Who is stud defenceman the Edmonton Oilers should go after?

When Edmonton Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish says he’d love “a stud defenceman”, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who he means. Gimme a W, gimme an E, gimme a B, gimme an E, gimme an R.

That would be Shea Weber. One of the three or four best defencemen in the game, even if he’s having a pedestrian season (minus 8, eight points, 26 1/2 minutes a game) by his standards in Nashville.

Presumably, he’s trying to wear down Nashville general manager David Poile, who knows Weber is his franchise player, but also that once again, he has absolutely no offence on his team. He has two players–David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist in double figures in points after 18 games. Poile also lucked into the teenage defenceman Seth Jones with the fourth pick in last June’s draft. Jones isn’t Weber–he’s not as tough and he doesn’t shoot as hard–but he could be like a Ryan Suter, Weber’s old partner, now playing almost 30 minutes a night on average in Minnesota. And the Predators also have the young Swiss D-man Roman Josi, a definite top four guy.

To get Weber, you would have to back up the Brinks truck. This would not be the steal like it was in August of 2005 when Kevin Lowe was the Edmonton Oilers’ GM not the president of hockey ops, and he incredibly got the game’s best defenceman Chris Pronger out of St. Louis for Eric Brewer (good player), Jeff Woywitka (seventh D-man, now playing in Germany and Doug Lynch (now playing in Austria).

The Blues were having major cap problems: they had qualified Pronger, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight to keep their rights but that would have eaten up $19.7 million of what was then a $39 million cap ceiling. They kept the forwards and sacrificed Pronger, feeling Brewer, now in Tampa, and a former all-star, was a reasonable replacement. He was very solid there, but Pronger  was special even if he was only here for one season before he wanted out and was traded to Anaheim.