Spezza a good fit for Oilers - Metro US

Spezza a good fit for Oilers

Losers of 11 out of 12 games heading into yesterday’s match with the Nashville Predators, the Oilers are on a full-bore death watch.

And while the team must play its best from here on out, there’s no reason to expect a miracle turnaround at this point. Too little talent and even less salary cap space makes the Oilers a “sell, sell, sell” team right now and if recent evidence is any indicator, the early bird certainly does get the worm when it comes to trade deadline bounty.

Looking at the salaries doled out or acquired by former GM (and now president) Kevin Lowe and his replacement Steve Tambellini, the Oilers likely will have to swing for the fences and/or swallow hard in order to make over this lineup.

Edmonton’s top veteran defencemen, Sheldon Souray and Lubomir Visnovsky, both make well in excess of $5 million per season against the salary cap and have several seasons left on their contracts — not exactly attractive to rival GMs.

If anyone is going to take on that salary, the Oilers must be willing to take back a big contract. Sound like a lateral movement? It doesn’t have to be. Edmonton has needs pretty much everywhere and this current group isn’t getting the job done.

Based on the team’s play, the first overall selection in this summer’s draft is looking pretty achievable right now and having seen Taylor Hall in action several times, I can say he has the capability to step right into an NHL sweater. But Edmonton has no one that can keep up with the dynamic winger right now. Ottawa’s Jason Spezza would fit the bill, however.

Sure, Spezza hasn’t played the way he did earlier in his career, but a change of scenery may be the cure.

Spezza for Visnovsky and a youngster — Andrew Cogliano comes to mind — would be a blockbuster fraught with peril, but it may be the only type of deal Edmonton can do that has the potential for fair value in return.

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