Latest Oilers Rumors – October 10, 2013.

Reaction to a report of the Oilers shopping for a defenseman, questions over Ales Hemsky’s future, and suggestions that Ilya Bryzgalov might help the Oilers goaltending.

How long will Ales Hemsky be with the Oilers this season?

How long will Ales Hemsky be with the Oilers this season?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Dan Tencer noted the strong start to this season by Oilers winger Ales Hemsky. If Hemsky plays this well throughout the season, Tencer believes it’s automatic he’ll be moved at the trade deadline if the Oilers are again out of playoff contention. However, if the Oilers are in the playoff hunt by then, he wonders if they would keep him for the remainder of the season.

David Staples reacted to a recent reports by TSN’s Bob McKenzie claiming the Oilers could be looking for a goalie or a defenseman. Staples feels the defense isn’t doing that badly and would be surprised if GM Craig MacTavish sought another blueliner. He noted the goalie tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera are off to a weak start.

Jim Matheson, responding to a reader’s e-mail asking if the Oilers had the cap space to sign free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, doubts the club would make that move unless they find a trade partner for Devan Dubnyk.

SPORTSNET.CA: Gord Stellick, however, believes it couldn’t hurt the Oilers to take a chance on Bryzgalov with a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Dubnyk continues to struggle throughout October, it could push the Oilers into the market for an upgrade. Forget about landing Ryan Miller from Buffalo. He’s got a partial no-trade clause, carries a $6.25 million salary for this season, is eligible for UFA status next summer and the Sabres want a healthy return for him.  The Anaheim Ducks aren’t willing to part with Jonas Hiller or Viktor Fasth (at least, not at this point in the season) and the Leafs won’t trade James Reimer as that leaves no suitable backup for Jonathan Bernier, who has never played a full NHL season as a starter. That leaves Bryzgalov as perhaps the only viable option. If the Oilers get desperate enough, they could pursue that option.  

As for Hemsky, if he stays healthy and plays well, he’d attract considerable interest at the trade deadline, but if the Oilers are battling for a playoff berth, I believe they’ll keep him. Making the playoffs will mean more by that point than getting something back for a player due to depart next summer via free agency.

While the Oilers defense isn’t doing that badly, it remains to be seen if they can improve over the course of this season. I have no doubt coach Dallas Eakins will keep them working harder but I’m not convinced there’s enough depth on the Oilers blueline to withstand the physical rigours of a long season.


  1. Too much is written about this bad team year after year. Insijs.

    • Quit talking like that or someone will be whining Leaf fans are “hi-jacking” a thread again.

    • then don’t read it

      • I didn’t read it. The site rocks. I just find it interesting that Edmonton gets most of the breakdowns is all. And i’m a Wild fan, not a Leafs fan.

  2. Bryz on a one year deal splitting time with Dubnyk if he continues to struggle makes the most sense to me out of any of these ideas, Jason LaBarbera is not a viable option to play more than 15-20 games, maybe if there was more of a sense of competition Dubnyks game would improve. Bryz would need to come in and play like he has something to prove and if it was a cheap 1year contract whats there to lose?

    I dont think it means trade Dubnyk or anything so drastic as that.

    • Agreed, is LaBarbera’s contract 2-way? If not they’d have to ship him out if they sign on Bryz

      • Ya someone else mentioned its the number of contracts thats really the issue according to capgeek they have 27 guys…lol 2way or not Labarbera is only a mill easy enough to bury to sign Bryz. The problem being the army of players the have under contract.

  3. The Oilers have one contract remaining. I think any moves they make, they’d want a body going the other way to keep that flexibility. Too many contracts on guys like Eager, MacIntyre, and Jones. Add Smyth in there too. Either Bachman or LaBarbera would have to be traded if they decided to go with Bryz/Dub in net.

  4. I wonder if Toronto would be willing to put together a package deal of like Gardiner & Riemer for say gagner & Dubnyk. Anyone’s thoughts on that or any other suggestions? Dubnyk would be a good back up for Bernier. Gagner would be a good no 1 center.

    • I was advocating for such a move in the off-season (I thought Gagner would be perfect in Toronto.
      However at the moment, I don’t see why the Leafs would do this?
      Bozak’s not a #1 C but Kessel loves playing with him and that increases his value to the team. Reimer and Bernier are equals right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Carlyle uses 35+ games for each of them. (A wonderful situation for a team to be in).
      The only possible far-fetched trade that I can see would be Reimer, Gardiner, and Liles for Dubnyk, Gordon and a draft pick.

