Pros and cons of trading Taylor Hall and more in today’s collection of Edmonton Oilers speculation.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples examines the pros and cons for the Edmonton Oilers of trading first-line left wing Taylor Hall. Unless the Oilers get back a top defenseman like P.K. Subban, Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Erik Karlsson, Staples believes they’re better off keeping Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Exactly. Not only that, but trading Hall for a top defenseman addresses one problem while creating another, that being a distinct lack of skilled scoring punch at left wing.
If the Oilers are in the market for an experienced backup goaltender,Staples suggests New York Rangers goalie Annti Raanta or Colorado Avalanche backup Calvin Pickard are “decent bets.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those two, Raanta would be the most affordable. He’s a UFA this summer while Pickard’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. It’ll only cost the Oilers cash for Raanta on an affordable one or two-year deal. Pickard could cost the same amount, but they’d also have to give up an asset (draft pick or prospect) to pry him away from the Avalanche.
Jonathan Willis wonders if UFA defenseman Eric Gryba’s asking price might be too expensive for the Oilers. Comparing Gryba’s performance to that of Boston Bruins blueliner Adam McQuaid, Willis doesn’t believe the Oilers should pony up a comparable deal like McQuaid’s (four years, $2.75 million annually) to keep him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gryba’s too expensive, there’s plenty of affordable third-pairing options available via the UFA market to replace him.
SPORTSNET 960 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman once again wonders if a Dennis Wideman-to-Edmonton deal would make sense. “Edmonton is a team that could use a defenseman. Wideman would get opportunity there. He’s going to have to sign a new contract after next year if he plays well in Edmonton. I think that’ll do very well for him,” said Friedman.
He also noted Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli acquired Wideman (and also later traded him) during his tenure as Boston Bruins GM. Friedman acknowledged Wideman’s no-movement clause, but suggested he might waive it for an opportunity to play where he’ll succeed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s several reasons why I don’t believe Wideman-to-Edmonton makes sense. For one, there’s the obvious fact the two arch rivals rarely deal with each other in the trade market. Second, Wideman’s 33 and I expect Chiarelli’s more interested in younger long-term blueline options. He also has an injury history.
Wideman’s is in the final season of his contract and there’s no guarantees he’ll re-sign with the Oilers even if he had a good season with them. He could also prefer to play out his final season with the Flames, who have a decent shot at reaching the playoffs next season if they improve their goaltending, over joining a club seemingly stuck in an endless rebuild.