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Photo Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Weekly Rumours – Nashville Predators Open For Business?

Welcome back to our weekly look at the NHL’s rumour mill here on Oilersnation. Last week I dug into some trade talk surrounding defensemen who could be moved this summer. This week, we’re going all over the place, starting with a look at Frank Seravalli’s Trade Bait Board, which you can find HERE.

Phil Kessel sits atop the board and while the Oilers could use a player exactly like Kessel, it’s far from a good fit. It would be tough to fit in his $6.8 million cap hit and he also has a no-trade clause that allows him to submit a list of eight teams he would agree to be dealt to. I would imagine Edmonton is not on his list.

Jacob Trouba is number two on the list and like Kessel, he fits the mould of what the Oilers need, but I don’t see a scenario where he is dealt. The Jets would likely want a cost controlled young defenseman for the pending RFA Trouba. The Oilers might be able to offer up someone like Adam Larsson or Darnell Nurse, but I wouldn’t trade for Trouba unless there was a contract extension attached to it. It would be tough for the Oilers to afford a deal for Trouba and there have been rumblings that he prefers to play in the USA.

One defenseman on the list I do like is Colin Miller. The 26-year-old would fit perfectly on the right-side of the Oilers depth chart. He’s owed $3.88 million for the next three seasons, which the Oilers could afford, especially if they move out one of Kris Russell or Matt Benning. He only scored three goals this season but he shot just 2.3%. I think it’s fair to expect a bump in offence next year from Miller. He also has the ability to quarterback a powerplay.

Jason Zucker, fourth on Frank’s list, is a player that intrigues me. He has a $5.5 million cap hit, which is rich, but he’s averaged 22 goals a year for the last five seasons. He’s also played at least 70 games in each of the last four seasons. He’s fairly durable and is a proven goal scorer. I would love for the Oilers to get their hands on Zucker, but they would have to move out salary to afford him.

Connor Brown is number seven on the list. He was connected to the Oilers at the trade deadline and given the Leafs cap situation, they might be inclined to move out the pending RFA, who made $2.1 million last season. Honestly, a Matt Benning for Connor Brown swap makes a lot of sense for both sides.

One name not on the trade bait board is JT Miller, but he might be a player that is moved this summer. As I said in my Trade Targets piece on Friday, the Lightning need cap space to sign Brayden Point and others. After three straight 20 goal campaigns, Miller only scored 13 this past season.

As TSN’s Ryan Rishaug told Dustin Nielson last week, maybe now is the time to buy-low on the 26-year-old winger. He might look really good on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wing.

Like a lot of high-end trade candidates, the Oilers would need to move out some money if they want to bring in Miller.

The Nashville Predators are another team that appears to be ready to shake things up. Pierre LeBrun wrote about it for The Athletic.

LeBrun says that David Poile could be bold this summer. PK Subban is the obvious candidate to get moved considering he has a $9 million cap hit. That’s too rich for the OIlers and I doubt that the Oilers would have what the Predators would be asking for in a potential Subban deal.

Outside of the offensive defenseman, names such as Mikael Granlund, Craig Smith, Kyle Turris or Nick Bonino have been thrown to the rumour mill.

Honestly, everyone but Turris would fill a hole for the Oilers. Granlund is a UFA after next season, so I would hesitate to acquire him without an extension, but I think he would be a great fit in the Oilers top six. He can play centre or right wing and can contribute on the powerplay. His value might be low after a rough end to the season in Nashville. His $5.75m cap hit would be tough to fit in.

Craig Smith will make $4.25 million next season before becoming a UFA. I think he’s very underrated. He can play a little bit of centre, but it mainly a right winger, which is versatility the Oilers could benefit from. He’s topped 20 goals in five of the last six seasons while never playing less than 76 games. Add in some playoff experience with the Predators and you have a perfect match for the Oilers.

Nick Bonino is less attractive because of $4.1 million cap hit, but he’s a pending UFA and would look good on the team’s third line. He’s topped 15 goals in five of the last six seasons and the one season he didn’t, he missed 19 games due to injury.

