Is an Oilers-Blackhawks deal in the offing?
What are the chances the Edmonton Oilers could trade Sam Gagner and Nikolai Khabibulin to the Chicago Blackhawks because they need a second-line centre and a goalie? Maybe we could get Mark McNeill and Brandan Saad or Kyle Beach for second-line help.
A: No chance. Hawks are looking for a No. 2 centre because they would rather not play either of their Patricks — Kane or Sharp — behind Jonathan Toews. They’re solid in the middle when they play there, but considerably more dangerous on the wing. From the people I’ve talked to, Gagner’s name did come up because he played junior with Kane in London, but it wasn’t a serious thing. I think they are looking for a bigger No. 2 guy, feeling Dave Bolland is better cast in a No. 3 checking role. As for Khabibulin, definitely not. Been there, done that. They signed Corey Crawford to a three-year contract after last year’s playoffs. He hasn’t been great but he’s their guy. The Oilers would have interest in McNeill, who is from Edmonton and playing junior in Prince Albert, and Saad, from most scouts, is projected to be a third-line energy guy. Beach? This is second full season with the Rockford Icehogs, the Blackhawks’ American Hockey League farm club. He is an aggressive centre, but he’s had some baggage throughout his playing days.