Wednesday came and went without too much fuzz on the Oilers’ end (unless you count that great story about how Tambellini butt-dialed Ales Hemsky while he was at the movies with Ryan Whitney), and the club acquired a fourth line centre from Florida in Jerred Smithson.
The price tag? A fourth round pick. It’s simple enough of a move that even if Smithson is an absolute tire fire, I won’t languish the loss too horribly bad.
Last night’s 4-0 shellacking at the hands of the Canucks kind of brought everybody back to Earth, and the problems that we’re used to seeing reared their ugly heads again.
Come back with me a little more than a week ago. Remember when I suggested the team sell all of their assets that they couldn’t tie down? Six games later, the team is 5-1 and surprisingly close to the cut line, so maybe selling wasn’t the best idea.
Maybe they should’ve been buyers instead. Technically, they did ‘buy’ Jerred Smithson and and his five points from the Florida Panthers for a fourth round pick, but I think even the stingiest among us would agree that this doesn’t qualify as “buying”.
I’ve spoken to more than a few fans who say they’re happy with leaving the team be and seeing how it all shakes out. I don’t agree with this, as it creates a bigger problem with pending UFAs. ”Is Ryan Whitney going to get an extension” is a question I never ever thought I’d be asking two days after the trade deadline, but here we are.
The Oilers had a three game winning streak going on the day of the deadline. Just do nothing and let the chips fall? The team wasn’t buying, the team wasn’t selling, the team was…evaluating?
LIKE YOU COULD DO ANY BETTER
If we’re selling, I get rid of the pending UFAs for picks, but I try to get Florida’s Kulikov or NYI’s Mark Streit. Would it cost a pick and a couple of players who aren’t sawdust? Probably. Gotta give good to get.
If we’re buying…
- Trade Whitney to the team who would’ve given us the highest draft pick. Pittsburgh, Boston, St. Louis, that’s you.
- Ditto Ryan Jones
- Tried to get Linus Omark onto his next chapter. I’m sick of this team doing nothing about this, and assuming he’ll never play for the team again, either package him up in a deal or trade him for a pick. I’d love to see him stay, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
- Found a forever home for Nikolai Khabibulin. I would have traded him to anyone who would’ve listened for one bitcoin.
- Kicked the tires about the services and cost of the Florida Panthers’ Dmitry Kulikov and / or the New York Islanders’ Mark Streit. I’m kind of dreaming on that last one, but hey, you’re on my cloud.
- Acquired a backup goaltender that wasn’t Steve Mason. Might not have been Ben Bishop, but it could’ve been one of Michael Leighton or Jeff Deslauriers. A fourth round pick? A fifth round pick? Maybe less?
- You know what it cost the Penguins to get Jussi Jokinen from the Hurricanes? A conditional 7th round pick. You know how one of the things about Smithson is that he can play both centre and wing? Jussi Jokinen can do it and produce a bit more. Jokinen has a bigger cap hit, but it cost just a conditional 7th round pick? Let me go get my conditional chequebook.
None of these moves sacrifice the big picture, and heck, even with these moves, it doesn’t guarantee the playoffs. I think it’s better than doing nothing. Then again, I hate the trade deadline with a powerful wave of anger, so maybe I would’ve had someone else make the phone calls.
I don’t think Edmonton did nearly enough as buyers or sellers. We should be beyond the point of shrugging shoulders and saying “but, the rebuild”. I’m not sure that this trade deadline says otherwise.
Looking back, are you satisfied with how the deadline turned out for the Oilers?
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