For much of their history, the Edmonton Oilers have used east coast road trips to tweak the roster. Some of them are memorable because they happened when the team was in a tailspin—MA Bergeron to the Islanders took place during a road trip from hell to Boston, Buffalo Toronto and Ottawa—and others happen because it’s the time of the season (Doug Weight for Tikkanen).
I don’t think the Oilers are likely to deal Yakupov. Why? His value is not high at this time, he’s on pace for 15 goals and then a possible contract squabble. Teams aren’t going to give you big return for that kind of thing.
I can tell you that since last fall/winter the number of Flyers-Oilers rumors from everywhere have been incredible. I think part of it goes back to that draft day conversation a couple of years ago that resulted in zilch, but it’s also true Philadelphia likes all the players. If the Flyers took human form, they’d move to Amsterdam. Jordan Eberle, Jeff Petry, Wayne Simmonds and on it goes.
Will anything happen? Hell if I know. I do find it kind of funny that Oiler reject Chris Vande Velde is playing a little in the NHL.
One more thing: WG has mentioned a few times about having some faith in the Oilers either changing their minds or becoming convinced (don’t remember exact verbal) of Petry’s value. If Petry’s agency was in town, talking about it, maybe minds are being changed? Maybe Eakins is convinced and working on the grey hairs up in the office? It’s far more encouraging that the one-year deal when it happened and good for Petry. Hope he stays and wins a championship, just like his Dad did for the Tigers. As an aside, Dan Petry’s nickname? Peaches. Jeff Petry’s nickname? Likely Pete-y, because hockey players.
LINES AND PAIRINGS
Based on information out of Philly today, the lines look like this:
The top line has some interesting things and should be able to skate with anyone. The 2line will need to play some tough opps because the third line is going to be a bit of an adventure on the road. I think putting Acton on the 4line is fine, the role isn’t an offensive one and Acton can play well enough in his own zone and penalty kill. Can this group score four goals in Philly? Have you seen the Flyers defense?
And the pairings:
It was mentioned in the comments of the Aulie post, but this really does look like the best defensive group available to the Oilers (even when everyone is healthy). Marincin and Petry should be a really nice pairing who can help everywhere, and Klefbom-Fayne is a nice shutdown pairing as long as Klefbom can speed up his brain from the opening faceoff. Nikitin-Schultz mean bathroom breaks will be at a ‘at your own risk’ level tomorrow afternoon.
DARREN DREGER ON KLEFBOM
- “I think the lofty side would be to suggest he’s going to one day be a Top-4. He’s probably going to be in that 5-6 range. But that’s still a pretty good player by National Hockey League standards. The Oilers still hold out hope he’s going to be better than that. Otherwise they would have packaged him as part of a deal by now.”
- “You know what? MacTavish, like so many other general managers – throw Dave Nonis into the mix – everyone, in fact, all overrate their players. And I think it’s starting to lean toward the side now of Klefbom being overrated to this point.”
I’ll file that under “WAY too soon to be making that call” and wonder where Mr. Dreger heard this about Oscar Klefbom. Mr. Nonis? It’s a guess.