When Justin Shultz and Teddy Purcell were healthy scratches for the team's recent California road trip, it was obvious that both would soon be playing for another team. And yesterday afternoon the team made that future a reality, sending Schultz to Pittsburgh and Purcell to Florida, getting a third round pick back for each player. Earlier in the day Chiarelli dealt Anders Nilsson to St. Louis for goalie prospect Niklas Lundstrom and a fifth round pick.
With those three players dealt and the trade deadline still a day away, will Oilers fans have anything more to look forward to on the trade front or is the team done? I don't expect any major deals to be made in the next day, a deal involving a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle, for example, but the Oilers do still have a couple fo players that might be of interest to a team looking to fill out their roster for a playoff run.
Eric Gryba is a solid bottom pairing defenceman and he's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season; his current contract pays him $1.3M this season and has a $1.25M cap hit. Gryba bring zero offence - six points in 53 games this season - but he's a physical presence and has been able to handle the minutes that the Oilers have given him this season. The question mark with Gryba right now is a knee injury that's kept him out of the lineup for the last week and a half. Possible return: A fourth or fifth round pick.
Matt Hendricks is a solid bottom six forward. Like Gryba he's not the guy you're going to turn to for help putting the puck in the net - in 154 games with the Oilers, Hendricks has lit the lamp 14 times - but he can be very effective in a shutdown role and is always willing to get in the face of opponent. Hendricks is on a contract that expires after next season, paying him $1.85M this season and next. That's an overpayment for what Hendricks does but not so much of an overpayment that it should scare off potential trade partners. Potential return: Maybe a third round pick, a fourth seems more likely.
Four years removed from being a first overall pick in the draft and we're looking at a situation where the Oilers might dump Nail Yakupov at the trade deadline. His career path has been truly bizarre. Any team looking to add Yakupov is doing so because they think they can get more out of him than the Oilers have been able to. He's got some impressive offensive tools, not to mention a wonderful shot, but he's never been able to play the complete game that the Oilers have been looking for. Much like Schultz, it's just time for Yakupov to get a fresh start somewhere else. Possible return: A third line forward or a second tier defensive prospect.
I have no doubt that the Oilers would like to move Mark Fayne, for whatever reason he doesn't seem to be part of the teams plans beyond this season, but with two more seasons with a cap hit of $3.625M (and a $3.5M salary) I'd be surpised if they can find a trading partner at this time of year. The same is true of Mark Letestu - two years at $1.8M - and Lauri Korpikoski - one year with a $2.5M cap hit and a $3M salary - neither does enough to make them appealing deadline targets when you consider the commitment that is required beyond this season.
If I were going to bet on something like this I'd set the line at 1.5 moves between now and tomorrow. And I'd probably take the under.