The trade deadline is upon us and we’ve reached a point where questions have been answered. Some of the answers are obvious, others will be Thursday and still others will need to be addressed in the summer.
This has been a long and trying season for Oilers management, some overmatched young players and certainly for Edmonton’s rabid fans. It’s been a year in which a player like Erik Cole started his time here with such promise but will end (as so many others have) with the player headed elsewhere via free agency.
It’s also a year in which the kids ran in place (or worse) and some of these fellows may have to spend time in the minors in order to regain their NHL careers. Still others will play in other NHL towns.
Here are 10 questions and my answers. Chime in.
- How many holes does Edmonton have? 4. A scoring LW, a right handed veteran centerman who is good in the FO circle and can PK, a veteran defender who can play on the 2nd and 3rd pairings as required, and a backup goalie.
- How many holes will be addressed? 1. Edmonton will add a veteran center to help carry the faceoff load with Horcoff and Brodziak. This player will also slide into Moreau’s PK minutes until the captain returns.
- Will they deal Erik Cole? No. The Oilers won’t deal him for picks and prospects, and dealing him for a scoring LW only works if there’s a team out there with a mirror imbalance. I can’t find one, can you?
- How will they address LW? The Oilers will run with Penner on the 1line, Cogliano on the 2, and then a combination of Nilsson, Moreau, Reddox, Jacques etc. The addition of the veteran C will allow Cogliano to move over to wing.
- What about that veteran defender? I think Grebeshkov’s return (and effectiveness) probably means they go with the current group. Peckham is very young and an unsure 7D but this is the team that ran Matt Greene out there to learn NHL hockey during the Stanley run.
- What about the backup goalie? I assume it’s Sabourin. He’ll be called up at some point and play a game or two with the Oilers. Deslauriers is garnish.
- Could the Oilers deal a roster player? Maybe. When the veteran RH center arrives the depth chart will probably be Horcoff-Gagner-veteran C-Brodziak which means Pouliot could be dealt to a team looking for depth. Robert Nilsson is certainly available to any team that would like to give him a third chance to deliver.
- Is it possible that they acquire a “Frolov” or a “Spezza?” Anything is possible but these trades can also be made at the draft and dealing for a Frolov now and subtracting from the current roster doesn’t address the dire lack of depth on this team. The Oilers have 5 forwards with 14 or more goals, and if they can add another without dealing one of that group (Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Cogliano, Cole) and not deal Gagner then maybe it’ll happen. That’s a big maybe, though.
- Is this enough to save MacT’s job? No. This team needs more help than adding Jim Dowd, but the Oilers management group doesn’t look like they’re going to try another deadline 2006 (the day Lowe “settled all family business” with shrewd additions like Roloson, Spacek, Samsanov and Tarnstrom). It won’t be the “dreadline” that was the Ryan Smyth trade, but this management group doesn’t appear creative enough to make things happen.
- What would your dream deadline look like? I don’t think it’s vital to add a 1line LW but they badly need a veteran RH C, a quality veteran D who can fill in when injury/overwork begin to impact the game. And they need to add a veteran goalie. They aren’t terribly expensive and it’s excellent injury insurance.