Opportunity Missed

The Edmonton Oilers may or may not have had an opportunity to bid on Jaroslav Halak’s rights. Sometimes NHL teams target a specific player they want as part of a return package and that’s all she wrote. Having said that, a very nice piece of a rebuilding puzzle is off the market today and the price was an extremely reasonable one.

St. Louis gave up a quality NHL prospect in Lars Eller (70gp, 18-39-57 in the AHL, led the Peoria Rivermen in points–2nd scorer trailed by 13) and a tough guy with some skill in Ian Schultz.

The Oilers don’t have a quality prospect at forward with one year’s AHL experience and they don’t have many tough guys with skill. However, in terms of value they could have exceeded this package and a three-way deal (Halak to EDM, Cogs+ to another team, a similar player type to team 3) may have helped conclude the transaction in the Oilers favor.

We don’t know that they didn’t try, only that they didn’t succeed. Steve Tambellini could have done his building project a massive favor today by acquiring Jaroslav Halak. The Oilers would have had 4 goalies, but that isn’t really an issue since they can send two down to the minors and no longer would have to wait for either DD or JDD to develop. No more worries about Khabibulin’s back, as he could be used in tandem at the NHL level or sent down if one of the kids played well enough in training camp.

I’ve read and heard a lot of moaning about the Habs dealing a goalie for less than 100 cents on the dollar. Big whoop. They lost Tony Esposito for nothing and dealt Rogie Vachon for less than full price because that’s the value the Hockey Gods dealt them when Kenny Dryden emerged as a star (in the case of Vachon).

The big item for me is the opportunity missed by Edmonton today. Here’s hoping they tried.

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