

This was a trade that gave Edmonton a veteran LH defender who played a safer, more sedate style of game. Gilbert's skill set on the Oilers was duplicated by the emerging Jeff Petry, an Oiler draft from 2006 who took time to develop.

TOMORROW'S JUST YOUR FUTURE YESTERDAY

The Oilers dealt off those veteran players--Lubo, Penner, Gilbert--as part of a rebuilding plan. Purge the actual NHL players, grab a wonderful tomorrow.

At some point, the men who make the decisions about this hockey club--I count Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Steve Tambellini--have to 'man up' and give these young performers some stable role players to keep the beat and play the opponents to at least a draw.

I think we're at a point where Hall the Chance Machine, Ebs, The Nuge, Yak City and Samwise can push the river if the 6's and 7's and 9's can keep the score even.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Edmonton Oilers youth is ready to do some damage--but they need help. Today's waiver move of Ben Eager is a nice start, and I do believe there's an opportunity between now and the deadline. There's a UFA-to-be to sign and maybe a trade or two--except this time Oiler fans should expect some immediate help.

Playoffs or not, the time for rebuilding is over and the time for team building has arrived.

The path is clear, it's time to find a way.

 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 season not played
March 14 2013, 06:52AM
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This team should not make another major transaction until it changes management. That includes the draft.

Is there any way they can replace a management and scouting staff in time for this draft so they can stop flushing draft picks down the toilet?

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#52 gcw_rocks
March 14 2013, 08:06AM
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Lowetide wrote:

No, I wouldn't make that deal.

Would you trade them straight up?

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#53 Romanus
March 14 2013, 08:53AM
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David S wrote:

Only a freaking idiot would offload proven talent for picks and prosp...

Nevermind.

Good way to keep the rebuild going a few more years. Sigh.

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#54 Spydyr
March 14 2013, 09:00AM
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Arnie Wallburger wrote:

That girl has huge nipples

Really, Hadn't noticed. Said no hetro man. Ever.

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#55 A-Mc
March 14 2013, 09:48AM
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SuperM wrote:

San Jose can't buy a goal right now. I wouldn't mind Ryan Clowe for Hemmer....A big body that can play in the top 6

Clowe is a UFA this summer. Might not need to trade anything for him

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#56 Ducey
March 14 2013, 09:50AM
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The best plan is to see if you can get some up and coming prospects at the deadline for the likes of Whitney, Bulin, Jones, Belanger, Petrell. Picks are fine. Its a deep draft.

Get busy on college free agent signing. Other teams have got the likes of Tyler Bozak and Matt Reid for nothing.

This summer, use Katz's money and the Cap room they should have to pry a couple of good vet players from teams who are going to have salary cap problems. Philly is one of these teams.

Or they can try to entice a FA or two.

The offseason is where EDM can load up. And given the cap squeeze its a unique opportunity to take advantage of some of the big spenders.

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#57 Will
March 14 2013, 10:03AM
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Kind of nice to think we might be at the point to begin getting those extra necessary pieces to begin building around all the talent. Depending on what we get, I still don't think the team is there yet, but the year after that I'd say the rebuild is officially over and the Oilers are once again a team that makes the playoffs every year, and is a threat to win.

What's on everyone's shopping list

Draft: big centre Free agency: Some help in the bottom 6 and a solid veteran defender, and a back up goalie Trade: Top 2 Defender

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#58 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 14 2013, 10:04AM
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Romanus wrote:

Good way to keep the rebuild going a few more years. Sigh.

Could be one way of looking at it, or perhaps there's a fine line between proven talent and junk. It's become rather obvious the last 3 yrs it would be the later.

The perfect storm with managements goal being, securing lotto selections for the foreseeable future. Need atleast one more top 3 pick. Not all currently in the fold will pan out.

Anyone who resembles Adrian Barboa is alright in my books. Not many wouldn't want to flare her nostrils in the day.

