Category Archives: Edmonton Oilers
That Nick Schultz is not having a great season for the Edmonton Oilers is obvious to anyone who has spent any amount of time watching the team. What is particularly interesting, though, is how often Schultz’s struggles relate to the role he is asked to play for the team. When Schultz is placed in a third pairing role, he isn’t half bad, but when he’s elevated into the top four his game collapses.
It was easy to dismiss at first, but a trade rumor that would put Sam Gagner on the Los Angeles for, principally, Kyle Clifford is indeed real.
This just in, Hockey Night in Canada’s top hockey reporter Elliotte Friedman on the Fan 960 in Calgary: “The one move, I kind of hear, has been talked about to some degree and looked close at one point, although I don’t know what happened, is Sam Gagner, and I think L.A. has some interest in him.
Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish has been the most active this season. He’s finally started to deliver on his promise to make moves. He isn’t done by any stretch. Expect to see left winger Ryan Jones, defenceman Nick Schultz, defenceman Corey Potter and right wing Ales Hemsky moved.
This in from former NHL coach and GM Doug MacLean, now a Sportsnet commentator, his take from Wednesday night’s Edmonton Oilers broadcast on whether or not the Oilers should look to trade smaller, skilled players like centre Sam Gagner or winger Nail Yakupov:
“Gagner and Yakupov have really been a real dilemma for this organization. They don’t know what to do with them. -29 for Yakupov. Talented kid. You know he’s going to score a lot of goals in the NHL before he’s done. Gagner, solid, solid. People don’t know if he’s a #2 or a #3 (centre).
Jordan Eberle hears the rumours.
The Edmonton Oilers winger has seen his name come up as a key to solving the team’s struggles by being attractive trade bait.
With few assets to move in order to improve a roster wallowing at the bottom of the NHL standings, Eberle has seemingly become a hot trade commodity.
In a limited trade market with few competent offensive players, Hemsky’s history of scoring might very well appeal to another NHL team. That potential trade value is certainly something the Oilers have to consider, particularly given the way the player’s skillset overlaps with that of other skaters (Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov) on the roster.
But despite the rumours that have dogged the long-time Oiler, a trade shouldn’t be seen as automatic either.
Darren Dreger: Sam Gagner, we know. Ales Hemsky, we know. Ryan Smyth is expected. There’s no dialog between Craig MacTavish and Ryan Smyth. The belief is that Smyth wants one more crack with a winning team to see if he can win the Stanley Cup. He’s still effective, at least in the offensive zone, so I expect his name will heat up as we get closer to the deadline.
Who might be available and who might be on the move in Edmonton?
Dreger: Sam Gagner, we know. Ales Hemsky, we know. Ryan Smyth is expected. There’s no dialog between Craig MacTavish and Ryan Smyth. The belief is that Smyth wants one more crack with a winning team to see if he can win the Stanley Cup. He’s still effective, at least in the offensive zone, so I expect his name will heat up as we get closer to the deadline.
Do you think the Oilers will trade their first-round 2014 draft pick? If not, who are they taking? Sam or Aaron?
No chance the Oilers are dealing away a probable top three draft pick. GM Craig MacTavish was singing a different tune a few months back, saying he was open for business to deal the team’s first-rounder but that was before his club tumbled to the current depths of 29th in a 30-team league. It looks like Buffalo (30), Edmonton (29) and Calgary (28) are in a group for the first overall pick in the lottery. The Oilers won’t take Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart (not big enough).