Could the Oiles and Jackets swing a major trade?
Columbus’s main problem is goaltending and a few other things. Do you think the Oilers would swap Ales Hemsky, Nikolai Khabibulin and say Jeff Petry to the Blue Jackets to get the possible No. 1 overall pick because Scott Howson and Scott Arniel have to save their jobs?(Dennis Wong)
A: No. Steve Mason has taken a major tumble after his sterling rookie season, but they have acres of concerns there and they’re not going to be helped by taking Hemsky, who is basically a rental because he’s UFA on July 1 or Khabibulin, who turns 39 in 10 days. Perry is a good young player, whom I think can be a top-four defenceman in time. Howson, the GM, and Arniel, the coach, are on the hot seat and Howson is on record as saying he’s going to be moving people at the deadline. But giving up what could be the first overall pick in June? I don’t see it, although if Nail Yakupov is the acknowledged No. 1, they have a major decision because the organization has struck out on two previously high-drafted Russians — Nikolai Zherdev and Nikita Filatov — before this.