SUN Hockey Pool

Deadline dread for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

NASHVILLE -- Like most hockey fans, the Edmonton Oilers will plop down in front of the TV on trade deadline day and watch the fireworks.

And, like most players, they'll hope against hope that they don't see their names and faces on the screen.

The realization that they are really just pawns in a great big chess game is never more evident than it is right now.

"Not a lot of people understand, you could be picking up and moving as soon as somebody says it's time to move," said Dwayne Roloson, who was told to move to Edmonton at the 2005-06 deadline. "It disrupts your whole family and off you go. It's a part of the game a lot of people don't understand, but at the same time it's part of our job and guys get used to it."

Doesn't mean they have to like it, though.

"It's always unnerving, everybody waits for that day to be over with and move on," said Fernando Pisani. "When you're talking about picking up and moving on, it's obviously a difficult thing. You've played with guys for so long and are good friends with them, it's always a tough situation."

Roloson completely changed the dynamic of the hockey club when he joined the Oilers, and the club is looking for a similar boost this year.

The Oilers have all sorts of needs heading into tomorrow's swap meet - a first-line left winger, a second-line left winger and a second-line centre to tide them over until Sam Gagner can begin producing.

And maybe a shut down defenceman.

Otherwise, they're set.

"We've had our discussions, we know our needs and the managers are going to try and address those needs the best they can," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "If the opportunity presents itself to help us, that's obviously what we'd like to have happen, we're all gearing towards that. But the deals have to make sense ..."

It's tough to create deals in today's environment, with salary caps, taking on salaries and diminishing salary caps. There's a lot that goes into making a deal. In today's landscape, with money tight and the races close, bringing in the kind of pieces Edmonton needs will take serious wrangling.

"It's very hard at the trade deadline to just go out there and get what you want, especially this year - there's going to be a lot of other teams in the same boat," said Horcoff.

With so many teams having a chance to make the playoffs, not many are actually going to be selling. But Ales Hemsky is curious about how the Oilers will look tomorrow evening.

"You never know what's going to happen," he said. "It's an interesting day for everybody, we'll see."

---

GAME NOTES

Rookie Pekka Rinne stopped 30 shots for his sixth shutout of the season in the 8-0 win over Detroit. He was 9-2-0 in February ... The line of Arnott, Steve Sullivan, and J.P. Dumont has 25 points in its last six games. Dumont has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in that stretch while Sullivan and Arnott each have eight ... In three games this year, the Preds are 0-for-6 on the power play. The Oilers are 2-for-11 ... Sam Gagner has two goals and one assist in his last 13 games.

HURT PARADE

Edmonton - Ethan Moreau, LW, (eye); Lubomir Visnovsky, D, (shoulder surgery)

Nashville - Scott Nichol, C, (concussion); Alexander Sulzer, D, (shoulder); Radek Bonk, C, (upper body); Martin Erat, RW, (groin, questionable).


Videos

Photos