SUN Hockey Pool

Don't get your hopes up

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

I hate to be the Grinch Who Stole the Trade Deadline for Edmonton Oilers fans, but ...

All year, everybody in Edmonton has been screaming for Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe to do something.

Get Ales Hemsky somebody to play with.

Find somebody to win a faceoff.

Get help for the penalty killing.

It's now hours to the Wednesday trade deadline and for fans it's like the night before Christmas as the Oilers' brain trust and scouting staff head to Ottawa work out of a hotel suite on deadline day.

Don't get your hopes up, I say.

You might be lucky to get a lump of coal for a lump of Cole.

Unless somebody gets goofy out there, what can the Oilers do?

To make a trade, you have to give up something to get something. Go down the lineup. There's a combination of too many players you don't want to trade, too many players you'd love to trade but can't find a sucker to take off your hands and a lot of WAYGTGGs (what are you going to get? guys).

Here's the skinny:

- Dwayne Roloson: At the start of the season, they'd have taken a second round draft choice to unload the $3 million final year of the 39-year-old's contract to solve their three-goalie problem. Now he's arguably the difference between making playoffs and not making playoffs. No deal. Not now.

- Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers: He's played in eight games with a 3.57 goals against average and .889 save percentage. He's a WAYGTGG. And even if you can get something, Roli's 39.

- Ladislav Smid: Oilers have had patience with him and now it's starting to pay off. Not the answer to a team's short-term problems on deadline day anyway.

- Shawn Horcoff: In most places, despite his character and his numbers, he's a second line centre. And he'll be making $7 million, $6.5, $6.5 and $6 million over the next four years. Tough to trade.

- Robert Nilsson: He was put in the press box last game and not because there was a deal in the works. He's still half prospect and half suspect. And a WAYGTGG.

- Andrew Cogliano: Big part of the Oilers future. Forget about it.

- Ethan Moreau: Captain just had a stick poked in his eye.

- J.F. Jacques: Minor leaguer who has played one game coming off injury this year. Definite WAYGTGG. He's a throw-in on a trade, maybe.

- Steve Staios: With Dennis Grebeshkov back, maybe. He'd be a huge help to somebody down the stretch. But he's an experienced character guy who blocks shots and competes -- items in short supply in the Oilers lineup right now.

- Erik Cole: Unrestricted free agent who hasn't given what you paid $4 million to get this year. Very available. But, again, a WAYGTGG. Will it be enough to replace what he might be able to give you in the final 20 games in a desperate attempt to bolster his off-season value as a free agent?

- Dustin Penner: You can have him and the next three years of his contract ($4.25 million, $4.25 and $4.25 million) for a pail of pucks. But good luck finding the sucker to take him and that contract off your hands.

- Steve MacIntyre: Game guy who has been a positive addition this season. But is the worst skater in the league. A WAYGTGG.

- Denis Grebeshkov: Everybody wants a puck-moving defenceman. Probably the most tradeable player the Oilers have if Labomir Visnovsky wasn't out for the year. But you need him to make the playoffs.

- Jason Strudwick: Why would you want to move a local guy who has given you as much in as many different roles?

- Fernando Pisani: Has looked great since returning from a long injury layoff, which makes him an attractive addition to any package deal the Oilers might be working on.

- Sheldon Souray: The closest thing to Ales Hemsky as a franchise player. Not for trade.

- Zack Stortini: Comes to compete, fans like him and isn't going to get you much in return, anyway.

- Kyle Brodziak: Good young pro who is going to get better. Not untouchable, but a WAYGTGG.

- Tom Gilbert: Emerging young star who is a big part of Oilers future. Not available.

- Marc Pouliot: Just spent four games as a healthy scratch. Maybe as part of a package.

- Ales Hemsky: Emerging superstar. Not available.

- Liam Reddox: Still breaking into the league. Not likely to be in any trade talks.

- Sam Gagner: Nineteen-year-old future star. Not available.


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