Why the Visnovsky and Staios Trades Are Good For the Oilers

Fans were waiting...and waiting... and waiting. What they got was news that came in after the deadline passed that a two players, one many fans liked for a player most Oiler fans aren't too familiar with and another a sheer salary dump have left the Oilers.

For a long time on Wednesday, fans were starting to get frustrated that the Oilers who were in massive selling mode, had been doing nothing. But much like last year, at the final moments the biggest trades of the day came and involved Edmonton.

One Olympian in Lubomir Visnovsky heads to Anaheim for another Olympian in Ryan Whitney. Visnovsky, the more proven asset of the two takes with him a high salary cap hit at $5.6 million for the next four years and his years senior in age for a 27 year old offensive defeceman with a ton of offensive potential at a lot less money.

Initial reaction seems to be a lot of dissappointment over moving out Visnovsky, but if you consider the Oilers are in what could be a three to four to year rebuild, Visnovsky at 37 wouldn't have made an impact on an improved Oiler team in 2013 or 2014, thus he'd have kept playing on a team up until then that wouldn't have won the big one. Those complaining the Oilers lost leadership and replaced it with nothing, need look no further than the player who didn't move in Sheldon Souray. So too, having to option to keep a Ryan Whitney or let him leave after his remaing four years at $4 million gives the Oilers more options in trade or free agency when it matters most.

In a separate move, the Oilers made history by trading directly with the Calgary Flames for the first time in Oilers franchise history. In what has to be a financially motivated move, Staios was on the block and Edmonton successfully moves another $2.7 million in salary for next season.

For obvious reasons, freeing up this kind of cap space gives the Oilers plenty of options and if buying out or waiving Nilsson, O'Sullivan or Moreau does happen, those are the easier of the contracts to waive and thus cost the Oilers the least in cap trouble at the time they might choose to do so.

The end result after all this salary dumping in Denis Grebeshkov, Lubomir Visnovsky and Steve Staios, is that the Oilers still employ Sheldon Souray, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney, and Ladislav Smid, all of whom could help the Oilers as they clearly rebuild and could be far worse off than two or three previous and potential Allstars/Olympians on the blueline.

Is there more to come today? Doubtful, but even though the Oilers have shed loads of salary and replaced it with a decent player, they given themselves options headed towards the draft.


Your post makes good sense!

March 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM comment-delete

The Oil has brought in 3 bigger bodies that can protect our smaller players. Our D is definitely tougher to play against.

March 3, 2010 at 7:14 PM comment-delete

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