The Edmonton Oilers need a defenseman. A good defenseman. And a right-handed defenseman, ideally.
That’s what GM Peter Chiarelli laid out pretty clearly on Thursday, one day ahead of the NHL Draft in Buffalo — telling reporters his search for blueline help is officially on and, in a related development, he’s taking a lot of calls on the No. 4 overall pick.
“I am listening to offers for it, and I wouldn’t rule it out,” Chiarelli said, per the club. “I’ve had discussions that include that pick.”
Chiarelli stressed how much he wanted to add a righty to the blueline. Currently, the Oilers have just three — Mark Fayne, Adam Clendening, Eric Gryba — and all have somewhat uncertain futures. Fayne was a healthy scratch at times last year, and put on waivers. Clendening is an RFA, and Gryba goes unrestricted on July 1.
“I’m really leaning towards the right hand shot,” Chiarelli said, when asked about potential acquisitions. “I feel we need more of the righty-lefty in our group”
As such, Kevin Shattenkirk‘s name has come up. Again.
The Oilers have been tied to the St. Louis rearguard, as have the Bruins. Boston’s latest reported offer for Shattenkirk — a first-round pick — was apparently rebuffed, but it’s unclear what pick the B’s were dangling (they have No. 14 and 29).
Could the No. 4 pick persuade the Blues to part with Shattenkirk?
If not, there are other options out there.
“We’ve got D on our radar that are lefty that play the right side,” Chiarelli said, noting the Oilers already had such an individual in Oscar Klefbom.
If you’re wondering about notable lefties out there that play the right, Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin is one of them.
At this point, it’s only right (see what I did there) to mention there’s another defenseman in this conversation — P.K. Subban. The Montreal rearguard has reportedly been the subject of numerous trade calls over the last few days, which makes sense given his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.
It’s tough to imagine or envision what sort of package Edmonton would have to put together to pry Subban out of Montreal, but you’d think the No. 4 overall pick would have to be included.
Even then, the Oilers just might not have enough.
“How many true No. 1 defensemen are there? Maybe there’s 12,” Chiarelli explained. “So to think that you’re going to get a No. 1 d-man — it’s tough.”