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#59 StHenriOilBomb
March 14 2013, 10:35AM
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If we can improve our defense without any big changes in our forward corps, I think we can be a pretty good team. It's no coincidence that with Pronger winning puck battles, many Oilers had career years. Add someone experienced and talented on the back end, and I think it does wonders. This before anything else.

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#60 michael
March 14 2013, 11:09AM
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The t Louis Blues are in an interesting position. They have a good team. But they need a top 4 dman and another forward who can score to give them that 2cd line scoring. Their goaltending has been atrocious this year considering that they were the Jennings trophy winners a year ago. Halak and Elliot have been below par all season yet the BLUES have made it for it with team defence and systems play that has seen the Blues remain competitive.

If the Oilers fall out of the race in the next 2 weeks the Oilers may have what the Blues need to make a push in the playoffs. A player like Hemsky would suit that team nicely and perhaps a dman like Whitney with expiring contract could be added to the deal also. Forget about picks in this scenario.I would be asking for what St Louis already has on the board. TY Rattie. Big.Scoring RW with enough punch. If the Blues come calling his should be the first and only name I would ask for. A bottom 20 pick in this draft is useless. Ty Rattie would add the size and punch that we need on the Oilers first line moving forward. Chris Stewart is Penner part 2.

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#61 Sal-Sational
March 14 2013, 11:35AM
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i wonder if Detroit would have any interest in Omark/Khabibulin/Whitney/Peckam/ or Potter.

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#62 Will
March 14 2013, 11:40AM
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Maybe the better question is what does everyone expect to get back from the players rumoured to be on the block?

Hemsky: a first and a prospect. As long as it's not Tuebert, this could be the last piece of the rebuild puzzle with such a deep draft this year and a wealth of really good prospects around the league.

Whitney: Um, a second maybe. I really don't know where his value stands. If Lubo can be traded for a third, what an accurate representation of Whitney's value looks like is tough to see.

Gagner: Nothing because he won't be traded. By value of his contract, Gagner is technically a rental player, sort of. But his trade value is so good that if you were to trade, it wouldn't be for futures, it would be be for a significant upgrade somewhere else, like defence. Which means a hockey trade. And not too many of those go down at the deadline. Especially when one team is a seller.

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#63 Spydyr
March 14 2013, 11:43AM
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Sal-Sational wrote:

i wonder if Detroit would have any interest in Omark/Khabibulin/Whitney/Peckam/ or Potter.

Why would any other team be interested in a 29th place team cast-offs, has been and never was?

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#64 EP
March 14 2013, 12:04PM
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bwar wrote:

In my opinion, until we replace some pieces in our current management, we are in a rebuild.

Agreed. Management is where our biggest problems exist.

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#65 RustyKnuckler
March 14 2013, 12:18PM
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@Spydyr

Thats the same reason Eager had to go on waivers and couldn't be traded. If you can't make the fourth line on the Oilers who wants you. Same goes for Peckham, Whitney and Omark.

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#66 DigDeepNBleedBlue
March 14 2013, 12:50PM
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Two forwards that me and my armchair want to target at the deadline or off-season:

Ryan Malone, TB - 6'4", 219lbs, 33yrs old 2yrs left on contract after this season. Cap hit: 4.5mil

Big power forward. Nuff said.

Probably unrealistic that Yzerman trades this guy after dealing Downie to Col, but anyone or anything can be bought for the right price.

What would be the right price? Would Hemsky be enough? I'm not sure.

R.J. Umberger, CBJ - 6'2", 220lbs, 30yrs old 4yrs left on his contract after this season. Cap hit: 4.6mil

You can say everything I said about Malone for R.J. Add in: does CBJ tear down more? Or, does it keep what it's got and add more youth?

Pick and prospect?

I looked at these guys with the idea you keep Gagner at center. One of them would be a nice addition to the 1st or 2nd lines. R.J. might be the better choice. He can play wing and center. That could help Gagner's line.

Now the D-unit is another issue....

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#67 DigDeepNBleedBlue
March 14 2013, 01:03PM
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On the Omark convo:

The Oil could sign him this year and bring him in for a playoff run.

