By now the winds of trade that cast a hurricane of activity surrounding the Edmonton Oilers yesterday have blown over, in particular, the rumor that they were putting a blockbuster deal together with the Buffalo Sabres. The buzz was created from Sportsnet who reported that the Oilers were discussing a deal that would have sent Nail Yakupov and a high level prospect to Buffalo for goalie Ryan Miller and forward Thomas Vanek.
For hours, the Twitterverse exploded with reaction and analysis of the proposed mega-deal and finally Bob McKenzie of TSN put the rumor to rest when he stated via Twitter that the Oilers had moved on from Miller. McKenzie said that MacTavish had in fact contacted Darcy Regier of the Sabres about Miller but nothing had evolved or been taken forward. Not to mention that Miller has a list of eight team’s that he can veto a trade with and Edmonton is in fact on that list.
Furthermore, McKenzie reports that the Oilers have moved on from Miller and the Sabres and have turned their attention to a trio of goalies in Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals, Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks and Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blues.
All three names have been rumbling around the rumor mill in recent days and the Oilers have been linked to all three, albeit varying degrees of interest.
McKenzie did mention earlier in the week on an edition of Insider Trading, a feature on TSN that Craig MacTavish was adamantly calling around the league to try and get a feel for what the trade market looked like surrounding starting goalies.
So far, nothing has been mentioned as to what the three teams would want in return for one of their goalies, or if they’d even be open to moving one. It’s early in the year and aside from the Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres, no one wants to make a bold move at this time to disrupt the early chemistry of the club. Not to mention they don’t necessarily need to trade anyone and would prefer to wait until the trade deadline to address team needs at that time.
It’s still not known if the Oilers are serious about making a move for one of these three or if the market could expand to include others. For now we’ll have to wait and see how this unfolds, if at all given the fine performance from Devan Dubnyk that saw him kick away 37 of 40 shots. If he can turn around his performance there may not be a need as so much as a want for a new goaltender.
Later today we’ll look at each of these three netminders more in depth and which would make the most sense if the Oilers decided to go the route of trade.