Hi friends. I wasn't planning on writing a blog today, but I couldn't resist with all the names swirling about. The lines are buzzing in respect to potential trades and free agent movement. Plus, writing about hockey gives me a chance to talk about something other than the mouse problem I discovered in the farm house I just moved into. Yuck. I haven't seen so much crap in one place since the Chicago-Edmonton bloodbath last season. What was the final score of that, 11-4? Geez, the Hawks have some talent.
Okay, right, back to Oilerville...They signed Liam Reddox yesterday, which somewhat confused me. Didn't he reject his qualifying offer and sign with the KHL? Anyway, Liam is a good all-around player; a solid fourth line guy. But here's where I get confused. How many fourth-line guys can a team have before things get overloaded?
The Oilers must be only a player or two away from the league's 50 contract maximum, which means there is little to no room for UFA's to be signed. Further complicating matters is that the Oilers have approximately $3mil cap space, with Vlady Smid yet to sign. He should come in around $1.5mil per season. The Oilers and their near-50 contracts are all dressed up with no place to go.
After consulting with my team prediction method (i.e. a bag of chicken bones that I dump out over a Oilers logo on the floor), I came to the following conclusions:
1. The Oilers need to move some contracts, stat. Like I said before, how many fourth-line players can you have on one team. Who stays and who goes? I know my picks; I would vote Pouliot and Jacques off the island, but will they be who goes? I think Schremp, Brule, Potulny, Reddox, Jacques, Pouliot and Storini are all vulnerable for trade. In return, 4th to 7th round picks. Well, perhaps Schremp or Brule could bring in a higher yield, but those are the two I wouldn't trade from the bunch.
2. On the topic of trading 4th-liners, you'd think the Islanders would be a destination for some of these players? Atlanta, the Islanders, Phoenix, Nashville and Florida are all teams that seem to love 4th line players. No offense guys.
3. I want to say the H word really badly, so here goes. Oh, dear God, tell me the Oilers aren't still sitting around waiting for Heatley the Clown to watch his video tapes and beg to come to Edmonton. In respect to the H word, if the rumors are true and Kessel is headed to San Jose, would Heatley be moved to the Sharks for either Kessel or Marleau going to Ottawa? If so, congrats Ottawa. Of course, Boston, San Jose, and Ottawa all have cap issues, so if you ask me, the thought of a three-way trade is comparable to sticking a round peg in a square hole. Or in Heatley's case, an A-hole? Nevermind...
So just what exactly are my beloved Oilers doing? They can't seriously be still waiting on Heatley, and I just don't believe they are prepared to enter training camp with the team as it currently stands. I still think the Oilers would add Grier, and perhaps Sykora, if they had the ability to. And they must move a defenseman or two. As August is quickly approaching, I am becoming more and more confused with the lack of activity, not just with the Oil, but throughout the league. Why do I get the feeling an earthquake is about to happen?