For some time, the consensus has been that the Oilers would like to add some quality NHL depth to their centre group. At the beginning of the season, Head Coach Dallas Eakins said the Oilers had just two NHL centres on their roster and were waiting for the younger players in their system to develop.
Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish spoke with the media on Friday morning and addressed that position. He says the market asking price has been to high to acquire what they’ve needed.
“I’m left with alternatives,” MacTavish said. “What are my alternatives? It would be foolish not to have tried to find another centreman to come in here. Based on the asking price, we’re not in a position to pay the asset ask for a positional bias right now. We’re not in that position. We just don’t have the number of assets that we can go out and deploy. There are four or five players that would bring us significant value.”
By giving up the players or assets of significant value, a move could leave the team with another hole.
MacTavish said, “We solve one problem and we create another. I just haven’t been in a position where I’ve had that opportunity to bring in another centreman. There is no quick or easy fix to some of these positional gaps. There have been a lot of open boxes when we go over our lineup, year in and year out, that we’re trying to fill. There still are some open boxes, but there are less open boxes. But there is no quick fix to filling that second line centre (position). If we could find the player at the right price, would it move us forward? Absolutely, but there is no quick fix to it that I’ve found.”