Dreger: ‘Chiarelli most certainly has to be open for business’

With Todd McLellan out and Ken Hitchcock in as head coach, a pressing question remains involving what sort of roster moves might be ahead for the Oilers.

Darren Dreger had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, and as part of a larger discussion on the Oilers’ changes he was asked about player personnel.

“When I looked at the teams that are in need of goaltending, it looked early in the year that the Oilers had kind of broken away from that pack because Cam Talbot was showing signs that he was going through a bit of a renaissance and getting back to the kind of goaltender that he was, and that was a goaltender who was charting his way up,” said Dreger. “He still has time to bounce back and Koskinen has shown there’s some promise there. But you still have to put a big question mark beside their goaltending. So if that doesn’t vastly improve moving forward, are they going to have to find a way to finally shore up that position.

“Chiarelli himself recently noted that they don’t have good transition defense. Alright, well, good luck trying to find a puck-moving defenseman unless you’re willing to dive into the free agent market and grab somebody. Is Tyler Myers going to be available, as an example. Well, if he is, he’s going to command high 6s. And then you get into cap issues where the Oilers are concerned.

“So I think that Chiarelli most certainly has to be open for business. Made a smaller deal recently with the New York Rangers, bringing in Ryan Spooner - that’s not going to be the difference-maker.

“So he may have to get a little bit more bold between now and the trade deadline in February.”

The Oilers entered Tuesday evening’s NHL slate as the only game on the docket, going up against the San Jose Sharks.