Coyotes Oilers Hockey

Are the Edmonton Oilers looking to trade?

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After a red-hot start to the season, the Edmonton Oilers have fallen back to earth. They’ve lost four straight and five of their last six while allowing 24 goals over the five losses. As such, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal is asking: Do the Oilers really need to trade for a defenseman now?

It’s a fair question, considering…

— Cam Barker is out three months after undergoing ankle surgery.

— Ryan Whitney is on the shelf with a knee injury (and has already missed time with ankle and shoulder issues).

— Andy Sutton re-aggravated his groin injury in last night’s warump and didn’t see a shift against Ottawa.

— Corey Potter sprained his ankle in the second period and didn’t return.

— Jeff Petry blocked a shot with his hand in the third and had postgame X-rays.

This essentially leaves Edmonton with three blueliners at full health (Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham) — three-and-a-half if you count Petry. So, what to do?

Matheson offered up some ideas. Toronto is likely willing to field calls about Cody Franson, the impending RFA ($800,000 cap hit) that’s only played five games this season. Same goes for San Jose with Jim Vandermeer, the former Oiler that’s struggling to crack the Sharks lineup. Other potential solutions include Matt Walker (Philadelphia) and Shaone Morrisonn (Buffalo’s AHL affiliate, Rochester).

As for trade chips…

“It’s pretty obvious Linus Omark is Tambellini’s major trading chip along with a draft pick,” Matheson writes. “Omark doesn’t want to be in Oklahoma City and has vowed to return to Europe with that out-clause in the second year of his Oilers’ contract if he doesn’t get back to the NHL either in Edmonton or somewhere else. But would Omark and a second-round pick get Franson? Iffy. I suspect Burke might rather have hard-luck Sam Gagner, but after missing most of training camp and the early part of the regular-season with a high-ankle sprain, he’s now out with a lower back problem.”

Edmonton could fix this problem by utilizing its AHL affiliate in Oklahoma. Colten Teubert, Taylor Chorney and Alex Plante could all come up and fill the void, but that presents a big question: Can the Oilers stay competitive with those guys in the lineup?

UPDATE: Chorney and Teubert have indeed been called up from Oklahoma City.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.