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s13 - Oilers at the Deadline [WB8]

2019-10-15

The Edmonton Oilers trade deadline was more active than some might have expected. Many thought general manager Chris Baker would go “all-in” in their quest to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since the 1987-88 season. Edmonton was active in the weeks before the deadline as it picked up top-6 forward Tony Granato from the St.Louis Blues, goaltender Andrew Raycroft from the Chicago Blackhawks and Bill Guerin from the Milwaukee Admirals.  But for all intents and purposes, the Oilers really seemed to add organizational depth more than making a major roster altering transaction at the deadline.

Veteran defender Jiri Slegr was brought in to bolster the defense on their AHL affiliate in Fort McMurray, while one-time Oilers farmhand Alyn McCauley was brought back into the fold to also help out with the Miners. 

Edmonton Oilers Trade Deadline

The Departures

Ron Francis
The acquisition of Raycroft seemed to be the biggest head scratcher of all the deals when first reported.  Potential Hall of Famer Ron Francis dealt within the conference from a team leading the league in points seemed rather odd to say the least.  But upon review, Edmonton’s ability to not only acquire a 23-year-old netminder with some upside coupled with also landing four draft picks – most notably a Vancouver 1st in s15 – is truly an exceptional haul for the 40-year-old Francis. 

Ray Sheppard
It was no surprise that the 37-year-old Sheppard was unhappy with being relegated to the American Hockey League.  Baker’s insistence that the veteran would be dealt partnered with Sheppard’s professionalism is in large part the reason for the situation not becoming a distraction for the organization.  In moving the veteran, Edmonton not only received a player they were familiar with in McCauley, they also moved a 4th round pick in exchange for a 3rd round selection.

Per Djoos/Steven Halko
The plan was for Djoos to be given every opportunity to crack the Oilers’ top-6 d-corps after being acquired from the St.Louis Blues on September 5th.  But the further things went along, the more evident it became that he was more suited for a 7th defender role in Edmonton.  At 3-million-plus it made little economic sense to have such a pricey asset playing as a 7th defender.  Halko on the other hand was chomping at the bit to make his debut with the big club.  Unfortunately, with no room for a defender the likes of Djoos, the 29-year-old Halko found himself partnered with the Swede as they were both sent packing to Tampa Bay in exchange for Slegr.

Filip Kuba?
Not mentioned in the Tampa/Edmonton exchange is defender Filip Kuba who was also sent to the Oilers along with Slegr.  Having acquired the player, Baker and the Oilers immediately flipped him to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2nd rounder in this season’s entry draft.

Overview

All told, the Edmonton Oilers didn’t really make any HUGE splashes on deadline day.  That said, the moves they did make leading up to, and subsequently at the deadline were impressive all the same.  Listed below is a breakdown of the new arrivals along with the newly departed.

Arrivals
Players: Tony Granato (79), Andrew Raycroft (79), Bill Guerin (68), Alyn McCauley (67), Jiri Slegr (70)
Picks: s14 – SJS 2, MIL 3, CHI 7; s15 – VAN 1, CHI 3, MIN 4

Departures
Players: Yanick Lahoux (61), Ron Francis (80), Frank Banham (66), Ray Sheppard (72), Per Djoos (74), Steven Halko (72), Filip Kuba (74)
Picks: s14 – CHI 4; s15 – EDM 3; s18 – EDM 5,6,7

Reason for Optimism
The Edmonton Oilers did very little, which is the right thing to do when you have been dominant all season and are surging. Edmonton has won six straight and are unbeaten in 21 games going 19-0-2 over that stretch.  WTF?!  Just noticed this once I started writing this

Reason for Concern
None. There are 25 teams chasing them.


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