With just over one month until the NHL trade deadline, the rumor mill is in full swing as we say goodbye to February and welcome in March. A shortened season will give additional clubs the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs meaning more clubs than normal could be looking for an upgrade come early April. The Edmonton Oilers are one of those teams.
Currently sitting on the outside looking in, the Oilers are only three points out of fourth place and need to play more consistent hockey. Making a deal or two could be the spark they need and two household names are said to be available in Edmonton.
Fox reports that Oiler’s president, Kevin Lowe along with Craig MacTavish, the club’s senior vice president, were in Philadelphia earlier this week scouting the Flyers. A report on Philly.com confirms that the Oilers are trying to move Hemsky and Whitney and would like to do so before the April 3rd deadline.
Fox describes Whitney as the mobile, offensive defensman that the Flyer’s desperatly need in the absence of Chris Pronger. Whitney has recently fallen out of favor in Edmonton as evidenced by being a healthy scratch recently five times over the past ten games.
But Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal says it could be difficult to move Whitney with his game having apparently fallen by the way side. Doug MacLean of Hockey Central, a Sportsnet special, thinks the Oilers should place the highest paid defensman on the team on waivers.
Kevin Allen of USA Today is hearing that the Carolina Hurricanes will add a veteran defenseman in the coming days which could pave an opportunity for Whitney and the Oilers.
Hearing Hemsky’s name on the trade market is nothing new given we’ve heard it around this time for the past three seasons. It was believed the Oil would move him last season but then surprisingly signed him to a 2-year extension worth $5 million per.
Hemsky is having a nice season so far this year, scoring 8 goals and adding 5 assists in 19 games played. His career high is 77 points back in 2005-06, but has struggled to say healthy over the past three seasons.
These two names are surely to be front and center when it comes to the trade rumors and the Edmonton Oilers and as always, we’ll keep you updated.
For more on the Oilers, check out Oil on Whyte.