This is a big trade deadline for Steve Tambellini and the Edmonton Oilers. The biggest prize available is within their grasp, and in this case "it’s an honor just to be nominated" isn’t good enough.
This appears to be a somewhat unique trade deadline, with NHL general managers willing to do "hockey trades" as opposed to rentals and waiver deals. Colorado and St. Louis made a blockbuster trade leading up to the deadline and Dallas and Pittsburgh did the same.
Is there a window for Steve Tambellini and Dean Lombardi to do the same? Maybe. Here’s my list of 10 "for the Oilers" this weekend. Not all will be available, and some play for teams that don’t plan to offload anyone. Still, there’s value here and if available one hopes ST is on the phone.
- D Zach Bogosian: I know Jim Matheson has an article up on the EJ, but I’m not stealing from him. ON readers will remember that we discussed this player a couple of weeks ago (here). This is a young D with size and some crust PLUS he’s being used in more of a defensive role in Atlanta. There have been rumors about his unhappiness in Georgia and if there’s a hint of an opportunity then that’s the guy to target. Ideal acquisition for the Oilers. Edmonton has a spot on their PP to make the young man happy and he’s that stud on the blue the club needs badly.
- L Nikolai Kulemin: Possibly the Leafs best player. He’s responsible, skilled and isn’t a wallflower. 6.01, 225 and plays hard all the time. Burke is unlikely to give up this player easily, but you have to give in order to get and the Leafs are known to be interested in Dustin Penner and have knocked on the door in regard to Andrew Cogliano in the past.
- C Braydon Schenn: If the Oilers deal Hemsky, then surely Steve Tambellini will have had the courage of his convictions and the steel of his words over the last couple of weeks. If you’re going to make the roster younger, then potential is the watch word and no other prospect available (that I’ve read about) has the potential of Schenn. A kid line of Schenn-Hall-Eberle is something to get excited about for 11-12.
- C Kyle Turris: He’s still a kid and is showing progress. Turris has a nice 5×5/60 total (2.26, 17th overall among NHL centermen) and above 50% on the dot. Still a ways to go, but he has draft pedigree and might come at a good price at the deadline.
- D Michael Del Zotto: Good size with plus speed and offensive ability. He’s struggled this season but that’s the only reason he might be available. Can make big hits and is an expert outlet passer. Rangers gave the Oilers a big lift during the 91-94 rebuild, maybe they’ll do it again.
- C Stephen Weiss: I know he’s not an impact center, but he’s an experienced player with some nice secondary numbers. He’s in the leagues top 15 centers for relCorsi and helps offensively. I know his skills are duplicated on the roster but this gives the team more experience at center. Plus he’s 54% in the faceoff dot and is facing the toughest competition according to behind the net.
- C Brian Boyle: He’s 6.07, 252. He’s a natural center and he’s having a breakout season. He’d come at a high cost but the Oilers need a guy like him. Can win faceoffs (48% on a team that is collectively poor at the discipline) and he’s making a little more than 500k.
- F Andreas Nodl: He has size and a nice range of skills. Lacks natural offensive talent but he’s playing tough competition and flourishing. Some of it might be because of his linemates and the quality of the team he’s playing for, but he’s at the very least worth checking out.
- D Mark Fayne: I don’t know a lot about him but the guy is huge and is posting good numbers as a rookie. Maybe the best player nobody knows about in the entire league.
- D Sami Lepisto: Young veteran who has good puck skills. Doesn’t play the tough opposition with PHX but he plays a lot and is effective. He hasn’t posted big numbers in the NHL but he isn’t on the PP a lot either. 2 minutes a night on the PK.