Category Archives: Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers are likely moving Sam Gagner — to the wing on Friday and, if the buzz is true, out of Edmonton before the trade deadline.
It is only a matter of time before we start seeing casualties of a rebuild gone horribly wrong, and speculation is that it will begin with him.
But it probably won’t end there.
He has to resist the temptation to make a deal, any deal, simply for the sake of doing a deal and trading future for the present to appease the fan base.
That does not mean he’s going to do nothing.
“The next deal is going to be an important deal for us,” said the rookie GM who returned from the World Junior to watch a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Sam Gagner: He was not eligible for a no-trade clause when he signed his three-year extension last summer (It kicks-in next season). Craig MacTavish graciously promised to honour it this season, but as Edmonton searches for answers, it sounds like both sides believe it is time for a change, not that anyone is commenting. Should a deal happen, no doubt MacTavish will try to make it a soft landing.
I know the trade deadline is two months away, but what would the market be for unrestricted free agents like Ales Hemsky, Nick Schultz and Ryan Jones? Second or third-rounders because they are players contenders would want? What about Devan Dubnyk/Ilya Bryzgalov and Corey Potter?
Most people think the Pittsburgh Penguins will dangle defenceman Simon Despres to get a forward at the NHL trade deadline because they have Derrick Pouliot, who was outstanding in the world junior hockey championship, coming and they like blue-liner Brian Dumoulin, who they acquired in the Jordan Staal trade.
Intriguing to see #Oilers Scott Howson in press box in LA. Couple that with word EDM VERY active to move now, Hemsky/Gagner in mix.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 5, 2014
Hemsky is an unrestricted free agent and will be traded to a team looking for a top-six winger. With Pascal Dupuis out with a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, Hemsky is in play along with Mike Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames.
Another thing MacTavish will do – if he hasn’t already – is call Nashville Predators capo David Poile and say, “If you decide to trade No. 6, I’m in. I’ve got what you want. There’s no better fit in the league.” The Predators had no choice but to match the Philadelphia Flyers’ offer sheet for Shea Weber. They needed control of the asset and credibility among the fan base after losing Ryan Suter. But things are changing in Tennessee.
It’s likely, if not a certainty, that Ales Hemsky is down to his last two months in Edmonton.
Of course, the Czech winger has been rumoured to have one foot out the door for about five years now and still ends up at Oilers training camp every fall.
The Carolina Hurricanes could be ready to make room in their crowded crease.
The talk Saturday was that Carolina GM Jim Rutherford has been calling around to see what kind of market there is for goalie Justin Peters. The Hurricanes also have netminders Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin.
It is no secret that David Clarkson was one of the players rookie Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish went after hard this summer.
When Clarkson signed with Toronto, MacTavish expressed his regret and said that he “thought this guy was an Oiler.” Shortly thereafter, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Clarkson had left money on the table when he signed his seven-year pact worth $36.75 million. LeBrun didn’t report it as fact, but said he suspected the team to make Clarkson an even more lucrative offer was Edmonton.
One suspects that these days the Maple Leafs are wishing the Oilers had won that bidding
The trade rumours have also come with suggestions that Kulikov might be about to jump to the KHL; the option there (if the Oilers are interested) would be to try and negotiate an extension before acquiring his rights (note: I’m not a lawyer but as I read the CBA, Kulikov can talk about an extension prior to January 1 because he’s currently on a two-year contract). Given the Oilers needs on defence and the number of Russians MacTavish has brought in, Edmonton might be an attractive option for the young rearguard.
Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish was on his cellphone while his team was skating Thursday morning, and while it could have been his wife telling her hubby to stop for a loaf of bread on the way home, it may have been another GM talking about defencemen.
Certainly, the Oilers could use an NHL veteran back there.