With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, and Canadian hockey fans everywhere stockpiling the beer and getting the work-escape plans ready, I thought that I would analyze each Canadian teams game plan for trade deadline day, highlighting each teams needs, possible trade bait, and what players they could be targeting. Yesterday, I will did the Calgary Flames (See Archives). TODAY: Edmonton Oilers. Saturday: Montreal Canadians. Sunday: Ottawa Senators. Monday: Toronto Maple Leafs. Tuesday: Vancouver Canucks
Prospects: With the exception of centre, the Oilers have holes at almost every position on the prospect charts. They severly lack any quality winger prospects with the exception of Slava Trukhno and Devan Dubnyk may not be the future starting goaltender the he looked to be when the Oilers drafted him 14th overall in 2004.
Draft Picks: In this years draft, Edmonton has no second or third round pick and their first rounder from Anaheim figures to be a bottom ten pick. The possibility that they traded Steve Stamkos for Dustin Penner is looking to be very possible and with only 4 picks in this deep draft, the Oilers could use a few more.
Jarrett Stoll: Stoll has been rumored to be on the block for a while now as he has struggled so far this season. However teams seeking a gritty, two-way centre to centre their second line would be willing to part with a pick/prospect to get Stoll away from the Oilers.
Fernando Pisani: Pisani has had a rough season, missing 26 games with Ulcerative colitis and struggling in his return. Pisani has never been a big regular season contributor though, rather coming up big during the playoffs. Teams looking for a player who doesn’t shy from the defensive part of the game and can contribute in the playoffs should show some interest in the 31 year old. His salary, 2.5 million till 09/10 is a big deterrent though.
Dwayne Roloson: With 29 year old Matthieu Garon finally finding a home in Edmonton, Roloson has found himself spending most nights on the bench. He is still a good goaltender and any team who lacks playoff experience between the pipes (ie. Pittsburgh) could show an interest in the aging netminder although, again his salary is likely to turn off teams with cap issue as he still has another season at 3 million remaining. If he isn’t traded, K-Lowe will likely buy him out over the summer.
Steve Staios: An aging defenseman, Staios plays with a hard hitting defensive style, although he can still put up decent offensive numbers. Hes found himself falling on the depth charts as Mac-T is giving his younger players more ice-time. He has a cap hit of 2.7 million till the 10/11 season and with the injury to Souray, K-Lowe may be hesitant to deal him
Geoff Sanderson: Another aging veteran at the age of 35, Sanderson wouldn’t bring much return to the Oilers, but he would still be of value to a playoff bound team seeking some offensive depth.
Possible Target Players:
Brian McGrattan: With McGrattan finding himself in the press box on most nights and Chris Neil usually assuming the role of enforcer, McGrattan, who is a RFA, won’t likely be resigned by Murray and could be on the way out. Edmonton, who has needed an enforcer ever since letting Laraque walk, could use him to protect younger players like Gagner .
Kevin Lowes contract happy finger following the Cup run has hurt this team. In fear of losing his core players to UFA, he gave them all more money than they are worth. The best that the Oiler fans can hope for now is that Anaheim loses in the first round, giving them at least a first round pick in between 15th-22nd position and pray that Anaheim doesn’t win the lottery with the Penner pick. Your best bet for deadline day is that Lowe deals 2-3 roster players for picks and prospects and perhaps brings in a tough guy like Brian McGrattan to keep opposing players from taking cheap shots at players. Also, while not likely, MacT could be on the chopping block as much of the Oilers injury woes (mostly shoulder, head and knee injuries) can be linked to the bruising run-and-gun style of hockey that he preaches