Latest on the Oilers and Rangers – October 31, 2017
Edmonton Oilers reportedly shopping several players plus the New York Rangers were on a scouting trip to Ottawa on Monday.
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is working the phones in search of help for his struggling club. He cites a source claiming Chiarelli is willing to move left wing Anton Slepyshev to boost his scoring at right wing.
One team has expressed interest in defenseman Matt Benning. While there’s no evidence Chiarelli is shopping Benning, the 23-year-old could be the asking price if the Oilers GM is targeting younger blueliners.
As for forward Ryan Strome, Spector thinks the Oilers would “absolutely” consider moving the 24-year-old, but his current difficulties suggests they won’t get a worthwhile return.
Spector’s colleague Chris Johnston reports the Oilers are willing to move forward Jussi Jokinen, who joined them in the offseason as a free agent. Jokinen only has one assist in nine games thus far. Johnston cites sources saying the Oilers sent a note to rival clubs to gauge interest in the 34-year-old.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benning might have a little more value than the rest because of his puckmoving abilities. Jokinen’s best days are behind him and his trade value is probably rock bottom.
Strome is now three seasons removed from his 50-point sophomore campaign and doesn’t look like he’s ever going to regain that form. Slepyshev has some offensive skill but is showing no sign of breaking through as a scorer.
I don’t see see Jokinen, Strome, Slepyshev or Benning fetching much of a return for the Oilers. Whatever they get for any of those guys isn’t likely to immediately improve their defense or boost their secondary scoring.
Johnston also reports the New York Rangers had team president Glen Sather, assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld, consultant Doug Risebrough and scout Gilles Leger taking in Monday night’s Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators game. He wonders if they were scouting Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, who’s had his struggles early this season with the Habs. While Johnston cautions not to read too much into it, he suggests this could mean the Rangers are looking for help after their terrible start to this season.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks also noted the presence of Sather and company at last night’s Senators-Canadiens match. He also speculates they could’ve been looking at the 23-year-old Galchenyuk. He also suggests gritty winger Andrew Shaw may also be a person of interest for the Blueshirts, as he plays center or wing and has an abrasive, edgy style currently lacking among their forwards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite being banished to the Habs fourth line, Galchenyuk’s scored in three of their last four games. However, he’s playing solely as a left winger, while the Rangers need depth at center. Perhaps they were eyeing Shaw, though he can at times be a loose cannon who takes bad penalties at the wrong time. I don’t see how either guy can significantly improve the Rangers right now.