Oilers Trade Kyle Brodziak

Kyle Brodziak has been traded to Minnesota in exchange for the 99th and 133rd overall pick in this years draft. We're not sure what has triggered the move, other than to assume that possibly the Oilers realize they have an excess at the center position and Brodziak is an RFA.

More to come as we hear whether this was just a simple move up, or if more peices are to follow.


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2009 NHL Draft Results

#1 - New York Islanders - John Tavares - C - London
Tavares has been facing huge expectations his entire life. This will not change as he will be expected to take the laughing stock Islanders back to respectability.

#2 - Tampa Bay Lightning - Victor Hedman - D - Modo
The 6'6" defenceman will likely step right onto the Lighting's roster and will be a mainstay on their top defensive pairing for years to come.

#3 - Colorado Avalanche - Matt Duchene - C - Brampton
Easily the most complete player in the draft, Duchene will we a welcome addition in the mile-high city and will make an amazing 1-2 punch along side Paul Stastny.

#4 - Atlanta Thrashers - Evander Kane - C - Vancouver
Size, skill, heart, this kid's got it all. With a skill set along the lines of a Jerome Iginla, look for him to be playing on the top line with Bryan Little very soon.

#5 - Los Angeles Kings - Braydon Schenn - C - Brandon
A future heart and soul player in the mold of Mike Richards, Braydon Schenn will be a welcome addition on an already young and talented Kings core.

#6 - Phoenix Coyotes - Oliver Ekman-Larson - D - Leksand
The best two-way defenseman in the draft, nobody's stock rose higher in this draft than Ekman-Larson. Another high end prospect to add to the stable in Phoenix.

#7 - Toronto Maple Leafs - Nazim Kadri - C - London
A pure sniper with elite level skills, the only knock on Kadri is a perceived level of inconsistancy. It will be up to the the Leafs to mold him into the pure offensive player that he can be.

#8 - Dallas Stars - Scott Glennie - RW - Brandon
A highly skilled finesse player, Glennie in a couple of years will be a huge boost for the offensively challenged Stars.

#9 - Ottawa Senators - Jared Cowan - D - Spokane
A big, hard-nosed, puck moving defenseman. Just what the doctor ordered in the nation's capitol.

#10 - Edmonton Oilers - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson - LW - Timra
One of the fastest skaters in the draft. Although a couple of years from playing in the NHL he will soon be an impact offensive player for the Edmonton Oilers.

#11 - Nashville Predators - Ryan Ellis - D - Windsor
Don't let his size fool you, this kid proved at the world junior tournament that his puck skills are off the chart. Give him a couple years to fill out and he'll be blasting bombs from the point for the Predators.

#12 - New York Islanders - Calvin DeHaan - D - Oshawa
This kid's got a great skill set including outstanding foot speed, a great first past, and outstanding potential. All he needs is 2 or 3 years to fill out his frame to be NHL ready.

#13 - Buffalo Sabres - Zack Kassian - RW - Peterbourough
Another of the big risers in this year's draft. Kassian is a skilled power forward with a big time mean streak. This kid will run right through you if you're not careful.

#14 - Florida Panthers - Dmitry Kulikov - D - Drummondville
This guy's off the charts talented. If he didn't have a Russian name he would have been picked much earlier.

#15 - Anaheim Ducks - Peter Holland - C - Guelph
A big man with big time skills. The only question is whether this kid's got a tool kit to go along with his tools.

#16 - Minnesota - Nick Leddy - D - Eden Prairie
This year's USHL's Mr. Hockey is a hard skating mobile defenseman. Will he be able to dominate in higher levels than high school?

#17 - St Louis Blues - David Rundblad - D - Skelleftea
Rundblad is this year's Swedish offering of the power play specialist. He moves the puck with confidence and has an incredibly accurate shot.

#18 - Montreal Canadiens - Lous Leblanc - C - Omaha
This smart, skilled centre will be attending Harvard in the fall.

