There have been some around the Oilogosphere that have called the Oilers on the need for another veteran defenceman that can handle difficult minutes. The need, in my opinion, is real. Some have compared the situation to that of 2006 when the Oilers picked up both Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom later in the year. I think the situation this year, if the Oilers are to maximize their defensive depth, is a little bit more urgent. In problematizing this situation I am making the following assumptions:
1. The Oilers really could use another veteran defenceman that can play difficult minutes.
2. The Oilers do not want to give up on any of the NHL level depth they currently have to cover for periods of inury.
3. Ladislav Smid only has fifteen games left of waiver eligibility.
4. If Smid were placed on waivers he would certainly be claimed.
If the Oilers remain healthy on the blueline this year, any acquisition that the Oilers make on defence will necessitate one of the current defencemen being lost. As such, it would probably best serve the Oilers interests to get a trade for a defenceman finished before Smid plays in another fifteen games so that they would at least have the option of sending him down and not losing anyone to waivers (the only other Oilers that do not need to pass through waivers are Gagner and Cogliano, and they aren't getting sent out).