An item in today’s New York Post (Larry Brooks) has the Rangers and Oilers talking trade at the deadline: “Kevin Lowe wasn’t selling when Rangers inquired at deadline about Edmonton’s puck-rushing and power playable defenseman Joni Pitkanen, but Sather is expected to go back after the 24-year-old restricted free agent who earned $2.4M last year. “
I think we can agree that even with the current roster the Oilers need to make a couple of changes before training camp. Aside from the RFA’s and the UFA’s and the draft (and sign Shawn Horcoff!) there’s still the serious business of finding 12 forwards and 6 defensemen who can help you win every night.
Let’s list the Oilers depth chart really quickly here without any regard to cost:
- GOAL-Garon, Roloson, Deslauriers
- DEFENSE-Pitkanen, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staios, Souray, Smid, Greene, Roy
- CENTER-Horcoff, Cogliano, Stoll, Brodziak, Pouliot, Schremp
- LEFT WING-Penner, Nilsson, Torres, Moreau, Jacques, Reddox
- RIGHT WING-Hemsky, Gagner, Pisani, Stortini
We could list others but those 27 players would seem to be the favorites for most of the at bats in 08-09. I think it’s reasonable to list a few specific needs for this roster:
- Sniper. A first shot scorer.
- Veteran defender who can eat EV minutes.
- Some kind of LW/Moreau insurance.
- Draft picks.
That’s my list, but I think most Oilers fans would have a similar one. Here’s the problem when dealing with the Rangers: it is not clear to me that they have any of these things I’ve listed to offer up in return. New York has a lot of money, what with free agency pending for Jagr, Shanahan, Straka and Avery up front as well as Paul Mara, Marek Malik, Mihal Rozsival and others on the blueline.
At forward, after you get past Gomez and Drury (both 7+M cap hits) we’re talking about people like Petr Prucha, Brian Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. On the blueline, I guess the Oilers could ask after Fedor Tyutin but the Rangers just signed him to a new 4-year deal at a pretty nice number considering what he delivers.
I really don’t think these two teams match up.