#19 - New York Rangers - Chris Kreider - C - Andover
Hands down the fastest skater in this year's draft, Kreider will be leaving high school and will need to prove himself at a higher level of competition.

#20 - New Jersey Devils - Jacob Josefson - C - Djurgarden
A dynamic two-way player. All-around good skills with the puck, but it's his character that will make him a great proffesional.

#21 - Colombus Bluejackets - John Moore - D - Chicago
An offensive defenceman with outstanding skating ability. This kid was ranked much higher by most accounts.

#22 - Vancouver Canucks - Jordan Schroeder - C - Minnesota
A complete hockey player with great offensive and defensive skills. Schroeder can fill the net with the best of them and although is small by NHL standards, has a powerful core that should carry him far.

#23 - Calgary Flames - Tim Erixon - D - Skelleftea
A smart defensive defensman, he plays a solid game and moves the puck down the ice with authority. His father was an NHL defenseman with the Rangers for a decade.

#24 - Washington Capitols - Marcus Johanson - C - Farjestad
A shifty and technically sound centre. He should round out to be a solid playmaker in the NHL.

#25 - Boston Bruins - Jordon Caron - RW - Rimouski
A big strong winger to complement an already talented forward core in Boston.

#26 - Anaheim Ducks - Kyle Palmieri - RW/C - US18
A smart two-way player, his greatest assets are his drive and tenacity.

#27 - Carolina Hurricanes - Philippe Paradis - C - Shawinigan
A solid offensive player with a wicked shot.

#28 - Chicago Blackhawks - Dylan Olsen - D - Camrose
A physical hard-nosed defenceman with a respectable amount of offensive ability.

#29 - Tampa Bay Lightning - Carter Ashton - RW - Lethbridge
Another 2nd generation NHL'er, he has the size and ability to dominate along the boards. Consistancy can be a bit of an issue.

#30 - Pittsburgh Penguins - Simon Despres - D - St Johns
Great NHL size and mobility. He should develop into a solid all-around defenceman.

Summary Report thanks go out to our good friends at pacificprospectshockey.blogspot.com


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With the 10th overall pick the Edmonton Oilers select MAGNUS PAAJARVI-SVENSSON out of Sweden. Known as a speedy skilled Swede, he has the ability to freeze defenders with his first move and fly past them with a series of good skilled moves. Central scouting compares his to a Mike Gartner type player, which is high praise.

A prospect the Oilers always had their eyes on, their inability to move up in the draft for Evander Kane, meant that their original draft spot at #10. Also interested in Scott Glennie who was somewhat of a surprise pick by the Dallas Stars, the Oilers were pleasantly surprised to have Paajarivi-Svensson available at #10.

A ways from being an NHL player, Magnus has another year on his contract in Sweden and the Oilers have no desire to rush him onto the team before he's ready and fully developed. The Oilers next pick at 40th overall could land them a number of different players as the order of the draft starts to jump off the board a bit.


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Pronger To the Flyers.

It is now official. The Anaheim Ducks have traded defenceman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers for Luca Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul and two first-round picks. Pronger spent three seasons with the Ducks, winning the Stanley Cup in 2006-07.

How Philadelphia fits Pronger underneath the cap is anyone's guess, but that almost guarantees the need to move more than Lupul to clear the space. With Briere almost impossible to move thanks to his high cap hit, Hartnell and possibly Simon Gagne seem to be the most logical options and we could see this happening as the draft progesses.

The Kaberle for Kessel trade also seems to be dead in the water. More to come...


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Quick Oilers Rumours Regarding Draft Day

While there is nothing confirmed, some quick hits are coming out of the draft regarding the Oilers and some possbile movement.

The Oilers are really high on Evander Kane. They are making a bunch of calls trying to get up to the #5 spot, possibly the number 4. Should they be working with LA (a team they have a lot of history with) the talk is that Sheldon Souray plus the number #10 to LA for the #5 overall pick plus a roster player. Not sure what that something else is, but the Oilers are interested in Dustin Brown and Frolov.

