Could the Edmonton Oilers make an Elias Lindholm trade work?

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
25 days ago
The trade deadline is quickly approaching and rumours around the league are sparking like wildfire.
Speculation around the Edmonton Oilers has ignited recently with most insiders suggesting that the team is willing to go all in on a championship run this spring. The market this year doesn’t have many franchise-changing pieces available, however, it offers a fair variation of talent that could help push Edmonton over the top.
When you look at Frank Seravalli’s latest trade targets list, one team dominates the way with potential assets to spare. Three players from the Calgary Flames slot into Frank’s top five: Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin. Earlier in the season, Nikita Zadorov made the list, and he wound up getting moved to the Vancouver Canucks. It’s safe to say that Calgary will continue to deal.
All three of those players would fill voids in the Oilers’ lineup. However, the obvious struggle is that they play for the Calgary Flames. The question is why would Craig Conroy want to help Calgary’s bitter provincial rivals potentially win the Stanley Cup? Perhaps that’s not the best look in his first year as the team’s general manager. That said, should he even care about that?
“Even if the player or pick is marginally better, I just think you take the best offer available,” said Frank Seravalli on whether the Calgary Flames would be hesitant to trade with the Oilers. “The Flames aren’t in that window right now and watching win, if that were to happen, you’re not in the dance so what does it matter? Of course, you’ll have to play against that for many years, so you’d have to weigh the likelihood of that player resigning.”
The two Albertan cities are familiar with making deals. Most recently, the Oilers sent Milan Lucic to Calgary along with a 3rd round pick for James Neal. The purpose was to allow Edmonton to buy out Neal, which they did. In 2013, defenceman Ladislav Smid and goaltender Olivier Roy were dealt to Calgary for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit. A few years before that, the Oilers moved veteran Steve Staois to the Flames.
If Lindholm gets traded, it’s likely no more than what the Florida Panthers paid for Claude Giroux in 2022. The Flyers traded German Rubstov, Connor Bunnaman, a 2024 5th round, as well as Giroux to the Panthers in exchange for Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 1st round pick and a 2023 3rd round pick. The minimum is likely what the Vancouver Canucks received for Bo Horvat, which was Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a 1st round pick in 2023.
“I don’t see Lindholm fitting or making sense for the Oilers,” continued Seravalli. “Hypothetically, what are the chances the Oilers could resign him? Probably next to nil. How are they possibly going to fit him [within the cap] knowing that next years bonus space is already chewed up.”
Lindholm’s cap hit is only $4,850,000, which is within the Oilers’ range of affordability if the Flames retain. The addition of Lindholm would allow the Oilers to go with their “nuclear” option of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid almost every night. It would push Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the second-line left wing and Evander Kane down to the third line. Additionally, your spin of centreman could then be McDavid, Lindholm, Ryan McLeod and Dylan Holloway.
Is this a pipe dream? Probably, but if the Oilers truly go all in, then there’s no better place to start than the top. Lindholm would fit in almost every category and bring a high level of both offence and defence.
Dare to dream, Oilers fans.

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