With every week that goes by, trade talk around the NHL is getting more and more intense. Teams, like the Oilers, are getting to the point where they’re holding their scouting meetings and are likely starting to determine how they will approach the deadline. That means this rumours blog is only going to keep getting juicier!
The big Oilers rumour we got this week came courtesy of Elliotte Friedman and it involved the Oiler’s potential acquiring a goaltender. Friedman wrote “I think Edmonton’s looking harder at acquiring a goalie. Remember: Jaroslav Halak has control in Vancouver and doesn’t seem inclined to move.”
He added that the Oilers are changing their course on this issue because missing the playoffs is not an option and frustration is boiling over. He also added that their scouting meeting is taking place in California, which allowed Daryl Katz to be heard firsthand.
I don’t doubt that the Oilers are interested in adding a goalie, but it’s also clear that there aren’t very many on the market. Friedman bringing up Jaroslav Halak isn’t a surprise, I think he would be a good fit but his NTC obviously makes a deal tough and I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Oilers look at more long-term options.
The Athletic recently put together a Trade Deadline Big Board and they had five goalies on the list: Marc-Andre Fleury, Semyon Varlamov, Joonas Korpisalo, and Jonathan Quick.
Only one of those options is under the age of 30 (Korpisalo) and he has the worst numbers of the group. Varlamov is interesting, but I’m not sure if the Oilers would be too keen on taking on a player who has a $5 million cap hit for next season. They could make the money work for this year, but things would get tight in the offseason.
I don’t think Fleury is a realistic option and I’m not sold on the Kings dealing off Quick if they’re still in the hunt.
One name I would personally keep an eye on is Braden Holtby. He’s enjoying a nice bounceback season in Dallas with a 2.53 GAA and a .920 SV% and with a cap hit of just $2 million, the Oilers could easily fit him in. Dallas would likely have to fall out of the playoff picture first though.
Alexandar Georgiev is another name that I’ve talked about a lot, but I’m not sure if the Rangers will move him in-season. He would really be the only player that could be a long-term solution for Edmonton.
On the 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman and his co-host Jeff Marek threw out two other names: Vitek Vanecek from the Capitals and Ville Husso from the Blues. both guys are 26-years-old, stuck behind number one goalies, and are on very affordable contracts. I hadn’t thought of those two, but they would be good fits.
Switching gears a little bit but sticking with The Athletic’s list, it was interesting to see Kailer Yamamoto at #12 on their board. Now, they did say that the likelihood of a trade involving Yamamoto was low but they did link him to the Seattle Kraken, saying if the Oilers are seeking top-nine reinforcement, then Yamamoto could go the other way.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Yamamoto is capable of being a solid top-nine player himself and he carries a cap hit of just $1.175 million. If you’re going to move Yamamoto, then it needs to be in a package deal where you are getting a player who is a significant upgrade right now. Trading him for something like a solid third-line centre doesn’t make a lot of sense.
There are other names on The Athletic’s list that were interesting to me from an Oilers perspective. Some depth scoring options include Calle Jarnkrok, Andreas Johnsson, Vlad Namestnikov, and Chris Tierney. Some options on the blueline are Calvin De Haan, Nick Leddy, and, of course, Ben Chariot.
Here are some other rumours from around the league:
THE BIG-NAME DEFENSEMEN
Friedman wrote that Caroline and Colorado will be in on every trade rumour. He then added that the Florida Panthers could make a play for a defensemen, which is something that Frank Seravalli wondered about earlier this week on The Daily Faceoff Show. They would be a great spot for either John Klingberg or Jakob Chychrun to land. The price will be very high for Chychrun though if Florida wanted to get involved.
Marek on what Florida might have to offer Arizona for Jakob Chychrun:
You're probably looking at a Spencer Knight, Anton Lundell, 1st RD pick. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but that's going to be the price for Chychrun.
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) January 19, 2022
The Toronto Maple Leafs could clear out cap space to make a splash at the deadline and considering the play of Jake Muzzin, I wonder if they would be inclined to go get some help for the blueline.
The Stars have increased their efforts to move Klingberg as well, according to Friedman. He says it’s time for a move. I wonder if a deal gets done in a few weeks here considering how much we’re hearing about it. If they sell Klingberg, would they also be open to selling off other assets, like Holtby?
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Friedman noted that the Arizona Coyotes have used two of their three retained salary spots. They could add one more retained contract to their books and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they did.
He also mentioned the Sabres, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, and Senators as teams that could be willing to take on money. That’s something for Oilers fans to keep an eye on. If Edmonton wants to make a big splash at the deadline, then finding someone who could take Mikko Koskinen’s contract will be imperative. All the majority of those teams listed could be open to taking on a goaltender with a high salary if the Oilers gave them something for doing it.
- It’s weird how long things have been quiet on the Evander Kane front. The NHL apparently interviewed him last Friday. We’ll see where it goes from here.
- If the Blue Jackets don’t think they can extend Patrik Laine, or if they don’t want to, then could they make him available before the deadline? It’s an interesting scenario.
- I wonder how hard the Canadiens will sell in season now that they have a new GM. They only have a few pending free agents who have real value (Chariot and Lehkonnen) so if they want to get a nice haul of assets now, they may have to look at moving some bigger names.
- I wondered about the Nashville Predators and if they would add before the deadline. Adam Vingan of The Athletic wrote this week that they would be wise to not go “all-in”.
- The future of Claude Giroux is interesting as well. The Flyers aren’t in the playoff picture and he’s a pending UFA. You would imagine that a lot of Cup contenders would LOVE to get this guy, but his $8.275 million cap hit will make it tough. If Philly is willing to retain half and take a bad contract though, they could get a really good haul for their captain.
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