Oilers feel trade fever

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers have been trying since last summer to swing a big trade or two, but two of their biggest rivals, Brian Burke and the Calgary Flames, beat them to the punch.

The Leafs, Flames and Anaheim Ducks swapped 10 players worth about $28 million US on Sunday, and another deal or two is on the front burner.

Apparently you still can make trades in the NHL.

"I guess that puts away the notion that you can't get anything done," said centre Shawn Horcoff. "It's a big trade, a lot of players involved, some big names."

Added Patrick O'Sullivan: "Burkie likes to make a splash. He's trying to make his imprint on that team and Calgary needed to shake things up, too."

With the clock ticking down until the March 3 trade deadline, everyone in the Oilers dressing room is expecting something similar will be happening in Edmonton. Soon.

"When you're in this situation you're on full alert," said Horcoff. "You know there's going to be changes. It's not 'if,' it's 'when.'

"Whether it's at the deadline, whether it's in July, who knows. They're coming."

And virtually nobody is off limits on a 30th place team.

"Obviously our team is in a situation to do things, any time you're out of the playoffs, that's always the case," said Sullivan.

"I don't know what's going to happen, and as a player you can't worry about it. But it's tough. It's a difficult time of year, especially when the team is struggling."

The Oilers need a complete overhaul for the future and a major shakeup for right now. A big trade could accomplish both.

"It definitely shakes things up and gives you a fresh feeling around the locker-room," said Horcoff.

"Any time you make a trade, most times, it's a little bit of a boost.

"Everybody feels it's a change and it's going to be good and everything is going to move forward positively. When you do something like that, you get the wanted effect from it."


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