One-way tickets?

Watching the Edmonton Oilers file out of Kinsmen Arena on their way to the airport after this morning’s skate, I couldn’t help but wonder which players wouldn’t be making the return flight from a four-game road trip.

Uh, Robert Nilsson? You didn’t send out any dry cleaning, did you? And Erik Cole? How are those talks about a contract extension going with GM Steve Tambellini? I thought so.

With the NHL trade deadline looming Wednesday, most players will tell you they don’t think about it too much. I’ve always thought that’s sort of like a frat house senior saying he doesn’t think about beer and chicks. What’s wrong with you, boy?

Of course players think about the trade deadline. Like, if you could end up in Carolina, where you won’t have to wait until April 11 to book tee times, or Florida, where hockey is Page 5 until the Stanley Cup final, you’d be thinking about it, too. No?

I mean, if Dan LaCouture can be traded for Sven Butenschon, anybody can be traded, right?

What, me worry?

“You can’t focus on it,” said Nilsson, whose value right now makes him nothing more than a throw-in or sweetener as part of any deal. “If there was something you could do about, then you’d focus on it. But there’s nothing you can do. You just have to play your game.”

Or you can sit in the press box and wait — although, with captain Ethan Moreau out with an eye injury (more on that later), Nilsson could be back in the line-up against Nashville Tuesday.

“You hear things from guys on different teams and stuff like that,” admitted Cole. “You play with enough guys over the course of your career, there’s guys around the league you’re friends with. The way text messaging is, you get a lot of those. You’ve got to be prepared for whatever happens.”

While I was tempted to ask Cole if he’d received any messages from Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina inquiring about house rentals in Edmonton or notes like, “Just thought I’d drop a line to see how you’re doing” from Jim Rutherford, I resisted the urge.

Then, there’s Sheldon Souray, who isn’t going anywhere. Not a chance. No way. Right?

“Anybody who has been in the league for a few years has been involved in a rumour,” Souray said. “Guys watch. I don’t think guys are looking at the deadline as wanting something to happen. You just have to go about your business. Guys get paid to play, not make personnel decisions.”

Fingers crossed

We keep getting bits and pieces of positive news about the state of Moreau’s right eye, damaged by Antti Miettinen’s high-stick in the final seconds of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Minnesota.

Moreau’s home resting after spending Saturday night in the hospital. And, while there’s no iron-clad prognosis, yet, and specialists will monitor Moreau closely in coming days, it appears, thankfully, we’re not looking at a repeat of a Bryan Berard-type situation.

“He saw the doctor again today and everything went well,” said coach Craig MacTavish. “All the news so far has been really positive. It’s hard to completely anticipate and project how it’s going to go, but everything to this point has really gone well.

“Everything looks to be pointing to a complete and full recovery, so far. How long that is, depends on the next few days. There’s an obstacle every couple of days to get over. So far, he’s doing well.”

Around the rink

Ales Hemsky didn’t skate today after taking a shot in the foot against Minnesota. He’ll be ready to go in Nashville.

Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe didn’t accompany the team to Tennessee. They’re flying directly to Ottawa and will meet the team there.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

  • Deep Oil

    swany wrote:

    If the rumours are true that they WON’T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either. The only players I see beeing avalible are Penner, nilsson, and Prospects so nothing will happen deadline day. The team we have is the team we will have after TD

    It is against league rules to pay another team to take your players – Penner is here not going anywhere and I can still here lowe on stauffer's show calling out Burke for being a moron. Mirror Mirror on the wall – please forgive me for getting bent over and signing theses sausages and wasting $15mm this year, next year
    and so on….. why oh why do true super stars avoid our city – is it me, is it our boring coach and his system dumbing creative scoring thinking….. at least we are sold out for now – the money is still coming in…. whew

  • Robin B

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I mean, if Dan LaCouture can be traded for Sven Butenschon, anybody can be traded, right?
    And what a shocking blockbuster that was

    It did provide, however, one or the more memorable moments on trade deadline day.
    We were in Tampa Bay when LaCouture got word he was being traded. It was just before the morning skate. Danny was brought out to do interviews.
    He was always an emotional kid, and when the questions were done, we wished him good luck. Before he went back into the dressing room, he said, "Say goodbye to Mosser (Joey Moss) for me" and a big tear rolled down his cheek.
    It was a pretty honest moment.

  • Rob

    Fiveandagame wrote:

    Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe didn’t accompany the team to Tennessee. They’re flying directly to Ottawa and will meet the team there.

    Egads. Lowe accompanying Tambo to Ottawa? The ONLY hope Oiler fans have is that Lowe fades to black. He has pulled too many boners at the trade deadline and draft.
    That's why the talent pool is 1" inch deep.

  • Fiveandagame

    I always like it when we get new Oilers. They always come in with such high expectations, all shiny and new…. then we get our hands on em and chase them out of town… So much fun. It's like dating in high school.

  • Dan from Wainwright

    @ Matt N:
    Matt N wrote:

    I am feeling more and more like the Oil are going to keep Cole in a misguided push for the playoffs, then watch him walk for free.

    Likewise. I have that same feeling. But those that would argue we don't trade him really must have their hearts set on that first playoff round with the inevitable exit in 6 games.

    Any word on whether or not MacT is on the trade block (I wish it were possible).

  • Harlie Chuddy

    @ Monday Guy:

    this guy who knows this girl who knows her dad's best friend who works at a deli where this UPS guy who drops off packages knows a lady who knows Cole's wife's sister doesn't know if contract talks have actually happened. Then…of course…neither did this.

  • Monday Guy

    swany wrote:

    If the rumours are true that they WON’T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either.

    I think most would agree…
    the players we are willing to deal, wont bring the returns we want.

  • swany

    If the rumours are true that they WON'T trade away the future I doubt any picks will be moved either. The only players I see beeing avalible are Penner, nilsson, and Prospects so nothing will happen deadline day. The team we have is the team we will have after TD

  • Harlie Chuddy

    Hi Robin…thanks for the article/updates. In regards to Klowe and Tembellini are they flying out today or on Thursday? ie – sticking around town to man the phones over the trade deadline or doing it all in a hotel room in Ottawa? Just wondering..