WILL OILERS MAKE A DEAL?

Jason Gregor
April 03 2013 07:26AM

The trade deadline is 1 p.m. Edmonton time, and many are wondering if the Oilers will make a move?

I get the sense the Oilers are a year away from being a player at the deadline, but that's not to say they won't make a minor tweak.

Even though Eric Belanger is currently on the IR, the Oilers are confident he'll be playing before the playoffs, and if a team is interested they will trade him. The return would be a late round pick, but at this point the Oilers won't hesitate to deal him. I don't see him being a part of the future in Edmonton. They will try to find an upgrade for Belanger.

If a deal can be made the Oilers would move one of Mark Fistric or Theo Peckham. They are both 3rd pairing, physical D-men and the Oilers would need two injuries for both of them to play. Again the return would be a mid-round pick.

It is rare to see a hockey trade, proven player for proven player, made at the deadline, especially involving a team that has playoff aspirations, so I doubt we see a deal similar to Tom Gilbert/Nick Schultz. I firmly believe the Oilers will make some moves in the summer, to improve their backend and skilled-size in their top-nine, but I doubt that happens today.

I'm sure we will see a lot of debate over whether the Oilers should trade Ryan Whitney.

One argument is that he won't return next year, so get something for him. Don't let him walk for nothing.

The other side of the debate will argue that moving your 8th leading scorer in the midst of a four-game winning streak, and while you are only one point out of the playoffs wouldn't be prudent.

Basically it comes down to what the organization feels is more important. Allowing your young core to play meaningful games down the stretch, or adding another 2nd round pick. I'd lean towards the former.

The issue for the Oilers is that if they move Whitney, the guys left to replace him aren't nearly as good offensively or moving the puck. Mike Babcock had a quote that makes me believe the Oilers will not move Whitney, mainly because the players know who is better. 

They want you to know what’s going on at the game. They want you to have the right people on the ice in the right situations, and they know before you do. Players get the information first, the coach gets it second.  

Whitney likely won't return next season, but management doesn't want the young kids to think management sabotaged their chances at the playoffs by moving Whitney and replacing him with Fistric or Peckham.

I've also heard they would add a veteran D-man or forward as long as the price isn't too high, essentially a low-end prospect of mid-round pick. I don't expect a significant move, but it is the deadline, so you never know.

REMAINING SCHEDULE

Jonathan Willis outlined the Oilers remaining schedule in detail here, and on Monday I broke down the remaining schedule of Detroit, St.Louis, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Columbus and the Oilers here.

As we both pointed out the Oilers remaining schedule isn't easy, especially the final week when the Oilers play five games in seven days vs. the top-four teams in the west: Ducks, Ducks, Blackhawks, Wild and Canucks. I believe the Oilers need to be in a situation where they can go 2-3 or 3-2 in those five games and still make the playoffs. If they do that, they will have a decent shot of making the playoffs.

So that means they need to go 6-2 or 5-3 in their next 8 games. A tall task for sure, but that is their reality.

The good news for the Oilers is that the Blues have a tough schedule as well. The Blues play 14 games in the final 24 days of the season, including 3 vs. the Blackhawks. The Blues do get a break when they play a stretch of  five games against non-playoff teams. At home vs. the Coyotes (Apr 18th), Stars (Apr 19th), @ Colorado on the 21st, then vs. Avs on 23rd and the Flames on the 25th.

If the Oilers make the playoffs they will have to earn it, and starting tonight we will see how they handle the pressure of playing meaningful games. It should be exciting.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Walter Sobchak
April 03 2013, 10:25AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

not denying he is out there, denying that the oilers are willing to pay the asking price, which paajarvi may be involved in but TSN doesn't exactly know the other pieces. The other pieces could be gagner or hemsky and a 2nd.

Best just to see what happens.

That's all I'm saying too, the players and the asking price, if it happens it happens, I personally wouldn’t mind giving Paajarvi up, even though I think he might be a valuable piece to the Oilers future.

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#52 Oilcan
April 03 2013, 10:25AM
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I was in the trade Whitney camp but now I'm leaning the other way. The Oilers are in a tricky spot and a continued push does more for the development of this team then a 2nd round pick would (that player would be likely 4-5 years away if ever) ideally the oilers keep Whitney and trade for another defenseman. Trade Peckham or fistric for a pick and pick up a Torres or Gordan and I would call today a huge success.

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#53 oilerjed
April 03 2013, 10:27AM
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Holy crap TSN is throwing names around worse then a screen writer in Hollywood.They must have 3-4 hours to kill or something. Thats the kind of media we like, produce their own stories and watch them grow, then rereport on them. Goodness!

Would Carolina be a good spot for a trade now that Pitkanin is out. Whitney+hemsky for Jokinen and Tlusty. Then we can move Yak into Hemmers spot and put Jokinen on the thrid line or vice versa.

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#54 Ducey
April 03 2013, 10:27AM
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I have been impressed with how patient most people are regarding the Oilers.

