The Edmonton Oilers are back on track baby! 6-3-0 in the month of December is more like the Oilers that I’ve grown to know and love, amirite?! Cam Talbot is back to being Dadbot 5000, Connor is 100%, Letestes is producing from the 4th line and scoring from the PK. Kassian’s smile has made a return, the Nuge and Looch are having outstanding seasons so far!
The boys are on the hunt and the teams above them in the Pacific had better be on their games for the rest of the season too because the Oilers are coming for them!
I don’t know if you heard/read that quote from Friedman last week about the one Western Conference GM that said he wouldn’t count the Oilers out just yet because McDavid could very well pull them to the playoffs himself (I’m paraphrasing of course) but we’re 6 or 7 games in a row now that the Oilers have played VERY well and against some top teams in the league like St,Louis, Toronto, and Columbus.
The tide is turning for Edmonton and the Hockey Gods have had their fun with them. The time is now for Connor’s team.
Speaking of Connor’s team, I got an interesting phone call from a lifelong friend out of the 907 area code, he was sort of rambling about his vehicle being on the fritz and having to need it for work on Christmas Eve. He calls every year about this time to talk about the Oilers and I asked him if he thought the Oilers had been good or bad this year and also if he thought they might have a good Christmas present-wise. Wink wink.
He said that they’d had a tough start to the year but that if they behaved themselves before Christmas he could see them getting an extra present or two.
After he said that I told him I had to get going and to send my best to his wife and Rudy and I got going with my day.
Earlier in the year, Peter Chiarelli got a lot of flack for not doing enough to ensure the depth of his team could handle any crisis that may arise. A lot of the concerns, in my opinion, were voiced the heaviest during Laurent Brossoit’s stint as the starter while Cam Talbot was out and before Brandon Davidson was claimed on waivers when Eric Gryba was filling in.
Well, a good portion of the Oilers roster was also sick at that time but they managed to find a way to keep it together (barely) but there were rumors around that time that the Oilers were looking at Michael Hutchinson, a player that Chiarelli had drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft when PC was the GM of the Bruins.
Now that the trade rumors have died down a bit I think that the fruit of those talks may come true once the roster freeze is lifted. Chiarelli was working the phones like a madman last month and what better time to capitalize on those efforts than now, when the team is on the rise.
Hutchinson in for Brossoit? I’m not sure if the Oilers would move Brossoit out or simply toss him on waivers and hope that he passes through so they can send him to the AHL but how would that affect Nick Ellis’ development and what would be of Eddie Pasquale then? Are there even any NHL teams that would take Brossoit at this point?
Hutchinson is only 27 years old and is sporting a 12-1-1 record with a 1.72 GAA and a .950 SV%. He’s contracted until the end of this season at a shade over $1M.
What’s his value like? The Jets’ goaltending situation seems pretty sorted with Hellebuyck and Mason as well as highly-regarded prospect Eric Comrie coming along. I’d venture to say a mid-round draft pick would get it done. Maybe the Oilers send Pasquale too in order to make a spot for Brossoit in Bakersfield?
Hutchinson was a recent recipient of the AHL player of the week award.
The other name that got me wondering was Evander Kane and that’s because on today’s Oilers Now, Bob Stauffer and Uber-insider Elliotte Friedman were talking about Buffalo and of course Kane’s name came up and as soon as it did, Stauffer tossed out a “Hmmmmmmm”. You know the kind that makes you think you’re on to something.
I have ZERO ideas as to what the Sabres would be getting from the Oilers. I know that Anton Slepyshev’s name is out there, I think that Pat Maroon would be an option, but I also wonder if there’s a defensive option there that would interest the Sabres. The caveat with Chiarelli sending a defenseman over is that the ones that most ppl would want to trade have an NMC in their contract and I really doubt that Buffalo would be one of the teams they’d be willing to waive it for.
I think that draft picks and prospects are the tender at this point in the year. Lowetide wrote over at The Athletic about the Oilers trading their 2018 1st rounder and had this to say,
If Edmonton trades the 2018 first-round selection, they have to be absolutely certain the talent bubbling under in the system contains real quality. That may be the decision being weighed by the Oilers today and the answer is decidedly unclear.
*Click here to subscribe to The Athletic for more gold like what you read above from Lowetide! But not only him, there’s also the insider stuff from LeBrun, game breakdowns from Justin Bourne, prospect coverage from Corey Pronman. Not just Fancy stats articles!
I’m not too sure a player like Kane comes to Edmonton this early in the season without parting with that 1st rounder and Pat Maroon though and I’m also not convinced the Oilers necessarily require him right now. Would he be an upgrade on Maroon, YES! But it’s also hard to determine what kind of effect it would have in the locker room and Edmonton’s team chemistry. Maroon is a very well liked player on this team. Kane’s Ego might be one of the larger ones in the league today but might that swagger be a breath of fresh air on this team?
If any deals have been made prior to the roster freeze but we’re waiting on the announcement after it, I think they’ll be minor tinkerings like a Hutchinson trade or possibly a guy like Frank Vatrano.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to hit up our BLH Teepublic Shop this holiday season!
Merry Christmas Everyone. I hope Santa is as good to you as he might be for the Oilers 🙂