      • Far fetched is right. Liles is too small and fits nowhere in the oilers d lineup. We already have defensive players back there. And we have 2 gardeners (in fedun and larson) and one justin shultz so we dont need gardener at all. The only way that would even be considered is if it were bernier. But the oilers wont trade gordon. As he is the number 3 cenrter and their utility knife. As he is playing up and down the lineup producing. The oilers have no center depth so they arent going to trade quality centers.

        • Ahh the laments of fans…we all want something good but are not going to give up anything to get it. Well I hope you’re patient and have lowered expectations then.

          • the oilers I think would part with yakupov for a dion phaneuf , in some sort of deal. just no centers right now. oilers have depth on the wings.

    • Edmonton is weak down the middle why would they give up the only qualified #2 center they have. Arcobello hasn’t proven enough to stay with the big club in my opinion. so all that trade does is potentially close one hole and open another.

    • 1st of all Gagner is injured.
      2nd, Edmonton need centers.
      3rd, Edmonton have enough d-sive prospects in their system.
      4th, Reimer for Dubnyk might be a lateral move.


      • Agreed with Nitro plus Gagner is yet another smallish center better on faceoffs than Kadri but essentially same type player ( a little better defensively but a little less physical) with the way Randy wants them to play Im sure they would sacrafice a bit of skill for some size and a bit more physical center. Leafs currently have only McClemment over 6’1

      • major problem president lowe

    • not for gagner. maybe reimer and gardiner for smid and a first. maybe smid and someone else. gagner is a second line centre….not what toronto0 needs

      • What the hell??? Smid and a pick??? For Reimer and Gardiner?? No thank you

        Sorry for the backcheckingness of this response but thats not even close.

  5. At this point in there careers Reimer, Vernier and Dubnyk are the same player. Unproven goalies. People might have preferences, but that is not enough to make a big idea.

    Say the Leafs got Gagner what do you do with Bozak or Kadri? Neither is paid to be a 3rd Lind center.

    • Ehh no matter how you look at it Bozak is overpaid I guess but pretty good defensively wins draws kills penalties etc he is the best suited for a 3.

      • Testify brother!

  6. Ganger and dubnyk for schneider and gardener? Oilers dont want gardener at all. And they need gange dueto lack of ceter depth. They wont trade him. Esspecially after signing him long term this summer. And schneider is hardly an upgrade from what we have. The only guys the oilers would want from toronto is MAYBE a phaneuf and schneider for hemsky a 1st and prospects. But more likely toronto would want yak. Which the oilers will not trade.

  7. Kevin,

    I do not think your suggestion is too crazy in theory. However even by the trade deadline Bernier may not have had enough games or record to prove he is the long term run away number one goalie for the Leafs. No doubt the Oilers would want Reimer, even though there are some who think he is no upgrade over Dubnyk, and I think Dubnyk is more of a backup than a starter and could be a backup in Toronto.But I also do not know if Gagner is a high enough caliber player to push Kadri and Bozak out of the way, and gets us back to the Grabovski situation where we have 3 guys who are definitely # 2 centres all battling for the number one spot. Not saying or arguing that Gagner is better or not better than Kadri or Bozak, but I think Leafs would want someone head and shoulders above Kadri and Bozak to make the move you suggest. Despite everyone wanting to see a bonifide # 1 centre in Toronto, it means Bozak or Kadri becomes a permanent third line centre. Now with Bolland in the mix it would mean Bozak or Kadri then becomes a fourth line centre. So any move for number one centre probably means losing one of Kadri or Bozak. With Kessell and Bozak joined at the hip, it would likely be Kadri and frankly he would probably be more sought after than Bozak in that scenario.

    Sorry for the long winded comment.

  8. What about Elliot in St Louis or Allen although I doubt Allen would be moved. Elliot is a free agent at the end of this year but so Is Halak and hearing that one will probably walk and right now its looking like Elliot anyway as Halak is starting. Plus they want room to move Allen in.

    • Good point, but I don’t see the Blues making any significant moves right now, and if the Oilers want one of their goalies, it’s going to be pricey.

      • Agreed but they are the only team with 3 NHL capable goalies two of which are on contract years. I think if Edmonton sent Labarbra and a prospect defenseman for Elliot be a good price for both, Elliot is a definite upgrade and St Louis creates the room for Allen to move up next year while maintaining depth at goal. We know Labarbra can handle 15-20 games steady and spell out Halak as needed. As far as I am concerned that’s a decent price to provide Dubnyk with competition it seems like he needs it to perform and Elliot is used to the tandem situation.

        • If Im the Blues I want more than that. A prospect and a back up who can maybe play 15-20 games for a guy who could possibly turn out to be your number 1? It better be a pretty decent prospect or no thanks.

