The Edmonton Oilers hope to keep Curtis Joseph and they got some protection in case they can't.

Goaltender Eric Fichaud was acquired from the New York Islanders on Thursday night, just before NHL rosters were frozen for next week's expansion draft.Fichaud gives the Oilers insurance if their attempts to keep Joseph from leaving via free agency are unsuccessful.

"We're still trying very hard to sign Curtis," Oilers general manager Glen Sather said. "I told Donnie (agent Don Meehan) Wed-nes-day night how much we'd be able to spend, but if we can't sign Curtis, we absolutely had to have another goalie."

The deal was made prior to the midnight deadline established so that teams may prepare their rosters for next Friday's draft that will stock the roster of the Nashville Predators.

The Islanders, who used the fourth pick of last year's amateur draft on goalie Roberto Luongo, expect to lose one of their goaltenders to Nashville.

Fichaud split time in the nets with former Utah Grizzlies goalie Tommy Salo this past season until he sustained a rotator cuff injury. He played 17 games, posting a 3-8-3 record with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. He was 13-18-3 in 1996-97.

Trades are now prohibited until the conclusion of Friday's draft in Buffalo.

Each club will submit a list by Sunday that will protect up to five defensemen, nine forwards and a goaltender or up to three defensemen, seven forwards and two goalies. The 26 NHL teams will each lose one player in the draft.

There were four other trades completed before Thursday's dead-line.

The Buffalo Sabres traded backup goaltender Steve Shields to the San Jose Sharks for veteran goalie Kay Whitmore and a second-round draft pick.

The Phoenix Coyotes traded left-wing Jim McKenzie to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for forward Jean-Francois Jomphe.

Bill Ranford, a backup in the Washington Capitals' run to the Stanley Cup finals, was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a third-round pick in next week's amateur draft and a second-round choice in the 1999 draft.

The New Jersey Devils dealt defenseman Doug Bodger to the Los Angeles Kings for a 1998 fourth-round draft pick. He played in 77 games, with nine goals and 11 assists.

In one other roster move, the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings exercised their one-year option to retain defenseman Jamie Macoun.