As rumours swirl around Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun and the Oilers, report says the team’s ‘key acquisition’ is a puck-moving defenceman

Zach Laing
1 year ago
A wild day of trade rumours, and they just keep coming in.
I’ve rewritten this about four or five times and every time I get close to hitting publish, something else shakes out.
Let’s try and recap that day that it has been.
While the Oilers were playing the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day, Chris Johnston dropped the nugget that Edmonton reignited trade talks with the San Jose Sharks around Erik Karlsson. Tonight, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman added to that during 32 Thoughts on Sportsnet:
The Edmonton Oilers have made it clear one of their key acquisitions here towards the playoffs is a puck-moving defenceman. And here’s the thing about Karlsson: for this to work it’s got to be about a $6.5-$7-million player for the Oilers. Now, his salary for the next four and a half years is $11.5-million. So basically, what Edmonton — if they’re going to do this — they’re going to need San Jose to eat about $4.5-$5-million in that range for the next four seasons.
Nobody knows at this point in time if San Jose is going to be willing to do that. I think before we can even think of the possibility of this occurring, that’s number one on the list. The other thing is Karlsson’s willingness to go to Edmonton. Look: a bunch of guys were just together at the All-Star game. Maybe there was some arm twisting, who knows, but I think until the math works, I don’t think the rest of the deal can work.
If it’s not Karlsson, I do wonder if the Oilers look at another Coyote and that is Shayne Gostisbehere.
Wild stuff to even be considering the fact the Oilers could land a superstar defenceman like Karlsson in a deal, but here we are. The team clearly knows one thing: they need to be all in and they need help on the back end.
Weeks ago, even months ago, it was reported the Oilers wanted to go after a tough, stay-at-home defenceman. The names Joel Edmundson and Vladislav Gavrikov were thrown around relentlessly, but that seems to have changed.
And I think it’s the right move. I keep coming back to the defence that the cup-winning Colorado Avalanche had last year. Look at their ability to have puck-moving defencemen in their lineup as the key players. Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Bowen Byram, Samuel Girard. They also had some size and grit there, too, but the Oilers have some of it in Vincent Desharnais, who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Something worth noting, as Freidman did above, Connor McDavid, Leon Drasiaitl and Erik Karlsson were all close to each other around the All-Star Game. How close? Well, that was a trio that the Pacific Division rolled out numerous times. A taste of what could be to come?
Things picked up on Jakob Chychrun in the rumour mill, too.
The Arizona Coyotes held Jakob Chychrun out of the lineup for “trade-related reasons,” the Oilers, and other teams, have appeared to ramp up talks for the rearguard, according to Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch.
But that report had cool water poured over it quickly.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug said he senses the Oilers are “not this far down the path on any Chychun talks,” while The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman added it doesn’t sound like the defenceman is heading to the Oilers, or Kings.
On Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts segment Saturday night, Jeff Marek doubled down on Nugent-Bowman’s report.
Certainly never a dull moment around these parts.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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