Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett

16 Eastern Conference targets the Oilers should consider

The bad news: Last season was, in no way, one the Oilers were hoping for.

The good news: with arguably the best player in the world leading the way and some solid secondary pieces already in place, Edmonton is not far away from once again being a force in the Pacific Division.

Look no further than the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils who, on the heels of career seasons from Nathan MacKinnon and he-who-shall-not-be-named, respectively, found their way back to the postseason after absolutely abysmal 2016-17 campaigns.

With Connor McDavid, the Oilers obviously have that cornerstone offensive piece in place and this offseason presents the opportunity to add the right personnel to the mix via trade and free agency, or potential offer sheets to some intriguing UFA’s.

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Here’s a player from each Eastern Conference squad the Oilers’ front office should consider taking a run at.

(though it should be noted some of these ideas would require clearing out some cap space and a shuffling of the roster — cue Mr. Chiarelli):

Brandon Carlo, RD, Bruins (Trade). A good, young right-handed blueliner who will have trouble cracking Boston’s top two pairings for another couple seasons. Still on a cheap, entry-level deal.

Sam Reinhart, RW/C, Sabres (RFA). A natural centreman who thrived on the wing this past season, he notched 25 goals and 50 points on a lowly Buffalo team. An offer sheet to the West Vancouver product wouldn’t be the worst idea.

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Trevor Van Riemsdyk, RD, Hurricanes (RFA). Solid defensive, right-handed blue-line help. A perfect third-pairing guy who would come relatively cheap.

Ryan Murray, RD, Blue Jackets (RFA). Another affordable defence option on the right side.

Andreas Athanasiou, C, Red Wings (RFA). Speed, speed, speed. An ideal third-line centre who can play effectively on both the power play and penalty kill. Won’t come cheap, but won’t break the bank, either.

Mark Pysyk, RD, Panthers (Trade). The former Edmonton Oil King and first-rounder from Sherwood Park can be a second-pairing guy on the right side and is locked up for less than $3 million per year through 2020.

Daniel Carr, LW, Canadiens (RFA). Another Sherwood Park native who is an ideal fourth line, depth guy with high defensive upside.

Patrick Maroon, LW, Devils (UFA). Because McDavid loves him and the Oilers should do whatever makes Connor happy, TBH.

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Calvin De Haan, LD, Islanders (UFA). He had injury issues this season but, when healthy, De Haan is a solid two-way, top-four defenceman and would be a younger upgrade over Kris Russell if Chia can somehow shed that contract. He’d likely come in around that same $4-million price tag, too.

Ryan Spooner, LW/C, Rangers (RFA). A versatile forward who can play multiple positions, Spooner posted 41 points in just 59 games last season and likely doesn’t fit into the Rangers ‘scorched earth’ rebuild. Would slot very nicely on the third line.

Magnus Paajarvi, LW, Senators (UFA). No idea where this guy would fit, but having a Paajarvi and a Puljujarvi on the same team would be glorious and make a return for Paajarvi worth it.

Jordan Weal, LW, Flyers (Trade). A third-line winger with (maybe) top-six potential, Weal adds speed, is solid in his own end and can step onto the power play when need be. He currently costs less than $2 million per season, too.

Bryan Rust, RW/LW, Penguins (RFA). Speedy, versatile forward who, for various reason including health, often gets lost in Pittsburgh’s deep-as-hell forward group. Edmonton needs fast wingers, and Rust is a fast winger. Makes sense.

Anton Stralman, RD, Lightning (Trade). Comes with a $4.5-million price tag for one more season, but on the other hand: He’s a good right-handed defenceman who can skate and move the puck. How much are consistently clean zone exits worth these days?

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Josh Leivo, RW, Maple Leafs (Trade). This guy, for whatever reason, hasn’t found a spot in Mike Babcock’s regular lineup. Many agree he’s a solid top-nine guy on most teams, but when you fall out of favour with Lou and Babs, it’s hard to recover. A change of scenery and moving to a speedy Oilers team would do wonders for Leivo, who can be had for a couple million bucks per season.

