Needs some fine tuning.

Acquiring Free Agent Defencemen - No Whales Edition

Room to grow. Photo courtesy

I hope you’re enjoying the third round of the NHL playoffs.  While you’re enjoying them, I hope the fact that the Oilers not being near the playoffs this year burns in your mind.

“The defence” they all say.  “They” are right in this instance.

After this past weekend’s “top player” fiasco, let’s go ahead and assume the Oilers are going to do what they’ve done for the last couple of years, and that’s be coy and pick the top player on offence.  Let’s assume they pick Yakupov.  Picking Yakupov is all fine and dandy, but after two years of winning the NHL draft lottery, the team is still about as stacked on defence as they were when Jeff Deslauriers was tending net.

Maybe even less.

After all this talk about “rebuilds” and “models” and “time” and “jam” and “crust” and other sports euphemisms, it’s time to get serious about making changes to the roster, specifically the defence.

Shea Weber is an RFA!

Put it out of your mind.  If the Oilers were serious about landing Shea Weber, they’d have to offer a wad of cash, and some significant draft picks.  Please recall five years ago when Kevin Lowe got serious about acquiring Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres, offering a $50M deal over 7 years.  There’s no denying Thomas Vanek’s talent, but would you be willing to part with Edmonton’s four first round draft picks that would’ve been part of the compensation to Buffalo?

Most wouldn’t.

But Oscar Klefbom!


But Taylor Fedun!

I hope he makes it.  He’s not going to be able to shoulder the entire defence.  If he does make it, I hope he contributes and is 300% healthy.

Over the next week or so, we’ll be taking a look at some candidates to help come in and bolster the defence.

So here comes the audience participation part:  Who would you realistically like to see brought in?  Yes, I’d like to see Shea Weber and Ryan Suter brought in, helping deliver the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time in 437 years.  Both of those guys aren’t coming to Edmonton.

I’m also imposing a ‘cap’ of 3.5-4M on the team.  I doubt they’ll be a major player for anyone half that money, but let’s at least have some fun with this.  Remember:  if you choose to bring in an RFA, there’ll likely be some compensation (draft picks) going the other way.

Let’s make the defence better today.  Who do you got?

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Tags: Defence

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