Should they think that Evander Kane won'tbe available at #5, expect a push up one more spot with Atlanta to #4. What is being offered there if anything so far is undetermined.
Heatley trade talks have really slowed down with all teams including the Oilers. Much like when Pronger was traded, the value for Heatley is at an all time low and Bryan Murray and the Heatley camp may really have handcuffed themselves. If Heatley is moved don't expect a lot going back as was previously rumoured. The chances are, Heatley may actually stay in Ottowa.

More to come as news comes in...


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Oilers Not in on Kaberle. But Who Is?

TSN and a number of hockey insiders are reporting that a handful of teams have expressed interest in Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs. One comment involves a team calling Brian Burke and asking him to name his price.

Is Edmonton in on this sudden, somewhat surprising interest in Kaberle? Despite Kaberle's name being thrown around at the time Lowe was looking to trade Chris Pronger, the answer is a resounding no -- for many reasons.

Despite the fact that Burke and those involved in management may still be at odds and a trade is less likely involving our respective GM's than maybe any other teams, the Oilers are not in the need for a defensemen of Kaberle's ilk like they were when trying to move Pronger. Visnovsky, Souray, Grebeshkov and Gilbert were hardly specks on the Oilers radar at that time and there seems to be no reason to add another $4.25 million dollar cap hit to the team on defense.

A fine d-man in his own right, Kaberle had missed a number of games last year due to injury and at his best put up 67 points in one year. While that outweighs the production of our d-core with the exception of Visnovsky who was able to match that point production with 67 in 2005/2006 or Souray who came close in Montreal with 64 points in 2006/2007; it isn't something the Oilers feel would improve the team.

Rumours are abound at this years draft and starting to really heat up, but Kaberle and the Oilers is not something fans should expect to see or frankly even consider.
Teams to think about might be Florida to replace Jay Bouwmeester and have a fairly good pick in this years draft to use as bait, Anahiem who we know plans to move Pronger at some point, and Atlanta who could use a puck moving defenceman like Kaberle at a respectable cap hit. Only time will tell, but expect a lot of movement, which seems to be obvious is now going to overshadow the draft itself.


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Ahhh – Back to the Good Old Days, When Sport was Less a Business and More a Family by: "The Prof"

I am getting older, and I probably think like an old guy. That is, my values are different from many others. But let me offer a different perspective on the question of the day: what should the Oilers do at the draft?

Let’s call this my Al Kaline blog. I know that young readers probably don’t know who Al Kaline is. But you should look him up on Google. He is in the Baseball Hall of Fame; led the American League in Batting Average in 1955; and played 22 years (from 1953 to 1974) – all with the Detroit Tigers. And, it is that last point that I like – he played all 22 years with the same team – the Detroit Tigers. Wake up on Tuesday, and Al Kaline is a Detroit Tiger. In the off-season, Al Kaline is a Detroit Tiger. No matter when – Al Kaline is and was ALWAYS a Detroit Tiger.

This reminds me of the old Oilers before Pocklington started to erode the family. Gretzky, Messier, Fuhr, etc. I don’t care where they played for the rest of their careers – they were all Oilers. To me, always Oilers! When you see an Oiler jersey retired – you have a sense of the spirit I am talking about.

Now here we are facing a draft and the rumors are going around who the Oilers need, who they can get, who they will trade for, how the cap space works. It all tires me out, and it sure doesn’t fit my values. What I want are young kids who start as Oilers and end as Oilers.

I want Tom Gilbert to stay an Oiler. I want Horcoff to stay an Oiler.

I want Hemsky to stay an Oiler. Brodziak – Oiler. Cogliano and Gagner - Oilers! Moreau, Nilsson, O'Sullivan, Pisani, Reddox, Stortini, and even Penner and Pouliot – keep em. All Oilers!!

