On a rebuilding team one concept should always be kept in mind when making roster moves: don't open up unnecessary holes. This obviously seems like a hard concept for Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini to follow as many of his transactions in the past have opened up massive gaps in the lineup which have taken much time to close.
As the NHL trade deadline approaches, the well-connected Elliotte Friedman is reporting that he has heard that the Oilers have not been talking much with pending UFA Ladislav Smid with regards to a new contract. Are we about to see another Gilbert-type trade? I say this because Lowetide has gone on to surmise that this could foretell a possible move by Tambellini to make a Smid-for-Jack Johnson play. Yes, you heard right, the overrated Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Friedman goes on to state that he believes that Ryan Whitney will be moved at the trade deadline. I cannot imagine that the return would be all the much, even given his slightly better performances recently.
Add to this the fact that there have also been rumours about the Oilers gearing up to use on of their new CBA buyouts on current Captain Shawn Horcoff. Yes, you hear right. The Oilers might cut loose one of the few centreman in the organization that can actually win more faceoffs than he loses. This in a year where losing faceoffs is absolutely hurting the Oilers' on-ice performance.
I sure hope that Friedman and Lowetide are incorrect in their suppositions, as such moves would open up absolutely massive gaps in a roster that already looks like Swiss Cheese.