Time is ticking on Oilers’ Moreau


With six games remaining before the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline, Ethan Moreau knows the clock is ticking on his time with the Edmonton Oilers.<BR>


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DENVER — With six games remaining before the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline, Ethan Moreau knows the clock is ticking on his time with the Edmonton Oilers.

The 34-year-old forward has never been in this situation before, available to all bidders as the Oilers look to get younger and also free up some salary-cap room.

“On the game days, I’m fine,” said Moreau, who was acquired by the Oilers from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Boris Mironov at the trade deadline in 1999. “I think I’ve tried to stay focused and be a good teammate and play hard, but on my off days it kind of consumes you. It’s all people are talking about.

“It’s a typical scenario, a team not looking like they’re going to make the playoffs, with older players teams can use for playoff runs. You see it every year. It’s tough with the uncertainty, but . . . ”

Moreau said he has looked at other team’s depth charts to see where he might end up.

“There’s definitely some teams that are a better fit than others. I’ve heard the same things other people have, that it wouldn’t be a team that’s not in playoff contention . . . but I don’t know.”

Moreau has another season left on his contract at $2 million US, which might be problematic to some teams. Most teams rent players at the deadline with contracts running out, but Moreau doesn’t believe his situation will scare off teams.

“I don’t see that. For some teams it might be a bonus because they can get me for next year, too,” he said.

Moreau hasn’t had any conversations with Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini on any trade developments, even though he’s the longest-serving Oilers player and he is the captain.

“That sort of thing has to initiated by management. I don’t think I should be privy to special treatment. I’ve been here a long time, and I’m sure they’ll handle it the way they’ve always treated me, with class and loyalty,” he said.

Moreau has struggled mightily to score this season. He hasn’t beaten a goalie since Nov. 23, against the Coyotes, a 32-game drought. He has only nine points, way off his normal rate of production.

Oilers head coach Pat Quinn admits he has thought of taking his captain out of the lineup to get one of the young players in, but has yet to do so.

“We’ve had the conversation (as coaches) ... and it’s just not that he hasn’t scored,” said Quinn. “There will come a time when we’ll say where’s the contribution and where are we going? What’s this organization about?”

Edmonton Journal


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