Hello, minimal number of readers! Long time no blog!
Well. as you all know, the trade deadline is coming up in a matter of weeks and with the volume of opinionated posts I've been pasting all across the forums (the Oilers' forum in particular) this past while, I thought I may as well write a blog about it! And to all your dismay, here it is!
The aforementioned trade deadline has generally been a time of great disappointment and frustration for a good deal of Oilers fans (including myself). Having gone the "scorched-earth" rebuild route, the team's management has been very reluctant to make the few moves that they had the assets to make. This year, however, we may finally be in for an interesting deadline period.
With controversial players Nikolai Khabibluin and Ryan Whitney as well as fan favourites Ryan Jones, Mark Fistric, and Ladislav Smid's contracts coming to an end, the Oilers may finally have enough pieces to be considered legitimate sellers. Add to those an Ales "The Enigma" Hemsky who has regained a deal of his pre-injury form this season, and you've got a formidable list of movable assets. But should the Oilers really be moving all these players? I mean, they are
only 4 points out of a playoff spot and 7 points behind a division leading Cancuks who have looked a lot more "human" this season than seasons past. In my opinion, I really don't think they should. Considering the Oilers' lengthy rebuild, the Oilers faithful could really be endeared to management making a push at a playoff spot this season and, so long as they don't mortgage any significant pieces to the team's future, it would likely go a long way towards saving a few jobs. Besides, I'm not quite certain we'd get much more than a 2nd round pick for any of them individually.
A few players stand out as players that would be fairly attainable to the Oilers. They are:
Sergei Gonchar and Ben Bishop from Ottawa
Marcel Goc, Shawn Matthias, and Jerred Smithson from Florida
Ian White from Detroit
Robyn Regehr from Buffalo
Brett Clark from FA (Oklahoma City Barons of AHL)
Two of those names unfortunately seem like something more a pipe dream. Robyn Regehr has been publicly noted to be strongly against moving his family all too often and Sergei Gonchar appears to be playing quite well for the hurting Ottawa Senators. I have, however, read a few rumors about him being up for auction (http://www.tsn.ca/tradecentre/feature/?id=88532
). The others, however, look like good buy-low options. Ben Bishop would like prove an excellent 1B goaltender to push Devan Dubnyk in both this season, and for the future. Marcel Goc and Jerred Smithson provide the Oilers with some much needed NHL center depth while Matthias brings both youthful size and shutdown ability to the bottom-6. Considering how the Panthers are doing, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few roster players get moved out. Ian White's play has dropped off a good deal this season and with a number of Dmen passing him on Detroit's D corps, he's likely the best buy-low option of the bunch.
The final listed option is ex-NHLer Brett Clark who, until just yesterday, had been playing on an AHL contract with the Oilers' AHL affiliate the OKC Barons. In 18 games played with the Barons this season, Clark put up 1 goal and 17 points while going plus-7 while helping the Barons back into a playoff spot. Reasonable numbers all things considered. Here's the interesting part. As per the Barons' story regarding the situation, Clark was given a clause where he was permitted to leave "if he was to receive a NHL offer that he felt was worth pursuing" (Josh Evans, okcbarons.com). Evidently, he's begun fielding at least one team's interest and is prepared to play in the NHL again. He could provide a solid veteran 5/6 D presence to a number of teams.
While I'm not certain what the Oilers would need to give up to get any of these players, I do know that they finally have the movable assets to acquire any of these players. Feel free to leave your trade proposals, criticisms, and harassment in the 'Comments' section down below or PM me! Either is appreciated!
Thanks, and good night!