What Might Chicago Be Willing to Take Back For Brian Campbell

The Edmonton Oilers are looking to move Sheldon Souray. Where they move him will be a focus of discussion up to this years draft and possibly after if they can't find a taker.

Perhaps the following is an option for Edmonton. Would you consider it?

Realistically, there will be two types of teams who might want Souray. One is a team that is losing a big name high ticket d-man and needs to replace them a la San Jose who might be losing Rob Blake to retirement. Or... a team that has a bigger ticket than Sheldon Souray and would be willing to take a more ageing veteran blueliner like Souray to move some cap space a la Chicago and Brian Campbell.

Once Chicago ends this year playoff run, some big decisions are going to need to be made. Without re-signing any of the players up for pending RFA and UFA status, the Blackhawks are over the cap by $700,000 (according to capgeek.com)

Chicago might be willing to move a player like Campbell and take some salary back if they can keep the core of their team together and get under the cap. With Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the signing of Campbell isn't quite as meaningful to the Blackhawks as it was when it happened.

The Oilers however, with an exiting Sheldon Souray could perhaps use the services of a veteran offensive powerplay specialist like Campbell. Sure, he's overpaid, but he provides great offensive consistency having gotten near or over 50 points per season in the last five years.

So, if you were Edmonton, would you take on Campbell's offensive skill and bloated salary if as a result you could move say a Sheldon Souray and an Ethan Moreau or Robert Nilsson?

Obviously there are two big conditions here. One, is that Chicago throws in another small player salary to Edmonton to again get under the cap. Two, the Brian Campbell, who has a no trade clause in which he can name 8 teams for which he's accept a trade, were to include Edmonton in that list.

Big if's I suppose, but Campbell coming back to the Blackhawk line-up tonight and no one really seeming to care, got me thinking about it.

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If A Big Name Free Agent Considered Edmonton, Would You Sign One?

The Oilers are in a serious rebuild. For that, there is no doubt. They'll be selecting first overall in this coming NHL entry draft taking either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. In a way, it's kind of like the biggest free agent signing of the summer.

Outside of that, the Oilers have recently made it clear, that while they'll be active in the trade market and free agency, they'll be no attempting to land the big fish in Edmonton this year. Recent interviews with Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and Oilers Owner Daryl Katz back up that comment as both are on board to take the time required for a proper rebuild.

Again, they'll be no fishing for free agents.

But what if one came calling?

Let's for a second pretend, that with all the shifting that's bound to happen in a tightly wound salary cap NHL and teams like San Jose (should they not win the first round of the playoffs) or players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Tomas Plekanec at forward or Anton Volchenkov and Dan Hamhuis at defense looking for a raise, should the Oilers listen if a simple phone call results in some interest?

The goal for the Edmonton Oilers is to do two things: 1) Move out the losers and big money contracts that either don't want to be here or shouldn't be here because they were to mistakes to sign in the first place and 2) replace those players with a mixture of new young ready to play NHL talent and smarter free agent signings or trades.

Knowing that many of the faces currently on the Oilers team roster are not part of the big plans, you have to fill space with someone. Those someones aren't and perhaps shouldn't be all kids who may or may not be ready for the NHL. We've seen the Oilers try that before and it doesn't end well, often hampering growth.

If Patrick Marleau was to be moved from San Jose because the Sharks needed to shake things up and his $6-$7 million salary wasn't something they could stomach, he'd need to go and would go somewhere. If the Oilers successfully moved Souray, O'Sullivan and Nilsson, they'd have plenty of room.

Or, if the Jagr rumors were actually true and he'd consider playing here for a year or two at a decent salary (say $2.5 million per) would you bring in a proven superstar, who even if he doesn't still have the goods, can teach the young players getting ready to be the Oilers next future wonder kids?

What if Dan Hamhuis, who is sure to get a raise and the Oilers absolutely think will be a stud would consider signing a 7 year $3.5 million per contract, would you do it? He's 27 and as steady as they come on the back-end for young blue-liners on the UFA market.

If they came a knocking, would you answer? Or would you stay the course no matter how tempting with the notion that to do a rebuild, it must be done right.


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