The more Peter Chiarelli talks, the more anticipation grows for a big trade.
The Oilers’ general manager spoke to Sportsnet yesterday at the Memorial Cup, where he was asked once again about the possibility of dealing the fourth overall draft pick for some NHL-ready help.
“Would I look to move it? We want to win. I took the job in Edmonton to win, so as I said earlier, we’ll look at all options,” said Chiarelli. “There’s some pretty good players that are going to be available at four but we may look to move down and still use a pick to get an asset as part of a larger deal. We owe it to the fans to get better in a relatively short period of time and we’re going to look at all options to allow us to do that.”
The number one area that the Oilers need to upgrade is the defense. So if, for example, a player like Tyson Barrie were made available by the Colorado Avalanche, Chiarelli would no doubt be interested. Ditto for Jacob Trouba, Sami Vatanen, or whoever else could be in play this offseason.
It won’t be easy, but if Chiarelli can add a capable, young top-4 defenseman (arguably the most valuable commodity in the NHL) and perhaps a veteran too, all of a sudden things look a lot more promising on the back end. Remember that Darnell Nurse is still only 21, Oscar Klefbom just 22. And even if the Oilers move down in the draft, they could still add another d-man to a mix that also includes youngsters Brandon Davidson, Adam Clendening, Griffin Reinhart and Jordan Oesterle.
If, on the other hand, Chiarelli fails to upgrade the defense, then the Oilers may struggle once again next season.
Hence, the urgency to get something done now, for a fan base that hasn’t experienced playoff excitement in a decade.
After so much losing, there’s no selling patience anymore in Edmonton.