As mentioned a few days ago on The Pipeline, the Edmonton Oilers are interested in acquiring Zherdev from the New York Rangers. It was also suggested that the Oilers could be part of the three-team deal, where Dany Heatley is moved to a different team, and Cogliano, Smid, and Penner end up being dealt to the Ottawa Senators. I'll tell ya, friends, the chicken bones never lie. The Oilers continue to be very much involved.
The suggestion today is that Heatley, and perhaps Jason Smith, would be dealt to Edmonton for the three previously mentioned players and a draft pick or prospect. Ottawa needs to free up cap room, and moving Smith to Edmonton would allow them to do it. Once Edmonton has Heatley, he would be then traded to the New York Rangers for Zherdev and the rights to Brandon Dubinsky. The Rangers would need to sign Zherdev to the arbitrated awarded sum of $3.9 million for next season before this trade could take place. The combined salaries of Penner, Cogliano and Smid would be equal to that of Zherdev and Dubinsky, making the move feasible, provided the Oilers move another defenseman before the start of the season, or move to buy out the contract of Jason Smith.
There are a few potential barriers to this deal taking place. First being if the rumoured Montreal-San Jose-Ottawa deal were to occur first. The hold up to that deal has been an issue Montreal is occurring in respect to freeing up needed cap space, and making available a specific asset that Ottawa is seeking. The second potential snag with this deal is in respect to a rumor stating that San Jose President and GM Doug Wilson is not happy with the tactics of the Heatley camp, and their suggestions to the media that San Jose has been active in the pursuit of Heatley. Regardless how this situation turns out, questions must be asked regarding the ethics and behaviour of members of the Heatley camp.
Should the Oilers involvement in a three-way deal with Heatley fall through, they still have interest in trying to acquire both Dubinsky and Zherdev. In Zherdev, they would obtain an offensive player with skills to match Ales Hemsky. And in Dubinsky, the Oilers could acquire the two-way center with some size that they desperately needed last season.