I still think they need to worry about next year without really throwing this team under the bus.

If I were GM I'd trade Jones for a pick, Bulin for a 2nd or 3rd rounder, & Belanger for Jokinen. I'd also trade Whitney for two seconds, or a first, or something like a second and Jared Knight from BOS.

Then I trade a late pick or a marginal prospect for someone like Scott Clemenson who has a .937 save % in the AHL to backup DD.

You replace Jones with Hartikanen, Belanger with Jokinen, Whitney with Fistric, and Bulin with Clemenson.

That is arguably stronger than what they have plus you wind up with 3 to 4 draft picks/ prospect.

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#55 geoilersgist
April 03 2013, 10:31AM
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@bdiddy18

Dare to dream

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#56 kevin
April 03 2013, 11:06AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

There should be zero debate whether Whitney move's or not.

Basically, if the Oiler's don't move Whitney or sign him to an extension, then the Oiler's gave up Stoll, Green and Visnovsky for a broken player and nothing to show for it.

Great job! Brilliant GM work.

Great call and pretty much a barometer of this joke of a management team. All be it there is still time on the clock to salvage this asset. The other issue is with Gagne contract up a he likely wanting in the five million range how do you pay that ? Trade him while his value is high. I have said it before clean house in mahogany row! This organization is joke.

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#57 oilerjed
April 03 2013, 11:17AM
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@kevin

"The other issue is with Gagne contract up a he likely wanting in the five million range how do you pay that ? Trade him while his value is high. I have said it before clean house in mahogany row!"

Who do you replace Gagner with next year then? And how much are you going to pay for a 60 pt center? The point is not to set the team back 2-3 years right?

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#58 Ducey
April 03 2013, 11:17AM
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There name of this thread should be: "Will anyone make a deal?"

Two minor trades with 2 hours left. Not exactly living up to the hype.

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#59 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:19AM
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Jared Smithson from Florida to Edmonton.

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#60 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 03 2013, 11:20AM
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Jarred Smithson.. That was the huge deal of the day.

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#61 Quicksilver ballet
April 03 2013, 11:20AM
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Lamoriello has a first rounder available, he wants a scoring winger......Hemsky?

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#62 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:21AM
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6'3" 210 LBs. RH

35GP 2G 3A 5P

54% on the draw.

Good pick up.

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#63 Sox and Oil
April 03 2013, 11:22AM
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What's a Jerrod Smithson???

Do i like him?

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#64 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:25AM
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Sox and Oil wrote:

What's a Jerrod Smithson???

Do i like him?

An upgrade on Belanger but Smithson is 34 years old so not a long term solution.

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#65 Mac962
April 03 2013, 11:25AM
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Solid pick up in Smithson, Big and RH Faceoff dude.

Good 4th liner for sure. See ya Belanger.

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#66 Ogie Oilthorpe
April 03 2013, 11:25AM
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DSF wrote:

6'3" 210 LBs. RH

35GP 2G 3A 5P

54% on the draw.

Good pick up.

Agree, that takes care of the Belanger issue.

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#67 MAC962
April 03 2013, 11:26AM
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DSF wrote:

An upgrade on Belanger but Smithson is 34 years old so not a long term solution.

Try 25 years old Moron.

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#68 StHenriOilBomb
April 03 2013, 11:26AM
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apparently Smithson is currently with his wife having their first baby... It may be a while before we see him on the ice.

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#69 Quicksilver ballet
April 03 2013, 11:27AM
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DSF wrote:

Jared Smithson from Florida to Edmonton.

Great, a reasonably priced Shawn Horcoff 2.0...34 yr old on the down side of his career.

What a bunch of hosers. They're so worried about Peckham not being able to clear waivers, but they'll let Whitney walk at years end for nothing in return.

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#70 mouthbreather
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Try 25 years old Moron.

34 idiot

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#71 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Try 25 years old Moron.

Really?

http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8468162

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#72 StHenriOilBomb
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Try 25 years old Moron.

Born Feb 4 1979 http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=28640

Don't insult someone's intelligence without doing your homework.

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#73 JeffG
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Try 25 years old Moron.

LOL..Would you like a do over?

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#74 MAC962
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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OK I am the Moron, he is 34...Number 25.

Ahh you are still a Moron :-)

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#75 Mike Krushelnyski
April 03 2013, 11:28AM
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Probably means Belanger, Jones or Petrell is on the way out?

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#76 Jimmeh
April 03 2013, 11:29AM
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MAC962 wrote:

Try 25 years old Moron.

His number was #25

His age is 34

http://panthers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8468162

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#77 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:29AM
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Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 27s

Of Jerred Smithson's two goals this year, one was on an empty net.

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#78 DC
April 03 2013, 11:29AM
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Smithsons a forward. Not like Peckham at all. @ Oil Change ......

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#79 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:30AM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

Born Feb 4 1979 http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=28640

Don't insult someone's intelligence without doing your homework.

Trust me on this one.

He is not capable of insulting my intelligence.

