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.
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.
WHAT CAN BOSTON OFFER?
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).
- 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.
WHAT ABOUT DAN DEKYSER?
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.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
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.