The Edmonton Oilers have had a rough couple of years. In return for the once great team’s suffering, they have been rewarded with several years of high draft picks, including a three year stretch at number one. The Oilers have acquired an awful lot of talent in that time. Jordan Eberle (first round, 22nd overall)in 2008. Then the three year string at the top, with Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012) joined the organization. The Edmonton Oilers have an abundance of talent in their forwards.
While the Oilers have strength up front, the Edmonton squad are notoriously lacking on the blue line and especially in net. Ex-Bruin(and now captain) Andrew Ference has brought an air of leadership and stability to a very young squad, but more needs to be done. With only five players on their roster with a +/- above zero, it’s obvious that the blueline is one of their big problems. The one thing the Bruins have coming out their ears right now are available defensemen who could be traded to Edmonton. The Bruins could solve the Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, and Dougie Hamilton rotation problem by sending one off to Edmonton to get a top six forward that has been performing.
(No disrespect meant to the Black and Gold, but Jarome Iginla isn’t working out so well, and several of our own top six are being eclipsed by Chris Kelly and the third line right now. You have no idea how odd that sounded in my head, but it’s looking to be true.)
If the Oilers are hurting on defense, they are positively suffering in net. Devan Dubnyk is 0-3-1 with an ugly 5.43 goals against average, and a beer league worthy .829% save percentage. Their number two goalie Jason Labarbera has their only win in the pipe for Edmonton. His 1-2-0 record comes with a rough 3.22 goals against and a disappointing .871% save percentage. In no way am I suggesting that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would ever trade Tuukka Rask. He just wouldn’t do it. Niklas Svedberg on the other hand….
Svedberg was last year’s AHL goalie of the year. Svedberg had the best training camp and preseason of all the potential NHL contenders for the Bruins number two job. Svedberg only lost out on the job due to a hastily signed contract that secured Chad Johnson‘s place on the roster. He’s proven he can play at the NHL level, and it’s all too possible Chiarelli has been saving him for some large scale trade.
Chiarelli’s leadership as Bruins general manager has proven to the fan base several things. One, he’s a master at packaging the right trade. Loui Eriksson is coming into his own, as Tyler Seguin is still trying to struggle (that four point game aside) to become the new face in Dallas. For every Joe Corvo trade, he has given the organization three or more solid returns for the Black and Gold. Second, he knows the talent pool Boston has, and the weaknesses of other teams. Boston could spare a defenseman. Boston could give up a goalie. Could Chiarelli make another strong investment in Boston by giving up what we could “afford” to lose to secure the Bruins future down the road?
Maybe. Chiarelli has surprised us in the past, and a Yakupov trade would be par for the course.