From The Ice

Dreger Still Feels Chiarelli Willing To Trade Nugent-Hopkins

(Curtis Comeau /Icon Sportswire)

Darren Dreger was on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 on Thursday afternoon.

On the odds the Ottawa Senators or Edmonton Oilers will be active around the trade deadline:

“Well, I think they’d both like to be. I don’t think there’s any question that Bryan Murray has interest in doing something. To what level of significance? It’s hard to say. But I know he’s making his calls. I know that again he’s got some interest. They’d like to add a defenseman and he’s been very clear that he’s open for business from a forward perspective as well.

“As far as Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers are concerned… they’ve got some big players that could – the operative word being could be in play. This is still a very developmental group and a developmental season for Todd McLellan and the Oilers.

“You’re going to hear the name perhaps Jordan Eberle as part of trade speculation. He’s playing on the wing with Connor McDavid and Benoit Pouliot tonight, so you’ll hear his name as part of our broadcast a lot tonight.

“The other name is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He’s still weeks away from returning, but it wasn’t that long ago his name was speculated perhaps in relationship with trade talks with the Nashville Predators. I still feel that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a piece that Chiarelli is willing to throw into a trade equation.

“The reason is simple. You’ve got McDavid No. 1. Undisputed. Leon Draisaitl fellas, he’s easily a No. 2. On some teams in the NHL, he could be a No. 1 center and he’s still very, very young. So that leaves Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at best as the No. 3.

“So If Chiarelli thinks he can get a premium for him, then it makes  a lot of sense that he does it between now and the deadline, perhaps. Or, because of the injury, he waits and does it in the summer.”

On how the mindset of Chiarelli would be that despite having a generational talent, along with other pieces, none of this will fall into place until the Oilers get a No. 1 defenseman:

“No, and that’s exactly what he’s thinking. Look, if it was as simple as moving a forward like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic, the deal would have been made a long time ago. But clearly Garth Snow doesn’t want that. He wants either a good young defenseman very similar in contract and whatnot in age to come back his way, or he wants the team that wants Travis Hamonic the most to find a defenseman as part of potentially a three-team trade before Travis Hamonic gets moved.

“But I still think the Oilers have a keen eye on what Garth Snow and the Islanders are up to.”

Source: TSN 1200/ Transcript: Nichols

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