Some Moves Coming For The Oilers: Why One of Them Shouldn't Be Fernando Pisani

Darren Dreger, who is about the most connected NHL insider involved in the business tweeted Tuesday, that the Edmonton Oilers are closer to a move that would send Ethan Moreau and probably more out of Edmonton, if they could "sweeten the pot".

However, Moreau may not be on the only piece involved here and just the start of a few moves for Edmonton.

From what we understand, there are possibly a few scenarios that might be options. One includes (as Robin Brownlee pointed out on that Ethan Moreau and possibly a draft pick would be moved to Toronto for Garnet Exelby and possibly a higher round draft pick.

If true, this would essentially be a move to rid the Oilers of salary, as Moreau has another year on his contract at $2 million and Exelby becomes a UFA, the Oilers are not likely to re-sign. If they do, it will be at a discounted rate over Moreau's $2 million. Even considering re-signing Exelby might hinge on the Oilers moving Steve Staios and not re-signing Jason Strudwick.

Brian Burke likes gritty players and often to the point where he dismisses their tendancies to take bad penalties. That describes Moreau to a tee, which makes sense as to why Burkie might consider a deal with Edmonton (whom he swore he'd never deal with).

Anaheim is also said to have interest in Moreau and the value coming back isn't known for sure, but that Nick Boyton or Evgeny Artyukhin might be involved in some way or another.

There is also some word that Montreal and Edmonton are and have been talking for the past little while about a multi-player deal with some bigger names from both sides and some smaller pieces. One smaller piece name we've heard is George Laraque coming back to Edmonton.

Laraque has 1 yr left after this one on his contract with Montreal, and the Canadiens would force the Oilers to take him as part of a deal, but that the Oilers aren't completely sour about it as big George might provide some protection for some of the young forwards about to enter next year and the move was just a part of a bigger trade.

Since the Oilers view next year as another possible rebuild, they wouldn't be looking at Laraque to be an offensive player and in fact he'd likely sit as many games as he'd play under Pat Quinn, but because his contract would be coming off the books the year after, doesn't derail any rebuild process and he's a good "ex Oiler that the community loves".

One player we've heard Montreal might want is Gilbert Brule and/or Fernando Pisani; neither of which I see as realistic options. For Brule, I think the Oilers feel that unless a better value comes back than sending Brule away, they have a forward they'd like to keep.

In Pisani, he's obviously being discussed to relieve salary, but not as much as I think people expect.

For one, Pisani's numbers already come off the books next season, so moving him now for next to nothing doesn't help the Oilers at all. In fact, with the cap trouble facing the team, they might see Pisani as an inexpensive piece to resign for 1yr at a low dollar, but useful role playing contract for next season. If they took that approach, and said to themselves "we're not moving Pisani unless the deal is too good to pass up" I think they'd be smart.

The Oilers should be able to get Pisani at near league minimum. He's useful when healthy. He's a good guy who feels like he owes the Oilers organization a lot for dishing out a big contract from which he missed a lot of due to illness and health issues and wouldn't mind staying in Edmonton where he'd get the chance to show what he can do to keep his career going. Not that any of this mind you is Pisani's fault.

To me, Pisani is a very similar situation to a Mike Comrie with a few different circumstances.

Two, any team looking at Pisani would have to consider what they'd be giving up to get a somewhat risky health question mark for a tough playoff run. Pisani had magic in 2006, but has yet to reproduce that. If it's going to take a 2nd or 3rd round pick, teams might not be willing to take that chance. That said, if a team needed a third or fourth line defensive-minded penalty killer for a playoff run, they might give a decent 2nd round pick, which is a good deal for Edmonton.

The Oilers are focused on two things: moving salary and bad contracts off the books for next year and getting as much value back for good contracts or assets as they can.

It only makes sense to focus on trades that affect your team moving forward. Fernando Pisani doesn't hurt you in the future if you can't move him, so don't move him for literally nothing. It just doesn't make sense.

Needless to say, Dreger is connected and doesn't have a tendancy to report things without good merit. The Oilers are close to doing something, and are trying to make things happen. That much we know is true.


I'd have to agree with the fact that Darren Dreger is a reliable source. The Montreal scenario is an interesting one. I'd think the Kostitsyn sisters would be involved. If Laraque is also included, the dollars are getting close to Shawn Horcoff heading there. I'd imagine Gainey would also want Brule or Cogliano as well. I'd have to keep Brule moving forward, but possibly part with Coglaino if it meant we could unload Horcoff's albatross contract. Can't really see any other reason for taking Laraque back in the deal. Fingers are crossed on this one..............

February 3, 2010 at 12:36 AM comment-delete

I would be amazed if Montreal grabbed Gomez and Horcoff as their one/two, both of whom are on horrid contracts, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

I think if you're moving Horcoff and it takes Brule to do it, in that instance I would and you just hope that Horcoff doesn't pick things up or Brule become a 30 goal guy..

You just don't want to make a lateral move in terms of contracts unless it frees up major term.

February 3, 2010 at 12:48 AM comment-delete

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