Think any of those players would look good here? Is there a rumour I didn’t mention that you think should interest the Oilers? Let me know below or on Twitter @tyleryaremchuk!

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Would Benning be 3rd pairing on a playoff team? Earlier last season, some said he was no better than AHL?
      I know he improved a bit as the season went along, but?

    • El Connor mcdaddy

      Benning is not worth more than Brown. Especially for a team like the Oilers that is loaded with potential third pairing defensmen. Bear, or Jones could easily take his spot. We have no wingers. We need wingers to score goals. It cant be 2 guys getting 100 points and everyone else watching. We have already proven that.

    • BR

      Benning is a decent enough third pairing Dman in the NHL. He’s still got upside, look what happened when we dealt Oesterle and Gustaffson – its the same thing with Benning – he could still be a good middle pairing RHD, we know he’s got a wicked shot and can hit like a truck. Just needs to improve his decision making a little and defensive positioning.

      That being said, the time is right to move out some bodies from the right side, so a Benning for Connor Brown trade could make sense I’m not sure what the GM’s think of value but its dealing from a position of streangth for a weakness for both sides.

      Being able to bring in Colin Miller to replace him whilst moving out one of Russel/Sekera would be a big win too. We’d probably save cap while adding a winger and getting younger/quicker.

  • toprightcorner

    Tyler Johnson should be of interest. He is a 30 goal guy and can score 65 pts in the Oilers top 6. He played a lot of 3rd line last year because of the depth and still out up great numbers. $5 mill is a good deal for his production, he would be worth $7 mill if a UFA and he is signed for 5 more years. Having a close relationship with Yamamoto is a bonus.

    TBL need more defense as they have 3 UFA’s. Russel is a possibility mostly based on style of okay and sacrificing his body,something they could have used I. The playoffs.

    Russel and Bear for Johnson could be a good fit for both sides

  • Glencontrolurstik

    I think that the Preds would want to part ways with “I can’t play the post-season Rinne”?
    Also, let me know why you think “everyone but Turris would fill a hole for the Oilers”? I might be missing something?

  • Quoteright

    All trade talk for the Oilers is negative chatter as our assets are all at a low value due to complete inconsistency and organizational incompetence.
    Lucic would be the gold standard. Of all the players on the Oilers I would imagine that he needs consistency to thrive. He also needs emotion. All we do is blame him and shift him around to the point where we’ve destroyed his confidence.
    HOly poop
    We ate his confidence
    Now we are thinking of giving away a first rounder just to dump him.
    Lucic was the most exciting free agent the Oilers ever landed (no one ever came here until the McDavid effect)

    • Glencontrolurstik

      There is Iron in your words. I don’t disagree. Lucic is a proud guy, he’s motivated by passion & excitement.
      For whatever reason, his scoring has fallen off a cliff & he can’t get it back… The one thing about the Oiler fan-base is when things start to go well, we forget & forgive very easy & fast.
      I would suggest that Milan practice his puck-handling skills in a phone-booth this off season.
      Practice tipping & deflecting. I have confidence that he will return to at least some semblance of his past.
      But, you are right, we were over the moon when we picked up the top UFA available on that day… Albeit, we thought the contract was a little long, we didn’t think he’d fall off a cliff… Great fans, would help him get back up.

  • Slick77

    Let’s be honest here, the Leafs are in huge cap trouble and are dealing from the position of weakness. Benning plus a forward prospect for Kadri.
    The Leafs get a right hand d-man, that they need and would be their second best right hand defenceman on their roster. Plus they also get a forward prospect that can replace some of their forwards that they may lose this offseason. Most importantly they also get some cap space.
    The Oilers get their third line centre that can play the shutdown role and also contribute on the scoreboard. Just think of a third line of Kassian, Kadri, and and Khaira.

  • hockeyartist

    If Tippet is going to be coach might as well trade away the little bit of skill left for some big bodies to circle the net and go for the 0-0 loser point.