The meat and bones of deadline discussions are still going on, and the Oilers may not be done yet after trading Anders Nilsson, Justin Schultz and Teddy Purcell away for three draft picks and a prospect on Saturday.
“We have a big whiteboard and I had a bunch of things (on it) in the morning,” said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “I wiped off four or five of them. Not saying I got four or five other things done, but there’s still a bunch of things up there.”
Some of those things, however, may not be slated for completion ahead of Monday’s deadline. Chiarelli’s thoughts on bigger moves are the same as they were the last time he spoke with the media. Those are more likely to get done later in the off-season, as opposed to right now within this two-day window.
“We’ve got two days. I guess an advantage of completing a day like today is you have two days to dig down on some of the other stuff that may not be stuff that gets done at the deadline but you get a little better sense of where the teams are going for the summer. We’ll certainly be pecking away at that stuff and we have some other things that we’re looking at. If we get them done, great.”
Discussions about bigger moves do take place now, but it’s more so to set the dominos up to fall in the summer and around the draft.
“One of these things that goes on at these deadlines and the time leading up to the deadline is there are a lot of discussions that take place, not necessarily for the deadline. It’s for the summer or the fall, but you really have to exchange ideas, exchange thoughts of where your team is going, talk certain scenarios and I feel we’ve accomplished quite a lot of that. That stuff, you just don’t hear about that stuff,” said Chiarelli.
The Oilers acquired two third-round picks and a fifth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, as well as goalie prospect Niklas Lundstrom, in exchange for the three aforementioned players.
Following the Oilers trades of Teddy Purcell and Justin Schultz, they currently hold onto 10 picks in the 2016 NHL Draft. Having that many assets gives them options to move out picks in exchange for players closer to the draft, or even before Monday’s trade deadline.
“A lot of picks. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll use them for drafting,” said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “We look at the landscape, the cap landscape going forward, where the cap is going to be and we think we’re going to have decent opportunities to use these picks to get some players. On a smaller scale, we used a fourth-round pick to get Eric Gryba. There will be little deals like that and there may be some bigger deals, but we’ll see where the draft lies, we’ll see what activity is at the draft and what players are available. But it gives you flexibility.”
Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli stood at the Rexall Place podium on Saturday evening to field questions regarding his three trades made earlier in the day. One involved shipping goaltender Anders Nilsson to St. Louis for a young goalie and a fifth-round pick. The other two sent players on expiring contracts to teams for a third-round pick each.
Chiarelli gave his thoughts on the latter moves to kick off the press conference. He began by addressing Purcell being moved to Florida.
“He’s a player that his contract is coming to an end and at this point in the year we are not a contending team and part of management’s job is managing assets and so we felt we should trade him for an asset and that’s what we did,” said Chiarelli.
“Ted has been good for us and he’s played on that top line, made some plays and had success. I think we had three or four teams after him. He’s had some success in the playoffs and he became a valuable type of player to have.”
Schultz has faced criticism for his play of late and the defenceman was traded to Pittsburgh on Saturday, giving him a chance at a fresh start.
“In defence of Justin, he didn’t play well in the last little bit,” said Chiarelli. “I know there are a lot of critics. I’ve seen a lot of players that have been booed, and I can understand why fans boo players, but that go on and have success elsewhere. We had a player in Boston, Dennis Wideman, that we had to move because for some reason or the other he fell into that category but he’s had success after that.”
“We had some house-keeping items to do, and I say that with all-due respect to these guys, with expiring contracts and if you’re not going to move forward with them you have to move them along.”
Part of the reason the Oilers could part ways with Nilsson is that Laurent Brossoit seems ready to take on the number-two responsibilities in Edmonton. The Oilers top young goalie prospect has enjoyed an AHL All-Star season with the Bakersfield Condors. He has a 15-9-3 record in the AHL this season, posting a .919 save percentage. The Oilers recalled Brossoit when the trade went through.
“There was a combination of a couple things,” Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said. “It was we felt that LB is now ready or close to being ready to be the number two, so we wanted to get a little bit ahead of it and try to get something for Anders.”
Nilsson didn’t come to Edmonton in the off-season as a stop-gap, but Brossoit’s development helped give the Oilers the option to move an asset.
“I felt strong about Brossoit, just from what I saw,” said Chiarelli. “I knew he was going to be ready in short order. That didn’t mean I had thought Anders was a band-aid, so to speak. We scouted him and he had a good stretch. He lost his confidence a little bit, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he goes on and has good success in the league. But LB’s play and the fact we are where we are in the standings just made that decision a little easier.”
Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli addressed the media at 6:30 PM MST to talk about the three trades the team made on Saturday. The press conference was streamed live right here on edmontonoilers.com. Watch the archive here:
The Oilers have acquired a 2016 third-round pick from the Florida Panthers, in exchange for winger Teddy Purcell.
Purcell played two seasons in Edmonton, suiting up for 143 games. He recorded 23 goals and added 43 assists for 66 points.
The Oilers have traded defenceman Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2016 third-round pick.
Schultz played 248 NHL games for the Oilers, recording 28 goals and 73 assists for a total of 101 points.
The Oilers made a couple of related moves on Saturday morning, dealing goaltender Anders Nilsson to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2016 fifth-round pick as well as Niklas Lundstrom.
The Oilers also recalled goaltender Laurent Brossoit from the AHL's Bakersfield Condors.
Brossoit is 15-9-3 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .919 save percentage on the year in addition to being named to the AHL All-Star Game. In his two career NHL games he has a 1.45 GAA and .945 SPCT.
Lundstrom's played 13 games with the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals this season (8-3-0, 2.92 GAA, .929 SPCT). He's also suited up four times with the AHL's Chicago Wolves.
BLOGS & FEATURES
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- BLOG: Schultz working to turn it around
- FEATURE: An honourary Oiler
- THE PANEL | Presented by Sport Chek
- PRACTICE | Wednesday in Leduc
- PRACTICE RAW | Zack Kassian
- PRACTICE RAW | Jordan Eberle
- PRACTICE RAW | Justin Schultz
- PRACTICE RAW | Todd McLellan
- FAREWELL REXALL PLACE | Part 3
As the team regroups from the Oilers loss, one player in particular is focused on making some changes.
“I’m just pretty inconsistent right now,” said Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz. “I’ll be having a good game then make a bad play and it costs the game.”
It’s hard to admit, but it’s also considered the first step before turning it around.
When a team isn’t producing the results they know they’re capable of, you can’t just abandon ship. There’s a process involved, where piece-by-piece, the system is broken down and reviewed to see where there is room for improvement and how coaches can help players progress.
“Schultzy didn’t have a good game last night. He’d be the first one to admit it, I’m sure that he did,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan.
“His input into the game was negative, it hurt the team, but he’s also a player that we have to get up and running, or try to get more out of. We have to challenge him and that’s what we’re doing over the next little bit here.”
McLellan and the coaches look to challenge Schultz and the team in many different aspects, aside from what is taught on the ice. It involves more than just correcting a player’s position but building their self-assurance.
“I see an individual right now who is not very confident,” said McLellan. “He’s feeling the heat, the pressure from a lot of different areas — whether it’s media, whether it’s the fans, whether it’s the coaching staff, teammates, whatever it might be…. Some individuals respond differently to that, some can excel and push their way through it and others struggle with it.”
In the meantime, Schultz is working hard to help the team find a successful footing once again.
“Just being focussed every shift and try and help the team win.”