Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu are Edmonton’s two big rentals. After that, there’s not a lot of talk around the rest. Michael Cammalleri, Yohann Auvitu, and Mark Fayne are all unrestricted free agents. Maybe there’s not much interest in those players, but Edmonton should explore moving them for any sort of pick or prospect.
Cammalleri came over from the Los Angeles Kings for Jussi Jokinen. The idea was Cammalleri, like Jokinen, could rebound after being bought out in the summer.
Cammalleri’s put up some decent scoring totals and hasn’t looked that out of place alongside Connor McDavid or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He’s on pace for 30 points and maybe a contender thinks he can provide some skill in their bottom six.
Edmonton needs better wingers, and maybe that’s a veteran on a one-year deal, but that’s unlikely to be 36-year old Cammalleri. Trade him for a late round pick if possible.
Auvitu on another one-year contract next season might make sense. He brings a different dimension than the rest of the Oilers’ blueline, even if that side is a little chaotic. He’s quick, can play on the power play, and didn’t look out of sorts as a fourth-line winger.
Auvitu hasn’t played much so I doubt he draws much interest around the league, but defensive depth never hurts in the playoffs.
Here me out. Fayne’s in the minors playing for the Florida Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Springfield. His three points across 20 games between Springfield or Bakersfield doesn’t scream NHL defenceman. Maybe a team wants him around as a depth defenceman in the AHL in case injuries destroy their defence.
Fayne’s cap hit is $3.626 million. That number will be much lower by the deadline, but even with the Oilers retaining that’s a hard sell on a guy who couldn’t make the Oilers’ defence during the worst of times.
Still, it’s something to explore.
Gryba’s not a UFA, but he only has $900k left for one more year after this season. Gryba can be a serviceable depth defenceman, and brings the toughness that teams salivate for in the playoffs,
The Oilers could clear out another contract and open up more ice time for their defence prospects.
Edmonton’s biggest asset might be their cap space. They went into the season with a lot of room, hoping to add at the deadline and load up for a playoff run. That plan failed spectacularly, and now they may have a comical amount. Some of McDavid’s performance bonuses will account for that, and perhaps Darnell Nurse reaches a few of his, but the Oilers should have plenty to acquire bad contracts that expire at the end of the year.
The Oilers should utilize it and help contenders free up space to add at the deadline.
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