a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

Welcome to Oil Acumen. All Oilers, all the time... Occasionally other stuff.

Monday, 3 October 2011

10/03/11 Getting Blue from the Buds?

In a way, all these injuries to the Oilers' defense could end up being a good thing. It's put the focus of the fan base squarely on the organization's defensive depth and the need for a trade that will solidify the backend. The trade may not happen right away, but at least management knows that the fans know that the defense is lacking. So who might the Oilers be after?

Jonathan Willis gave his two cents about why Toronto's Carl Gunnarsson may be a good fit in Edmonton. There isn't much more that needs to be said about the merits of acquiring this player except perhaps what it would take to get him.

Brian Burke isn't under pressure to move a player like Gunnarsson. If the Oilers were after Mike Komisarek and his $4.5 million cap hit, the deal would probably happen instantly. As it is, Gunnarsson's cap hit is just $1.325 million for the next two years and then he's an RFA. The Leafs have 7 NHL-quality defenders on their current roster, but Jake Gardiner is a raw rookie and keeping some veteran insurance can't hurt.

Incidentally, after a series of trades involving the Oilers' 2008 first round pick that Anaheim acquired after the Penner offer sheet,  then-GM Brian Burke used the 17th overall pick he ended up with to select Gardiner. The race is now officially on between Gardiner and Eberle (former 2008 first rounder acquired from Anaheim in the Pronger deal).

Would Burke trade Gunnarsson for a Tyler Pitlick or Curtis Hamilton type? Unlikely. Fans in Leafland are getting impatient and if Burke is going to trade a roster player at this point, it's probably going to have to be for a player that can step in and make an impact. Are the Oilers ready to part with such a player? Maybe, but one would think that their eyes are fixed on bigger, better targets than Gunnarsson if players like Omark or Hartikainen are in the discussion.

Matt Lashoff
Staying with the Leafs, by tomorrow morning we'll know if anyone has put in a claim on Matt Lashoff, who was waived by Toronto on Monday. Until November 1st the Oilers will have first dibs on any player who goes across the waiver wire (by virtue of finishing 30th last year). The 6'2" 204 pound defenseman is just 25 years old, and has played in only 74 NHL games. He's a former 22nd overall pick, but he hasn't figured out the NHL just yet. It will cost the Oilers $600,000 to give him an NHL season. The only problem is that he's another contract, and the Oilers are already near to the limit on those as it is. That, and he's yet another left handed shot on the blueline.

1 comment:

  1. If they waive him for purpose of assigning him (lashoff) to a farm team then they get first picks if we want to send him down to our farm team. So we have to keep him on the NHL roster or they can get him back. And with all of our 6th/7th defencemen (Smid/Peckham/Sutton/Barker/Chorney) we don't need more players like him. We are actually stacked on bottom pairing players. We need top four players like Gunnarson for example.

    But a waiver claim like Lashoff could be a good temporary fix.