Oilers to shake things up; Are the Rangers a good fit?

November 8, 2012, by

The Oilers might look to move a forward.

It’s easy to lose little bits of information in the lockout-centric focus of the NHL media nowadays. But Ryan Lambert picked up one fine tidbit that will sure get the rumor mills started. This one involves Kevin Lowe and the Edmonton Oilers, where in a statement that really shouldn’t shock anyone, the Oilers may look to deal from their strength to address roster holes:

You’re going into a game with lots of trump cards. That’s the only way you can make deals is if you have assets that are attractive to other teams. When you have assets then you can make deals.

So, absolutely, we’re at some point, whenever that is, we’re probably not too far down the road, we’re going to have to make some tough choices and maybe move some players, or a player, draft picks, to get a piece or two that finishes off the formation of what you feel is a championship team.

As Lambert points out in his article, this means that Lowe will –at some point– have to deal from his large stockpile of young offensive forwards with tons of offensive potential. The prize he will be looking for will be some top defensive help (top-two) and/or a top goaltender.

Naturally, Lambert throws the Rangers in as a potential suitor, and uses Michael Del Zotto as a potential target. So, are the Rangers and Oilers solid trading partners?

One look at the Oilers and you know what they need: defense and goaltending. This is why Lambert immediately looks towards the Rangers, who have one of the best defensive units in the game, and have the best goalie in the world.

Henrik Lundqvist isn’t going anywhere. It’s safe to assume that any combination of Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, or Ryan McDonagh aren’t going anywhere either. With Tim Erixon already shipped off to Columbus for Rick Nash, that leaves Dylan McIlrath as the lone professional who would seem to be a target. McIlrath isn’t even at the NHL level yet, so it’s unlikely that he would really be a target for the Oilers.

The above is true, of course, if this is a one-for-one swap. Say, Sam Gagner for Del Zotto. This won’t happen, because the Rangers can’t replace Del Zotto in the lineup with who they currently have under contract. But what if Edmonton were to add a defenseman, with the Rangers adding a piece or two? That’s an interesting situation.

Someone like Ladislav Smid, who played as the Oilers top shutdown defenseman last season (led the team in QoC) and finished the year with a 6.1 DGVT, is someone who might be intriguing. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Smid past the numbers, but the expansion of the deal to include a reliable defenseman could swing this into a deal the Rangers might make. That said, there would have to be a lot of moving parts for the Rangers to make a move.

It would be amazing to see someone like Jordan Eberle suit up for the Rangers until 2019, but the Oilers and Rangers just don’t appear to be a good match for trading partners. The Oilers want that #1 defenseman that the Rangers are not willing to give up at the moment. Trades are as much about timing as they are about the players, and the timing doesn’t seem to be right.


  1. Rob L says:

    Hemsky Hemsky Hemsky Hemsky

  2. Walt says:

    Sam Gagner for MDZ in a heart beat!

    He had his chance to resign, and didn’t, so get him the hell out of town. Look, I’m not down on MDZ, but the team comes first, and it appears to me that they named a street after Mike, “One Way”, he is not a team player. Why was he sent down to the AHL two seasons, maybe he was playing selfishly, and or he isn’t the brightest light bulb in the closet!

    Say what you may Gagner is an offensive weapon that would work out nicely for us. We do have McIlrath coming in, and the Shjei kid, developing nicely. No man is bigger that the team, and MDZ has to be made aware of this, if it means that he is shipped out , so be it.

    I have one question for you, with the signing of the Schultz kid by the Oilers, what makes you think that they are looking for an offensive defenseman? From what I hear that kid is for real, and playing very well in Oklahoma!!!!!

  3. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Break it down by the players EDM might want to give up:

    RNH – no need, we have the depth @ C. We dont want him or Richie or Stepan playing 3rd line minutes, so scratch that one.

    Hall – give a superstar to get a superstar. EDM wouldnt let him go for anything short of McDonaugh + some. McDonaugh is probably our least likely to be traded (besides Lundqvist).

    Yakupov- EDM would be more likely to be traded than Hall, from what I can tell. He seemed to have less hype coming into the league than Hall did a couple years ago. Still hasn’t suited in the NHL, but being a #1 pick his upside will be high and I doubt EDM would ship him our way for anything less than McDiesel. Again, I don’t think Mr. Sather is interested.

    Hemsky – please, no. I’m a huge fan of the guy, but at this point he is too old / injury prone to want to give up our defensive youth for.

