Hamonic. To many it was a done deal. When people discussed what the Oilers were going to do with their defense this summer; Hamonic was already penciled in.
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Let me start by saying until I hear it from Hamonic's mouth that he doesn't want to be traded, I'm assuming this is all a ploy by Snow to try and increase the asking price.
It's only been a month since the season ended and we've already beaten the usual suspects to death.
- Vatanen would be a good bottom/second pairing option and a top PP option.
- Demers could play top pairing minutes (although others may be more suited) and can be had for only money.
- Barrie might be available
- Trouba might be having contract issues with the Jets
So in the spirit of trying to keep things fresh as the summer moves on, here are a few new names to discuss.
Matt Niskanen (Washington Capitals)
The Capitals are have two very skilled right shot defensemen in Niskanen and Carlson. Niskanen played the 10th most minutes of any defenseman during the regular season, averaging over 24 minutes a game. He averaged over 26 minutes during the playoffs. Of the nine names above him he was second in PK time too.
Like other names I will mention here I don't imagine the Capitals are looking to move him but after another disappointing playoff exit the Caps should be open to almost any option to improve their team.
Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks)
But Sean you might protest, Fowler is a left shot defenseman and the Oilers have too many of those! Well calm down imaginary person.
I think the right shot has gotten a bit blown out of proportion. I think the Oilers need to focus first on getting top defenseman instead of limiting to the much smaller group of skilled right shots.
Two things to consider. First is Andrej Sekera played a large portion of last season on the right side even though he is a left shot. The second point is so did Fowler. With a new coach in the works for Anaheim and another first round exit changes are coming in Anaheim. Vatanen still seems like the most likely candidate to leave but I feel Fowler could be shaken loose as well.
Justin Braun (San Jose Sharks)
What's the best thing about Justin Braun - He plays with Vlasic. What's the worst thing about Braun - He plays with Vlasic. Braun potentially suffers from what I like to call "Fayne Syndrome." In which a defenseman looks very good due to playing with a much more skilled player.
Braun was one of MacLellan's guys and it isn't unusual for coaches to go back to what they know. Braun is 29 and has 4 years left on his deal so take that how you will. Edmonton doesn't have a Vlasic but Braun could be a very good second pairing guy.
Ryan Ellis (Nashville Predators)
Okay seriously instead of acquiring a player can we make a deal for Nashville's scouts? This is a team that was able to trade Seth Jones because they already had four other top guys. Elllis might be a perfect fit as a top 4 right shot. He isn't a #1 guy but would look good playing with another puck mover (Sekera).
I don't think these playoffs can be called disappointing for the Preds (especially since most people expected them to lose to Anaheim) but this is once again a team with an abundance of D who might need some scoring power; something Edmonton can provide.
If we were to insert a couple of these names into the lineup, we could be looking at something like this.
An improvement? Absolutely. Not going to talk about what it would cost to acquire these guys because right now that's irrelevant. It's going to be up to Chiarelli to find ways to make deals to bring guys like this in while not hurting other areas. The players are out there.
If you like what I write at all you can follow me @SMaloughney or our podcast @Downtown_Hockey
Thanks for reading
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