Goalies? Perhaps it is time to see what Deslauriers (all 6' 4" of this young kid) is made of. Keep Roloson – I know he felt unwanted two years ago, but if he is who I think he might be, convince him to stay in Oiler blue and orange. He seems like a good guy – a team guy – a family guy. Have him bring his wife and kids back – because we want him to be part of our community and city. His best days were as an Oiler and he loves being depended upon. Maybe he can squeeze one more year out of himself – and we can draft another young kid who might turn out to be another Andy Moog.

On Defense – I love Grebeshkov. I watched him turn into a player from a kid who turned over the puck every game. I like him! Keep him!

Chorney, Peckham, Souray, Strudwick, Smid, Visnovsky. I love them as players – with all their ups and downs – keep em all! Staios – perhaps he is slowing down and getting by more on smarts than speed these days. Keep him, too. And when he can no longer skate well enough – make him a coach to teach other D-Men how to be as smart and tough as he is.

For me, hockey is about hanging out with my family – with something to watch. It isn’t and never will be life or death. And I hate it that is becoming only a business. I want sport to represent more – community, teamwork, competition in the best sense. These are my Oilers, and the more I am a fan the more I want to think of them as a family. I think of Ladi Smid as a good kid – a person – someone who tries so darn hard and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work. But, he is in there pitching – never quitting. This is not a bad role model as young Edmonton boys grow up from ten to twenty.

Here is what I want the Oilers to do. Stand pat. Draft what they need and keep who they have. I will be a fan if they make the playoffs or if they don’t. But I want too root for Gagner and Cogliano this year – and next year – and for a lot of years.

Draft smart. And, don’t play like the other clubs – give the Oilers back to the fans and take them away from the accountants. Let’s bring back the days when everyone knew who the Oilers were and when players wanted to be drafted to play in Edmonton because, well, we were the Oilers – and because we are different.


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Heatley to Minnesota?

While news has been running rampant over speculation of what was going to happen with Dany Heatley, Ryan Rishaug of TSN seems to have broken a tid bit live from the draft in Montreal that the Minnesota Wild are putting together a bid to bring the goal scoring forward west, essentially replacing Marian Gaborik who is on the way out.

This news comes also with word that the Oilers and Steve Tambellini have had second thoughts about aquiring Heatley in a trade thanks to reports and further due diligence that Heatley comes with too much baggage to give up much in terms of Oilers heading to the Senators.

Reporting that Heatley was tremendously out of shape towards the end of the season last year, coupled with some personal off the ice issues, the Oilers are having second thoughts and either a) feel that money can be better spent in other places or that the asking price is too steep considering the newly discovered issues and the $4 million bonus due to Heatley on July 1st.

So where does this leave Edmonton in the mix? Well its possible that Tambellini may now decide to go after a forward like Marian Hossa or sign Jay Bouwmeester and trade one of his three defencemen in Visnovsky, Souray or Gilbert to improve the forward position.

No matter what happens, the Heatley possibilities moved from what might be considered a good possibility to less than a 5% chance that anything with the 50 goal scorer will happen.


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Hockey in Phoenix – Well, It’s Cheap by: "The Prof"

I see that mega rich Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has promised to make an offer by Friday to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes and keep the team in Arizona. Now the question is: do I support hockey in Phoenix? Yes – and here’s why.

Perhaps I am being a bit cheeky, but I support hockey in Phoenix because I can see the Oilers play easier and almost as cheaply as I can in Edmonton. Last year, “center” ice down low tickets in Rexall Place cost $224 per seat. And many of these are not really “center” ice – they go far past the neutral zone, well into each offensive/defensive end. That is $450 for you and your wife – not counting parking or baby sitting. Say you want some food – and the cost would be up to just under $500 – if you don’t splurge on your meal. OK, by the time you leave home to return home from that game, you have spent – say - $510.00.

