Vincent Desharnais – The Answer For The Oilers Blueline?

Edmonton Oilers defensemen Vincent Desharnais (73). Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers defensemen Vincent Desharnais (73). Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

It sounds like a broken record at this point, but the Edmonton Oilers have been searching for players that can help improve their blueline. They have been working the phones and have been connected to a number of players, but have yet to pull the trigger on any trade yet. Instead, they made the move to give former seventh-round selection Vincent Desharnais a shot in the NHL after a solid showing with the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League (AHL)

Since joining the team, Desharnais has played seven games getting three assists. At 6-foot-6, 215  pounds, the 26-year-old has fit right in with the Oilers and looks like a natural. He throws his body around when needed, and is a shoot-first defender that can find his way through traffic on his shots.

With the emergence of Desharnais, many fans are wondering if the Oilers will discontinue their search for a depth blueliner and stick it out with the young gun. The team will likely still continue to work the phones, but I can’t see them needing to overpay for a new blueliner anymore. While he isn’t the best player on the planet, Desharnais is the perfect bottom-pairing defenseman the team has been searching for all season, proving that sometimes, looking internally for results pays off in the end.

In the end, Desharnais might be the answer to one question the team has, but there is still plenty to answer. The team can now run their 11/7 setup more often as Woodcroft has found a set of seven blueliners he can trust, and on a cheap contract, Desharnais could stick around for the long run in Edmonton with his play continuing to get better each night. Unfortunately, the Oilers still have some clear weaknesses. Their defensive game still isn’t the best, and the offensive output from the bottom six hasn’t been the most exciting.

At this point, I’m not sure we can call Vinny “The Answer” just yet.

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