Some Off Ice Oilers News...

As has been reported by the Buffalo News, the Oilers have interest in trading Tom Gilbert for Drew Stafford. Our sources explain, that it is sort of true and sort of not true.

The Oilers would like some help on the right side. Drew Stafford provides that. He's big, he hits, he can be gritty and he's young with a good contract. Those sound like all good things and at the this immediate point in time, they are. That said, Stafford's contract runs only two more years and when he comes due as an RFA, he's set to see a pretty sizeable increase in pay. Moving Gilbert provides some relief immediately, but not in the long term. Gilbert himself should be worth, if he isn't already the $4 million per year his long term contract provides.

Moving Visnovsky or Souray would provide better relief if the Oilers want to move a long term deal from the books; but there are also problems with this scenario from the Sabres end as well. Buffalo doesn't like to be a cap ceiling team and the Oilers are not too eager to move either one Souray or Visnovsky, unless the return is better than a 20 goal scorer who has ties to an Oiler staff member (Head Equipment Manager Barry Stafford). Buffalo would need to provide more in terms of compensation, and show how badly they'd like to have a puck moving defenseman. If the Oilers just wait a little longer, they know that
puck moving defensmen should be in higher demand than they already are around the NHL. An opporunity that if patient and teams start to separate themselves, should provide better value for a player like Gilbert.

Speaking of defensmen the Oilers would like to keep, Sheldon Souray could be out a while. No official timeline seems to have been supplied (he's listed as day-to-day), but expect two-three more games at the least as the Oilers play it safe or find themselves in trouble in terms of wins/losses. Staois should be set to return by the Oilers next homestand, but management don't want to risk putting players back in too quick from any sort of head injuries. The Oilers miss Souray's presence on both the ice and in the lockerroom as he's come out this year as one the Oilers true leaders.

The Oilers have not had any talks with Gagner or Cogliano about their upcoming contracts and likely won't until the end of trade deadline this year. Edmonton has already stated they hope to be competitive in the stretch run and look to make temporary improvements at that time. The Oilers also don't see themselves as done with the market in the NHL right now. As the season progresses, faceoff centres and gritty wingers along with opporunities to move contracts from the Oilers roster should present themselves. Gagner and Cogliano on long term deals are just not at the top of the Oilers priority list.

The Oilers may consider moving Grebeshkov if he continues to provide offensive production, but no offers or talks have happened yet. Grebeshkov is always an interesting contract when it comes due each year and with the need to sign other players and/or find relief under what might be a downward moving salary cap, Grebeshlov could provide the best return during the season. Should there be any truth to the Stafford rumors, don't expect the Oilers to move both Gilbert and Grebeshkov. Expect instead that Edmonton brings up both names to see who gathers the largest return.

Steve MacIntyre's time in Edmonton could be limited. The Oilers have showed their ability to play gritty and defend themselves without the need for a one dimensional heavyweight like MacIntyre. Other teams in the NHL however may desire that added toughness and MacIntyre could be moved for as high as a 2nd round pick although a 3rd or 4th rounder is more likely. The Oilers do like MacIntyre and his willingness to become much less than a one dimensional player which is what could keep him in the city a little longer. One source told us "the Oilers feel that characters and people like MacIntyre in general are hard to come by."

In minor league news, The Vancouver Giants have just announced that they have acquired Edmonton Oilers prospect Milan Kytnar from the Saskatoon Blades. In exchange for the overage Euro, Saskatoon receives a 3rd round pick in the 2010 Bantam draft.


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October 13, 2009 at 3:08 PM comment-delete

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