We’ll know sometime soon about Nikita Nikitin, as the deadline has either passed or is winding down this evening. According to a published report (I don’t use that phrase enough) in the Columbus Dispatch, the Oilers were given a 48-hour window sometime Thursday:
- On Thursday, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen granted the Oilers a 48-hour window to negotiate with Nikitin. If they sign him, the Blue Jackets will receive a fifth-round draft pick, likely the 137th overall pick that they traded to the Oilers in March for defenseman Nick Schultz. If Nikitin does not sign, the Blue Jackets receive nothing.
If the clock started ticking at midnight Thursday, then the deal would have to be completed (and the trade made, I imagine) by midnight tonight. If the club does acquire him, I think it may raise more questions than it answers:
- MacT said not so long ago that the club needed a puck mover to help Justin Schultz. Did he mean Nikitin? As in “he’s a veteran like Nick Schultz and Ference, but he’s also a little more adept at the ol’ tape-to-tape”? Is that what he was saying?
- If that isn’t the case, does MacT plan on adding a puck mover, Nikitin and a shutdown defender?
- Is Nikitin the shutdown defender? Surely not.
I don’t really have an answer to this, but the thought occurred to me this afternoon: what if he’s going to add Ehrhoff, Nikitin AND Engelland?
I could get behind it. Seriously. It isn’t perfect, you’re asking a lot of Nikitin and Oiler fans will flat out hate that top pairing, but yes please. I know the idea of hiring your defensemen via trade has a downside (assets), but there are NHL teams who will blow their brains out July 1 and Edmonton has to come over the overpay to get their man. Or at least history tells us.
This article says “when free agency opened last July 5, NHL teams wasted little time in spending $412 million on new contracts.” Shudder. I’m a MacT guy, but he spent heavily on Boyd Gordon one year ago, and traded for the right to overpay Nikita Nikitin yesterday.
This can’t end well.