Devante Smith-Pelly, RW/LW, Capitals (UFA). The 25-year-old is a cheap but excellent fourth-line option who can kill penalties and won’t screw you in the defensive end.

  • Braindead

    Andreas Athanasiou all the way.
    Don’t re-sign Strome.
    sign Mark Stone
    Trade Klefbom for Faulk.
    Don’t resign Benning or Slepyshev.

  • Rama Lama

    Please do not give PC any trade ideas…….this guy is HORRIBLE at making value trades. He seems to be fine giving up top tier players for bottom tier players but making trades for what we actually need …….that is way beyond him.

    I for one hope that for the sake of “ not being fleeced”, we keep the pick and draft a player that can help fill our cupboards. Sorry but I have no faith in the Oilers winning a trade!

    • LAKID

      Trade Chia back to the Bruins for the 4th round pick he gifted to the Habs for nothing in return, as Montoya will be placed on waivers or bought out. If Iam Katz I would be furious.

  • RJ

    I like the thinking with the Carlo trade. Trade with a team that has a lot of depth in a position.

    But with the Flyers, I’d be looking long and hard at their young defence. They’ve invested a lot of high picks, they’ve made them pay their dues in the AHL (except Provorov)

    • Mark Lesser

      I disagree with the comment that Carlo won’t crack the top 4 in Boston. I’d say Carlo is the Bruins #2 RHD behind McAvoy already. He had about the same average time on ice as Kevin Miller this year, but the 21 year old Carlo will probably be seeing More ice time than 30 year old Miller soon. So I don’t think the Bruins are going to trade him.

  • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

    Matthew Peca might be a good value contract coming out of TB’s system. Scores well in the AHL but is stuck behind all the talent in Tampa and should be looking to earn a spot somewhere. Also, I would love to try and get Ho-Sang out of NYI, depending on how highly the Islanders still value him.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      I’ve been wanting HoSang on the Oilers since before eberle was traded to the Islanders. Imo, he’s like Evander Kane, but cheaper. There’s a player in there, why NYI haven’t kept him up in spite of his “misgivings” is beyond me.

    • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

      Ya he would be a gem that hopefully we could buy on the low right now, there’s definitely a lot of talent there. The Islanders’ rationale didn’t make a lot of sense to me either, he was kept down to work on his defense despite the Islanders being terrible defensively anyway, I can understand why he would be upset.

  • oilerjed

    Just to make it a bit more plausible can we not just eliminate any one from the list who is either a bottom 6 forward or 3rd pairing dman? This is not where the Oilers have holes in their lineup. Also scratch any one that would require an offer sheet, there is no one out there worth the Oilers blowing any extra cap space for with an offer sheet bonus.

  • Montreal picking at #3 makes Galchenyuk even more tradeable. PC should try to capitalize on their need for a #1 centre by trading RNH for Galchenyuk and a big return like a young defenceman and some good picks.

  • Gravis82

    Who are all these new writers? Can we get a list of bio’s or something and prior work and credentials?

    This is important as most articles are largely opinions (except for Henderson, who doesn’t write here anymore seems like). Everyone has an opinion, I want to read the opinions of experienced people, not just random people.

    • The Future Never Comes

      That’s what I’m seeing. Pretty low quality “articles” now of days with not much deep analysis. Surface level opinions that any Joe blow could have written. No detail or analysis that expands greater thinking.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I am being quite serious (but out there all the same).
      I would try and hire the Sedin’s as secondary coaches.
      Their special teams prowess & training regime would be excellent on the Oilers young core of players. They would set an example of how to train & be hard nosed calm. Plus, it’d be a heck of a blow to the Canucks.
      With the added bonus of adding new blood to the OBC…

  • Glencontrolurstik

    How about Van Riemsdyk, (but of the Jimmie kind)?
    He’s a 50+ point winger, who may resign for less as he is getting older now.
    His current cap is 4,250,000. He’d be cheaper if no body bites on him UFA?
    However, I don’t think he’ll last that long? He will be snapped up.