The Detroit Red Wings win the Danny DeKeyser raffle, as he has chosen to play with them. I think that s a really good fit. I don’t suspect that he’ll play for the big club right away, but it would serve him better anyways to get some AHL seasoning. The Oilers definitely could have used him, but hopefully that forces their hand in negotiations with Ladislav Smid.
Oilers Trade Tobias Rieder to the Coyotes for Kale Kessy
The Oilers also made a minor trade today sending smallish German forward Tobias Rieder to the Phoenix Coyotes for a coke machine – Kale Kessy. From what I can tell of Kessy, he is able to put up pretty respectable WHL numbers. I am pretty skeptical though that this can translate to the NHL level. He seems similar to Mitch Moroz in his skillset. Joanne Ireland tweeted that he’d been suspended by the Dub 7 times (career) before coming over to Kamloops in a trade. Sounds like he is a bit of an animal. I will say that I’d love for the Oilers to have a guy on their NHL roster with that Raffi Torres animalistic nature… however, only if they can play hockey. It will remain to be seen if this guy can do that or not. As for Rieder, I’m glad he’s been moved… not because I don’t like him, but I think he, Linus Omark and Toni Rajala are guys that will likely never see time in an Oiler uniform from here out, unless injuries make us desperate. So it would be good to give these guys opportunity to have an NHL career somewhere else. Did we get good value in this trade? I’m not so sure we did, but I’m not so sure the value of a small winger is there either, so I’m also not too overly concerned about it.
Trade Deadline Approaches
The 2012-2013 NHL trade deadline is coming up soon. It is this coming Wednesday, April 3rd. There have been a number of Oilers involved in trade rumors by the likes of Bob Stauffer, Bob McKenzie, the Fourth Period guys, Mark Spector, a Bruins beat writer.. you name it. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as they say. So I do believe some players are being shopped around, and we have our sights on some players. Here’s my take on those names…
Our Trade Assets
Back to other trade rumors, Whitney’s name has been out there quite a bit. I am still on board with moving him. I don’t see him here past this year, and I don’t see him giving us a big push in a playoff drive either. So let’s get what we can for him now, I say.
Ales Hemsky is also getting mentioned in rumors, as he does ever year. For me, I’d say we move him if he goes in a trade that improves the team or fills a need. If that doesn’t happen, there is no point in bothering. I wonder how enticing he’d be to a team if we ate half his salary for next year. Detroit apparently is a team that has shown interest in Ales Hemsky.
Nikolai Khabibulin is said to have value to the big playoff teams. If that’s the case, ship this guy off now. I really like Khabibulin as a person, but the amount of games he’ll get in with us isn’t going to help us in any way. We really need a younger goaltender in the pipes to help carry the load. Dubnyk is still good for maybe 40-45 games in a full season. He needs his rest too. Khabi can’t fill the gaps.
If the Oilers are ever going to trade him within the next couple of years, now is definitely the time. His value likely won’t ever be higher. However, before some of you freak, let me say I don’t want us to trade him. I think we should hang on to him. He’s small, yes, but he’s done everything we could have hoped from him. His size has not been an issue at all, and if you ask me, he’s made any of his linemates look good this year, including Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky. His faceoffs definitely are an issue, but we might have to just live with that fault.
Lots of people think we should trade him. I’m not one of them.. unless the return is quite good. If we trade Jones, we create a hole. Many think Teemu Hartikainen can fill his skates, however this hasn’t been proven yet. I have high hopes for Hartikainen, but right now he seems to be ungifted in the offensive arts. That will come with time though, I believe. But I think this is one of those cases where we’re taking a tried and true asset and replacing them with an unproven rookie… that makes us younger, more inexperienced, and I think it’s a horrible idea to hand the reigns over to Hartikainen now. I still believe he is best serve by us being patient and letting him develop more with Anton Lander in the AHL. I’d like to see Ryan Jones back for another year. His contributions this year haven’t been so good, but he’s also coming off a pretty bad injury with his eye, and he might be a bit behind right now because of missing so much hockey. I think he deserves a chance to re-prove himself next year. He should re-sign for a cheap wage again, I would think. If for some reason he fetches us a good roster player, I’m for it.. but if we’re trading him for picks, I’d rather keep him.
This one is a tough one. His value is likely returning to where it was when we first drafted him. So on that note, it seems like now is a good time to get value for him in a deal. However, I’d say too that it looks like we have two really solid NHL top-six lines now, and he is a huge part of that.
There are a few teams out there in need of D-men. Bob Stauffer noted that the Flyers have some holes to fill, after injuries to Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, and of course Chris Pronger. I still think there is a good player in this guy, but his NHL commitment level apparently is not there. For shame. Maybe we can get a big forward out of them in a larger deal. I forget who it was (maybe Jim Matheson?) but someone mentioned the Oilers should take a shot at getting Maxime Talbot out of there. He’d be a nice add along the lines of what our bottom six needs, and he’s signed ’til 2015/16.
Our Trade Targets
There have been rumors around that the Oilers are also interested in Keith Yandle. I don’t think I’ve read much on this from the mainstream sources though, so take that for what it’s worth. I think he would be a great replacement for Ryan Whitney. He’d cost $1.25M more / year. If paired with a solid defensive defenseman like Smid, for example, he could provide some great offense and puckmoving ability.
There is big rumors out there that Bouwmeester is gone now, after the Flames have moved Jarome Iginla. It seems they’re in a rebuild state now, even if Jay Feaster wouldn’t admit it. Should the Oilers make a move for Bouwmeester? I think his contract is too hefty, for one, and for two, the Flames wouldn’t likely deal him directly to us. It’s possible another team trades for him and they send him to us. It should be noted too that Bouwmeester has a no trade clause, so he could veto a direct trade to the Oilers if he didn’t want to come here. So I don’t suspect that he’ll get traded to the Oilers. It would be nice to have a player of his ilk here, but I just don’t see it happening.
He of course fits the power forward mold. However, his best days appear to be behind him. I think he could get a slight boost from a change of scenery, but our trade history tells me not to expect a trade of this type to the Oilers.
Some have said that Chris Stewart of St. Louis is rumored to be available. This should be a player the Oilers show interest in. He has size, and some offensive skills. He isn’t going to put up the numbers of a Nathan Horton, but he’d still help the team.
The Oilers should be looking for another defensman with some mobility. Keith Yandle does fit a major need there. The Oilers will also likely be trying to land a power forward. Nathan Horton of the Bruins is a guy that we definitely would have interest in, however I sincerely doubt he’s available. The Oilers are going to need to get dirtier/grittier in their bottom six, so our GM group is going to have to peruse the league for the next Raffi Torres to add to our team.
Realistically, I don’t see the Oilers being too big of players at the deadline. I see them making small efforts to move Ryan Whitney and Ales Hemsky. They might move Khabibulin if there is interest there, too. But they will need to find a replacement soon, as Danis is not a good option as NHL backup. The Oilers may make some very slight, low-risk tweaks, like your 3rd rounder for Mark Fistric type of deals. I don’t suspect any big splashes from this team this deadline.
Happy Easter, everybody…
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