Okay, this is far from being actual news as it’s just speculation at this point. However, Oilers Nation has gained some further street cred after breaking the news on the Mike Comrie signing. Recently, Jason Gregor from Oilers Nation suggested that the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators might be kicking the tires on a potential trade.
As Jason Gregor notes, the Nashville Predators have a lot of cap space which along with their apparent need to add to their top six lends itself to speculation that Robert Nilsson might be a player of interest to them. As for the Edmonton Oilers, they’re pretty tight against the salary cap which means that any potential trade would likely involve the Oilers sending more salary to Nashville than they take back. Though the addition of Jason Arnott would nearly complete the Oilers reunion strategy, his salary as well as age make this quite unlikely.
Robert Nilsson has had a relatively quiet but respectable preseason for the Edmonton Oilers. Last night, in particular, he played very effectively. In fact, Pat Quinn put the kid line back together later in the game and they did play quite well together. However, Edmonton has a logjam of 2nd line(ish) players that have talent and skill but lack size. This list obviously includes the likes of Patrick O’Sullivan, Mike Comrie, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, as well as Robert Nilsson. Unfortunately, with Jordan Eberle and maybe Omark added to the list next year, this issue certainly needs to be addressed.
For the Edmonton Oilers, the build from within mantra has lead to JF Jacques and Ryan Stone getting a really good look for potential positions in the top nine. Other than some very good recent efforts and physical play, the only thing that really sets these players apart from the rest of the Oilers roster is that they’re both north of six feet and 200 lbs. Normally, size alone wouldn’t get you very far, but on team as small as ours, it does get you a pretty good look.
Admittedly, I know about as much about the players on Nashville’s team as I do about the AHL, which isn’t much. Recently, I asked Jonathan Willis over at the Hockey or Die! blog what he thought a potential trade might involve, and his best guess was Nilsson for a 3rd round pick. Whether this would be the trade or not is still quite uncertain. However, what is certain is that the Oilers management has to look to the future including Eberle and realize that we can’t continue hording all of these carbon copy players. What’s more, the list of small players grows even further when you count Oilers’ prospects such as Gibert Bule, Pouliot, Rob Schremp, Potulny, and Liam Reddox. Lowetide’s been preaching the need for balance on our roster for quite some time and so far that message has not been heard.
Last night’s game was quite exciting to watch which was somewhat of a surprise for me given that we were playing our bubble boys vs. some talented veterans including Lecavalier and St. Louis. Overall, two things were glaringly obvious from that game. One being that our bubble boy squad was dwarfed in size for the most part vs. Tampa Bay. Secondly, our team continues to struggle with faceoffs.