    Eberle – I think he has the lowest asking price of any of the guys I mentioned above (Hemsky aside). That said, it would be a reach, but maybe there is something there. I think that Del Zotto would be the 1st of the top 4 D that we would want to move given performance to date. (McDonnaugh, Staal & Girardi are more cemented in our line up). However, Del Zotto probably has the highest offensive upside. Therefore, he fills that niche role for us better than the other 3, which decreases the likelihood we would want to ship him out. This holds even more true with Erixon’s departure this off season. One factor which could decrease our dependency on Del Zotto, would be the emergence of McDonaugh’s offensive game. He showed flashes of it in his rookie campaign and I think when it’s all said and done he could be @ or above Del Zotto’s offensive output. Until that notion starts to come to fruition, though, it would be risky to move Del Zotto in exchange for Eberle.

    So overall, I agree with the consensus of the article. Which is ashame, because it would really be something to see the offensive clinic a Stepan-Eberle duo would put on over the next half a dozen years. I’d ship Del Z out in a heartbeat for that, but I don’t think that Sather likely will.

  4. Hatrick Swayze says:


    good comment.

    I forgot about Gagner (duh!)

    And, good point on Shultz. He will definately fill some holes for them. With him and a healthy Whitney, they should have some nice offensive defense-men on the roster.

  5. Bobby G says:

    I would avoid it all together. We dont NEED a young forward right now. However, we NEED our current defensemen in the lineup. We are not deep enough at NHL caliber defense where we can afford to give any of them up right now.

  6. Walt says:


    Thanks, and you made some very valid points as well.

    I stand with my point that MDZ is not a team player, and given an opportunity to get some solid returns, I’d ship him out today if I could.

    I wouldn’t tinker with this roster too much, I believe that we are on the cusp of great things, if every player pulls his own weight. MDZ made a comment the other day when the team is playing for lost 9-0, something to the effect that at least they don’t have to face Torts, my point made for me about team player.

  7. Mike says:

    Del Zotto for Eberle and you think Sather wouldn’t do it? Oiler fans laugh in your face!! It would be Del Zotto and Dylan Mc for openers for a future 40-50 goal scorer. I don’t think Lowe would make that deal; mostly because he is the President and the GM (Tambalini) wjouldn’t either.

  8. Mikeyyy says:

    We also should be signing gilroy which further enhances our position

  9. Spozo says:

    Walt, what makes MDZ so selfish and not a team player? He didn’t take sathers first offer (which sather obviously is in no hurry to sign the kid because of the lockout). Because as a 19 year old he had to be sent back to Hartford to polish up his game?

  10. Walt says:



    And the man was offered a 150% increase, but that wasn’t enough, come on please!!!!!

    Let’s not forget he made $1 million a year, offered some $2.5, or there abouts, and you think he is worth that much, I think not. But that’s just me my friend.

  11. bill says:

    How many people think that Stahl will be a Ranger after his contract is up.You will getquite a bit in return for him now,in a couple of years zip.

  12. The Suit says:

    Walt referring to MDZ as not being a team player based on negotiation speculation from Larry Brooks is a stretch dude.

  13. rob sahm says:

    i would not trade del zotto at this time but if he refuses to resign with a fair offer from sather then deal him

  14. Walt says:

    Suit, I didn’t read Brooks on my comment, but that is your opinion, and I respect it!!

    Staal will be gone to play with the rest of the family, so when we can, after the McIlrath, and Shjei kids are ready, then trade him for some good assits if he doesn’t want to play here!

  15. Spozo says:

    Walt it’s a negotiation. We know probably 10% of what really happened. For all we know both sides put out their first round of numbers and then Sather said “how about we wait for the CBA to be renewed so I know exactly what the cap will be this season”. I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened but that we don’t know. All we know is sathers off and MDZs offer. We don’t know if there was any animosity or selfishness involved at all so I don’t get how you can say he isn’t a team player and he should be traded

  16. Jess says:

    Spozo is closer to the truth than anyone else I have seen talking about MDZ and his contract status.

    NYR fans are way to quick to pass a judgement on one of their own players if he does not do what the fans decide is what he should do.

    MDZ is represented by Bobby Orr who has been in MDZ’s schools when he was a player. None of us can say with any certainty what has/hasn’t happened with the contract talks.

  17. Mikeyyy says:


    He was not offered 2.5.

    It was written in one of the posts here I believe that he was offered much less.

  18. Brad says:

    Hemsky too old….what are smoking…the Oiler’s are just fine!!

  19. Rickyrants13 says:

    The Rangers have NO ONE to replace MDZ dealing a D man at this time would be insane.