Now, say you want to watch the Oilers play in Phoenix. Similar tickets could be had last year for $25 US – say $30 Canadian or $60 for two tickets. And this included food! You leave your house in Edmonton, drive to the airport - $10 gas return. You park for 2 days in Park N’Fly - $20. You booked early and your Westjet ticket costs you $93 plus tax – say $135 – each way, or $270.00 – or $540 for two. We are talking $630 for two for the entire trip.

Oh, and if you add a place to stay for say two nights in Phoenix – at $200. And ground transportation – car rental for $20 per day – use Priceline. That is $850 for a three-day vacation in Arizona – including a great Oiler game.

Not to mention the +25 C warm weather in January or February. So, do I support hockey in Phoenix – you bet!

What do you think? Should fans support a team in a market that doesn't seem to be able to support it?


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Oilers To Change Jersey's Again?

A popular rumour site posted the following. "According to Patrick LaForge, Oilers President and CEO, the Oilers will switch their current home jersey with their throwback alternate jersey for the 2009-2010 season.. "The dark blue will become our third jersey, as was Todd McFarlane's former design (blue and silver with the gears on the sweater)," said LaForge. "The road whites will stay the same."

I have no idea how accurate this is or whether it is just the resurfacing of an old rumour, but this source is claiming it out of Laforge's own mouth, which is not at all to be taken lightly. I for one, don't mind the throw back jerseys, but am a bit surprised by the move. As far a merchandise is concerned it would be my guess that the retro style colors were hot sellers regardless of where they used them during game play. I'm not so sure the darker blue will sell as well being a third jersey.

What do you think? Would you rather the glory days colors? Or keep the darker blues and are own unique identity from the dominant years of the Edmonton Oilers?


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Congratulations to this years Hall of Fame class. As "The Prof" predicted, we saw a sweep of ex Red Wings and one star two time Norris trophy winning Ranger defenseman get the nod Tuesday.

Forwards Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and defenceman Brian Leetch were announced as this year's inductees in the players category. Lou Lamarillo from New Jersey was announced in the Builder's Category.

At centre, Yzerman was the shoe in. The fourth overall draft pick in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Yzerman scored 39 goals and added 48 points for 87 points in his rookie season. As "The Prof" also pointed out, Yzerman spent his entire 22-year career with the Red Wings, scoring 692 goals to rank eighth on the all-time list.

Brett Hull with 741 goals ranks third on the all-time list. Hull was was a late pick and poor starter in Calgary when he finally made the team in 1986. Later traded to St. Louis, Hull teamed up with Adam Oates to score over 70 goals in three consecutive seasons, including a career-high of 86 markers in 1990-91. He would end his 10-year career in St. Louis with 527 goals for an average of over 50 goals per season.

At left wing, Robitaille is the highest scoring player at his position in league history, ranking 10th on the all-time list with 668 goals. While on defense, Leetch notched 71 points in his first season, with a career-best campaign in 1991-92 when he hit the 100-point mark. He was rewarded with his first of two Norris Trophies as the league's best defenceman.

As for Lamarillo, 40 years in hockey and 3 Stanley Cups as coach was enough to put him in this years celebration which will take in place on November 9th at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.


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Is Evander Kane Worth Trading Up For?

The Oilers are making some calls in a number of areas and its not just in regards to Dany Heatley.

Tambellini has interest in moving up in the draft as do a number of other GM's, but not for many of the same three reasons (namely Tavares, Hedman and Duchene). The Oilers feel it might be possible to move some of their prospects and contracts along with their #10 overall pic to move up a few spots in order to draft Evander Kane, who they are very high on.

The 5'11" Center from the Vancouver Giants is a highly touted prospect who finds himself in the mix of the Top 4-7 players depending on how certain teams choose to draft in those spots.

