SUN Hockey Pool

Sighs of relief from Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Man, why couldn't Chris Pronger be married to one of these guys?

Steve Staios is ecstatic about staying in Edmonton.

Marty Reasoner can't be happier about unpacking his suitcase after surviving yesterday's NHL trade deadline.

Jarret Stoll, another seemingly expendable asset rumoured to be on the auction block, is pumped about getting a second chance here.

For a place that seems to rank just above Purgatory on the Where to Play scale, a surprisingly large number of Oilers were breathing huge sighs of relief upon learning that nobody punched their ticket out of town.

"When you're involved in it, when your name is being thrown around, you're a little bit worried about it, obviously," said Stoll. "It's your life. I haven't been on any other team, nor did I want to go to any other team.

"It's pretty obvious how many good young players we have. We're going in the right direction. I know we're not in the right place right now, but we are heading the right way."

Staios is another one who doesn't want to leave Edmonton, nor miss out on what they're trying to do here.

With a billionaire owner coming on board shortly, and a team that's artificially depressed because of a ridiculously inordinate number of key injuries, things are only going to get better, he's sure of it.

"I want to be part of building this team," Staios said. "I'm proud to be part of this organization, they've treated me with nothing but class and respect. I want to finish my career here.

"Everyone's ultimate goal is a championship. And there's no other place in the world that I'd want to win it."

Even Dwayne Roloson, miscast by a recent headline as a guy who can't get out of town fast enough, is fine with staying.

"From Day 1, ever since I've been here, I've liked the city, everything about the city," said Roloson.

He'd rather be the playing, of course. And, failing that, would rather play somewhere else than sit here, but he's never had anything against Edmonton and never tried to force the organization's hand.

"Out of respect to (Kevin Lowe) I wouldn't ask for a trade, I wouldn't put him in that situation," he said. "I don't think it's fair for a player to say I want out of here no matter what."

He just wants to play.

"You ask any athlete who's in a situation where he's not playing if he wants to go somewhere else to play, or stay in a city he likes and sit," said Roloson. "Probably 110% will say they want to play."

Lowe says $4.6 million for goalies the calibre of Roloson and Mathieu Garon isn't at all out of line.

"From Dwayne's perspective there's no animosity," said Lowe. "Dwayne's been an incredible professional for us since the day he arrived."

There were plenty of teams willing to take Stoll off Edmonton's hands, but his potential upside far outweighs the crumbs they were offering in return.

"They're barking up the wrong tree," said head coach Craig MacTavish, who isn't ready to believe that Stoll's malaise is permanent.

"Impatience can be your worst enemy when you're dealing with players.

"Everybody wants to rush to a conclusion on Jarret and say this is the level he's going to play at. But he's a young player, he's got great character, great leadership.

"There's not a lot of things he can't do in the game.

"We fully expect him to have a full and complete recovery. To trade a player of that ilk and character would be, in my mind, a mistake."


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