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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.