Players on full alert

Know deal is possible

Joanne Ireland, Edmonton Journal

Change is coming, it’s just a matter of when — and it is the “when” that has the Edmonton Oilers pondering, particularly on the heels of Sunday’s blockbuster deal.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who like the Oilers have taken up residence in the bottom of their respective conference, were restructured in the three-team trade.“I guess it puts away the notion that you can’t get anything done,” said Oilers veteran Shawn Horcoff. “That was a big trade with a lot of players involved. Pretty significant shakeups.”

The Leafs sent Matt Stajan, Ian White, Jamal Mayers and Niklas Hagman to Calgary for Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie plus they picked up goaltender J.S. Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for netminder Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake.

“When you’re in this situation, you’re on full alert,” continued Horcoff. “You know there’s going to be changes (in Edmonton). It’s not if, it’s when. Whether it’s now or at the trade deadline or in July, who knows?

“A trade shakes things up, It gives you a fresh feeling around the locker-room. Most of the time, it’s a bit of a boost. Everyone feels that there’s a change and that it’s going to be good, that things are going to move positively. Obviously, when you do something on that big a scale, you get the wanted effect.”

Edmonton will not only miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, the Oilers are gunning for a few futility records such as fewest wins in one season (25 in 1993-94) and fewest points (60 in 1992-93).

They dragged a 13-game winless streak into Monday’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Players+full+alert/2511204/story.html