The Edmonton Oilers are going to be a very active team this summer, as they look to improve all aspects of their club. They’ll be one of the more intriguing teams to watch, particularly on the trade market. As the draft begins to near, it’d be surprising to see the Oilers not make a move of some sort.
In fact, we’re already hearing about potential trade targets for the Oilers. One player that they appear to be targeting is Buffalo Sabres forward Drew Stafford, who is in line for a change of scenery. He hasn’t lived up to his expectations in Buffalo, but could be worth it for the Oilers.
Stafford has two years remaining on a deal that carries a $4 million cap hit. The shortened season saw him post just 18 points in 46 games, after two seasons of going for at least 50. While no one was expecting 50, obviously due to the lockout, his dip in goal production all the way down to just six on the year was a disappointment.
What he brings to the mix is a guy capable of putting in 20 goals. He’s done it three times so far in his career. He’s also capable of bringing a net-front presence, which is something the Oilers currently lack. He doesn’t play an overly physical game, but can play down around in those dirty areas.
The fit there is obvious, but is there a match between the Oilers and the Sabres in a trade? Perhaps, especially if the Sabres find that Ales Hemsky tickles their fancy. It would be a swap of change-of-scenery candidates, with Hemsky going into a contract year and needing to bounce back.
Stafford is definitely a player that the Oilers should try and pursue at some point this summer. He’d be an excellent fit for them, and they have the pieces to pull it off. The Sabres are in a rebuilding mode, so one would imagine that they wouldn’t be too over-the-top in their demands. Stay tuned.