There are several reports today about the Edmonton Oilers working the phones looking to make a deal to save the team from lottery contention. While this is no doubt true, it seems like a case of “too little, too late”.
The Oilers had too many question marks going into the season to be real contenders (goaltending health and depth, the need for ALL the young guys to progress and the team to stay healthy) and they wasted a lot of summer waiting for Heatley.
If they are able to make any deals now, they should be (as Staples suggested today, see David’s links) deals to acquire picks and prospects in return for expensive veterans. The current alignment of Les Oilers is not a good one. Fighting for 8th year after year does not a solid foundation build.
In any event, the Oilers aren’t in the best position to make a deal right now. Teams know they are struggling and no competitive GM is going to call and offer a lifeline. If anything, they will be looking to fleece the ever desperate Oilers. So, our advice is this: call some teams and offer anything you have over the age of 25 and hope for the best after that.
With today’s impending announcement of new deals for the young Hawks, speculation is rampant that someone (Brent Sopel, Cam Barker, Patrick Sharp) is going out the door. While this may be the case, the Hawks are obviously serious about making a Cup run, so trading away valuable defenders is not a good option right now.
If anything, the Hawks could be buyers at the deadline, acquiring a stay at home defender and maybe an extra forward. The team will need to address the cap issue this summer, but for now, expect the Hawks to realize they need all hands on deck come spring-time.
UPDATE: Just saw that Toronto traded Jiri Tlusty to Carolina for their 2009 first-rounder, Phillippe Paradis.
This one, to me, has Brian Burke all over it. Paradis is what could best be described as a QMJHL grinder while Tlusty is a skilled guy that can likely play for Carolina right away.
Not sure why Toronto didn’t get a roster player back, but I would guess this move is a precursor to something else.