Feb 7, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (not shown) scores the game winning goal against Edmonton Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (80) during overtime at Prudential Center. The Devils won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trade Rumors: Edmonton Oilers Set To Be Sellers; Targeting Draft Picks

The Edmonton Oilers were supposed to break out this season and even possibly challenge for a playoff spot if they got lucky enough. That has not happened and they are once again languishing near the bottom of the league.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wrote about a press conference where Oilers General Manger Craig MacTavish answered several questions about the Oilers’ deadline plans.

MacTavish was asked about whether he would be trying to acquire draft picks since he has given up two in order to acquire players. The Oilers gave a second-rounder to St. Louis in part of the deal that netted them David Perron and gave up a third-rounder in exchange for Ben Scrivens. That would leave them not picking until the fourth round after their first round pick.

“I’d be disappointed if I can’t get a second- and a third-round pick back and have us sitting at the draft in June with our first-round pick and not picking again until the fourth-round.”

He was also asked if he would like to acquire prospects in exchange for the some of the Oilers’ veterans, such as Ales Hemsky. MacTavish said he would like to but realizes that acquiring prospects is harder to do in today’s NHL.

“That’s an ideal situation, but those prospects are more difficult to obtain. It’s all about putting a market value on our players going into the deadline and trying to maximize our return. Hopefully, it heats up. I think a lot of our players will be secondary market players. Everybody is looking for the high-profile guys, and we maybe have one or two of those, but we’re a secondary market and we’ll try to get some activity there. I hope I’m busy.”

“We’d like to get a number of things done for the organization. We want to free up some roster spots to give our young players playing well in the American Hockey League an opportunity. This is an unfortunate circumstance (so many UFA players) but we have to try to capitalize and accumulate as many assets as we can going through this deadline.”

Then, of course, there was the obvious question with the obvious answer. Are the Edmonton Oilers going to to be sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline?

“Yes. That’s my expection now. We’ll try and accumulate some draft choices, and as I said, getting a prospect from another team is harder. It’s maybe a better scenario for because players are closer to playing (NHL) but teams are reluctant to giving those players up.”

It might not be big trades coming in Edmonton, but it looks like that there will be at least a few deals coming from the Oilers.

Tags: Craig MacTavish Edmonton Oilers NHL Trade Rumors

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