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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trade Deadline - TODAY!!!!!

Boy do I feel bad for anyone with an Erik Cole jersey: no matter what happens today, all signs indicate he won't be back next year in an Oilers uniform.

Some prevalent Cole rumours:
  • Boston with interest :Lashoff and Sobotka (pending RFA) in the mix
  • Carolina with interest: Ruutu (pending RFA) being offered
If there is a team willing to give up exactly the kind of player(s) the Oilers organization is looking for, don't expect them to sit on a potential Cole trade. Whether or not a Cole trade happens depends on a couple of things. If the Oilers plan to make a push for the playoffs, somebody will have to take over that 2nd line RW spot. If the Oilers don't replace Cole, it is a good indication that the Oilers have packed up for the 18 holes already. If the Oilers don't trade him at all, they are set on making a playoff run. I wouldn't blame them, we're so close we can smell it.

Does Penner have trade value?
  • Why Penner wouldn't be traded: He has a couple years sitting on his contract. He has a history of not showing up 100%, though his Corsi numbers or other stats of that variety indicate he is not among the worst of the Oilers in on-ice performance (don't quote me, go check with Jonathan Willis and David Staples). That being said, he's not our best either - so why is he on the 1st line? MacT is somewhat justified in demoting him.
  • Why Penner would be traded: Penner has won it all before as a complementary player to Getzlaf and Perry. He has shown he has that ability to play on a high skill line if given the right line mates. If there is a team with a hole on LW that needs a Penner type player, he could be a commodity. His salary and point production comparables are guys like Scott Hartnell and Ryan Malone (though Hartnell is outperforming him by leaps and bounds in 2008-09). The difference between Hartnell/Malone and Penner is that the Oilers got the unmotivated version. That being said, there is gotta be someone out there who thinks that Penner is a good enough comparable for those two guys - isn't there? Please take him - please?!
Who's on the block?
  • Robert Nilsson
  • Rob Schremp
  • If Wayne Gretzky can be traded anyone can be traded ...
  • Correction, anyone who doesn't have a NTC or NMC ...
Reasons why the Oilers would make big move(s):

The Oilers see gaping holes at all positions except RW and move to rectify this by acquiring LW help on the 1st line (long term or temporary fix, who cares), acquiring a bonafide checking C to take the pressure off of Kyle Brodziak and also to get a veteran backup to Roloson. This would be the Mike Peca/Bobby Holik/Marty Reasoner type. It wouldn't hurt to add a veteran energy forward, since we have 3 bruisers playing on the bottom 2 lines (Jacques, Stortini, MacIntyre). This would be the Todd Harvey/Kris Draper/Darcy Tucker type of player. Also, Strudwick is a good depth D-man but questions surround Staios and Smid. Staios - does he still got what it takes to go through a few playoff rounds? Smid - he's been playing like a real defensive D-man, but is he ready for the big show? Acquiring a Derek Morris type may eat away some of that doubt and allow Gilbert to pair back up with Souray.

Reasons why the Oilers wouldn't make a big move:

The Oilers are happy with the team chemistry (or have deluded visions of a chemistry that doesn't exist). They decide to sit on potential trades to improve the team because they don't want to give up on the kids (who underperformed this year). And for some reason, the Oilers are happy to start the playoffs with Strudwick, Stortini, and MacIntyre bringing in the rear, with Reddox on the 1st line.

I shudder at the thought.

This day on Hockeybuzz ...

Eklund is suggesting the Oilers are trying to beat other teams to the punch by pulling a "Chris Pronger" and acquiring and signing Jay Bo long term. I think this is easily disproved:

Jay Bo would only sign long term after being acquired (if acquired) only if the Edmonton Oilers (and the City of Edmonton) can offer him the best possible deal on the market (pending whether he wants to play here at all). If the Oilers could be the team and Edmonton the city to offer that perfect deal - why try to beat other teams to the punch? That's just throwing away prospects and picks for someone who you can throw cash at on the UFA market.

Furhermore, Souray and Visnovsky have not been accounted for. If Jay Bo resigns his salary will be in their ball park or higher. That would effectively be a one way ticket out of town for either one of Gilbert or Grebeskhov or potentially even both, because of the NMC and NTC involved with Souray/Visnovsky. If the Toronto situation is any indication, these contract clauses are really blue balling a lot of potential trades.

Beyond that, would the Oilers really, really do this in the midst of a playoff push? The Panthers themselves are in the thick of their own playoff push. Jay Bo is central to the Panthers and is inconceivably important to their team right now, moreso than Cole (another pending UFA) is to the Oilers right now.

It's the same logic as with the Cole rumours: it's only going to happen if what the trading team gets back is more valuable and accounts for what they give up on the team. You know this. I know this. If not, why pull the trigger on the trade at all?

Eklund says he reports every thing he hears, however improbable the rumour. This cushions him from the blame of reporting something stupid. That's fine though, he wants to be an unbiased observer and listen in on discussion of his trade rumours. But if he's going to put out rumours, he has to have some input on the teams involved, as they do over at the rumour web site The Fourth Period, where editor Pagnotta chimes in on all his rumours.

Good on Pagnotta.

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