Hamonic, Vatanen, Faulk, Barrie. All defensemen who's names have been associated with the Oilers in the trade mill. All of whom are apparently now off the market. The most reason of which was this morning when the Ducks announced they had re-signed Sami Vatanen to a 4 year deal with 19.5 million dollars. While I do think that's an overpay he is a top powerplay option and plays over 21 minutes a night. I think he will slot into a second pairing role with the Ducks next season. He would have been a huge asset on the Oilers second pairing.
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So what now? The four above names have been the fan and media favorites for Oiler targets for months now. Vatanen is the only of the above who has been signed to a new deal by his team but it seems unlikely the others will move.
The Islanders and Avalanche have gone on the record saying they will not be trading Hamonic or Barrie respectively. Hamonic's initial family issues seem to not be a factor anymore and Sakic has stated Barrie re-signed even if it has to go to arbitration. Meanwhile McKenzie has reported it seems very unlikely that the Hurricanes will trade Faulk.
In the case of these last three, this could be nothing more than posturing to try and receive more from a deal. It's a dangerous game of chicken for both sides to play. I've stated here before, if Chiarelli isn't able to meaningfully address his defense over the draft weekend he will have made a critical error. If he is indeed working on acquiring a Hamonic, Barrie, or Faulk and comes up with nothing it will be another long year in Oil Country.
There are plenty more names out there which I'm sure will start getting more press now that the previous flavours of the week have passed. I think there is a very good chance that the Ducks may look to move Cam Fowler now which is a name the Oilers should absolutely be in on.
Cam Fowler is a left shooting defenseman with 2 years left at 4 million. He spent a fair portion of last season playing on the right hand side. Sekera-Fowler or vice versa would be an excellent second pairing... yes second pairing.
Of the aforementioned names only Faulk could be considered a top pairing guy, with Hamonic being a very good #2. If the Oilers go out and acquire Fowler and then sign Jason Demers in free agency is that enough to make the playoffs? I'd say no and I'm sure many others would agree. Once again the Oilers would be acquiring middle of the pack guys (and probably severely overpaying in the case of Demers) without addressing the key issues of not having a top guy who can log the big minutes.
As the clock continues to tick towards the beginning of the 2016-2017 season we as fans have no choice but to sit back and wait for a move to happen. It's been maddening so far to watch our dream rosters torn to shreds as other teams make moves. I still believe we could be looking at a very different Oilers roster a week from now.
Thanks for reading!
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