Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers stand pat on deadline day, team sets groundwork for future deals

On a day where the Edmonton Oilers could’ve moved assets like Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson, Alex Petrovic and Matt Benning, just to name a few, the team opted to instead stand pat.

Interim GM Keith Gretzky made it clear during his post-deadline press conference that the team did, however, set groundwork for moves down the road.

“There was conversation on a few things that would have helped us,” Gretzky told reporters an hour after the NHL’s trade deadline passed.

“If it didn’t happen today, maybe it’s down the road in the summer time. We laid some groundwork for the salary cap and hopefully we can re-visit it later.”

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It’s a clear insinuation that there is much work to be done to this organization — we all know that given the contracts held by Milan Lucic and Kris Russell. Lucic, due $6-million for another four years and Russell, due $4-million for another two, are making much more money than their production is giving.

Both deals won’t be easy to make not only because of the contracts, but the fact that both players carry modified no-trade clauses.

Ottawa, for example, is a team that will struggle to even reach the salary floor. Could there be a chance to convince Russell and or Lucic to waive their clauses to head there?

The Blue Jackets are another team that could be in need of some help reaching the floor next season. They will have big ticket UFA’s in the form of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Sergei Bobrovsky as they enter an offseason with nearly $50-million in cap space.

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As a GM of a team on the outside looking in of a playoff berth, Gretzky said he didn’t want to trade players just to say they made a move on deadline day.

“We think that with the players we have, we can still win some games here,” he said.

“We’ve played well lately.. we’re still in the hunt. I talked to a couple players and told them ‘I’m not going to move you just to make a move.'”

He discussed options like Chiasson and Kassian with teams, however, Gretzky said they couldn’t find a deal that worked adding he wasn’t ready to trade players away for futures. Instead, he wanted to hold onto players like the aforementioned two for a playoff push.

Gretzky made it sounds as if the desire was to attain assets that would not only help Edmonton today in their playoff hunt, but also assets that would help them in the near future.

Now sitting eight points out of the final wild card spot heading into Monday’s games, the Oilers will need many hot hands should the team want to make the playoffs.

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Follow me on Twitter: @zjlaing

  • madjam

    Disappointed Oilers did nothing to aid this years club or even something to aid the situation going into next year . Expected KG would do nothing , and that is what he and organization did in the end . Not to concerned about cap going into next year , as they can open up a lot if they were to deal someone like 6M Hopkins . Lucic is a sore thumb and difficult to move even at half price .

  • Kevwan

    I would like to have seen Chaisson and either Petrovic or Benning moved for 2020 picks , Those picks could be used at next years TDL if the team is contending.

    Then again no one knows what Gretzky had for offers so hard to complain.

    As for players that got traded – i thought Brassard was a steal for the Av’s. I wouldn’t have minded Gretzky getting him.

  • Rhino

    Anyone remember a little less than 2 years ago, when the up and coming oilers knocked a declining Sharks team out of the opening round? What the fork has happened??

  • Battman

    Reading comments on here lately has been discouraging. So much negativity. So KG didn’t make any moves. Positive side? We didn’t lose anything. Just because the deadline has passed doesn’t mean deals Can’t be made. Everyone needs to cool their jets, realize the team has been playing better finally, and perhaps the players have realized in the past week that they still need to try even with Connor. I’ve maintained for some time that the team won’t get anywhere until they stop depending on Connor so much. A week or so without him has taught the team how to play again

    • Lowe enuf

      Negativity???? Do you suppose missing the playoffs 12 times in 13 years while fleecing the fans has even the most die hard fans a little cranky? I am proud of the fans finally turning on this Management group. They deserve all the chit the fans can heap on them. The last thing the Oilers needed to do was go slow and sit on their hands. This band aid needs to get torn off fast. This teams has no talent outside the top six. The team must take NMC’s off the table in any future negotiations. No player is worth the risk of being totally locked in to a dead end contract.

      • Battman

        No I get that. The fans have a legitimate right to be angry about paying for ongoing false hope. My point is if all a person is going to be is negative about it then they should re evaluate their choices. Go outside and find something to be positive about. Don’t like paying for a inferior product? Stop buying tickets and merchandise. Take that money and donate it to a charity, spend it on your family/friends, give it to a homeless person. But instead so many people will come here to comment negativity to take any possible enjoyment a person might get out of reading the articles that are posted here.

        • Lowe enuf

          I don’t think most people on here disagree in general with you. I think you need to keep in mind that sites like this are one of the only ways the average fan ( tier two and lower) has to express themselves. Seasons tickets are pretty much corporate and the building sells out. You certainly can’t get anywhere calling in to Bob “the shill” Stauffers show. People need to blow off steam. This team is so poorly run it defies comparison. The sports media in this town has given the Management a free pass for so long they operate without a care for the fan who is paying the bills. Sites like this one allows direct feedback to other fans and the team. Now it is up to Oiler fans to hold Katz’s feet to the fire. It doesn’t take a lot. Stop buying resale tickets. Stop buying merch.