Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish took to the podium at Rexall Place, shortly before the team’s home game against the Ottawa Senators tonight. One of the topics of his meeting with the media was the state of the market as the NHL trade deadline is tomorrow.
MacTavish says that, right now, the market is ‘undervalued’ for the type of UFA that the Oilers have on roster. This prompted the Oilers to wait until tomorrow to make any more moves regarding trades, despite pulling two moves involving goaltenders this morning.
“The market price feels undervalued for rentals, at this point,” MacTavish said. “I don’t know where that’s going to go tomorrow but I’m a guy that is very much of the belief of a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. If we had the opportunity to do something that I thought was fair and legitimate, then we would have done it today. But we’re going to be pushed to the deadline tomorrow and when that happens, there’s a certain amount of risk at stake and right now we’re prepared to take the risk rather than settle for what’s been offered so far. I think this is, from talking to quite a few of my colleagues, that this is fairly standard practice right now.”
As for making a bigger trade, possibly with players under contract instead of free agents to be, MacTavish said there has been conversations but there may be more value in making those trades at a later day and not tomorrow.
“Well, we’ve been proposing some of those ideas in some of the phone calls I’ve had but I really think, my instinct tells me, that those deals will be better served down the road than they will be tomorrow with some of our players… Not that we’d turn our back on a hockey deal, there are some very significant adds that we’d like to make to this team. We have some pieces that we’d been willing to give up to acquire those additions but my instincts say that’s unlikely for tomorrow.”
Now that the Oilers have solidified their goalie tandem for next season, MacTavish says the team will set out looking to acquire assets for their UFAs, prior to tomorrow’s deadline.
“I think we want to continue to focus on bringing in as many assets as we can from our UFA players. I’ve been very upfront about that in my conversations with (the media) in the past. We all know the position we’re in. Unfortunately, we’re here again in this position but we’re going to try to make the best of this current position that we’re in.”