It’s been a long, long road for the trio of Nuge-Hall-Eberle and they’ve played a lot of hockey. Last night suggests there’s gas in the tank and some willingness to burn up the blacktop this spring.
The three kids had an outstanding night last night and the club once again is in the mix for that 8th playoff spot. There’s plenty of work to do, and the odds do not favor a second season, but we’re in the trade deadline window now and the Oilers are not pure sellers (they had a 9% chance of making the playoffs this morning). The next two games will give us an indication, and it would seem there are no great additions coming….and yet.
Oilers management at its highest level is in Toronto today meeting with Dan DeKeyser. The club will no doubt use the same formula that won the Justin Schultz race–MacT, Lowe, Krueger and the actual kids discussing an exciting future. I have no idea if it’ll work but it beats not having the opportunity.
JOKINEN’S ON YOU
Jussi Jokinen is on waivers today, I don’t think the Oilers get him even if they make a claim. Suspect Jokinen gets taken by a team lower in the standings. Funny that Jokinen lost his job to former Oiler prospect Riley Nash, I think we’ll see more of that (less expensive role players taking the job of perhaps overpaid veterans).
Here’s (once again) my list of possible assets out at the deadline:
- Ladislav Smid (UFA)
- Ryan Whitney (UFA)
- Mark Fistric (UFA)
- Ryan Jones (UFA)
- Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA)
- Ales Hemsky (UFA 2014)
- Ben Eager (UFA 2014)
- Eric Belanger (UFA 2014)
- Sam Gagner (RFA 2013)
- Theo Peckham (RFA 2013)
Usually you hear a few rumors here and there, but beyond Fussy Britches most of this list appears safe as of now. Certainly Khabibulin’s shutout should inspire a call or two, and I think Whitney’s name is out there and we shouldn’t be shocked if he moves. Tambellini’s telling Elliotte Friedman they had talked and Matheson’s article the other day suggest Smid’s contract might get done–and may be a long one.
After that, Jones might fetch something but the Oilers may want to sign him, too. Gagner rumors have been around, don’t know if that’s media talking or if there’s something there.
I think the Oilers do have an opportunity to add some nice pieces for the future. If they walk away with DeKeyser and another player (perhaps a forward with size and skill) young enough to play with the group, that should be considered a solid success.
Stay the course, sign Smid, add DeKeyser, look for a good deal on a skill winger and a center if he’s there (he isn’t).
I’m glad MacT is in the room, imagine he’ll say “are you sure you want to do that?” more than once this weekend.