Darren Dreger of TSN had Edmonton Oilers fans buzzing today through the attention-getter that is his Twitter account with the proclamation: "Oilers pushing trade hard. Moreau and others, but deals unlikely unless Edmonton sweetens the pot."
And fans should be talking because Dreger is as connected as it gets when it comes to who’s doing what in the NHL’s executive suites, and he’s bang on with his assessment of the push to move the Oilers captain.
As a follow up to what Dreger stirred the pot with today, the indication I’m getting is that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the team at the front of the line when it comes to talks with the Oilers about Moreau.
The name I’m hearing that might fit in a deal for Moreau, and a name that came up here in the last couple of days in the comments section, is that of defenceman Garnet Exelby.
SWEETEN THE DEAL
As Dreger said, the Oilers are going to have to "sweeten the pot" because there’s really no reason for the Maple Leafs to take Moreau for Exelby straight up. What the Maple Leafs are likely looking for is a draft pick as part of the deal because that’s a commodity GM Brian Burke wants and needs.
Moreau, 33, has one more season after this one at a salary of $1.750 million and his cap hit is $2 million. Exelby, 28, is making $1.725 million this season with a cap hit of $1.392 million. He’s an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Would Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini be "sweetening the pot" enough if he were to send, say, a third-round pick to Toronto with Moreau while taking a fourth-rounder back from Burke as part of a deal for Exelby?
Another scenario could see the Maple Leafs take Moreau and a pick for Exelby, giving them an extra asset for helping Tambellini rid himself of an extra year of salary.
In any case, the teams are talking, so we’ll have to keep an eye on this one.
I’m told, as Jason Gregor indicated here several days ago, Anaheim is one of the other teams the Oilers are talking to about Moreau, but I have no indication on the level of interest by the Ducks.
— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.