1yr contract. He's on the protected list, I imagine, therefore he doesn't need to pass through waivers. He stays a RFA at seasons end. No harm, no faul.

If the Oil do sign him this year with the playoffs a pipe dream and bring him onto the roster they could trade him at the TDL with no waiver worries for other teams. He could be an asset that brings back a decent return. Playoff bound teams always pay high for help.

The one thing I always liked about Omark was his ability to stay on the puck. He was hard to knock off of it. On the right line he could be effective. And/Or, the right team.

JMO.

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#68 Old Soldier
March 14 2013, 01:37PM
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I am no expert at who is worth what to whom. I dont always understand how trade value is determined, but I think this year, the Oilers have an opportunity to use the trade deadline wisely neither as a labelled seller or buyer, but to simply make some hockey trades.

Before I throw some things out there, there is the big consideration. Sam Gagner. What is his ceiling, could he be a fit in our top 6 moving forward, or is his value in his bringing someone who could be?

I think that he should be moved, especially if Taylor Hall is truly open to being a center. I think Taylor would do more for the team as a center, and that he would excell there. If not there is a chance of moving Yak and keeping Gagner but I think the team has higher hopes for Yak.

If that is a possibility, then that gives us Hemsky, Gagner, Belanger, Whitney, Peckham, Potter, Petrell, Hordichuk, Eager, Lander, Omark and perhaps some others in the minors as possible pieces to be moved.

Most of those players dont have major cap issues, with Hemsky being the only one with a high ticket, but they all have managable contracts and should be attractive to teams.

As for what the Oilers should be targetting, I look at a team like Buf and I would target Foligno, and reportedly St. Louis is shopping Stewart. Those two young players, with the kids we have now, would give us two very young experienced lines of RNH/Ebs/Stewart and Hall/Yak and Foligno.

Other than top 6 players of the type of Stewart/Foligno, I think we need to find a player or 2 to cement an energy line with Brown. Maybe even Ott from Buf in a pkg with Foligno to center Brown and say another winger like Dorsett from Columbus.

RNH Ebs Stewart

Hall Yak Foligno

Ott Brown Dorsett

which leaves Horcoff/Smyth/Jones/Paajarvi and Hartakainan as 3rd line possibles or trade bait.

Once again I dont know if I am being too unreasonable in attaining players, but that lineup to me would have the size, skill, speed and experience to do very well and is young enough to grow with.

Unlike others, I am comfortable with our Defence, and with what is coming in the pipeline. I think Petry and Potter are proving to be NHL defencemen, and Fistric, Smid, and the Schultz boys are fine with me. We have enough young defencemen coming up that it should end up being a strength for the team.

Okay tear me up boys......

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#69 2004Z06
March 14 2013, 01:38PM
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Hilarious! Love all the armchair GM's here!

Glencross is not coming back to Edmonton! Should have never let him go to begin wth.

Big, strong, fast center with good hands? That will cost you one of the top 5 minimum. No combination of Omark, Whitney, Peckham, Potter or picks is going to get it for you.

Deep draft, trade for picks.....Seriously? How long do you want this "rebuild" to take. This team doesn't need to trade NHL players for picks (unproven). This team needs to trade some of their picks, prospects for some legitimate roster players or you will constantly be "developing" talent for other teams.

We have the youth and the skill, time to add the depth and the solid vets. They don't need to be superstars, but they need to be upgrades to what we have.

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#70 2004Z06
March 14 2013, 01:46PM
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And the comparisons to Penner.....Yeah he was inconsistently (pun intended) a 20-25 goal, 40-50 point guy the entire time he was here! Doesn't matter what everyone THOUGHT his potential was. Potential means squat! Results are what I am after and the stats speak for themselves.

What would you give up for a proven 20-25 goal, 40-50 point guy now?

What he has or hasn't done since is also irrelevant. We don't know what his issues/challenges were or are in LA. We can only speak to what he did here.

