Steve Tambellini had a good day. He managed to rid of himself of an impending UFA and what would have been a bad July day with the jackals (when Cole signed with another team). He added a skilled young player with some years left on his contract and added another big man who can try to solve the “big fellow in the top 6″ problem for the Oilers.
He also gave his coach some things: a replacement for Dustin Penner, who is playing his final games as an Edmonton Oiler; a player who can grab some of Horcoff’s special teams minutes and possibly a player who can cash the cheques Ales Hemsky writes nightly.
It looked for a very long time as if nothing was going to happen. Tambellini said it was after noon eastern before anything resembling traction, and considering how complicated these deals were it looks like it was an all hands on deck day for the Oilers.
Patrick O’Sullivan is the gem on the day. A skilled man who can PK and PP, he has 200 wonderful shots this season. He’s a player.
He’s also a sure-fire top sixer, who (previous thread credited Rishaug at tsn) will play LW with Gagner at C and Dustin Penner at RW to start the new regime. This means Kotalik gets the early Horcoff-Hemsky seat but we need to remember these are subject to change.
I think the Oilers will eventually find that O’Sullivan, Cogliano and Gagner are all wonderful players and that despite a lack of size they are a better bet for the skill minutes than Kotalik. Of course, you need size up front but unless Kotalik has some magic with Hemsky early I can see that 2line being a new buzzsaw line of Gags, Cogs and Sully. This will mean Fat Mann Judgeth will draw back onto the 1line.
Kotalik has some nice things (his shot is a bomb, he has size and can handle the puck) and some things that are a worry (consistency, doesn’t use his size a lot and has a reputation of being an indifferent player without the puck).
As for the trades, I’m thrilled with the return on Cole and not so happy about the return on the 2nd rounder. It’s Calgary’s 2nd which means it’ll be somewhere in the 55-65 range overall. Is a few weeks of soon-to-be-UFA Kotalik worth the price?
Finally, the Oilers didn’t do anything at G or D. This tells us that all of their eggs are in the Roloson basket, that Dany Sabourin is good enough insurance and that they really are worried about someone claiming Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers-Jingleheimer-Schmidt. It also tells us that the organization is comfortable with Theo Peckham as a #7 option and we should probably start talking about him as a 5-6 option for next season.
None of it really matters, though. The Edmonton Oilers added a very valuable young offensive player today for a soon-to-be UFA in Erik Cole. That’s a trade that will play well today, tomorrow if the Oilers miss the playoffs, and especially in summer should the Oilers not make the second season.
Steve Tambellini had a good day.