Back by popular demand, it's the conclusion of my 29 defensemen blog. Once again, this is a blog to talk about defensemen I feel could be acquired for the right price. The second first round pick was a piece I chose to simply start the conversation. In no way was I suggesting that Kris Russell is worth the 16th pick; or that the pick alone could get Brent Seabrook. With that in mind, let's begin.
Montreal Canadiens - Alexi Emelin
Guy with good size who isn't afraid to land the big hit. He has proven to be effective at getting under the skin of other teams top players (see Gionta, Spezza, MacArthur). You're never going to get a full season out of him but as previously mentioned, Edmonton needs guys like this on their blue.
Nashville Predators - Roman Jossi
So... remember that time I said the 16th overall pick wasn't going to be enough for some of these deals... guess which category this one falls into. We're talking Eberle, Pittsburgh 1st round pick+ here but with Weber being... well Weber, and Ellis, and Jones on the backend; combined with the need this team has for more scoring, a trade could happen. I give it a 2% chance.
New Jersey Devils - Adam Larsson
This is a top 5 pick from 2011 who is just coming into his own, which means the Devils will definitely trade him. I don't know what else to say here. Aside from Greene there isn't much proven talent to choose from on this blueline. Some potential up and comers in Gelinas, Severson, and Merrill but not alot of veteran presence to choose from. Almost as bad as the Oilers D... almost.
New York Islanders - Thomas Hickey
Now to jump back into the realm of plausible. Lot of names on D to like from the Islanders... also plenty of guys signed to long term contracts. Hickey is an RFA this season. While not a physical player, he's a decent puckmover who could fit the style of play of the Oilers.
New York Rangers - Dan Girardi
This is another team the Oilers should try and target for defence this off-season. They are close to the cap and have a ton of assets on D that could be moved. I am a big fan of Girardi. He's not a big guy but doesn't shy away from a hit. He doesn't have the most impressive numbers but are more than respectable when you look at the competition he plays against every night. He would walk onto this Edmonton team easily their top defender. At 31 he has plenty of good years left in him and would be a great mentor paired with a guy like Nurse or Klefbom.
Ottawa Senators - Jared Cowen
This is a guy who's story echoes many Oilers prospects. He is a big defender with size, who looks to have the tools to be a shutdown defender however he has never been able to put all his tools together on a consistent basis. Perhaps a change in atmosphere is just what the kid needs.
Philadelphia Flyers - Luke Schenn
The perfect type of young defenseman the Oilers should look at. 25, right shot, draft pedigree, big, physical guy. Most teams I wouldn't ever expect to trade a guy like this but the Flyers have always been known to make rash moves. I kid. The Flyers look to have calmed down over the last couple years. I mean look they just hired a veteran NHL coach in.... (googles Dan Hakstol).
Pittsburgh Penguins - Rob Scuderi
He may not wow you with his physicality... or his production, or his speed... where was I going with this? As of right now with Martin and Ehrhoff both UFA and Letang being the Penguins top anchor, there aren't many guys to choose from. This falls into the 16th overall for Scuderi+ category. This is a player I would only want because of his veteran experience and mentorship and if at least one of Ference or Nikitin was gone. Hey I went like 7 teams without insulting Nikitin, new personal best!
San Jose Sharks - Brent Burns
Well with newly appointed head coach Todd McLellan, it will be interesting to see if any of his former players find a spot on this Edmonton team. Burns is a fantastic player. I paid extra attention to him during the Worlds and was quite pleased with what I saw. His offensive instincts are phenomenal and he is excellent at attacking the puck. If we are to keep Justin Schultz in the lineup this is the exact kind of player he needs to learn from.
St. Louis Blues - Jay Bouwmeester
After yet another disappointing playoff exit, the Blues are my pick for biggest shakeup this offseason. Coming off his least productive season, the Edmonton native could fetch a fancy price for the Blues.
Tampa Bay Lightning - Braydon Coburn
A deal that was tentatively in the works when MacT became GM. A decent top 4 option who is signed for one more year. Would hope if such a deal were to occur, it would include him re-signing.
Toronto Maple Leafs - Dion Pha..... nope not gonna do it - Roman Polak
A team going through the same permanent rebuild the Oilers have known so well. They have a couple guys in Gardiner and Rielly who are turning into good players. Phaneuf with his contract and known off ice issues is just too much of a burden and I will be intrigued as to what his fate is this summer. As for Polak, he is a product of the Blues system of tight D. Could be a good third pairing option.
Vancouver Canucks - Yannick Weber
If we can't have Jeff Petry, then we will have to get a player like him. With 11 goals and 10 assists, Weber definitely can shoot the puck. He looked great on the Canuck's PP and despite the various weapons at forward the Oilers have, they really don't have a true PP quarterback on the backend.
Washington Capitals - Karl Alzner
At 2.8 mil per season, Alzner isn't a bad bet. Coming off his best season production wise, Alzner is looking like he's about to really hit his prime. I don't think 30 points is out of the question for this kid next year. Can't see the Caps giving him up but I also don't see them giving up Orpik, Carlson, or Niskanen. Heck of a group they have there.
Winnipeg Jets - Dustin Byfuglien
For my last pick I had to go big. And by big I mean 260lbs big. He has bounced between playing as a winger and as a D, though he himself as publicly stated he prefers D. At one point it seemed like him leaving town was inevitable but with the recent success of the Jets trade talks seem to have cooled down.
Well there you have it, that concludes my trip around the NHL. It looks like the Oilers are mostly down with their management changes. Now it's time for the actual player personnel moves. What will this roster look like come June 28th? Time will tell. Thanks for reading, input is always appreciated!