Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini told reporters Monday that he is open to all possibilities that may be presented to him coming up to the February 27 trade deadline.
However, Tambellini emphasized that that doesn’t mean he will mortgage the club’s future for quick fixes. What it means is that pending unrestricted free agent forward Ales Hemsky and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin may find themselves being shopped around.
Ryan Smyth would have been included on that list, but he and the Oilers agreed not to part ways.
As for Ales Hemsky, it look like he’s a goner. A contract extension doesn’t appear to be in the works, so a trade may be the alternative.
SportsNet’s Scott Morrison suggests that Khabibulin could be on the move, as well. There are a couple of teams that may find themselves calling the Oilers to inquire about Khabibulin’s availability.
The Chicago Blackhawks have lost nine games in a row and there’s a chance they could be looking to shore up their goaltending situation soon.
Khabibulin’s former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, also has issues between the pipes that they might look to fix with their former netminder.
However, Morrison points to the year left on his contract and his $3.75 million salary as perhaps a deterrent for teams looking to acquire the 39-year-old former Stanley Cup winner.
Meanwhile, forward Sam Gagner’s trade value has never been higher, but the Oilers are unlikely to move him.