TELEGRAPHING WHAT’S NEXT

Everybody paying attention knows I keep score and, because of that quirk, they know I hold Bob Stauffer in high regard when it comes to his ability to telegraph what’s going to happen with the Edmonton Oilers.

Truth be told, Stauffer should probably be sending me a cheque, or at least a gift certificate, for all the times I’ve pumped his tires around here, going on and on like a fartcatcher about his ability to call the shots as he laps the rest of the media pack in Edmonton.

Bombastic Bob has a buzz going again with his latest hint/tidbit/suggestion foreshadowing the Oilers could have a trade in the works when the lockout is over, an item that Jonathan Willis wrote about today.

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Stauffer had agent Brian Lawton on Oilers Now on 630 CHED today. If you want the full podcast of the segment, you kind find it here. It’s probably worth a listen to get the complete context of the interview (not to mention what Lawton actually said).

POISED TO MAKE A DEAL?

Lawton’s worked both sides of the agent/management street in the NHL, and as far as I know he’s not being paid by Daryl Katz. So, those who believe everything Stauffer says is tainted by the fact he’s on the Oilers payroll — he’s certainly towed the company line on the arena debate but there’s no denying his track record on player moves — might put more weight in Lawton’s words.

That said, it wasn’t Lawton’s answers — even though they seem to support Stauffer’s contention GM Steve Tambellini is now in a situation after six years out of the playoffs to make a trade from a position of strength – that caught my ear, it was one of Stauffer’s questions.

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Essentially, might all that young talent put Tambellini in the position to acquire needed pieces by way of a trade? Perhaps a proven defenseman or a physical forward who can play in coach Ralph Krueger’s top nine? I think so.

The real tell for me, at least if I’ve come to read Stauffer right over the years, was how he made specific mention of players with no-movement clauses and how they might now consider Edmonton a destination they’d approve. It was about as subtle as a slap in the mouth.

THE CALLED SHOT

"There’s one more group of players out there in my mind that maybe starts considering Edmonton that always kind of dismissed them before – that’s guys with no movement clauses that may be a casualty of a new CBA," Stauffer suggested to Lawton.

"I’m wondering if you think the landscape has changed enough that those players who would once be completely, "I’m not going to Edmonton. What do you mean you can facilitate a trade with Edmonton?"

"I’m wondering if players like that now, if you think, might sit there and go, "You know, those guys could turn it around pretty quickly if they got the right couple of pieces in place."

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Just a hunch, but I’m guessing that Stauffer already had the answer when he asked Lawton the question today. So, a trade involving a noteworthy player with a no-movement clause, then? Duly noted.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.