Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Edmonton and Pittsburgh scouting each other?

Before the deadline we will also profile the few "sellers" at this year's market. Given that so many teams are in the hunt for a playoff berth this late in the season (only Los Angeles is truly out of the hunt) this will be short. Today's whispers: Edmonton

Take the source with a grain of salt, but....

Keep an eye on the Edmonton Oilers come deadline time…I have a sneaky suspicion that they have interest in a Penguin player or two…quite possibly Erik Christensen. They have been scouting the Pens a good bit lately…could be nothing, could be something…you never know this time of year.

As the old saying goes, ya gotta give something to get something and the name that never really goes away from trade speculation is Christensen. Surely if there is a roster player moved in the next week he figures to be the #1 guy.

Ray Shero says his MO is to continue to build through the draft but he has been willing to throw picks to acquire Georges Laraque and Nils Ekman..Shero seems (wisely) averse to dealing his first round pick; which many deals this time of year come with as a prerequisite (scroll down to the next post if you don't believe).

For their part Edmonton could use more draft picks after the Dustin Penner RFA fiasco gutted their arsenal and the Oil is all but out of contention (9 points out of 8th place with six teams to climb over) so it makes sense they'd be looking to "sell".

Possible targets of interest
``Well you can probably throw out a guy like Ales Hemsky. He's signed for years to come and his price is too valuable to the Oilers for the Penguins to meet. We're talking attainable:
  • Marty Reasoner Edmonton already traded their current captain (at the '04 deadline for Sergei Samsonov) and he returned as a UFA so he is the definition of a pure rental. Reasoner's got great wheels, and has won 52.1% of his faceoffs. He'd be a great depth guy for the Pens to get for a playoff run
  • Steve Staios A veteran defenseman with playoff experience and a tough edge Staios is practically the embodiment of what the Penguins need the most. He has 60 hits and 133 blocked shots this season and his offensive stats (6 goals, 5 assists) put him head and shoulders above the Orpik's, Sydor's and Scuderi's of the Pens lineup. But Staios is signed at a pretty reasonable rate ($2.7 million cap hit) through the 2010-11 season so it's not a given that he's on the market.

The Penguins and Oilers shared Wilkes-Barre's club last season and both teams must be more than familiar with each other's young talent. Fans often fantisize about JF Jacques or MA Poilout could do with the Pens top 6 but it doesn't stand to reason that the Oil would sell any young forward of promise away when they can simply build around them.

Something to keep an eye on, for sure.

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