Dany Heatly is proposed to be on the market.
Dwayne Roloson and the Oilers are not really talking.
Jay Bowmeester is proposed to be a target for the Oilers in the offseason.
These three items do not have a lot in common, but for this team at this time, all of them could have huge consequences for the 2009-2010 edition of the Edmonton Oilers.
Pat Quinn did not come to the Oilers to suffer another year of sitting around just missing the playoffs. Men at his age are not really excited by long-term projects.
The last edition of the Oilers was a huge project.
The two biggest items for the team are simple: Who will score, and who can show the grit need to get the job done? These two questions are critical to any chance the team has to progress.
Forty-year-old goaltenders are not usually playoff success stories. Most often they fall flat as they blow a tire getting there. See Dominic Hasek for the last example.
If the Oilers want to progress, Roloson comes back for one year and no more. If they want him to be useful, his back up has to start more than once a year.
After last season, when owner Daryl Katz pushed hard for Marion Hossa and Jarmir Jagr, there has been a lot of talk of the team once again pushing for a premier free agent.
This year that would be the shape of Jay Boumeester, an Edmonton native, who just might want to play in Edmonton. The question is: Where is the space for him?
With Sheldon Souray, Lubimir Vishnovski, and Tom Gilbert, there are already considerable dollars tied up with offensive defensemen. To be frank, this is not a need that should be filled.
Unless one of the three players is a jewel in a trade for Dany Heatley.
There is an awful lot of noise coming from the Edmonton media saying that the Oilers are preparing a serious offer.
Certainly the Senators need help at the back end, and Gilbert might just fill that need. Though the player looked out of his depth a lot on the back end he still seems to have a credit in the league.
Of course it would be a multi-player deal, one that would have to see an equal sharing of salary. For the Oilers to even contemplate that move, they would need to be sure they could get him.
Heatley would be the first potential 40-plus-goal scorer on the team since Peter Klima in 1991. He would represent exactly the kind of one-shot scorer needed to mesh with the talented and mercurial Ales Hemsky.
But if you sign Heatley, does that mean the Oilers cannot then afford their other big purchase?
I would think they would be fine with that. Then they could go for other more humble but needed targets.
If, however, they felt they wanted Boumeester, he would almost have to take a home-town discount to really make it on the roster. With a possibly failing salary cap within the next year, the team could not afford all their expensive purchases.
No. What has happened for the team is that luck (Heatly), talent (Souray, Vishnovski, Hemsky), and time (Gagner) could grant them an opportunity to fit the right slots.
In the 2006 Stanley Cup run, it was one star and lots of slot fillers. Any chance to repeat in the near future could depend on a simliar roster, which has seen the gap between the stars and fillers widen the past three seasons.
As often has been the case since the return of the NHL after the lockout, there is optimism in E-town in the offseason.