From Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal:
“Although it’s tough to see good players and good people move on, we feel we’ve made a step towards improving our overall offence,” general manager Kevin Lowe said in statement released by the team. “(Visnovsky) has been one of the premier offensive defencemen over the past five years.”
Read the short article here.
From Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun:
In making this deal, Lowe telegraphed another – acquiring Visnovsky means Pitkanen is about to become part of a package deal for a forward.
Read the entire article here.
From Jonathan at Copper & Blue:
What does this do to the Oilers defense? The first thing I’d like to point out is that the Oilers have made the correct choice in the Smid vs. Greene choice for the bottom pairing, since in addition to his higher upside and younger age, Smid’s already a better player. Secondly, the obvious answer is that Joni Pitkanen is on his way out of town, because there simply isn’t room for 4 defensemen in the 4M+ range. As nice as it is to imagine that the Oilers have Sheldon Souray on the way out, it just isn’t happening, and Tom Gilbert just signed a long-term deal, so Pitkanen’s out, likely for a top-6 forward with grit. My guess would be Erik Cole, but there are other possibilities. It’s too bad, really; Pitkanen’s a better player than we’ve seen to date.
Read his entire entry here.
There you have it. I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised by this deal. With Souray having a contract that no one will take on, the Oilers have a lot of money locked up in him and Visnovsky. Also, with this trade most definitely comes the inevitable trade of Joni Pitkanen. If Pitkanen is traded for another higher salaried player, then I think the Oilers will have taken on too much money. Keeping Pitkanen, who is younger and has more prime years, and trading for a scoring winger (I guess that wasn’t possible) may have been the preferred route.