The National Post broke the news this morning that Edmonton Oilers’ defenceman Sheldon Souray has given G.M. Steve Tambellini a list of teams he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to move to. Well we haven’t seen the list, it’s a good bet that it reflects Souray’s desire to stay close to his children in California.

If he is dealt, I’d guess that the Dallas Stars are the team that lands him. Derek Van Diest suggested earlier today that Dallas might have an interest in Souray, and Jim Matheson hinted they might be willing to trade Matt Niskanen. Add to that the fact that the Stars have cap space (enough to add roughly $25.0 million in cap hit, according to capgeek.com) and I think there’s a deal to be made there.

Of course, either of those reports could be wrong, but if Dallas is interested than Niskanen is a guy the Oilers should pursue. The offensive defenceman is a pending free agent and is struggling this season, but both his last two seasons and his underlying numbers indicate that he’s a better player than his stats line this season. He just turned 23 and would fit in nicely on a rebuilding Oilers team.  Obviously this wouldn’t be the deal in itself, but I think it could be the nucleus of one and could help the Stars push for a playoff spot while making Edmonton’s cap hit a little lighter.

Comments (10)

  1. Seems like the most obvious destination and Niskanen should be the way to start. If they do this they need to at least get a young guy that can shoot to challenge the rookies like Eberle, and Svensson for spots next year. And then maybe another defender that can play with Plante and Motin in the AHL next year. There’s lots of things the Oilers need to do to get this ship a float but with there young talent and a few good trades they can rebound.

  2. L.A for jack johnson. With other pieces involved

  3. Kyle,

    Jack Johnson is a defensive black hole and the LA Kings should be paid a sizeable bonus for taking the Dean’s problem-child off his hands. The only reason to take him is to ensure that Oilers do in fact keep losing, and end up dead last in the league at season’s end and likely next year too. Otherwise, you target good prospects like Hickey and/or Schenn and probably someone like Simmonds who can actually play hockey. If Dean wants to saddle us with Johnson, he can throw in a 1st or second rounder too.

  4. That should read “should have to pay”, not “should be paid a”

  5. It’s true while Jack Johnson has enjoyed a lot of hype throughout his college career and at the 2005 draft he has yet to produce at an NHL level, why pay a guy 1.6M a year that plays about as well as Taylor Chorney and he’s half the cost. Yes on the stat sheet he’s impressive 6’1 223lbs and skates like the wind. However his NHL IQ is not there yet.

    Niskanen has solid size at 6′ 204lbs and is also a 1st round pick. Also his 63 hits would put him 6th on the Oilers, so he seems more than willing to use his body to seperate the opposition from the puck and he plays almost 19 minutes a game

  6. I agree with Andrew, Jack Johnson is overhyped, but still has time to develop into a top-four defenceman. Maybe he can flourish on another team?

  7. J. Johnson has a lot of risks of him. At least with Niskanen you know he has a track record of good play. Johnson doesn’t have that and he may never have. So to get rid of him you need another defense man, and a good forward coming with him. Niskanen only needs to be traded a with a good pick and good prospect. Size on D with a good up and coming defensive defense man would probably be the good prospect. With a lot of uncertainty still around Peckham and whether he’ll ever be NHL ready. And after him you’ve got Chorney who’s only a 5th to 7th defense man, Plante and Motin who are still developing. But getting young d man to help Gilbert and Smid out down the road. And a few guys that can shoot to help out Eberle and Gagne will be the most important thing.

  8. Niskanen’s 63 hits are gibberish. Since the lockout, Dallas has the highest ratio of home-to-road hits by a wide margin. Edmonton actually has a slight bias in the other direction. Using the same scorers, he’d be behind Smid, Souray and Staios, if not more of the D.

  9. Niskanen would be a great return for Souray. I do recall hearing in the past that the Oilers liked Niskanen a lot, but really, every team wants to add a young defenseman like him. The only problem I see is that even though Dallas has a lot of cap room next season and desperately need an upgrade on D, they’re still a team on a budget and have only 11 players under contract for next season, so they’ve got a lot of their roster still to fill out with no goalies signed to start next year and James Neal needing a new deal.

    So the problem is this: if Dallas wants to even out the cap hit for Souray a little, they have no likely candidates to send the other way. Dealing Niskanen isn’t going to offset the $5.4 million they’re going to be paying Souray next season at all. I think if you’re resigned to dealing Souray, you have to count on taking an undesirable contract back the other way of at least $2.5 million, probably $3-4 million, for a player who’s signed through at least next season, if not the season after. And Dallas has nobody like that, shockingly. They’re one of the few teams that doesn’t have at least one badly overpaid guy they’re desperate to get rid of. The closest they have are probably Trevor Daley and Mike Ribeiro, but Daley’s not really that bad or that overpaid at $2.3 million, and there’s no way the Oilers will take Ribeiro in a deal for Souray.

    So I wonder if there’s really a fit here. Of course, if the Oilers had to throw in an inexpensive forward like Pouliot and also had to take Daley back to even things out a little, I don’t think anyone would object.

  10. @Jordan: I had Teubert and Simmonds as the core of an LA deal when I looked at it a month ago. I think it’d work.

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