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Oilers linked to multiple teams and players in franchise-altering talks, OEL unwilling to waive NMC?

The Edmonton Oilers appear to be in trade talks with multiple NHL clubs in moves that would severely alter the look of the organization.

The information was shared by TSN’s Frank Seravalli where he detailed many of the trade talks the Oilers are currently believed to be involved in.

On top of that, news broke Thursday afternoon that while talks are heating up on the Oliver Ekman-Larsson front, the Oilers have been told “they’re not on the shortlist of teams OEL would waive his trade protection to go to,” TSN’s Darren Dreger reported.

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Here’s the just of what is going on:

  • The Oilers, as we know, are in talks with the Arizona Coyotes in regards to Oliver Ekman-Larsson. This is the most substantial of all the talks. Seravalli said “there is a financial component to the potential transaction that would need to involve Arizona retaining a portion of Ekman-Larsson’s salary, which the Coyotes have not been willing to budge on. Top-end defensive prospect Evan Bouchard (No. 46) and the Oilers’ first-round pick could be involved in a deal.”
  • As Jason Gregor mentioned earlier, the Oilers are unlikely to sign Andreas Athanasiou or Matt Benning to qualifying offers. Seravalli said the Oilers are trying to find takers in the trade market to re-coup assets.
  • As Baggedmilk wrote earlier, the Oilers are in extension talks with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. If Nugent-Hopkins is not in the fold, Seravalli said the Oilers are expected to target Taylor Hall in the free-agent market.
  • Seravalli mentioned the Oilers interest in the goalie market “with many wondering whether the Oilers would take a run at Jacob Markstrom if he makes it to market.”
  • According to Seravalli, the Oilers are engaged in trade talks with the Boston Bruins in a deal that surrounds Alex Chiasson and Anders Bjork. Seravalli also mentioned there have been rumours the Oilers are interested in bringing Jake DeBrusk home to Edmonton, however, it’s believed the Oilers cap constraints and the acquisition cost would make things too rich for the Oilers.
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Phew. Lots to unpack here. Most of it is information we’ve already been aware of, but talk of A) Hall having a chance to return to Edmonton and B) the Oilers looking to deal Chiasson for Bjork and C) OEL not being willing to waive trade protection is interesting.

We’ll start with the OEL news, which could really change things for the Oilers. With all of the smoke that has surrounded these trade talks, it’s become very apparent the Oilers are legitimately interested in OEL which makes sense. He’s a solid defenceman who would be a number one for the Oilers. They’re going to have to bring out the big guns to try and convince OEL to waive his trade protection.

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The Hall information seems contingent on Nugent-Hopkins signing with Edmonton long-term. My preference would undoubtedly be Nugent-Hopkins signing an extension as he brings more to the table as a two-way player, and as someone who can play both the wing and center.

However, I still wonder if there’s a chance Hall returns. If Edmonton doesn’t re-sign either of Athanasiou or Benning and Kris Russell is moved, there might be a scenario where Hall could theoretically return. I think it’s more of a fantasy than anything, though.

Lastly, the interest that the Oilers have in Bjork is promising. He played for the Bruins last year as a third-line winger scoring nine goals and 19 points in 58 games. The 24-year-old left-shot just finished his first year of a three-year $1.6-m AAV deal.

His isolated impacts according to hockeyviz.com have him contributing offence at a six percent rate below league average and defence at a six percent rate higher than league average. His underlying numbers this year were solid, too. At 5v5 he posted a 49.79 CF%, a xG% of 52.17 and a goals for rate of 57.45 percent.

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In comparison, Chiasson scored 11 goals and 24 points in 65 games. Offensively his isolated impact was three percent below league average, and defensively is was one percent above league average. At 30 years old, he has one year left on a deal paying him $2.15-m.

If Edmonton could pull this deal off, I think they’d be better for it in the long-term. Bjork is young and the Oilers have control of the player for a number of years.

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On Twitter: @zjlaing