I’ve written more words about the blue than anything else on this blog, and when it comes to the Oilers the river leads to an ocean. The news is better this spring, with Justin Schultz and his tremendous skill added to Smid-Petry and the rest. If we’re playing along at home and waiting for a Coffey-Huddy-Lowe-Gregg-Fogolin-Jackson complete set, I’ll suggest we’re at about 50% (Smid-Petry-Schultz the younger) with a lot of Gary Lariviere’s and Rick Chartraw’s hanging around.
The Oilers may have a chance at the deadline to add a reasonable fourth to the group.
The Oilers have been looking up for so long it’s hard to remember the last player acquired as a rental (no it isn’t–the answer is Ales Kotalik). Here’s my quick hit list:
- D Mark Streit-A great match for need, and maybe they can sign him to an extension.
- L Curtis Glencross-He’d come at a dear price, but is a nice fit for the team’s needs and he’s a rugged bugger.
- R Drew Stafford-The Oiler connection is often mentioned, but he’s a good player.
- L RJ Umberger-Has plenty of skill and the size Oiler management apparently values like gold.
- D Keith Yandle-Supremely talented, but a major cap hit and he’ll cost the sun, moon and stars in trade.
- L Raffi Torres-He floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
- G Ben Bishop-Apparently someone has offered a first round pick, so he’ll be too dear.
- C Boyd Gordon: The Other John has convinced me. Jim Dowd walks among us!
- D Dmitry Kulikov: Young D apparently available, a perfect fit.
And my list of possible assets out:
- 2013 2nd round pick (ANA)
Ladislav Smid (UFA): Edmonton hasn’t signed him yet and that might mean there’s a gap between agent and team in terms of zero’s on the contract. Smid is going to get paid, the Oilers have to figure out if they want to be the team to pay him.
- Ryan Whitney (UFA): Defensemen always have increased value at the deadline.
- Mark Fistric (UFA): I doubt the club would get less than the pick they gave up for him (3rd rd pick).
- Ryan Jones (UFA): He’s coming off an eye injury, but his wheels are fine. An NHL team might want to increase their offense in the bottom 6F and have a guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, either.
- Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA): Will the Oilers re-sign him?
- Ales Hemsky (UFA 2014): The Oilers were not getting strong offers for him a year ago (the rumored return was a 2nd and a 4th from Nashville).
- Ben Eager (UFA 2014): One year left at $1.1M and the concussion issues are a concern. Plus he’s been on waivers.
- Eric Belanger (UFA 2014): Makes $1.75M and might fill a need for a 4line C, faceoff guy and penalty killer. Injured.
- D Theo Peckham (RFA 2013): Forgotten man among the Oilers, but he’s a defenseman with NHL experience and that has value.
I’ll update as I can today, please post any deals in the comments and I’ll do a wrap for the GDT later today.