October 29 2015 09:00AM
One of the odder moves the Edmonton Oilers made this summer was the trade with the Ottawa Senators that brought Eric Gryba to town.
That’s not to say Gryba isn’t a useful NHL defenceman; he certainly is, particularly in the right circumstances. The trouble is that he was almost the exact wrong kind of depth defenceman to add for the Oilers.
October 29 2015 07:00AM
At some point, people do need to move on. Jeff Petry used to be an Oiler, he isn’t now, and that’s a shame for fans of Edmonton but there’s no way to change it.
However, I’ve seen lots of speculation that Petry’s departure was precipitated by his refusal to sign a long-term deal with the team. We can put that speculation to rest. According to the player and according to the general manager at the time, it was the Oilers who didn’t want Petry.
October 28 2015 02:00PM
It isn’t easy to land a really good defenceman in trade.
One very rarely sees the great ones moved unless there are internal factors (usually financial and/or trade request) that force a deal. It’s why the “trade Taylor Hall for Oliver Ekman-Larsson” talk is as nutty in its way as the “get Shea Weber” talk was a few years back. When they are moved, it isn’t usually a one-for-one deal; instead we see packages, like the ones the Oilers surrendered for Chris Pronger and the one they got back for him.
Occasionally, though, these players are available while there is still some question of whether or not they’re great. They still cost a bunch, but it happens. And that takes us to the question in the title.
October 27 2015 07:00AM
Tampa Bay is in a bit of a salary cap bind. With Steven Stamkos coming up on free agency and a number of other players (including Nikita Kucherov) entering restricted free agency the club has just $1.63 million in available cap space. We’ll probably see some sort of cap increase next year, but even so this is going to be tight.
So it’s not a surprise to hear rumours that the Lightning are trying to ship out salary. Nor is it surprising that those rumours tend to involve the team’s defence.
October 24 2015 02:31PM
On Friday night, Anders Nilsson took a sterling record into a game against the Washington Capitals. He’d been perfect in the preseason and the Oilers’ best player in both of his regular season starts, and was steadily playing his way into competition with Cam Talbot.
Then he allowed six goals on 17 shots and became the first pulled goaltender of Todd McLellan’s tenure as coach.