It isn’t much of a news flash to hear that the Oilers intend to be sellers at the NHL trade deadline, which is Monday at 1pm MT. When you’re low in the standings, you’re not trying to bring in players or contracts to put you over the hump in the short-term.
While Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli told the media on Tuesday the team would look to move out certain assets, there is still some evaluation left to be done. Also, larger contracts or “core players” are not likely to be moved until the off-season, if at all, according to the GM.
“Anything is possible. But, for me, major deals are less likely at this time,” said Chiarelli. “I think what happens is that there’s more global planning that takes place post-season, prior to the draft. Then, of course, you have those proximity of the draft picks that are alluring to teams. There’s just more activity that way, but anything is possible. I can tell you I’m not really looking at that type of deal now but doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be looking at that for the spring and summer.”
With the larger contracts, it takes a little more effort and conversation to get a deal done. That means they are more likely to be taken care of in the off-season. Shipping off big contracts to contending teams at the deadline is difficult.
“What I can tell you is though that the contending teams are usually the cap teams, so in that regard if they’re going to take a larger contract there’s a little more maneouvring as far as moving money around,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve got some contracts that, yes, are too high and they’re not performing. That’s not news, but when it comes to moving them and when you’re talking to a contending team that is capped out, you have to get a little creative.”
Chiarelli also indicated that there were some players on the roster who haven’t met their expectations and could use a change of scenery. He would not address specific players by name, but there’s the possibility those are the bodies to move out at the deadline or be reassessed in the summer.
“I’ll look at a lot of different things,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve got some players that have underachieved. We’ve got some players who may need a new venue. Those are the determinations we will make between now and the trade deadline, and if certain players are still around, it’s because the deal wasn’t right or we felt there was a future for them with us, but then you’ll revisit some stuff in the summer.”