I’m glad I didn’t spend the day watching TSN’s and Sportsnet’s coverage of the trade deadline… Wow! What a shitshow the deadline has turned out to be. I’d suggest the NHL just go to something similar to what they have in club soccer and have windows at the beginning of the year and at the midpoint of the season but NHL teams barely make any trades in-season as it is, so that probably wouldn’t work. I mean if it wasn’t such a kick in the junk to the players, I’d be all for making it a big draft-like event where all the GMs pile into an arena where there are 31 tables set up for one weekend and it’s televised and you can see what deals are being offered and rejected. THAT would be fun to watch. Instead, we’re treated to questionable attempts at sketch comedy unless of course you have Ilya Bryzgalov… Kudos to Sportsnet for snagging that beauty!
So, who did the Oilers manage to bring in for their playoff run?
- David Desharnais (C/W):
Yesterday, we posted an article with a variety of reactions from local Edmonton media and bloggers here if you’d like to refresh yourself. Myself, I’m still on the fence because I haven’t made a point to watch a lot of Habs games in the past but from what I’ve gathered since Chiarelli joined the team, he likes hard-working character guys. Players who can fit into his team’s style and are excellent locker room additions. He’s got no time for egos.
So I’m curious to see how Desharnais fits into this Oilers squad. I believe he will replace Drake Caggiula in the lineup and will most likely play a mentor-like role for Caggiula. I support this notion and the timing is just right as I feel the college kids (Benning, Caggiula) are starting to hit a wall as the season moves on.
I believe that Desharnais will be an option for bottom-6 centre. I’m not necessarily convinced he’s a better candidate for important faceoffs than Hendricks, Letestu, or even Khaira. In my opinion, he’d look good with Benoit Pouliot on his left wing and Anton Slepyshev on his right IF he’s drawing in at centre. If he’s coming in on the left wing, then, I’d like to see him on Letestu’s wing with Kassian on the right side.
- Justin Fontaine (RW):
The former Bonnyville Pontiac (AJHL) has tallied 30 points in 50 games for the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack this season. In the previous three seasons, he has racked up 68 points in 197 games playing for the Minnesota Wild.
Fontaine replaces Taylor Beck, who was having a stellar campaign for the Condors but some feel he was getting in the way of Jesse Puljujarvi’s development by taking more of his ice time be it 5×5 or on the PP. Fontaine is an excellent option for the Condors 2nd-line RW.
- Ryan Mantha (D):
We posted an article waaaaaaaay back in December telling you that the Oilers were looking at this hulking OHL overager and what do you know, he actually signs with the team! I’d actually been tipped off on this signing but was told to keep it on the down-low. Lucky for me at that time, there were some other factors that helped point us in the direction that hinted at Mantha signing with Edmonton.
For me, there’s nothing wrong with this signing at all. The captain of the Niagara Ice Dogs is really starting to develop nicely is emerging as the top overage defenseman in the OHL. I like players who are leaders on their junior teams. I like big defensemen who can put up offense and in this day and age, I like right-handed defensemen. Mantha checks all of those boxes.
Lastly, I really dig the idea of him joining the Condors once his OHL season is over. Bakersfield could use a righty who can possibly put some points up on the board.
And who left the organization?
- Brandon Davidson
- Taylor Beck
I’m not surprised one bit that the Oilers didn’t buck up and bring in some of the higher profile players rumored to be available. I know that they were in on some goalies but as I said over and over with Halak, the Isles just wouldn’t budge on the contract thing. If they’d decided to eat some of his salary, we might be adding his name to the list of players acquired by Edmonton.
That being said, PA Parenteau for a 6th rounder? That’s a bet I’d be willing to make. And who foresaw Andrew Ference’s contract being dangled out there? Would Radim Vrbata be an Oiler right now if Ference’s contract had been moved?
In the end, I’m stoked to have an older player available for the Oilers as they go into the final leg of this epic playoff drive. I don’t have high expectations for him though. We say that he could be a Derek Roy-like acquisition for the Oilers but don’t hold your breath. Desharnais wasn’t having a great season before he came here and now he has to acclimatize himself to a new team, a new system, a new conference, and a new city. There are a lot of roadblocks in his way but I still have faith in him to try his damnedest while he’s a member of the Edmonton Oilers.
What do you think of the 2017 NHL trade deadline for the Oilers? Did Chiarelli do enough to give these boys a chance at the 2nd round of the playoffs this year? Let us know in the comments below!