NHL Central Scouting’s Blair MacDonald: "He has power forward qualities from the blue line in. He's the type of player who doesn't like being denied access to the net. You can almost see when he's got the puck he's going to the net and defying people to stop him. He'll be a 200-pound forward in the National Hockey League. He plays like he's 6-2, 6-3, bigger than his size. He's surprised a lot of people with his strength going to the net."

Check out the video. What would you move to obtain a player of Kane's ability?


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A Red Wings’ Foursome? by "The Prof"

This is a good year for NHL Hockey Hall of Fame player considerations. But, I am betting that all the inductees will have a Detroit Red Wing background. Here are my picks:

#1: Steve Yzerman is a shoo in. Not only was he a great player and a great leader, but he is genuinely well-respected worldwide. And, like the old days he has one thing going for him – at least in my mind. He played for the same team his entire career. That is almost unheard of in today’s market-driven (not fan-driven) economic market.

Too bad players have been talked into the belief that they should go for the gusto on each contract. Call me romantic, but I wish Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Coffey, Fuhr, and even Ryan Smyth started and ended their careers with the Oilers. I want the owners and players to love their fans as much as their fans love them.

#2: Luc Robitaille seems like such a good guy that I am really rooting for him. Although he had his best years with the Los Angeles Kings, he still played for Detroit from 2001-3 (two seasons). I am glad he finished his career with the Kings. I suppose I also like him because he never looks old – the last time I saw a picture of him, he looked like he was 25 years old. Again, here is a guy who seemed to like his fans in LA enough to end his career there. His jersey was retired a couple years ago – and good!

#3: Like him or not, Brett Hull deserves to be in the Hall. What a scoring machine – and I am pleased the Flames traded him away when they had him, or else the Oilers might not have dominated them those many years – well, they used to a long time ago. When Hull had a "feeder" who could get him the puck, like he did in St. Louis in Adam Oates, could that guy score.

#4: And speaking of Adam Oates, here is an under-rated player who also has a Detroit Red Wing background. Before he went to the Blues, he started his career with the Wings and, by the time he left, he was averaging almost an assist a game. His last career year was as an Oiler and, by that time, his skill had run out – but he sure had an impact on the Oilers’ face off success two years ago. Perhaps we should bring him back to teach the young Oilers something about winning that face-off that allows us to control or escape the zone.

#5: Finally, the last person eligible with a chance – perhaps not a good one, however, is Dino Ciccarelli. I remember meeting him in the airport one day when he was on his way back to the States – he had broken his wrist, I believe, and had to stay in Edmonton for treatment and was on his way back with a trainer. He seemed only like a little guy, but what a pest.

I know there are others who perhaps deserve a Hall of Fame vote -- Alexander Mogilny, Brian Leetch, Pavel Bure, Doug Gilmour, Steve Larmer, and Dave Andreychuk come to mind. But, the selection committee takes no more than four players per year, and I am thinking all four will have a Detroit Red Wings background. So, when this year's Inductions into the Hockey Hall of Fame take place on Nov. 9 in Toronto, that is my guess.

What are your picks?


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Quick News Hits for June 22,2009

The Draft:

A lot of speculation is starting to come down about the draft on Friday. While the Oilers aren't tipping their hat to who exactly is going to get drafted, two possible options exist.

First, we could see Tambellini make a move to get up a few spots and into the top seven overall picks. We consider the top seven, maybe eight to be A+ players. There's a little drop after that, probably in the next five to six range," said Oilers Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Hockey Operations Kevin Prendergast. Players like Evander Kane, Jared Cowen and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson are all on the radar of the team, but not likely viable options at their current selection position in the draft.

That said, Pendergast was also quick to point out that they'll be ready to pick a good player at the #10 spot which they currently hold. They have a few names in mind that they think will be available including Nazem Kadri (C), Dmitry Kulikov (D), Scott Glennie (RW) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D).

