The Edmonton Oilers have holes in their lineup. That’s not a “hot taek” and that statement shouldn’t catch anyone off guard because it’s a fact.
However, there seems to be a chorus of people on Twitter who seem to be harping on Peter Chiarelli and saying that a move needs to be made. As of right now, they need another d-man and a scoring winger. Those are the two big holes, which creates a problem for Chia because once the season starts, GM’s hold off on any big moves until at least the new year.
I dug back through the previous four seasons to prove that. Here are the biggest trades between the start of the year and December from 2013-2017.
2013- Buffalo trades Tomas Vanek to the Islanders for Matt Moulson, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick.
The Islanders tried to jump the market and acquired Vanek early in the year and it blew up in their face. They later flipped Vanek to Montreal for less than they paid for him. They made a move too early and it cost them.
2014- San Jose trades Jason Demers and a 3rd round pick to Dallas for Brendan Dillon.
This wasn’t even really a case of a team upgrading, it was more or less a straight-up hockey trade. I don’t see that type of move being an option for the Oilers this year, but once again, a year where there wasn’t a significant move early in the year.
2015- Pittsburgh trades Rob Scuderi to Chicago for Trevor Daley
Again, no moves were really made that significantly improved a team. This particular deal involved two actual NHLers, but it was a lateral move
2016 – Pittsburgh trades Mike Condon for a 5th round pick
An upgrade for Ottawa obviously, but another year that shows teams aren’t willing to make big moves early in the year. That trend won’t change this year.
Just look at the NHL standings right now, even the teams at the bottom won’t be willing to sell any asset that will actually help the Oilers right now.
The Arizona Coyotes haven’t won a game yet, but are they going to trade a winger like Tobias Rieder or an impact d-man like Niklas Hjalmarsson less than 10 games into the year? Not a chance.
The Red Wings are expected to be sellers this year, but they’re 4-5-1 and I don’t think Ken Holland is going to deal away Mike Green or one of his wingers for picks with 73 games left in their year. The same for Vegas, who will no doubt cool off and will likely be sellers when 2018 rolls around, but they’re 7-1. James Neal, David Perron or Jonathan Marchessault aren’t going anywhere.
It seems obvious but people need to stop expected Peter Chiarelli to pull off a big move in the next month, and that’s through no fault of his own. For all we know, Chiarelli could be calling 15 GM’s a day but if no one is willing to make a move, then what can he do?
This Oilers team is going to have to figure out their problems internally and then when January rolls around, you can expect Chiarelli to have some willing trade partners.