          • Agreed Marcinin or Klefbom was my thoughts with Nurse and Davidson showing up well in the camps we can maintain the depth in the prospect pool on defense. Your thoughts? As for backup yes but a proven one at that as well this ensures return assets for a goalie they will most likely lose in the offseason for nothing.

  9. The Oilers are not trading for a goalie right now. If they make any moves it will be for a defence man. Defence men of the likes of Mat Green from LA or Adam McQuaid from Boston. No say these guys in-particular but guys who play the game like these guys. The Leafs do not have a defence man like them so, sorry Leaf fans the Oilers will not be making a trade with your team. Also the Oilers will not trade any of their centres that are on the roster.

    • Agreed I cant see any thing that would work for both teams.

  10. I think the Oilers will trade for a goalie this year, but I agree with what was posted earlier in that it is coming out of St. Louis. I say that they wait about 20 games into the season and see if one of them establishes themselves this year and then put out a trade offer, probably something like Labarbera and a prospect.

    If the Oilers are going to trade for a defenseman I think the match made in heaven should just hurry up and happen. Oilers need defense, Jets need offense. Oilers have Eberle, Ganger, Hemsky, Nuge, Hall, Yakupov and the Jets have Trouba, Byfulgien, Bosagian, Enstrom … the deal is staring both of them right in the face.

    • Trouba for Yaks is kind of an interesting thought…

      • Only problem trouba is in his first season they are looking for proven assets but still is and interesting proposal I agree.

        • to further that I think bogosian would be realistic. I m not up to date on salaries but I believe there would have to be a salary shuffle to make this work.

        • Down the road with Trouba, Nurse, Schultz, Klefbom, Marincin and Musil could be outstanding, if I was MacT that would be a tough one to say no to. Yaks is a nice piece to have and all, but realistically they have enough talented wingers to score more than enough goals. The D would be set for years to come in the next couple years. Not that its that far off anyway but….

          • I personally think the Jets would be more keen to move Zach Bogasian in a deal then anyone else and I think Yakupov is the realistic target. The Oilers can move him and still maintain a top 6 of Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Perron, Gagner, Hemsky. The Jets can move Bogasian and still maintain a stop 4 of Enstrom, Byfulgien, Trouba, Stuart/Clitsome and they have good defensive depth in Melchirori, Redmond, and Pardy in the minors.

            Straight swap Yaks for Bogasian is what I would look at personally. Oilers would still have about $1.3 million in cap space without demoting anyone. Which probably buries Davidson, Potter, and Belov freeing up another $2,000,000 so the cap spaces balance.

          • Not bad but it would be getting to be a whole lotta money tied up, nearly 50 mill in salaries with only 13 guys signed for next year.

  11. The season is still young. Let’s not forget the OIl are adjusting to a new coach, new system, et al. On paper, Ed’s D don’t look too, too bad, compared to some of the league’s other up and coming clubs. I think patience and perhaps, lower expectations at this point of the season, should be the message from the pulpit. If a deal is struck for a d-man, I can see it involving a young depth guy who’s apprenticed with an upper echelon club for the past few seasons. Think Matt Hunwick.

    • The Oilers have enough young prospect defence men in Nurse and Kleffbom to just name 2. If they trade for one it will be for one that is able to come in now and make a difference. Also as a Oiler fan if they make any trades for a goalie I would like to see Hillar from Anaheim, but I still do believe that Dubnyk can be the guy.

  12. What about Miller/Adam for Hemsky and LaBarbara. Hemsky might not be a bad pickup for the Sabres and it will give Edmonton the goalie they require. The only thing is whether Miller would be open to an Edmonton trade.

    • No way Miller wants to go to Edmonton, also that trades looks a little lopsided in favour of the Oliers. Miller >>>Hemskey and Adam>Labarbara.

  13. I’m thinking any moves done by the oilers will either be selling off unwanted assets at trade deadline if out of it or brining in proven top players… I don’t see them wanting to add more unproven young players… They need a Cory Schneider who they tried to get at the draft… Not sure which goalie with similar abilities and point in his career would be available… I know everyone loves this topic but I really think phaneuf could be a decent fit in Edmonton… Brings toughness, leadership, skill and top line depth to there defence…

    • So far this year Dion has looked pretty good I think and still getting run out of town…lol

      • Top 10-20 in every defensive stat again this year, hes plus 1 playing top lines tones of ice time hasnt been turning over the puck too bad ( especially compared to the rest of the team)…last year top 10 or 20 in most stats what more do you want? How great did Shea Webber look tonight? lol

      • Ya right after I posted that I watched the game and thought he had a good game and has been playing decent so far..