A quiet trade deadline for the Oilers? (Update: Oilers make a small trade)

According to the guy who is arguably the most plugged-in member of the Edmonton media, the Edmonton Oilers very well might do nothing on the trade front tomorrow.

Stauffer’s Take

630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer made the comments on Twitter this morning.

What it means

The Oilers are in a difficult position: in the playoff hunt, but on the outside looking in right now. Not long ago, the speculation was that the team would be wise to move its pending unrestricted free agents; Stauffer’s comments suggest that the only players likely to be moved are ones the Oilers have decided they can replace internally.

Ryan Jones fits the bill because the Oilers have Teemu Hartikainen waiting in the minors. With a logjam on the wings, the only forwards the Oilers could demote without risking waivers were Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi, and Paajarvi’s strong play eliminated him from consideration. Hartikainen and Jones fill similar niches, and it’s probably fair to wonder whether the Oilers plans for next season include Jones.

Theo Peckham fits the bill because he hasn’t played much at all. With Mark Fistric on the roster, and Peckham’s difficulties out of training camp getting ice-time has been a real challenge – when Peckham’s played he has actually been pretty good, but there’s little reason to believe he’s a superior player to Fistric (who also hasn’t played all that much lately, thanks to Ryan Whitney). Peckham’s the team’s fifth-best left-side defenceman, so the question is less whether the Oilers are interested in moving him and more whether there’s another team out there interested in acquiring him.

It’s a cautious approach for the team, one that avoids sacrificing long-term assets for the sake of a playoff push that still has less than a 50% chance of working out. It also avoids gaining long-term assets at the price of pending free agents – like Whitney and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin – who are seen as useful in the here-and-now.

Update: A minor trade

The Oilers have made a small deal, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Dane Byers was originally signed in the summer to a two-way deal, but has been disappointing in Oklahoma – he plays physical hockey but his scoring touch has completely evaporated. Stafford is also on a two-way deal that expires this year, but adds a competent right-side defenceman with some offence to the system (something the Barons have missed since the loss of Brett Clark).

The NHL ramifications of the deal are pretty much non-existent, but this should make the Barons a better team.

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  • book¡e

    “the guy who is arguably the most plugged-in member of the Edmonton media”

    Also known as the guy who has gotten pretty much everything wrong regarding the Oilers over the past two years.

    People think the Oilers ‘feed’ Bob stuff because he works for him, but in my recall, his stats of Right vs Wrong predictions is poorer than maggie the monkey. I don’t think management ever talk to Bob Stauffer.

      • book¡e

        Stauffer gets some things right and others completly wrong as do you or I. He gets fed some information and some misinformation I suspect. I am certain that the Oilers use him to get messages out when they want.

        I have no problems at all with using him as a source as you did here to start a conversation, but some bloggers/posters take everything he says as if it has already happened. If Bob MacKenzie makes a call, I am more inclined to believe it is accurate than if Bob Staffer does.

  • A-Mc

    In my opinion, there is 1 trade the Oilers HAVE TO make…

    They need to move Belanger out for.. atleast a bag of pucks.

    Oilers FACTS: With Belanger playing, the team plays poorly and loses. With Belanger on IR, the Team wins more often and plays with more drive and conviction.

    Belanger has to go.