One of the fun things about a team with loads of media coverage and a glaring need is that the media will have a field day with it. Not only that but with not much going on in the hockey world in mid-July aside from a Shea Weber offer sheet, things get spun and churned up when there really isn’t much of a story to begin with.
Take Edmonton, who has a plethora of forwards that include the first overall in each of the last three drafts and Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle (among others). Couple that with a serious need for some defensemen and what you get is endless speculation and rumors about obtaining said defensemen. It happened for weeks leading up to the draft as there was rampant speculation that the Oilers would take defender Ryan Murray or trade down but the team did the obvious and drafted the best available player, forward Nail Yakupov.
Now, the media in Edmonton has their sights set on obtaining a defender in other ways and the Islanders’ own Mark Streit has been the center of focus. Take this post from the Edmonton Journal about a “report” that the Oilers were interested in Streit and the Islanders wouldn’t budge. I use the term report loosely, as the pieces starts by citing the rest of the Edmonton media’s ability to talk about Streit — a distinct difference than actually linking him to serious trade talks — in an attempt to make its case:
At least as long back as June, the Edmonton Oilers have been reported as having interest in New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit. Take, for instance, this blog piece by the Journal’s own Jim Matheson dated June 28:
Lots of people are tossing out Streit’s name. Dusty Nielson at The Team brought it up Friday. So did Bob Stauffer on his show, and Doug MacLean on SportsNet. I have heard it, too, if only because the new Oilers coach Ralph Krueger used to coach Streit on the Swiss national team. Nobody would know Streit better than Krueger, who is a big fan.
There’s a difference between a story being reported and it being opinion. A report is when you have a source or other confirmation that yes, indeed, this thing we’re talking about is true (or very seriously believed to be true). This post didn’t make that distinction, citing a report about Oilers writers talking about Streit and turning it into “the Oilers have… interest in… Streit.”
This is how things start in a hockey hotbed like Edmonton in the off-season. A few people say he’d be a great addition, there’s a coach with some connection to the player and ta da!
At least there is something of possible significance coming out of the article:
According to Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman today, the Oilers were indeed interested in the high-end Swiss blueliner. Unfortunately for them, the Islanders weren’t especially interested in dealing the player away:
“Couple other Edmonton notes (should point out Krueger is not the source for any of this): think the Oilers, desperately searching for defencemen, took a long look at Islander Mark Streit. Garth Snow would not address that, but did say via text message, “I have no intention to trade Streit.””
Welp. There you have it. Turns out a team that needs defenders had an interest one. When the opposing general manager was asked by the media about trading his, er, team captain, he naturally said he likes his captain very much. The denial ties the story up into a nice bow about a trade that only one side (Edmonton) really wanted, probably would have never happened, and we’re supposed to take this as serious news. Is it October yet?