The Edmonton Oilers made what some might view as a desperation deal when they traded Chris Wideman for Alex Petrovic in a defenseman for defenseman trade.
Wideman was providing little the Oilers as a blueliner who was brought in to add a little scoring in a third-pairing/seventh defender role. Meanwhile, Petrovic was struggling in Florida with only one assist in 26 games this season. A change of scenery for both players, this deal should improve the Oilers, but it can also be argued only incrementally.
Having just lost their fifth consecutive game — a 7-4 drubbing at the hands of the San Jose Sharks — the Edmonton Oilers, namely general manager Peter Chiarelli, needed to do something to shake things up and potentially save his job. This trade may not be that deal, which is why rumors surround the team that more may be coming, but for now, this will be a move set to try and snap the team out of their losing ways.
Petrovic is an Alberta-born kid who should provide a more stable defense and an element of sandpaper to a team that is sorely struggling to keep goals out of their own net. He's been described by local Edmonton media as everything from an upgrade for a depleted defense to a player with some jam and grit, to a "real" d-man who might not be a world-beater but should be more reliable in his own zone.
When asked for comment, coach Ken Hitchcock said that he’d only coached against him a couple of times, but called him a “defending defenseman who can make a good first pass. Size matters in this conference and his aggressiveness and competitiveness will certainly add to the third pair.”
Petrovic will likely be inserted into the lineup when the Oilers take on the Winnipeg Jets on New Year's Eve in Edmonton.