Once more 'round the block for Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI , QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:33 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers began their rebuild Monday by swapping Denis Grebeshkov for Nashville’s second round draft pick, a move that fans hope is just the beginning. With time running out until Wednesday’s deadline, here are a few candidates for relocation, along with the reasons they might be going ... or staying.

Ethan Moreau: Moreau needs a new start. You could see it in the body language at times this season, and if the Oilers are serious about creating a new culture in Edmonton, doesn’t it start with the captain? On the other hand, his numbers (from points to PK stats) are not good and he still has a year left on his contract, so teams wouldn’t be getting a rental, but rather a short term purchase. There’s a difference.

Steve Staios: He could be attractive on the open market. He’s a steady, gritty depth defenceman and leader who brings the kind of calm and experience a contender like Chicago might need. On the other hand, he’s not just a rental either (another year left at a $2.7 million cap hit). The Oilers also need some veteran leadership moving forward and Staios sets a pretty good example.

Fernando Pisani: He is proven in the playoffs, he’s versatile and, most importantly, he’s in the last year of his contract. That alone moves him to the top of the list. On the other hand, will teams take a gamble on a player who’s only been healthy for 60 of the last 143 games?

Mike Comrie: Another rental player, Comrie has a small ticket and put up decent numbers when he was healthy. Easy addition for a team wanting offensive depth.

Sheldon Souray: Brings a lot of ingredients a lot of teams might be interested in — size, toughness, a booming shot, help on the power play. On the other hand, he’s a $5,4 million cap hit until the summer of 2012 and he’s run into some health problems lately (currently out with a broken hand), which could make him hard to move. If they have to a big contract back in return, what’s the point?

Andrew Cogliano: The Oilers are small enough up front and don’t seem interested in giving Cogliano a good long look as a top six forward. He can’t stay as a bottom six, so it might be best for everyone if he got a new start.

Lubomir Visnovsky: If Edmonton is looking to free up cap space on a team that already has a glut of offensive-minded defencemen, they could start here — he’s a whopping cap hit (highest on the team at $5.6 million) until 2013. On the other hand, he’s Edmonton’s best defenceman and has a ticket that’s hard to move.

Tom Gilbert: Had a weak season, but teams might still be very interested in his upside, of which there is plenty. He can put up numbers on a No. 1 power play unit. On the other hand, he’s locked into the second-longest contract on the team (a $4 million cap hit until 2014) and his market value is low right now.

Dustin Penner: He’s a UFA in two years, raising questions about where he fits into the long term future of the rebuilding Oilers, and his market value is as high as its ever been. Penner could fetch significant long-term returns. On the other hand, Edmonton still has to ice a team next year and he’s one of their best players.

Robert Nilsson: He has brilliant upside that might be attractive to some, but the Oilers, like the Islanders, are tired of waiting for it. On the other hand, what would you give up for Robert Nilsson?

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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