Sunday, February 26, 2012


The signing of Ales Hemsky has eliminated pretty well any drama surrounding the Oilers tomorrow and its quite possible that we will see a day where absolutely nothing happens in Edmonton. The only UFAs are Hordichuk and Petrell and everyone presumes Barker will get cut loose so he could probably be had but I cannot really see anyone having any interest in any of these guys. I guess you can never have enough defencemen, just ask the 2006 Sabres, but we're talking seventh round picks and 25 year old ECHL 'prospects' in return here.

There are three scenarios that stand out as possibilities for Edmonton imo.

1/ A swap along the lines of the Blues/Avs trade from last year, a two for two deal of some sort where the Oilers send a couple of guys to another team for a couple of guys in an attempt by each team to become a little more skilled/rugged etc. I would suspect in a year or two or three we see something like this once the Oilers see what they have in Petry, Gagner, Lander, Paajarvi and some of the other kids and decide they need more size, skill, etc. But while it is possible tomorrow I don't see it.

2/ Khabibulin. I really cannot see a team taking a flyer on him but there are a few teams with serious goaltending issues and the Cup ring and early season success would impress some GMs. Seriously. Hey you just need to look at all of the talking heads who think Hemsky is a bum or who think that the BJs won the Carter deal to see how part of the hockey hive mind works. The writers and TV talking heads are often tied in and what they say is a reflection of what some management guys think. Seriously how many Oiler games does Damien Cox see? Here is a guy who said Tom Gilbert plus a high pick would garner no return last season. Well he's talking to someone to get these ideas.

In other words as mental as it seems to us Khabibulin might be in play.

3/ Omark for a young goalie. Now I wouldn't move Omark personally but one wonders if there is a spot for him on this club. Somewhere you'd think there is a club whose scouts like him and if there's a fit then this is something we might see.

The deadline comes with an absurd amount of hype (thanks TSN!) but even if you cannot stand the ridiculous commercials and the actual day when you have a dozen talking heads on each network discussing the relative merits of Dominic Moore for a second, again!!!!, once you wade through all of the rumours and foolishness the day still holds a lot of interest.

First of all if your club is involved it can be a crusher of dreams (see 2007 when Ryan Smyth was rumoured signed and then was dealt at the last moment) in a number of ways. The quality player unsigned and moved, the throwing in of the towel on another season. On the other hand it could be that your manager stands pat, feeling that the relatively meagre bounty of second round picks and failed prospects isn't worth telling your players and fans that six points, while an unlikely mathematical hurdle to the playoffs, is not insurmountable. Or you might be a fan of the contender whose management hits a home run.

Secondly while the 'Butch Goring' deal rarely happens the truth is that quite often contenders pick up guys who help, either on deadline day or in the days before. Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley didn't win the Cup for the Bruins but they were two excellent pickups, quality bottom six guys who certainly helped Boston become a better team. In 2006 the Canes picked up Mark Recchi and the Oilers picked up Roloson and Samsonov. In 2008 the Wings traded for Brad Stuart. In 2009 the Pens got Bill Guerin.

Then again the biggest name the Ducks picked in 2007 up was Brad May and Chicago stood pat in 2010 despite goaltending issues rivalling what they are facing today.

I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. There are more contenders for the Cup than in past seasons it seems and there are very few sellers on top of this (with one of those, the Oilers, having nothing to sell apparently) so we could see absurd prices for the usual collection of depth guys who get moved or the possibility of a team or two on the bubble deciding to throw in the towel when the vultures start calling.

Should be interesting. Seriously. The teams I am most interested in? The Leafs, who have collapsed, have an unsigned Grabovski, problems on the blue and in net and a fanbase that I think is getting, erm, disgruntled. Chicago, who could be serious contenders if they could get some goaltending and another Dman imo. And LA and Nashville, who will both try and add more scoring one has to think.

Am working from home so should be able to try and live blog it for another year so if you're interested in finding out what kind of sandwich I have for lunch and my thoughts on the huge Bryan Allen deal then drop by and hang out for a bit.


PDO said...

I think you've nailed it more or less, though the one name not being bandied about that should be is Ryan Jones.

He's a lot like Ryan Potulny. On a bad team, he's going to score some goals... but on a good team?

Well, he's not on a good team.

Be nice to find a sucker who doesn't know that yet though.

Black Dog said...

Ah yes, I could see Jones getting moved as well. Doubt it though, this team likes its PR, that would not go over well.

Duhatschek thinks Khabibulin is in play.