It does not matter how the Oilers finish out the rest of this season. It does not matter who steps up and plays better defense. It does not matter how fast Darnell Nurse is ready for the NHL. The Oilers are still in need of a "stud" defense as stated by their GM Craig MacTavish.
There are always teams out there that are in need of scoring. This year you have a few teams in the East that are contending for a playoff berth early and it may be a good idea to target them as a potential trade partner but what do they have to offer. Or maybe a team that no one expects would be the best to target and for good reason.
They are the first team that pops out for me because of their struggles this year to score goals. They are last in the league with only 40 goals to this point in the season and they received news today that Alexander Semin sustained a concussion during their game on Saturday and is out indefinitely. This adds pressure to a group of skilled players who are all under performing.
A bit of the issue with trying a trade with the Canes is the fact that they don't have much to offer. The only way a trade happens here is if the Canes want to part with Cam Ward and I don't see that happening. Especially since the Oilers just signed Ilya Bryzgalov .
New Jersey Devils:
This is another team that is knocking on the door to the playoffs early in the 2013-14 season but may need some help up front to do so. They maybe in a bit of a better position then the Canes because of the success of their goal tenders. Both of them have a GAA of 1.98 and SV%'s near the .920's but do they have what the Oilers are looking for? I don't think they do.
This is a team that has been built to keep the best players on the opposing teams in check and will more then likely be looking at trading prospects to add some more depth scoring to their roster. Unless they have a good center ice prospect to offer I don't think the Oilers would look at a trade with New Jersey.
New York Rangers:
This team that has been mentioned a lot over the last few weeks in trade rumor circles and would have some pieces that the Oilers would like. Michael Del Zotto is a name that keeps getting mentioned and is in the dog house with the coaching staff in New York as he has been a healthy scratch a few times this year.
As good as Del Zotto is he may not be the "stud" that the Oilers are looking for. With the Oilers spending a lot of effort on the recruitment of Justin Schultz they already have a puck moving defenceman that has the potential to develop to be one of the NHL's top power play, puck moving D-man. That being said the Oilers would have to target Ryan McDonagh who I think is the Rangers top guy on the back end and a stud in the league.
With that being said the Rangers have won 7 of their last ten and are getting healthier everyday. They are expecting Rick Nash to be back in the line up today against Boston and with the recent play of Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot I have a feeling that the Rangers are no longer looking to make a trade but they would rather like get Del Zotto back on track.
We will see what the near future holds for the Rangers but I think they ride the team they have for a bit longer as they look to be adjusting to any changes that the hew head coach has made. If they decide a change is needed it will be at the deadline.
This team is a surprise on the list and only here because of some recent research. They are not in need of any scoring and right now may have the leagues best goalie in Tuukka Rask, the biggest "stud" of them all on defense in Zdeno Chara and no one has mentioned and rumors of Boston looking to make a trade so why are they on my list?
With depth at the D position and kids like Dougie Hamilton and 2012 free agent signing Torey Krugplaying like 10 year vets it may be a good idea for the Oilers to look at giving up some of their minor leaguer's and their 1st draft pick from 2014 for a guy like Dennis Seidenberg.
Before you go all crazy on me let me explain why. A solid defenceman in his 14 year NHL career and playing in the rather large shadow of Chara since 2009-10. He has experience at the international level already with two Olympic appearances (2006 and 2010)and including u18 and junior he as played in 7 World Championships for Germany. This type of pedigree and experience would go a long way for the Edmonton Oilers back end that has very little confidence and experience. Not to mention he plays that sandpaper game that the Oilers management talked a bit about this preseason.
The Bruins well be needing to make some big decision in the next few years in regards to their back end. Krug a RFA at the end of this year and my guess Boston will be wanting to keep the slick puck mover around for years to come. Their number two guy and heir apparent to Chara, Hamilton is a RFA at the end of next season. Trading Seidenberg, who has a cap hit of four million over the next 5 years in a package for a guy like Ales Hemsky, who is a UFA at the end of the season, would free up the cap space that may be needed to keep these two your defensive stars in Boston.
I don't expect this is a move that Boston will want to do while they are play so well but if the production slows up front maybe, just maybe the 'BOLD' new GM in Edmonton should make a call. All Oiler fans can do is hope.