The Edmonton Oilers haven’t had a flashy off-season, but this team is clearly getting better.
Geneal manager Craig MacTavish upgraded on the wing by swapping still-developing winger Magnus Paajarvi to the Blues with a second-round pick for David Perron, a highly-skilled winger capable of playing on one a top line.
Perron is a clever give-and-go player who should fit nicely with his new teammate. His pesky playing style should serve Edmonton well, too. He gets after the puck and stays after the puck.
His addition added to the positive additions of defensive center Boyd Gordon, heady defenseman Andrew Ference and back-up goaltender Jason LaBarbara in free agency. The departure of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin via free agency and Shawn Horcoff via trade freed up considerable payroll flexibility.
MacTavish still wants to add some heft to his front lines – after failing to land free agent David Clarkson with an “all in” offer -- and he is more than willing to move finesse forward Ales Hemsky, especially now that Perron is on board.
“I’m a little frustrated,” MacTavish told the Edmonton Sun. “I had certain objectives in mind and I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to accomplish all the things I wanted to do.”