This comes to us courtesy of Mark Spector at Sportsnet:
Still getting word that the Edmonton Oilers are in the race for Dany Heatley. The one thing new Oilers owner Daryl Katz has shown is that he is willing to throw money around at big-name players. Edmonton’s offer to Marian Hossa last season surpassed the $50 million mark. So, if beating Tuesday’s midnight deadline for the $4 million payment due to Heatley is a tipping point for Senators GM Bryan Murray, that could well be how the Oilers sweeten the pot to out-bid the few teams left in the running.
The New York Rangers are one of those teams, of course, and they have never been afraid to spend. Oilers unsuccessfully offered defenceman Tom Gilbert to move up at the draft, and you can bet they are pitching Gilbert to Ottawa as well. Of their four offensive defencemen — Lubomir Visnovsky, Sheldon Souray, RFA Denis Grebeshkov and Gilbert — the Minnesota product Gilbert is the one they would part with.
Another assumption on our part: If the Oilers are going to eat the $4 million due to Heatley, are they trying to send bust Dustin Penner Ottawa’s way? He’s got three years left at $4.25 million.
Spector also offers us this news on goaltenders:
As for the Oilers, they were thought to be interested in Minnesota backup Josh Harding, but swung a draft day trade with the Wild that excluded the goaltender. They also like New Jersey UFA Scott Clemmensen, but could go back to the Devil they know in Roloson.
My thoughts, in no particular order:
- Spector said yesterday that Souray could be on the move; today he says that Gilbert is the player Edmonton would part with. I'm guessing that the draft-day news has influenced that.
- I don't especially want to see Tom Gilbert moved.
- Please, please, please pass on Clemmensen. Seven years as a #3 goaltender and one year as a decent tender in New Jersey is simply not an appropriate track record for an NHL starting goalie. Particularly one who has Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers as his backup.