The Sellers: Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers v Ottawa Senators

The Sellers is a weekly column presented by NHLHotStove that will discuss all the rumblings and situations surrounding the teams that will most likely miss the playoffs.  Heading into the March 3rd trade deadline, keep an eye out here for the bottom eight to ten teams in the league that will be known as “sellers”.

Recently, the Edmonton Oilers star defenseman and powerplay quarterback expressed his willingness to waive his no trade clause in his contract. Dan Barnes with the Edmonton Journal wrote Sheldon Souray would be open to waiving his no-trade clause should there be a fit. Of course, this trade would need to make sense.

At the ripe age of 33 one would assume this player more comfortable living at home, rather than shipping himself across country.

The Oilers began the season with promise he, but injuries prevailed.  The team’s two biggest names, Nikolai Khabibulin and Ales Hemsky, most likely will miss the entire season, taking its toll on the team.  Now with no playoffs in sight the club can do nothing but sell, sell, sell.

Automatically names like Souray, Shawn Horcoff, Lubomir Visnovsky and Fernando Pisani come to mind.  However, would the Oilers go as far as to trade team captain Ethan Moreau?

The following players could be moved:

Shawn Horcoff: C – Signed through 2104 with a 5.5 million cap hit – 30

Horcoff never lived up to the first line talent price tag. In what would be a difficult move, a change of scenery for Horcoff could benefit both the Oilers and the acquiring team. A one time 70+ point scorer, he now barely sniffs 60 points. This year he managed 19 points in 40 games so perhaps a team like Toronto, who needs a top line center could take the risk. However, his cap hit may prove too hefty.

Sheldon Souray: D – Signed through 2012 with a 5.4 million cap hit – 32

The veteran powerplay quarter back already stated that for the right fit, he would waive his no trade clause.  At $5.4 million a season, is his injury plagued history worth the gamble? Furthermore, Souray only played close to full season twice in his career, so at 32 he becomes a bigger health risk.

Regardless, he will provide a lethal addition to any teams powerplay and brings a grizzled veteran presence to any lineup. GM Steve Tambellini works for the Oilers and not a reputable charity, so one would assume Souray would need to garner value coming back.

Lubomir Visnovsky: D – Signed through 2013 with a 5.6 million cap hit – 32

Another fragile power play quarterback up there in age with another large price tag.  One of the two should be moved.  Visnovsky historically plagued by the injury bug more often then not but still managed 26 points in 39 games, showing his offensive side still shows life. Again, two big contracts at the same position could be a big issue, so one should be moved come deadline day.

Fernando Pisani: F – UFA with a 2.5 million cap hit – 32

This seasoned veteran does everything asked of him.  His 2.5 million cap hit should not hurt his chances of a trade considering how small it is pro-rated.  A contending team will need his experience and leadership ability and should  make for a fine addition to any teams roster come March 3rd.  A mid range draft pick or B-level prospect should do the trick.

Tom Gilbert: D – Signed through 2014 with a 4 million cap hit- 26

Prior to jumping down my throat understand his name circulates the rumors mill quite a bit. Gilbert currently holds nine points on the year a starkl contrast to last season where in 82 games he posted 45 points.  Most fans believed they possesed another fine puck mover on the blue line in Edmonton.

This season the former Avalanche draft choice disappoints. Due to his age and experience, Tambellini holds a decent trading chip depending on his trade partner’s needs. At 4 million a season, Gilbert might be something the Oilers cannot move.  If that is the case, Oilers fans better hope Gilbert finds his game in Edmonton when one of Visnovsky or Souray leave.

As the Oilers struggles continue this season, they move closer and closer to sell mode.  Anything move made will be to to secure better options for next season and onward.  I know one thing is for sure, Jordan Eberle would not mind playing along side Taylor Hall.  Would the Oilers move up in the draft to acquire him?  Would they have to might be a better question.

Anthony Curatolo
NHLHS Senior Writer
acuratolo@nhlhotstove.com
Twitter: @ACHockeyGuys

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