With only one win in their last 16 games and having fired a second coach in 19 months, the Edmonton Oilers could be looking to make drastic changes, including trading their entire roster for one from any other National Hockey League team.
TSN reporter Darren Dreger quoted sources close to the Oilers saying the team could transfer all of its players, prospects, coaches, trainers and gameday operations staff to another franchise, with the other team moving all of its assets to Edmonton and continuing to play as the Oilers. The ex-Oilers would continue about their business in the traded team's location.
"I'm not saying it will happen. But if I'm the Oilers, I could see it happening," Dreger said in an interview this morning with the hosts of the "Brick & Scuzzo Show" on Canada's TSN1990AM. "Trading an entire team is a bold move for sure. But if one team was going to do it, and I'm not saying they will do it, but if the Oilers do do it, then they will be the ones to do it."
Dreger said that the Oilers are looking to swap whole rosters with a number of teams, including the Florida Panthers,New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils,Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche or Calgary Flames. The New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs or Los Angeles Kings could also be in play.
"Anything is possible and any team is possible," Dreger said.
Edmonton is 30th in the league with a 7-19-6 record. The Oilers are second to last in both goals for and goals against and have a -40 goal differential, the worst in the NHL. This week, they fired coach Dallas Eakins, who was hired in June of 2013 and compiled a 36-63-14 record in Edmonton. Eakins was preceded by Ralph Krueger, who only coached the Oilers for the 48-game post lockout season before being replaced.
Given the widespread question marks throughout the organization and limited potential of the team's future, trading for an entire other team might be the only way to save the Oilers.
"Making one or two trades isn't enough," Dreger said, quoting his source. "If you trade a Taylor Hall or a Jordan Eberle, even for a package of players, you're still stuck with a majority of Oilers.
"But if you swap the team for an entirely new one - all the players, coaches, prospects, everything - then you get to start from scratch. Wipe the slate clean with all new players you haven't completely ruined forever."
Although no deal is imminent, signs point to the team's front office - general manager Craig MacTavish and president Kevin Lowe - remaining in Edmonton to oversee the new team wearing the Oilers' old clothes.
"The management of the Oilers is 100 percent committed to bringing a Stanley Cup-caliber team back to Edmonton," said Buck Berger, a spokesman for team owner Darryl Katz. "How they do it doesn't matter. The names on the backs of the jerseys aren't as important as the logo on the front. And even more important are names in the front office. As long as they have worn Oilers uniforms at some point, everything will be fine."
THIS IS FAKE!! DARREN DREGER NEVER SAID ANY OF THIS. I'm pretty sure you can't trade one whole team for another. I'm also pretty sure there is no Brick & Scuzzo Show.