I'll take an "inconsistent" 50 point guy any day! You could probably get him back for a bag of pucks now too.

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#71 2004Z06
March 14 2013, 01:51PM
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Last one...Jack Johnson...to comment that he is useless is laughable. The only reason he is struggling is because he has been dropped into the number #1/2 D role since day one. This guy would be excellent in the number 3 spot with less minutes/responsibility. Even right now he is better than anyone not named J. Shultz on the Oilers.

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#72 seanjohn
March 14 2013, 03:03PM
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@michael

Ty Rattie. now, that's interesting. i'm was thinking more of a current NHLer, but Rattie is good enough that I might pull the trigger on that one.

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#73 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:19PM
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Will wrote:

Maybe the better question is what does everyone expect to get back from the players rumoured to be on the block?

Hemsky: a first and a prospect. As long as it's not Tuebert, this could be the last piece of the rebuild puzzle with such a deep draft this year and a wealth of really good prospects around the league.

Whitney: Um, a second maybe. I really don't know where his value stands. If Lubo can be traded for a third, what an accurate representation of Whitney's value looks like is tough to see.

Gagner: Nothing because he won't be traded. By value of his contract, Gagner is technically a rental player, sort of. But his trade value is so good that if you were to trade, it wouldn't be for futures, it would be be for a significant upgrade somewhere else, like defence. Which means a hockey trade. And not too many of those go down at the deadline. Especially when one team is a seller.

It makes sense that Gagner won't be traded unless his contract demands are too high.( for me anything over 4.5 mil per is too high....but he'll probably get more due to arbitration and Oilers general propensity to overpay)

IMO...Hemmer deal would maybe net you a good prospect, or a 14th to 20th type of first round pick, or a roster player from a team not in contention this year. ( I doubt he would bring you a Ty Rattie....but maybe a Jake Gardiner or a Ryan Clowe etc)

Whitney is more valuable to the Oilers ( assuming the price is right i.e. not more than 3.5 per year for 2or3 years.) than a second round pick. Could see him go in a package with Hemmer or Jones or Petrel etc to a contender for a single asset in return.

So at best, I would expect one decent roster player and a pick or a prospect in exchange for some combonation of Hemmer, Whitney, and a third asset. ( Maybe even Habbiulin as a playoff backup). The rest we do via free agency.

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#74 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:28PM
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Sal-Sational wrote:

Wasnt Omark the wing man for Zetterberg and lighting it up in the SEL? Khabiboulin will be an upgrade over Gustevson (he was brutal against Calgary last night) and Detroit love experience goaltenders (Hasek/Osgood/Cujo)

and i can see a Whitney fit in with the wings.. but its just a thought...

and what would want back from the Wings?

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#75 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:36PM
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David S wrote:

Talk around the intertubes is that Smid is on the block in some form for Jack Johnson. I cannot fathom how stupid that is.

I think the Smid rumors are just rumors (based on the lack of contract talks to this point)....but I think that the Jack Johnson talk may have some legs......

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#76 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:43PM
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David S wrote:

Let's stop the "Yakupov for XXXX" crazy talk, shall we? Kid's playing top 6 minutes right outta the box despite being a defensive calamity. We need that big juicy D-man, we can buy him this summer or trade Hemsky + a second rounder.

Agreed.....with the exception that for the claibre of Dman we need it will more likely be Hemsky and a first round pick.

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#77 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:55PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This is an incredibly stupid rumor……just pie in the sky sh!t.

its sarcasm Wes.....a form of humor......he is kidding....

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#78 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 05:55PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This is an incredibly stupid rumor……just pie in the sky sh!t.

its sarcasm Wes.....a form of humor......he is kidding....

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#79 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 06:03PM
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andrewmk20 wrote:

Not going to happen. Shattenkirk has become the centerpiece of the Stewart/Johnson deal between St. Lou and Colorado. In fact the reason Chris Stewart's name is out there in trade rumours is because St. Louis needs the cap space to re-sign Berglund, Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo and they also need to fill out the rest of the roster because they only have 12 players currently signed for 2013-14 and the cap is dropping by 6M.

