To the surprise of nobody, the Edmonton Oilers are most likely going to be sellers this year at the NHL trade deadline. One can only assume forward Ales Hemsky will find his name in the rumor mill, as this is now an annual routine. Now, there appears to be another name being tossed around the ring.
It’s being reported from both TSN and CBC that the team will be looking to try and deal forward Sam Gagner in the near future. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish is hoping to get a top-six forward, a top-four defenseman or a starting goalie in return for Gagner’s services.
There should be a handful of teams looking to acquire Gagner. He’s had 40+ point seasons in all but one of his six years in the league. Though his stats don’t blow anybody away, he’d still be a great addition to a team looking to make a significant push towards the playoffs.
By already informing the league they’re ready to sell off some parts, Edmonton is putting the final nail into the coffin that is this disappointing season. The hype coming in was pretty loud, with up-and-coming coach Dallas Eakins taking the helm and attempting to lead a talented, albeit young, core of players into the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Instead, they are a miserable 14-27-5 so far this year, and are scraping the bottom of the Western Conference.
I can’t imagine the return the Oilers could get for Gagner would significantly improve the current roster. Yes, MacTavish is looking for top-line talent, but that doesn’t exactly mean he could net an all-star.
Expect Gagner to be the first of at least a few Oilers names to be tossed into the rumor mill as the deadline approaches. After the season they’ve been having, a big shake-up is more than necessary.