The NHL trading deadline has passed us by for another year. The Edmonton Oilers made no moves at the deadline, even though several of their player's names had been bantered around as being on the block. Was this the right way for Kevin Lowe to go?
Let's look at some of the names that were in the rumor mill.
Little needs to be said on Mathieu Garon that I didn't say in an earlier article.
Dwayne Roloson is a good back-up but at $3 million or more he is expensive. I doubt anyone wanted an overpriced back-up. It was better to keep him than get nothing of value in return. Roli has served his purpose with the Oilers and I won't be surprised if the Oilers buy out his contract this summer.
This is Jarrett Stoll's first year after season ending concussions last year. While it has taken him some time, he has started to play like the old Jarrett. I think he needs a gimme on this year; it's hard for anyone to come back from concussions and he needed the time to prove that he could still take hits. I look forward to a full year next year of the old Jarrett Stoll.
Why would the Oilers trade steady Steve Staios? He is a bit slower that he was in the past, but he is the only veteran defenseman the Oilers can count on. While he is a -15 this season, I think that it's due to the extra minutes he is being forced to play because of the injuries. Staios is a good defender but his effectiveness starts to diminish when he plays more that 20 minutes in a game. With a healthy defensive corps next year he will be an asset.
Marty Reasoner is a good reliable center who, like many others, has been asked to do more than he is physically capable of doing. He is a good third line center who plays a responsible defensive game, and he is good to go against the other teams top line. He hasn't played with the same line mates consistently this year, which has hurt his game. He is a good face-off guy but I think his usefulness is starting to fade.
No need to trade Fernando Pisani. He is one of those veterans that can prove what work and determination can do. Not expected to play this year, he recovered from ulcerative colitis and made his comeback in December. Like Stoll, Pisani has to be given the year as a freebie. He is a good two-way forward and a useful third line winger. Pisani has a lot to offer the team.
Joni Pitkanen is another player who is being forced to play more minutes than he is capable of playing effectively. This leads to giveaways and injuries. As part of a reasonably healthy defensive corps, Pitkanen is, and will continue to be, a puck moving offensive defenseman. If he is paired with the right partner he can help control a game. At 24 years old, he is a young but experienced (four years in the NHL) player. As an RFA this season, the Oilers need to do what they can to sign him and soon.
Rob Schremp is a young guy with much offensive talent, and the potential to make a difference in the NHL. The upside with Schremp is huge, and he has toiled the last few seasons in the AHL. Like Stoll, Horcoff, and Pisani before him, I think those seasons in the minors will make him into a more complete player. I look for him to take a spot with the big club next season.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot is in the exact position of Rob Schremp.