I know that given what's happened since Horcoff has been back that the Oilers need him pretty badly but would it be out of the question to send him and a healthy Khabi to Chicago for a pick and Victor Stalberg. Chicago would get insurance in net and a good third line center and the Oilers would get a good top 9 player who can play either wing and has good size at 6'3 209. I know the hawks can't keep Horcoff past this season because of cap issues so the deal would be contigent on Chicago being willing to use one of their buyout compliances on Horcoff. Then it would be a matter of re-signing Horcoff. Would that be a ridiculous scenario?

IMO...yes....rediculous scenario....Stalberg is too good for that scneario....

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#80 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 06:04PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

IMO...yes....rediculous scenario....Stalberg is too good for that scneario....

and Chicago goaltending just recently won 21 games in a row.....so Habby might not be the right guy to throw in.....

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#81 Old Retired Guy
March 14 2013, 06:12PM
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season not played wrote:

This team should not make another major transaction until it changes management. That includes the draft.

Is there any way they can replace a management and scouting staff in time for this draft so they can stop flushing draft picks down the toilet?

You raise a very interesting point that been on my mind for a few weeks....that being that this next 6 months is a critical stage in the rebuild....there will be trades, UFA signings, drafts.....IF the management team had even the slightest inclination to replace Tambellini they would surely do it before all of this happens/ed. SO this is a clear indication that they have NO intention of replacing him.

The ONLY other possible scenario is that MacT and K Lowe are overseeing every move and therefore MacT would be in a position to take over as GM if a move needed to be made.

POINT IS there will be no NEW blood anytime soon.

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#82 Walter Sobchak
March 14 2013, 06:38PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Two forwards that me and my armchair want to target at the deadline or off-season:

Ryan Malone, TB - 6'4", 219lbs, 33yrs old 2yrs left on contract after this season. Cap hit: 4.5mil

Big power forward. Nuff said.

Probably unrealistic that Yzerman trades this guy after dealing Downie to Col, but anyone or anything can be bought for the right price.

What would be the right price? Would Hemsky be enough? I'm not sure.

R.J. Umberger, CBJ - 6'2", 220lbs, 30yrs old 4yrs left on his contract after this season. Cap hit: 4.6mil

You can say everything I said about Malone for R.J. Add in: does CBJ tear down more? Or, does it keep what it's got and add more youth?

Pick and prospect?

I looked at these guys with the idea you keep Gagner at center. One of them would be a nice addition to the 1st or 2nd lines. R.J. might be the better choice. He can play wing and center. That could help Gagner's line.

Now the D-unit is another issue....

I would totally agree with malone except he has a NTC.

As for R.J Umberger, sorry but he is butter soft, no thanks, for his size. check out his advance stats.

he hits less then Jones does.

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#83 Walter Sobchak
March 14 2013, 06:39PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

its sarcasm Wes.....a form of humor......he is kidding....

If it was sarcasm, then my bad.

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#84 DigDeepNBleedBlue
March 14 2013, 10:06PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I would totally agree with malone except he has a NTC.

As for R.J Umberger, sorry but he is butter soft, no thanks, for his size. check out his advance stats.

he hits less then Jones does.

Fair enough, Walter. I hear what ya sayin'!

I'm not sayin' he's gonna fight like it's hill 364, but he has averaged a 100 hits a year over the last 4 years. Jones has had two seasons with a 100+ hits, with one of those seasons over 150. Jones can be good at what he does. I'll give you that. On top of the hits, though, R.J. has also averaged 50pts and 20 goals over that span. That ain't bad.

I will need to watch him more in order to see this "butter soft" description, but the Dude puts it best:

"This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, uh, limber."

I'm very limber, Walter. Very limber. It's how I come up with this freakin' Harvard thinking over here.

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#85 MooseMess
March 15 2013, 10:26AM
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Best thing about this post?

