Purcell braced for the deadline

Oilers right-winger thinks he could be traded, but Teddy grins and bears it

Published on February 24, 2016
Edmonton Oilers’ right-winger Teddy Purcell (16) looks to move the puck out of the corner during an NHL game against Mike Hoffman (rear) and the Ottawa Senators in Edmonton on Tuesday night. Purcell is in a position to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and the 30-year-old from St. John’s knows that puts him near or at the top of the list of Oilers who may be on the market leading up to Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

Teddy Purcell knows the feeling that comes with being dealt at the National Hockey League trade deadline.
He believes he might soon be reliving that experience.

The Edmonton Oilers’ right-winger from St. John’s is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July and his name has been tossed around like a spring-training baseball in discussions about what the Oilers might do before or at Monday’s deadline.

“Am I concerned about the trade deadline? If I said no, that would be a lie,” the 30-year-old Purcell recently told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson. “It’s always in the back of your head, but I’m a pretty laid-back guy, somebody who’s been around enough to control the highs and lows.

“I have been traded before.”

He’s actually been moved twice, most recently during the summer of 2014, when the Tampa Bay Lightning shipped him to the Oilers for Sam Gagner.

The first time he was traded came at the 2010 deadline, when Purcell and a third-round pick were sent to the Lightning for veteran centre Jeff Halpern in the very last trade made before the cutoff hour.

In that case, Halpern was a soon-to-be UFA, a so-called rental player, while Purcell was in the midst of his first full NHL season. This time, Purcell would be the rental, but one that could prove attractive to teams looking to bolster themselves for a playoff run. He would fit any need for a forward to play on a third line, but on the Oilers this season, he’s had an even more prominent roe, playing alongside Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl.

Purcell has 11 goals and 21 assists while playing a team-leading 61 games, and his 32 points put him fifth in team scoring. He’s a minus player (-9), but so is just about everyone else on the Oilers, who are once again mired in last place in the NHL.

Twitter: @telysports