If the Oilers are serious about trading guys like Hemsky at the deadline for immediate help, can we expect more Matt Hendricks? Or is there a useful young player—perhaps struggling a little this year—who might shake loose?
INTERNAL OPTIONS FOR 2014-15 CENTER ICE
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Sublime talent. I can’t wait to see his next game, and he’s 20.
- Boyd Gordon: A wonderful addition to this team, he’s stellar.
- Anton Lander: Tearing up the blacktop in OKC, you’d have to think he will get a roster spot or a trade in the coming months.
- Mark Arcobello: Despite dozens of healthy scratches, he’s a good player. Edmonton has something here.
- Taylor Hall: Listed here because it’s very unlikely. However, you can see why they think about it. Suspect they won’t try again.
- Sam Gagner: There’s always a chance they don’t trade him and he returns for his eighth (!!!!!) season.
- Ryan Smyth: Crazy as it sounds, he’s been Eakins choice for some time now on the 4line.
- Matt Hendricks: He has played center before.
JOAKIM ANDERSSON PLAYING CARD
Detroit isn’t going to trade Joakim Andersson for Hemsky, but I think this is the kind of player they should be looking for in a trade. Effective in the dot, he’s also a fine penalty killer and a consistent two-way type. His offense may be shy, but the Oilers have plenty of firepower. Perhaps there’s a bigger deal available? I just don’t like the idea of trading Hemsky for Robert Nilsson.
Is a top 4C of Nuge, Andersson, Gordon and Lander strong enough? I don’t know, but you’re replacing Gagner’s points with Andersson’s defensive acumen and it should result in an improved shot differential and better GAA. Andersson is struggling some this season but his overall career track is impressive. Detroit knows how to develop hockey players, that’s for sure. He’s playing with Tatar and Drew Miller this season.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Olympics, Oilers, trade deadline, Oil Kings. We’ll be busy!
- Neal Livingston, Tend the Farm. I count 5 reasonable callups. How many does Neal have?
- Scott Cullen, TSN. We’ll talk Olympics and deadline, and maybe squeeze some baseball in too.
- Rob Vollman, Bleacher Report and HockeyAbstract. Best deadline value by position, and where do Hemsky and Smyth fit in. I think you’ll be surprised.
10-1260 text, twitter @Lowetide_. See you on the radio!