Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trade Deadline Targets: Edmonton Oilers


With the NHL Trade Deadline just a few days after the conclusion of the Olympics; NHL GM's are laying the groundwork for their deadline deals now.  And for the first time under the Dean Lombardi-era; the Kings are absolutely buyers.  Lombardi did his best to temper fan's expectations at the deadline but what fun are trades without the speculation.

I'm using sportsclubstats.com's playoff odds to distinguish who the sellers will be.  Teams with less than a 25% of making the playoffs will be discussed.

A few criteria to narrow down the search:
  • No Goalies.
  • UFA status within the next two years.
  • RFA status next year
ROSTER ANALYSIS 
The Oilers have struggled with long-term injuries to their three best players this season: Hemsky, Khabibulin and Souray.  The rest of their roster is made up of too many players with the same skill-sets that are being overpaid.  Too many undersized second line forwards.  Too many offensive-minded defenseman.  Majority of their roster is overpaid.
 
POSSIBLE TARGETS
1. Patrick O'Sullivan (597K; RFA 2.925M)- Sully's had a tough go in Edmonton.  He hasn't met the Oilers' expectations and he's clashed with Pat Quinn numerous times this season.  I loved the way his two-way game started to develop last season.  At 25, I think Sully is still the right fit.  Although if he's been labeled a 'problem child' by Dean; you can forget about it. 

2. Denis Grebeshkov (RFA $787K)- The Kings are missing another puck-moving defenseman to go with Doughty and Johnson.  At 25, Grebeshkov fits with the Kings core moving forward.  At a $3 million cap hit, the Oilers would probably prefer to move him.  I would love to add him to our blueline past this season but if he's looking for a payday; I could see another move to the KHL for Grebs. 

3. Fernando Pisani (UFA 625K)- He intrigues me because I still remember him as the player who led Edmonton to the 2005 Stanley Cup Finals with 14 Goals in 24 games.  Unfortunately, Pisani has battled injuries ever since.  Pisani's battles with ulcerative colitis, a broken leg and bad back have cost him good portions of the last three seasons.  If healthy, he could slide in nicely on the fourth line and a be a productive player.   

4. Jason Strudwick (UFA 175K)- Strudwick impressed me when the Oilers were in town.  Little offense but solid in his own end.  Randy Jones shouldn't see the ice anymore.  I think the Kings need another puck-mover but Strudwick could be a nice fill-in. 

5. Ethan Moreau (500K; UFA 2M)- The Oilers' captain is a fourth-liner who brings all the leadership qualities you'd want in a captain.  Moreau's preparing himself for a move but I doubt it'll be to Los Angeles.  A fourth-line checker with a cap hit of $2 million for next season; I'll pass. 

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