A short Oilers blog for the faithful on this Saturday...
As reported in the Edmonton Journal today, the rumors involving Mike Comrie signing in Edmonton are false. With so many small forwards on the Oil, Comrie is not the solution the Oilers need. Well, that and the fact that the Oilers have no cap room to add anyone unless someone is moved first.
It is likely that the Oilers will not make any major moves until training camp is near completion. Quinn and Renney want to do some first-hand assessment work before adding or subtracting anyone. Once their assessment is completed, if there is a move to be made, it will be one of Edmonton's top 6 defenseman being shipped for a forward with size and hopefully, some scoring ability. Edmonton is too deep at defense, with Peckham and Chorney both capable of being the seventh man. The Oilers need Strudwick to be D-man #6, because he is the most physical player on the team.
The Journal reported today that the Oilers are considering trying Andrew Cogliano this season on left wing with Hemsky and Horcoff. Don't believe they hype. Hemsky needs a bodyguard on the line; a player to hit and open up space for him. Cogs looked terrible in the face-off circle, but otherwise he is a quality Center who can play offensively and defensively. Penner will be given every opportunity this season to show he can play with Hemmer and Horcs. I'd expect to see Brule being asked to bang and crash on the first line like he did in junior, before I'd expect to see Cogs as a first-line winger.
The Heatley rumors with Edmonton are...well, I won't say "false" exactly, but Ottawa wants more than the three players originally worked into the deal, and Edmonton will not increase their offer. The San Jose/Heatley rumors are...well, again, I won't say "false" exactly, but San Jose does have yet to put together a package that appeals to Ottawa. If Heatley gets moved this season, it will be to a team that has yet to get much air time in the rumor department. Think somewhere warm, or somewhere that has a legitimate shot in the playoffs this season. If I was a betting man? I'd say the LA Kings have the best ability to land him.
Why? The Kings have young assets that could be moved, and cap room, plus they've been making a big push this off-season. The only way San Jose can win Heatley is if Marleau agrees to go somewhere, and with one year left till he's a UFA, I don't know why anyone would trade much for Marleau without agreeing to a long-term extention first. The Sens could use two quality young players - One D-man and one forward. LA has a pile of defensive prospects. They aren't willing to part with Doughty, but everyone else on D could be made available. As for forwards, Dustin Brown would be a nice addition in Ottawa.
People are misunderstanding the move made in San Jose. While it appears that they are dumping salary to add Heatley, a more likely explanation is that they've dumped salary to resign Patrick Marleau. San Jose just does not have the players to offer to Ottawa to make the Heatley deal occur. Word is Marleau would like to remain in San Jose for the bulk of his career, and the Sharks are a better team with him than without him.
In respect to potential Oiler moves, I wouldn't be surprised if the Oilers enter the season making a move to add a reclaimation project from a different team. Steve Downie from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Guillaume Latendresse from Les Canadiens are examples of two young forwards with size that the Oilers might be willing to take a gamble on. Tampa, who still has plenty of cap room, may be willing to take an older player with experience in return for Downie, as they seem to be making a push this off-season to challenge in the playoffs.