If Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland is correct in his assumption, don’t expect there to be many trades before the NHL Trade Deadline… at least not for awhile.
Holland had a conversation with Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun and noted that he’s looking to improve his roster before the February 24th trade deadline. He said, “I like to make a move that sends a message to your team, a message that says ‘You guys have played great to get us to this point, I’m going to try to help out.’ ”
Unfortunately, Holland also said he believes he won’t have much a chance to do that until other teams are ready to start talking more seriously about trades. He believes it could take awhile before the real trade activity picks up. He explained:
When it comes to the trade deadline, I think it’s still another eight to 10 games needs to be played before anything happens. I want to see what happens over the next 10 games leading to the trade deadline.
That delay could cause teams to wait on each other and for there to be little action until franchises are clearly deemed buyers or sellers. Once that happens, trade talk will pick up.
“Right now, there’s a little chatter. But there’s not much chatter,” Holland said. He added that at least 22 or 23 teams out of the 31 think they have a shot at the playoffs. “When I call another general manager, they’re saying, ‘I’m two points in or two points out. I’m still evaluating.’ ”
What Will the Oilers Do When the Action is Fierce?
The Oilers are still evaluating. And, like many other NHL clubs, that process could take some time. So, fans who want to see action might just have to wait a bit.
The good news for Oilers fans who are tired of seeing the Oilers sell off good pieces to other teams, Holland doesn’t believe that will be Edmonton this season. “Barring a collapse, I don’t see us being a seller.” Holland said.
That means, even if Edmonton starts to lose and they’re sitting outside of the playoffs by the deadline, the Oilers won’t be feeding other NHL clubs with talented players.
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