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No. 1 pick not for sale

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini speaks to the media at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta.,...

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini speaks to the media at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., Feb. 28, 2011. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:40 PM ET

EDMONTON - It never hurts to ask, but the answer is, "No."

Unless they're offering a young, proven franchise player in return, Edmonton's first pick in the NHL Entry Draft isn't for sale.

"You really need to present something that is a no-brainer for the organization," said Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, who can't imagine what that would be, given Edmonton's rebuilding schedule and who's available at No. 1.

"Managers will say, 'What are you looking for?' I normally say, 'That's for you to tell me. Show me something that makes it worthwhile to bring to my organization to consider.' "

That won't be easy, given that very few teams have ever turned themselves around by trading the No. 1 pick.

"If you truly look at it, to be a great organization we need help in a lot of places," said Tambellini. "We need elite talent. Special people, special players."

Souray still not welcome

The cooling off period wasn't long enough.

Sheldon Souray still isn't welcome in the Oilers dressing room.

Souray, banished to Washington's minor-league team last year after ripping club management at the end of the 2009-10 season, still has another year left on his contract and Tambellini says he won't be spending it with the Oilers.

"I don't see that as a likely scenario," said Tambellini, who's been trying to trade the defenceman. "There's been a little discussion prior to the draft. I'm not sure what will happen there."

The Oilers also have the option of buying Souray out at two thirds of his $4.5-million salary.

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

TWITTER.com/TYCHKOWSKI


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