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

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#101 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ cough cough ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Avatar
#102 Fresh Mess
April 03 2013, 12:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Are the Oilers really going to waste this seller's market and not get valuable assets for pending UFA's of limited use to the current roster?

Avatar
#103 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Fresh Mess wrote:

Are the Oilers really going to waste this seller's market and not get valuable assets for pending UFA's of limited use to the current roster?

z z z z zz z z ..... yes.......z zz z z z XXX zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Avatar
#104 DC
April 03 2013, 12:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Fresh Mess wrote:

Are the Oilers really going to waste this seller's market and not get valuable assets for pending UFA's of limited use to the current roster?

I hope so. How many draft picks do we want to wait for. Keep them as our rentals for the stretch run and lets the core learn what it takes.

Avatar
#105 Fresh Mess
April 03 2013, 12:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

You don't have to wait for draft picks. You can also trade them for other assets. They are like liquid currency.

Avatar
#106 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Fresh Mess wrote:

You don't have to wait for draft picks. You can also trade them for other assets. They are like liquid currency.

Correct!

Dallas picks up Jagr for nothing 3 months ago and dumps him at the deadline for 2 prospects and a draft pick.

It's really just about upgrading....whether it's your roster or your picks. It's all valuable....point is, this is the time of the year to maximize your return if you're a seller.

The non activity leads me to beleive that the Oilers are intent on keeping Hemsky and re-signing Whitney in the summer.

Avatar
#107 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Bishop to Tampa Bay

Avatar
#108 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Bishop to Tampa Bay

I feel sorry for Bishop, Tampa is like Philly....a black hole for goaltenders.....goalies are really only as good as the team system/defense in front of them.

Avatar
#109 Fresh Mess
April 03 2013, 12:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Bishop off the market. Oilers not interested in a solid one-two punch in net for the next several years.

Avatar
#110 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 12:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Fresh Mess wrote:

Bishop off the market. Oilers not interested in a solid one-two punch in net for the next several years.

Oilers inquired about Bishop but Tampa Bay overpaid. Conacher and pick.

Avatar
#111 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Smithson, when asked what he can bring to the Oilers mix says "Faceoffs, Penalty Killing, and Energy"

Avatar
#112 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 01:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Gaborik to the Blue Jackets....and so it begins.....let the dominoes fall....

Avatar
#113 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 01:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Oilers and Flyers were runners up in the Bishop deal.....Conacher is now the Senators leading scorer...

Avatar
#114 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
April 03 2013, 01:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

You might want to go for lunch now....Time for DSF to make an appearance....Pomminville to the Wild...

Avatar
#115 dougthelug
April 03 2013, 01:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Oilers inquired about Bishop but Tampa Bay overpaid. Conacher and pick.

Oilers didn't have a 24 point guy that Ottawa wanted, except maybe RNH. Should Oilers have done that deal? I'm sure it could have happened. Everybody wants Tambo to do something, anything. But truth is, nobody wants what the Oil have except what would amount to massive overpays.Also, I fail to see how Whitney for a third or fourth round pick makes the team better.

Avatar
#116 oilerjed
April 03 2013, 01:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Raffi went to San Jose. How long till he is suspended? 5 games max trying to impress new team.

Avatar
#117 PapaMike
April 03 2013, 01:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
oilerjed wrote:

Raffi went to San Jose. How long till he is suspended? 5 games max trying to impress new team.

I'll buy that for a dollar!

Avatar
#118 DSF
April 03 2013, 02:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

You might want to go for lunch now....Time for DSF to make an appearance....Pomminville to the Wild...

Oh c'mon...Pomminville hasn't scored 30 goals since last season.

The guy is a bum :)

Avatar
#119 Oilcruzer
April 03 2013, 05:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Smithson, when asked what he can bring to the Oilers mix says "Faceoffs, Penalty Killing, and Energy"

Woulda been cheaper to give Belanger and Horcoff a case of Red Bull.

Comments are closed for this article.