The Edmonton Oilers have been connected to the Boston Bruins many times since 1979. Some very famous playoff series, a few trades of note and the two clubs have some executives in common over the years, too. This week, the two teams have been associated with trade talks involving names like Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky. 

Is there a match? What could Boston offer?

Watching the Bruins last night, it’s pretty obvious they need some blueline help. Their top 4D is solid, led by state of the art defender Zdeno Chara and including veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference and the young and talented Dougie Hamilton. 

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Whitney could slide right into the 5-6 role and help on special teams. Although he’s not playing at pre-surgery levels, his competition for that job (Aaron Johnson, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski) isn’t terribly stout and Whitney’s a good bet to play in front of them.

If the Oilers deal Whitney (and they’re playing well with Whitney playing big minutes), Boston could certainly use his talents.


Edmonton has a few things to gain in dealing Whitney. They could finally carry the normal 7 defensemen, and allow Theo Peckham out of the doghouse. They could also shave a few dollars off the payroll, always a nice item for the owner. And of course, there’s the asset they get in return. That might be a draft pick, a prospect (the Oilers have a lot of graduating prospects, suspect they’d prefer one in Europe, college or junior).

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  • D Matt Barkowski: AHL defender with average size, he was reportedly part of the package for Iginla. He wouldn’t be a top 6 option in Edmonton any time soon (unless I’m missing something) and aside from being LH I don’t think he has a lot of appeal for the Oilers.
  • R Jordan Caron: AHL winger, 6.03, 204, spent much of the 2010-11 season with the Bruins and is 81, 10-14-24 in his career with Boston. Caron’s size and skill set make him an interesting possibility for next season, I could see him being a contender for bottom 6F duties in the fall. Someone to follow if the trade is made.
  • G Niklas Svedberg: Tall, stringbean goalie from Sweden has been outstanding in Providence, and frankly I think the Bruins are more likely to make their current NHL backup (Anton Khudobin) available before this fellow. Currently boasts a .923SP and should be considered an outstanding prospect based on his current season.


Trading Whitney for an asset who doesn’t need to be added to the big league roster would allow the Oilers to add Dan DeKeyser to their roster without having to move anyone/risk waivers. DeKeyser is going to make his decision sometime in the next 24 hours (based on reports) so it’s a consideration. The Oilers have made a presentation, and now they’re waiting along with Detroit (considered the favorite) and a few other clubs. 


Ryan Whitney can help the Boston Bruins, and I think there are players in Providence that could make the Oilers system stronger. There’s also a certain logic in trading Whitney for a draft pick, and Boston may be in acquisition mode after the events last night.

There’s also a growing feeling that the best destination for Ryan Whitney is Edmonton. If that’s the case, the Oilers at the deadline could be quiet for the first time in years.


    • Lowetide

      Jon, how do you think the Bruins would handle Whitney? Mondo PP minutes, but what about 5×5? If they’re going to deal for him, they must have a plan. Boychuk?

    • northof51

      All the Whitney love was making me nauseous , so thanks for weighing in JW.

      Whitney was OK against CBJ, but was absolutely terrible the game before against STL. And don’t forget that he sat out in Nashville after one of his worst games this season at home vs. STL. So I would say that “improving” is a very relative term when used to describe Whitney.

      Potter or Petry can play the PP in Whitney’s absence. We have to get rid of him ASAP!

      • northof51

        For some time now I’ve been stating that COURAGE and RISK TAKING are key components of good management, and that it takes courage to move players when they are playing well, at or near the top of their game.

        All year we’ve been praying that Hemsky and Whitney would improve enough to bring value at the deadline. DON’T F83K this UP!

        Move them now. The market is there for them and they are as healthy as they will ever be!

        I’ve been one of the patient ones when it comes to the rebuild….but this opportunity may NEVER come again!

        We could actually get more for Hemsky/Whitney than Calgary got for Iginla. JUST DO IT BABY!

        • northof51

          Let me clarify that I do not think Potter is the answer. I do however think that the Oilers should move Whitney to get SOMETHING in return. They will need to make improvements at D, and that is obvious. Sticking with our current crew is clearly not the answer.

          Also, Whitney has 4 times as much time on the PP compared to Potter, and has 5 times the points. Total point production is not the only measure of a player. Whitney has been beyond terrible – we get dominated when he is on the ice (save for for a handful of games this year).

          • Eddie Shore

            The thing is trading Ryan Whitney is not going to get you a player that will step into the lineup today. He’s a pending UFA. I would rather keep him and battle for eighth than trade him for magic beans. To me, that is more valuable to the core group of players than adding another body for next years development camp.

  • outdoorzguy

    I thought maybe we could unload Tambellini and Lowe on them (because these are the two idiots we really need to trade), but Chiarelli is much smarter than the idiots combined to make that deal!!

  • Eddie Shore

    Just the thought of resigning Whitney makes my stomach turn. Thought were trying to get better, not stay the same. As for whether trading him or not… I’d keep him for the year and let him walk for nothing. The depth on the blue line this year gives Krueger somthing to tinker with and we need to stay close to the race just for the experience. This is an important time. And even if we get a second for him, it won’t be as important of a piece as this playoff race will be

  • 106 and 106

    There’s an Edmonton Oiler defensemen that other teams want, and he’s been a black-hole for scoring chances against, and only going to falter with ankle age. Our PP only has one D-man, so it’s no big deal with Schultz around. Get the deal done, Lambellini.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    To even include the names Hemsky and Paajarvi without something tangible coming back the other way is what put us into this mess. All those prospects are just that, prospects. No gaurantee they’ll even be a regular NHL player. Whitney and Tuebert/Plante for the Bruins first rounder maybe.

    Puck Boston, if a Hemsky and Paajarvi package is available, they should be going after Dale Tallon for Erik Gudbranson, or a more desireable target like that. Chiarelli is screwed already, he’s waited too long to better his club.

    • Bucknuck

      I agree with this 100%. If you want to trade away NHL players at this point in the “rebuild” (Gads I am hating that word), then you better get NHL players in return.

      Any trade that involved MPS better have a big skilled forward coming back. no exceptions.

  • northof51

    Same principle applies to Habby….He’s at the peak of his trade value….move him now!

    Hind sight is 20/20, but i’m wishing we would have dept him on the bench after the shutout through to the trade dealine.

    Probably won’t make much difference in the end, question now is do you play him once more before the deadline and risk injury???

    • Lowetide

      It’s an interesting question. If you sign Smid and Whitney the club’s main area of need (defense) remains the same. Smid-N Schultz-Whitney left side, right side Petry, J Schultz and ???

      If the club gets DeKeyser something has to give. Sign Whitney, trade Nick Schultz?

  • outdoorzguy

    We don’t have anything worth trading that would actually get us anything in return…thanks to our moronic management for getting us into that position.