Barbi Benton braless. Nice.

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#86 @TheCityOfChamps
March 15 2013, 07:21PM
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The Edmonton Oilers Trade Deadline Blog:

The Edmonton Oilers will look to improve their roster by the April 3rd NHL trade deadline. It will be hard for the team to get “big name” players because Edmonton is not willing to move any of their young talent. With that being said, heres a look at who the Oilers may move and target via trade come April 3rd.

Trade Block: Ryan Whitney, a puck moving defencemen, with NHL experience. UFA this summer. Ladislav Smid, a heart and soul player who plays good defence & blocks a ton of shots. UFA this summer. Ales Hemsky, a highly skilled top 6 forward who can create offence. Makes $5.5M next year (cap hit $5M). Ryan Jones, a skilled checking top 9 forward, who has grit and determination. UFA this summer. Magnus Paajarvi, a young skilled forward with potential. RFA this summer. Sam Gagner, a highly skilled top 6 forward who can create offence. RFA this summer. Theo Peckham, a tough bottom pairing defencemen, still has potential. RFA this summer. Nik Khabibulin, a veteran goalie who could backup a contending team. UFA this summer. Eric Belanger, a veteran bottom 6 forward. Great faceoff guy. Makes $1.25M next year (cap hit $1.75M). Ben Eager, a bottom six energy forward. Has grit and skates well. Makes $1.2M next year (cap hit $1.1M). Yann Danis, a minor league goalie who could help other franchises out come AHL playoffs. UFA next year.

Target List: Ryan Clowe, brings size, grit & sandpaper to the Oilers with the ability to score and play top 9 minutes. Chris Stewart, exactly what the Oilers need. A power forward who can hit, play physical and score goals. Travis Moen, brings size, grit & sandpaper to the Oilers. A bottom line forward. Drew Stafford, has size and scoring ability. Lacks consistency. Needs a change of scenery.

Other Options: Guillaume Latendresse, has size and decent scoring ability. But is often injured. UFA this summer. Dustin Penner, has size and decent scoring ability. Lacks consistency and drive. UFA this summer. John-Michael Liles, has the ability to play top 4 minutes. Has a $3.875M cap hit next season. Joe Colborne, has size & scoring ability at the center position. Still young with potential. RFA this summer. Steve Mason, hero to zero in Columbus. If Oilers move Khabibulin, why not take a risk. RFA this summer. Ryan Malone, a power forward with size, skill and grit. Has a descending contract, but a cap hit of $4.5M.

Pipe Dreams: Wayne Simmons, power forward with grit and scoring ability. Signed long term. Scott Hartnell, power forward with grit and scoring ability. Signed long term. Sean Couturier, has size and skill at the center position. Great optional, low cap hit. Jake Gardiner, #FreeJakeGardiner tweet from his agent may land him out of Toronto. Solid defencemen. Jack Johnson, a great two way defencemen with offensive ability. Solid addition to any NHL team. Jay Bouwmeester, a great minute muncher on defence. Under rated skillset. Heavty cap hit of $6.68M. Blake Wheeler, exactly what the Oilers need. A power forward with scoring ability. RFA this summer.

What will the Oilers do? Heres my take: Trade Eric Belanger for a draft pick. His work ethic and lack of depth scoring makes him easy to replace. Try and move Ben Eager’s salary off the books next year by taking on a higher $$$ contract for the remainder of the season. If not, he will be bought out this summer. Trade Nik Khabibulin for a draft pick/prospect or depth player. If the Oilers cannot move him, then: Move Yann Danis for a depth AHL/NHL role player or draft pick. Ship Theo Peckham to another team for a bottom line energy player. Trade Ryan Whitney for a draft pick and prospect. Negotiate a contract extension with Sam Gagner. If he wants too much money. Look for a similar Hodgson/Kassian trade. Resign Ladislav Smid, Ryan Jones & Magnus Paajarvi. Trade Ales Hemsky with a solid B+ prospect to a team for a top 6 power forward (Chris Stewart).

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