It’s no secret the Oilers are exploring the goalie market ahead of tonight’s NHL Draft. With Robin Lehner being traded to Buffalo today for a first-round pick, it stands to reason that the Oilers could possibly do the same for another available netminder. However, Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli says that’s not going to happen.
“There are goalies that are available now today because of the enticement of the first-round pick but we’re not trading that pick for a goalie so it may not happen today then,” said Chiarelli.
“There is still a lot of goaltenders. For me, it’s about improving the D. We’ve improved our coaching and we’re going to try and improve our goaltending. We’re in on a few of these goalies. We’re in on some free agent goalies. We want to do the right thing but we don’t want to overspend either.”
While the Oilers won’t part with a first-round pick for a goaltender, a defenceman could still be in play. But the depth of this draft means the Oilers would rather hang onto the 16th overall pick.
“I’ve been entertaining some offers,” said Chiarelli. “We’ve had some good amateur meetings the last few days. There is going to be a really good player there. It would have to take something pretty good for me to move that pick.”
Chiarelli said he’d like to come away with two blueliners before the season: a puck mover and more of a defensive guy.
“If we can get both that would be great,” said Chiarelli. “I know we have some of those traits in the existing D. They’re going to play a better defensive game, they are going to know how to defend better. There are true defenders out there, there are puck movers, there are two-way guys. What’s interesting to me in this whole exercise is there are a lot of players that are coming out of woods here and I think that’s probably because we have cap space and roster spots. There are interesting names out there and I believe there will be more interesting names. Types of D, I’d probably like one of both if I could. If we can only get one of them that’s fine for now. As I said, I’d like to try and improve the defensive core and I’d like to continue to try and do that.”