Gilbert rumours: the buzz and the lowdown

Edmonton Oilers v New York Islanders

Is Tom Gilbert being fitted for a Columbus Blue Jacket? The answer, despite buzz being generated today by an item on the website The Fourth Period, is no better than "maybe."

First I’ll pass along the buzz, Then, you’ll get the lowdown. The Fourth Period reported the following today:

 

"Could the two teams sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference find a way to help each other before the March 3 trade deadline?

 

It appears they’re trying.  According to sources, the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets have been scouting each other lately and are involved in trade discussions.

The Blue Jackets had a scout attending last night’s Oilers game in Anaheim, while Oilers director of pro scout Morey Gare was in Columbus yesterday.

It’s believed the Blue Jackets are interested in Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert, though it’s uncertain if Edmonton is willing to move him. The Oilers, meanwhile, are looking to acquire a top-six forward.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson, who used to work for the Oilers prior to joining Columbus, has indicated that he won’t part with R.J. Umberger, though the team may be willing to deal Kristian Huselius."

 

Bottom line? The possibility of a trade between the Oilers and Blue Jackets does exist, as Howson suggested to Jason Gregor and I last week on Gregor’s show on TEAM 1260, but there’s nothing on the table right now.

THE LOWDOWN

While it’s true Gare was in Columbus the other night and the Blue Jackets had pro scout Bob Strumm keeping tabs in Anaheim Wednesday, the teams aren’t actively involved in trade discussions at this point, and that’s straight from Howson himself. We talked today.

Howson did have some very general discussions with Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe over a week ago, but nothing specific, not even the loose framework of a possible deal, was talked about. In addition to that, Howson hasn’t even talked to Oilers GM Steve Tambellini.

That doesn’t mean Howson won’t catch up with Lowe and Tambellini before the March 3 trade deadline to explore possibilities, but it’s premature in the extreme to assume there’s anything on the front burner.

As an aside, while the assumption is Gilbert is the player on Howson’s radar, and there’s no question there’s interest there, No. 77 might not be the only possibility. What about Denis Grebeshkov?

Gilbert is a $4-million cap hit and has four years remaining on his contract after this season. Grebeshkov on a one-year deal worth $3.15 million and is a restricted free agent July 1.

In any case, don’t expect any developments between the Oilers and Blue Jackets before tomorrow’s roster freeze going into the Olympic break.

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