This in from Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson, his discussion on Prime Time Sports where he suggests his team is looking to acquire a top defencemen. “We’ve got some assets that we could trade here,” Nicholson said.
“If we could add another top defenceman that would be real good.”
A fascinating and somewhat perplexing comment from Nicholson. I don’t recall him ever being so open about an Edmonton trade target. Perhaps I’m just not recalling such a statement, but I don’t remember him ever saying what the kind of player the Oilers were focused on acquiring.
If I would have guessed, I would have thought that a top winger, a third-line centre (enabling Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to move to Connor McDavid’s wing) or even another goalie would be at the top of the shopping list for Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, not a defenceman.
This year, Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera have struggled mightily on defence in large part due to injury. Brandon Davidson and Yohann Auvitu have done well in bottom-pairing roles, so much so that Chiarelli should make an effort to bring back both. Darnell Nurse has taken a major step up, holding his own in a Top 4 role, though struggling somewhat when he’s been asked to be the team’s No. 1 d-man. Matt Benning has taken a step back from last year, as has Adam Larsson, who has also been injured. Kris Russell is about the same as he was last year, a defensive stalwart but no attacking dynamo. But if Davidson and Auvitu are brought back — and they definitely should be — that’s a lot of d-men under contract, especially left shot d-men, with Nurse, Klefbom, Sekera, Russell, Auvitu and Davidson filling that bill, though both Russell and Davidson have shown they can play …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal