It’s very clear that the Oilers are in need of help on the wings. Particularly, the Oilers are very thin on the right side of the ice. Heading into next season, the Oilers’ right wing depth is filled with enigmas like Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Ty Rattie.
The team can’t afford to go after a big free agent at this point, but they could possibly look to make an upgrade through a trade. Michael Russo of The Athletic floated out a rumour that the Philadelphia Flyers are considering dealing Wayne Simmonds as he enters the final year of his contract.
“Multiple sources tell me the Flyers are gearing to potentially trade Wayne Simmonds. He’s a year from free agency and coming off a 24-goal, injury-hindered season. He scored 120 goals the four seasons before that, is big, is tough (the guy caved in Wild winger Eric Nystrom’s face once during a fight as a King), is a leader. He’s a right-shot wing and makes a reasonable $5 million with an even more reasonable $3.975 million cap hit. He has a 12-team no-trade clause.” Per Michael Russo.
Simmonds would be a great fit on the Oilers. He’s big, skates well, adds a physical element, and he can score goals. His cap hit of $3.975 is incredibly reasonable for the value that he can bring the team and wouldn’t be difficult for the Oilers to fit under the ceiling. It shouldn’t take much to convince fans that Simmonds would be an excellent acquisition. There’s one problem, though. He’s also a good fit on a lot of teams. With that in mind, it won’t be easy to pry Simmonds from the Flyers’ hands.
The Flyers are sort of a strange team to follow. They made the playoffs last season but weren’t at all aggressive at the trade deadline. Last off-season, they dealt Brayden Schenn off of a career season to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera and two first-round picks. So the team is good enough to contend for the playoffs right now, but general manager Ron Hextall seems content with taking it slow and building through the draft.
Would Edmonton give up their first-round pick in 2019 for potentially only one year of Simmonds? I imagine that’s what the Flyers are going to be looking for as Hextall has gone hard at acquiring draft picks. Over the past three drafts, the Flyers have selected nine times in the first two rounds. They have two first-rounders and one second-rounder this year.
Will that pattern continue? Or does Hextall want something that can help his team win right now in exchange for one of the Flyers’ best wingers?