Oilers silent at trade deadline
Like their hated provincial rivals from Calgary, the Edmonton Oilers remained silent as Tuesday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline passed.
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe did inquire about certain players during the day, but in the end, he couldn't pull off a deal that made sense for his team.
"Overall, we just didn't feel there was an opportunity to do anything today," said Lowe.
"There was a couple of so-called big fish that had interest for every team, they had interest for us, but we weren't able to be successful in that."
The Oilers are expected to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season and are up against the $50.3-million US salary cap.
Much of the trade talk had Lowe unloading defenceman Joni Pitkanen, who signed a one-year contract for $2.4 million as a restricted free agent last July.
The feeling was that Lowe could consider a trade for Pitkanen if the team and agent Larry Kelly didn't agree on a multi-year contract.
Goaltender Dwyane Roloson, who lost his starting job to Mathieu Garon, was also rumoured to be traded by Tuesday's deadline. Roloson still has one year remaining on a three-year deal and is scheduled to make $3 million next season.
"In most cases of players who are rumoured to be moved, it's speculation by the media," Lowe said. "It's all great stuff. I used to dread this day just because of the TV and everything, but I'm becoming a fan of it all."
Lowe did make an inquiry about Marian Hossa, who was dealt by Atlanta to Pittsburgh, but made only a marginal pitch to Thrashers GM Don Waddell.
Injuries have played a key role to the Oilers' struggles this season as the team has lost 241 man-games.
Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, captain Ethan Moreau and Raffi Torres are all out for the season with various injuries, giving Lowe an opportunity to defend his team's 28-30-5 record.
"I strongly still feel that, had we stayed healthy, we would be quite a few points ahead of where we are right now and, conceivably, would have been a buyer," Lowe said.
"Because of our injuries and because of where our contracts are … overall, it wasn't in our best interests to be making any moves today. We, as an organization, try to do what's best for the organization. This year, we determined that was not making a move."
With files from the Canadian Press