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.”

My take
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.
The Oil have no shortage of d-men on big contracts. 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 right defence. The Oilers have Larsson, Benning and Gryba on the right side, so it definitely makes sense to move a left shot d-man for a right shot d-man.
It’s long been discussed that the Oilers need a top right-handed d-man to run the power play. Perhaps that is what Nicholson is referencing. That talk faded significantly last year when the Oilers power play took off with Oscar Klefbom as quarterback, but with the power play in the doldrums and Klefbom struggling on defence perhaps that is again the focus of …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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Edmonton Oilers in the market for a “top defenceman,” Nicholson suggests. Hmm

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