Oilers president Kevin Lowe’s recent comments has increased speculation his club could make a significant trade following the NHL lockout.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers president Kevin Lowe was interviewed on Thursday by 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer, who recently floated the speculation the club could pull off a “wow factor” deal following the NHL lockout. Stauffer didn’t suggest the Oilers might move one of its bright young stars (Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov), but noted their depth in young assets might be exploited in a trade to improve the club. Lowe said the only way to make deals is if you have assets attractive to rival teams.
“So, absolutely, we’re at some point, whenever that is, we’re probably not too far down the road, we’re going to have to make some touch choices and maybe move some players, or a player, draft picks, to get a piece or two that finishes off the formation of what you feel is a championship team. I mean, we need to get to the playoffs first (laughed) so you can’t put the cart ahead of the horse, but no question. I don’t talk to managers on a regular basis any more, that’s Steve Tambellini’s job, but I do know from my past experiences that we won’t have a tough job selling anybody on anybody that we have in the event we’re interested in a player on another team.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d be shocked if Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, or Yakupov were dealt, and I don’t believe they’ll consider shopping Justin Schultz. Still, there are some assets on the Oilers roster (especially forwards Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky) which could be used in a significant trade. What that could be, of course, is anyone’s guess at this point, though there is some speculation the Oilers made a pitch for Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo prior to the expiration of the recent CBA.