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

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Sunday, 13 January 2013

01/13/12 McKenzie: Oilers Have "Great Motivation to Upgrade the Blueline"

This tweet went out on Sunday morning, and Bob McKenzie is one of those guys whose word can be taken seriously. Now that the trade market is back open, could the Oilers get something done?

Of course it doesn't take a hockey insider to know that the Oilers and Red Wings are looking for a defensive upgrade. But the inside information that we can take from this tweet is that almost every team is looking for defense. It's so bad that the Canucks signed Cam Freaking Barker, despite his repeatedly terrible showings at the NHL level.

That kind of market is not good for the Oilers, who will probably have to pay premium prices for a defensive boost. As Jonathan Willis reported at OilersNation, The Fourth Period had an article up that said the Oilers and Jets could explore a deal involving Ales Hemsky and Zach Bogosian. However, given the state of the defense market it seems likely that it would take more than Hemsky to land the former third overall pick.

It may take some time before teams are willing to make megadeals involving marquee names like Hemsky, Bogosian, Bouwmeester and others. Part way through the season, the Oilers' blueline may prove unequal to the task and the Jets (and others) may be in desperate need of a playmaker. If that happens we may see something major happen.

Until then, it's hard to imagine that teams will be too willing to part with defense, especially given how many teams want it and the fact that it will be sorely needed in case of injuries in a shortened season.

But that obviously doesn't mean the Oilers are not looking around the league, which is the other little tidbit of information we can take from this tweet. When things heat up, the Oilers should be in the middle of it.

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