Lowe ready to move in order to grab one or two pieces Oilers need to contend
Oilers hockey operations boss Kevin Lowe was on Oilers Now with Oilers radio colour man Bob Stauffer on Thursday. A number of topics were covered including the “Wow” trade that Stauffer has been hinting about on his show, a deal that would presumably see the Oilers bring in what sounds like a veteran star in return for prospects and picks.
On the show, Stauffer, an Oilers employee and insider, suggested that no one for a second would contemplate trading any of the Big Four up front (Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov), but with so many young assets, perhaps there was a way to expedite the process (by way of a trade) of turning around the Oilers.
“You’re going into a game with lots of trump cards,” Lowe said. “That’s the only way you can make deals is if you have assets that are attractive to other teams. When you have assets then you can make deals.
“So, absolutely, we’re at some point, whenever that is, we’re probably not too far down the road, we’re going to have to make some touch choices and maybe move some players, or a player, draft picks, to get a piece or two that finishes off the formation of what you feel is a championship team. I mean, we need to get to the playoffs first (laughed) so you can’t put the cart ahead of the horse, but no question. I don’t talk to managers on a regular basis any more, that’s Steve Tambellini’s job, but I do know from my past experiences that we won’t have a tough job selling anybody on anybody that we have in the event we’re interested in a player on another team.”
The new CBA could make it easier to make trades, Lowe added.
Defence and goal are question marks
Stauffer asked what the biggest question mark about the team going into the season.
“There’s a number of them. Are we strong enough defence? Goaltending is a question mark, and I say that in all respect to Devan Dubnyk and Khabi (Nikolai Khabibulin). Khabi has been injured and he’s approaching 40. He’s given us stretches of strong goaltending but his health is one thing.”
Dubnyk is trending upward, Lowe said, “but he’s got to go out and prove it now if he’s going to take over the Number One job.”