In Search of a Right Hand Man


The Edmonton Oilers have one, count it, ONE right-handed defenseman under contract going into this summer and the trade options are becoming fewer and fewer as we get closer to the draft. Justin Faulk and Tyson Barrie have been pulled off of the shelf, Travis Hamonic wants to stay in Brooklyn now, Sami Vatanen just signed a new deal with Anaheim that makes him the highest paid blueliner on their team. So what are the Oilers left with?


  • Dan Girardi (NYR) – Bad contract and the arrow are pointing south.
  • Cody Franson (BUF) – What happened to this guy? Looked to be developing into something of a beast.
  • Tom Gilbert (MTL) – Need I explain why?
  • Dennis Wideman (CGY) – The refs have been pretty inconsistent in Oilers games… Better not though.

Jason Demers


  • Jason Demers – 6’1″ 200lb – He’s the best of the bunch and will be no.1 UFA target on a lot of lists. Would you pay north of $5M per year for this two-way defender?
  • Luke Schenn – 6’2″ 230lb – Would offer a definite physical element and his age is preferable but his skating and mobility isn’t.
  • Zach Redmond – 6’2″ 205lb – Redmond is climbing the ranks on UFA lists everywhere. He seems to be a lesser version of Demers. Could possibly fill a third pairing role well.
  • Roman Polak – 6’0″ 230lb – Nooooo. Unless Nurse needs a sparring partner. Completely exposed in the Finals by Pittsburgh’s speed and relentless forechecking.
  • Dan Boyle – 5’11” 194lb – At 40 years old, is this the kind of player the Oilers should be targeting? I can’t see it.
  • Brian Campbell – 5’10” 192lb – He’s three years younger than Boyle but I’m not sure if he’d like to spend his twilight years playing in Edmonton. I’ve read Chicago and Florida are his preferred destinations. I don’t blame him either.



  • Tyson Barrie (COL) – A top point producing dman with an edge.
  • Hampus Lindholm (ANH) – Tracking to be a top pairing dman.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF) – Incredible size and offense. Bad possession numbers.
  • Radko Gudas (PHI) – A freight train on ice. Can play over the line but has some offense.
  • Jacob Trouba (WPG) – Mean MF’er. Has trailed off since being stuck behind Big Buff and Tyler Myers.
  • Connor Murphy (ARI) – Quiet and effective two-way defender.
  • Seth Jones (CLB) – Smooth skater whose offense is a tad better than his defense at this point.

I don’t go into what each brings to the rink because you’re already aware of that but players like Barrie, Lindholm, Ristolainen, Jones, and Trouba would need to be signed in the $7M plus per year range in order to have a chance and at that point the compensation would be a 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd round pick. For a team whose pipeline isn’t a point of pride, I’m not sure if the offer sheet route is the best way to go.

With that being said, Radko Gudas intrigues me a lot and Philly has some nice pieces coming up through their system, most notably, Ivan Provorov. Sam Morin is towering beast of a dman and Travis Sanheim is another. I do wonder if a deal could be made here with the Flyers to acquire Gudas’ rights.



  • Josh Manson (ANH) – Dave’s son is a bit better technically than him but I don’t think he’ll even be starring in the NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition anyday. Not that it isn’t hard, I just don’t think offense is his game. Shut down defense is where he carves his niche.
  • Dougie Hamilton (CGY) – Think Calgary would move him to get to no.4?
  • Matt Dumba (MIN) – I can’t see him being worth the price. He looked lost at the World’s.
  • Anton Stralman (TB) – Would Tampa be willing to move Stralman for cap flexibility in order to be able to sign Hedman, Kucherov, Johnson, etc?
  • Kevin Bieksa (ANH) – If the Ducks do sign Hampus Lindholm, that defense is going to be very expensive. Might they be willing to eat some salary to rid themselves of Bieksa?

What do you think? What route would you like to see the Oilers take? Let me know in the comments below!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Lee Dicken

    Why is no one suggesting Larsson of New Jersey 6’3′ age 23 r/d high draft pick . New Jersey is looking for offence they are old up front and ineffective. Seems to be a good fit for both teams.

    • Beer League Hero

      I think it’s because he’s probably not available unless Taylor Hall is the willing return. Larsson has just started to break out with the Devils and they’d be foolish to move him now given he’s their best blueliner.

      • GCW_69

        Fairly prophetic!

    • Lee Dicken

      Go big or go home, either make a big trade to get a player that is really going to help this team for years, or just pick up a few much cheaper pieces and create a system that works for them. The team doesn’t need another middling d man, they have too many of those already. Also think RNH would get this deal done.

  • GCW_69

    If $7M gets you Lindholm on an offer sheet, you do it. You don’t hesitate for a minute. The cost of assets to trade for a defender of that calibre would be way higher. You would have to assume you are signing him to a 7 x 7 deal, unless you wanted to structure a poison pill like Calgary did with O’Reilly, but then you only really screw yourself. Getting Lindholm for the next seven years means your defence is anchored for the full McDavid period, and that’s worth a lot.

    The only other defender on that list you might offer $7M to is Jones, but that’s a much higher risk offer sheet. Jones is likely a top pairing defender. Lindholm IS a top pairing defender.