This past week on his wonderful 30 Thoughts, Elliotte
Friedman had a couple of items about the Oilers and the trade market. It’s
becoming increasingly rare to hear anything about what this time might be doing
behind the scenes but it appears that they could find a trade partner in the
We should begin by looking at what Friedman wrote about the
Oilers in Thought number 5.
5. GM Peter Chiarelli would not confirm Eberle’s recent
availability, and similarly dodged two other rumblings sent his way. First was
talk about Justin Schultz and Tampa Bay. The defenceman needs a fresh start,
and it was rumoured the Oilers were scouting Anthony DeAngelo, the 19th overall
pick in 2014. DeAngelo had a few recent healthy scratches at AHL Syracuse. The
contracts do not match, so, if this was a possibility, the Albertans would have
had to take back someone or some salary. The other — and I do believe it to be
true — was interest in Florida’s Brandon Pirri. Unfortunately, he suffered an
ugly ankle injury last weekend and will be out a while. Pirri could be a very
nice fit with Edmonton’s forwards.
It is not a common occurrence to find a plugged in reporter
like Elliotte Friedman mention anything about Peter Chiarelli’s behind the scenes actions, let alone drop two names
that he believes have been linked to the Oilers. That both of those players
belong to the Panthers and Lightning isn’t overly surprising either.
Chiarelli has had success dealing with those two teams when
he was a member of the Bruins and now that he’s in the Western Conference it
might be a little easier to find deals with them now. He has had many key
interactions with both of those clubs, especially earlier in his time with the Bruins
when he was building up to a Championship.
He acquired Recchi and a 2nd rounder from the
Lightning for Lashoff and Karsums in March 2009.
He picked up Seidenberg and Bartkowski from the Panthers in
exchange for Weller, Bitz, and a 2nd round pick in March of 2010.
He picked up Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell from the
Panthers in exchange for Wideman, a 1st rounder, and 3rd round pick in June 2010.
He made two minor league deals with the Panthers and
Lightning on the same day in December 2010.
He traded two 2nd round picks to the Lightning in
exchange for Brett Connelly in March 2015.
Perhaps there’s something to the rumours that he has some
more irons in the fire with the Florida teams now that he’s in the position to
be building a team once again (as opposed to maintaining a winner). I wouldn’t blame
him for wanting to go back to the well now that he no longer has to also
overcome being in the same conference as those clubs in order to complete a
As far as the two players mentioned by Friedman, neither
will likely be the missing piece that takes this club out of the basement, but
there’s still enough to like about them to think they could be additions.
Brandon Pirri is listed is 24 years old, 6 feet tall, and
183 pounds. He He’s listed as a left-shot centre but the reality is that he’s 7th
on the Panthers in total faceoffs taken. He’s in the circle less often than
Jussi Jokinen. Dreams of him playing down the middle for the Oilers might be
premature, and that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that he destroyed
his ankle and will be out weeks.
As far as his underlying metrics, he sort of falls into that
middle-ground on the Panthers. He doesn’t create a lot of offense 5v5, but he’s
dragging along like a Dave Bolland. He’s also similarly placed as far as his
shot attempt numbers. He is right in the middle of the pack. He doesn’t appear
to be a drag on his teammates, although it’s clear the duo of Ekblad and
Campbell is the tide that raises all ships in that harbor.
Anthony (Beverly) DeAngelo is much more interesting name to
me. He’s a right shot defenseman with a history of creating offense. Depending
on what the Lightning are looking for he could be a much needed addition to an
Oiler system that is lacking in RHD.
He’s not a big kid at just 5’11” and 182 pounds, but this is
an era where kids with the right skills can get by on defense without needing
to be hulking giants. Of course, the fear is that if not developed properly
that players like DeAngelo become Justin Schultz 2.0 instead of contributing
and useful small defenders.
In any event, the Oilers should be pretty familiar with
DeAngelo since he was traded to Darnell Nurse’s Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds last
season. During that time he managed a whopping 15-36-51 in just 26 (!) games.
This is his rookie AHL season and he has 5-23-28 in 46 games played, which is
tied for 3rd in AHL rookie D scoring with Jordan Subban.
Considering Edmonton’s deficiencies on defense he’s
certainly a player that makes sense if the Lightning are looking to make a
change to make a deal in advance of the Trade Deadline. They are very tight to
Cap and would need to send back someone like a Coburn if they want to add a
higher ticket player. Not sure how it all gets done, but we shouldn’t be
surprised if on February 29th the newest Oiler player is coming here
with a tan and sand still between his toes.