SUN Hockey Pool

Trade Talk

BOB STAUFFER

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Much has been written and said about what the Edmonton Oilers should do heading into the NHL trade deadline which is less then three weeks away.

The Oilers are likely to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, as they are going to need a lot of help to climb from the depths of 13th and 14th in the West into a playoff position.

The names being thrown around as potential trade bait are Joni Pitkanen, Jarret Stoll, Steve Staios and Dwayne Roloson.

Pitkanen is an intriguing player who would garner general manager Kevin Lowe the greatest return. Pitkanen is likely looking for five million plus a season, and the Oilers already have another defenceman in that range signed long-term, who does not go every night. Is two too many?

Stoll is likely to get a mulligan for this season.

My guess is he gets a one-year deal at around 2.5 million, and an opportunity to get back to being the player he was last season, while in the process getting back into head coach Craig MacTavish's good books.

Roloson is virtually untradeable, unless there is a team with cap space that loses their #1 goaltender.

Staios would have cache on the market.

Lots of playoff-bound teams are looking for a decent No. 4 of No.5 d-man that brings character and experience, while still being able to move the puck a little.

But the Oilers shouldn't trade Staios, unless there is a massive overpayment coming the other way.

There aren't a lot of players who really want to be in Edmonton. Staios is one of them.

With Tom Gilbert, Matt Greene and Ladislav Smid all 25 or younger, a calming veteran presence on the back end doesn't hurt.

If you move Staios who is a 2.7 million dollar cap hit, it might cost three million a season to sign a veteran of similar ilk.

You know what you got with "Steady Steve", who has stepped it up of late.

RIGHT SAID FRED

In a classic case of trading from strength to address weakness the Edmonton Eskimos have significantly upgraded their defensive line by aquiring All-Star rush end Fred Perry for back-up quarterback Steven Jyles.

Perry's pedigree speaks for itself. He was a defensive stalwart for the Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders last season leading the team in tackles and sacks en route to another All-Star season.

Jyles, despite obvious physical tools, including a rocket-launcher for an arm, was supplanted by Stefan Lefors on the Eskimos depth chart last season, and moved further down the depth chart when the Eskimos opted to bring back Jason Maas this off-season.

Perry's addition will improve a weak defensive line that simply has not generated enough push the last two seasons. The Eskimos were forced to send six or seven players on the rush far too much in the last couple of years, leaving their secondary in man coverage an awful lot.

Now the Eskimos secondary will likely be in a position to play cover-4 more which should benefit the likes of an Omar Morgan.

Head coach Danny Maciocia also was able to re-work a deal for Perry for the next two seasons.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Alberta Golden Bears forward Ian McDonald.

In his second season with the Bears, McDonald is tied for the team scoring lead and is drawing interest from a couple of different NHL organizations.

The six-foot-three 215 pound centre from Edmonton might be the CIS's version of Joe Thornton.

McDonald was the best player on the ice last weekend when the No.2 ranked Bears swept Saskatchewan to secure home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.


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