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#80 Ducey
April 03 2013, 11:30AM
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DSF wrote:

6'3" 210 LBs. RH

35GP 2G 3A 5P

54% on the draw.

Good pick up.

Is Smithson any better than Adam Hall who could have been brought in on waivers?

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#81 Sox and Oil
April 03 2013, 11:30AM
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I do like him then,

We all know Belanger issues.

Also this pushes Lander back down to the A to develop and help the team for a playoff push.

Now to make room hopefully they can find a nice loving home for Jonesy. And Belanger and peckham and Khabbi and ...

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#82 Lochenzo
April 03 2013, 11:30AM
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My wish came true! A depth centre. Not sure why Tambi loves dealing 4th round picks. Coulda had Jeff Halpern for free last week. Much better than doing nothing tho. Maybe we can recoup a 4th round pick by dealing Peckham.

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#83 Kent Wilson
April 03 2013, 11:33AM
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Let's keep the name calling down to a minimum gents.

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#84 Mike Krushelnyski
April 03 2013, 11:34AM
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DSF wrote:

Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 27s

Of Jerred Smithson's two goals this year, one was on an empty net.

Still more than Belanger

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#85 JeffG
April 03 2013, 11:35AM
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DSF wrote:

Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 27s

Of Jerred Smithson's two goals this year, one was on an empty net.

Still beats Belanger. (as sorry as that is...lol)

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#86 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:37AM
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Belanger on waivers.

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#87 Walter Sobchak
April 03 2013, 11:39AM
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DSF wrote:

Belanger on waivers.

You know the length of Smithson's deal?

Sounds like a temporary fill in to me.

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#88 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:40AM
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Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 2m

New #Oilers C Jerred Smithson has won at least 54% of faceoffs in each of last 4 years. More here: http://bit.ly/16nDLo7 #TSN #TradeCentre

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#89 Fresh Mess
April 03 2013, 11:40AM
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DSF wrote:

Belanger on waivers.

Is that confirmed or speculation?

I would also like to see Eager back on waivers now.

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#90 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:42AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You know the length of Smithson's deal?

Sounds like a temporary fill in to me.

He's UFA at the end of the season.

Salary is only $800K

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#91 Walter Sobchak
April 03 2013, 11:43AM
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http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/03/15/jerred-smithson-anything-but-the-florida-panthers-secret-weapon/

Not good folks, he's got to be for the AHL?

A little blurb

Jarred Smithson, though, is at the bottom of the list. His minus-19.38 Corsi per 60 minutes is the ugliest number I’ve seen so far in the NHL, especially given how easy the minutes he plays. He doesn’t do too much in Florida.

Given the way he’s aged, from the outside it’s almost as if he’s given a roster spot based off nothing but reputation and size. But maybe there’s a specialist role he plays, other than offensive anchor.

I looked up Florida’s time on ice stats and saw that Smithson plays 10:11 of ice-time a night—nearly 2 minutes of time on the penalty kill.

I wanted to see how the Panthers did when he was killing penalties. It’s quite shocking, actually: the number of shots, and the number of goals he’s on the ice for per 60 minutes compares very well with the rest of Panthers penalty killers:

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#92 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:43AM
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Josh Rimer ‏@JoshRimerHockey 5m

Newest Oiler Jerred Smithson just found out he was traded while on way to have his wife induced w their first child! #TradeTracker

You have to wonder if Tambellini knew about this before pulling the trigger.

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#93 PapaMike
April 03 2013, 11:44AM
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DSF wrote:

Belanger on waivers.

What site do you see this on?

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#94 Quicksilver ballet
April 03 2013, 11:45AM
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Seems fitting the word of the day is moron. Hopefully this deal means Whitney has a destination now. Perhaps a couple more 2nd rounders.

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#95 DSF
April 03 2013, 11:46AM
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@PapaMike

Not sure if it's credible:

Gary Surette ‏@gsurette 19m

@mc79hockey Smyth to play with Horc and Yak. Belanger waived.

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#96 Mike Krushelnyski
April 03 2013, 11:52AM
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I hate to say a 4th round pick is an overpay, but that's what it takes to get a pending UFA with 5 points and a baby on the way? We're renting him for probably 10 games. Didn't we call up Lander to play 4C anyways?

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#97 PapaMike
April 03 2013, 11:53AM
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DSF wrote:

Not sure if it's credible:

Gary Surette ‏@gsurette 19m

@mc79hockey Smyth to play with Horc and Yak. Belanger waived.

Ok. I was unsure of the rules if a player can be waived when on the IR

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#98 Walter Sobchak
April 03 2013, 11:54AM
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The Oilers will have to move someone off there roster.

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#99 Fresh Mess
April 03 2013, 12:02PM
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Why do the Oilers keep trading away draft picks for lesser players than are available for free on waivers?

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#100 Walter Sobchak
April 03 2013, 12:04PM
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That's it!!! Jokkien to the Pens for a conditional pick!!

Fire this BS GM and the scouting staff....Brutal!

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