Jason Strudwick:

The Oilers have expressed interest in retaining UFA Jason Strudwick for the upcoming season. A bargain at $650,000 last year he ended up as a forward, defenseman and more due to a few rash injuries and lack of committment from some of the regular roster. The Oilers are also high on his leadership and communication in the lockerroom and community, which they firmly believe they need more of on a team that lacked a lot of motivation.

Chris Chelios:

Ken Holland has stated that he has informed Chelios that he will not be offered another contract by the Red Wings. While the veteran d-man has played over 26 years in the NHL, Holland actually believes that Chelios has another good year as a 5/6 d-pairing guy.

That said, don't expect a contract offer from the Oilers for the UFA. It is far more likely Chelios ends up in a place like San Jose or NYR where GM's are often seen giving chances to veteran players who may help during playoff time.

Dany Heatley:

The Rangers could be presented with the chance to acquire Senators winger Dany Heatley this week. Larry Brooks reports the team is not on the sniper's list of preferred options, but he likely would not block a trade to New York. [New York Post]


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Jay Bouwmeester or No Jay Bouwmeester?

Are the Oilers in on the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes? According to a lot of sources -- yes. Does that mean that Jay Bouwmeester is interested in becoming an Edmonton Oiler? Until recently we didn't think so, but now it may not matter.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is now reporting that word has come from Oiler management that while Bouwmeester is among the top UFA's available in this year's crop, the Oilers aren't making it a priority to land him. Bigger holes require filling and Tambellini feels it better to improve the offense on their deficient first line by finding help for forward Ales Hemsky.

With Mr. Bouwmeester about to receive rediculously high offers from teams with available cap space, it may not be best to out bid for a player in a position that the current team seems to have strength. For the first time and contrary to many reports, Matheson suggests that the Oilers are finally comfortable with their blueline core and would rather not make changes to it if need be. An interesting notion considering how often Tom Gilbert's name has been thrown around in trade rumours.

What does this leave? Available names like Marian Gaborik or Martin Havlat won't come cheap. Dany Heatley's name has been everywhere and linked to many teams over the past two weeks, and of course there is always the Sedins and Marian Hossa. All options will require clearing some cap space and the movement of some players like a Dustin Penner, who we previously wrote was not actively being shopped. Has that changed?

Time will tell, but not for long. With the draft only days away and the free agent frenzy only days later, expect some moves.


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Happy Father's Day Quinn and Renney. You've Inherited 27 New Sons.

As a son I never really looked at Father's Day as anything special. Sure it was nice to appreciate my Dad, but I always kind of thought of it as a weekend in which I never really could figure out what to buy him for a present. After all, what do you get the man who already has everything?

When I became a father, and Dad's day rolled around; it was just nice to have my family with me and see how my child was growing up or how proud I was to be her Dad.

This Father's Day, I couldn't help but think of the Edmonton Oilers. A team of 27 players who inherited two new Dad's last month (in Pat Quinn and Tom Renney) and will have them for the upcoming 2009-2010 season to look up to, make proud and learn from, as they grow and mature. It's a lot like the relationship with me and my Dad with one major exception -- there will be no shopping for presents.

For Quinn and Renney, no better gift exists than that of a team full of underachieving, often unmotivated players growing and maturing into something these two coaches can be proud of. The likelihood, despite the same old false positive fan and management thinking that we'll land the big ticket free agent; is that Quinn and Renney will be left to find a way to make this similar team of 27 sons a winning team of 27 brothers.

Can they turn Robert Nillson, the skilled but inconsistent at best forward into a threat to produce night in and night out? Can they make the mountain of a man Dustin Penner the 30 goal, physical scorer he's supposed to be? Can they find a way to turn around Patrick O'Sullivan's poor start as an Oiler or Sam Gagner's traditionally poor start to each season?

While Quinn and Renney actually enjoy some well deserved time with their families and kids, perhaps a small part of them is thinking the same thing. Can we make these kids a better team? I suppose by next Father's Day, we'll have our answer. Happy Father's Day!


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