The Edmonton Oilers and general manager Peter Chiarelli are having a very busy day today.
According to an official announcement from the Chicago Blackhawks organization, the Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers have just completed a trade deal that involves 4 different players. The Blackhawks will be receiving forward Drake Caggiula as well as defenseman Jason Garrison from Edmonton and in exchange they will be giving up veteran defenseman Brandon Manning as well as Blackhawks defensive prospect Robin Norell.
The big piece here for the Oilers is clearly Brandon Manning, this in spite of the fact that he has seemingly regressed so much that he can no longer find a spot on Chicago's blue line. The Oilers have recently suffered a string of injuries on the blue line and this appears to be their latest attempt at addressing an issue that has been costing them games as of late. Additionally Robin Norell is a 23 year old prospect that is currently playing in the Swedish Elite League and as a left handed defenseman he could one day prove himself to be a valuable asset for the Oilers. Although to be fair his addition in this deal may have been purely motivated by the desire to move an equal number of contracts both ways.
As for the Blackhawks it is no secret that Manning had heavily fallen out of favor with both the organization as well as with head coach Jeremy Colliton. The veteran has seen extremely limited playing time as of late and there have been rumors that the situation has left him considerably frustrated with his current predicament in Chicago. Manning has even gone on record stating that he would be willing to accept a trade to a team that would give him more ice time, and it seems like this deal may grant him that wish.
The Blackhawks have now managed to dump off a player that they were not really using anyway while adding another body on the blue line as well as an experienced forward who could immediately provide the Blackhawks some secondary scoring on the wing. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman reportedly put some feelers out for Manning earlier in the season but there was relatively little interest at the time. The costly injuries for the Oilers may have provided Bowman with the opportunity he was looking for.
This also happens to be Edmonton's second trade of the day, if you missed the first one you can read the details here.