Kukla's Korner Hockey
Gene Principe caught up with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish to get his thoughts on his lone deadline deal, Jeff Petry to the Habs for two picks, and whether he was close on any others?
Lots of Oilers fans wonder how a team with such a weak defence can afford to let Jeff Petry go. They’re right — he’s going to leave a big hole next year. But last summer, when the time came to sign Petry long-term, his game wasn’t deserving of the commitment. Sure, he was the best guy on a poor defence, but in my opinion, someone will be having buyer’s remorse on Petry at this time next year, when he signs for four years and $18-19 million.
The key to the negotiations though, is that Petry wanted to go to UFA. There haven’t been any talks leading up to the deadline. The player simply wants to exercise his rights, play the field, and make a choice on a new team come July 1. It isn’t always a GM’s mistake when a player leaves. Sometimes the player, in this case an American-born player married to an American girl, wants to head south.
It’s no more complicated than that.
-Mark Spector of Sportsnet where you can read more NHL topics.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
With the defending Cup champion Los Angeles Kings giving up a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a blue-chip prospect to acquire solid Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Andrej Sekera, the gauntlet has been thrown down at the feet of their rival, the Anaheim Ducks.
Can Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish squeeze a first-rounder out of the Ducks now for Jeff Petry? Maybe.
Petry is the best available rental defenceman on the board now, unless you are a Zbynek Michalek fan from Arizona, and the dominoes usually start to fall in the West when one Cup threat makes a bold move.
Montreal, Detroit, Tampa, Washington, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and the Ducks are all looking for one more defenceman, and Sekera, 28, who plays hard and can make a good first pass and might sign with L.A. after the season, may have set the price for rental defencemen.
The feeling has long been that the Oilers were looking for a second-round pick and a solid blue-line prospect for teams, but maybe Sekera has changed MacTavish’s game plan somewhat.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Ducks are one of the teams looking for defence reinforcements if they don’t have to give up too much as are Montreal, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tampa and the Rangers. Oiler GM Craig MacTavish wants a draft pick and young body for Petry who was injured against Boston Bruins this past Wednesday when hit by an Adam McQuaid shot. The two games he’s just missed are the only two for medical reasons this year.
The Habs are looking for a second-pairing D to play with Alexei Emelin in a shutdown situation. The Wings have liked Russian rookie Alexey Marchenko, 23, a right-handed D like Petry, but are looking for one more experienced hand. The Ducks, who have Sami Vatanen out at least a month with a leg injury, are in the same boat as Detroit, as is Pittsburgh which wants to upgrade its third pairing. Tampa is getting Matt Carle back from abdominal surgery but has lost Radko Gudas (right knee) for the season. The Rangers are looking for a partner for Dan Boyle.
more with Matheson wondering if the Oilers should sit Petry to make sure he is healthy...
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
You can talk about getting rid of the stand-around practices where Eakins drew up stuff on the board, bringing back the ping pong table, reorganizing the power play, the regular stats and the fancy stats, dollars or donuts, to me it comes down to one thing.
Eakins took it away.
Nelson instills it.
Look down the Oilers lineup and you can easily identify the three players Nelson has most managed to give the gift of confidence to in his first 23 games behind the bench.
• Nail Yakupov.
• Anton Lander.
• Oscar Klefbom.
You could even count, to some degree, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
And there’s even evidence that before long Justin Schultz might get back to where he was when he showed up to play for Nelson in Oklahoma City during the latest lockout.
While playing for the Boston Bruins in 2013, Andrew Ference learned of a little girl who was coming to watch his team play. The five-year old child was battling a life-threatening disease and Ference was touched by her story.
via the Edmonton Sun,
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will be sidelined for six weeks with a bad ankle the team said is the result of slash in a game against San Jose.
The slash was on his already bad ankle and the team is calling the injury a crack.
It was close to a pre-existing bone bruise, suffered after being hit on the ankle with a puck in practice, but the team is calling it a different injury.
Hall hasn't played since the Feb. 2 game versus the Sharks, where he picked up a goal and an assists and tallied just 10:41 time on ice.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Of the four Canadian teams in the West, obviously only the Oilers stack up as sellers at the March deadline. The Jets, Flames and Canucks all fit into that category known as “The Careful Buyer.” None are at the point where they’ll give up young prospects to win right now, but all three can spot a position (or two) on their team that needs shoring up for a playoff run.
In Edmonton, UFA defenceman Jeff Petry will be dealt. Pittsburgh is very interested, among others. Petry is the quintessential defenceman who plays above his grade on a poor team in Edmonton, but would look much better getting less minutes/responsibilities on a better D-corps.
Also up for auction will be UFA goalie Viktor Fasth, though the market for backups is never strong at the deadline. And what about Derek Roy as a depth centreman for a playoff run? Many people believed Roy was done when he arrived in Edmonton around New Year’s, but he’s got four goals and nine points in 16 games. He has made the Oilers better, there is no question about it.
read on for more hockey topics including the Vancouver Canuks, Evander Kane and the LA Kings...
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