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Edmonton Oilers a ‘destination to watch’ for Jake Guentzel

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Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers one one of five destinations to watch for Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel, Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin opined Wednesday.
While Guentzel, who suffered an upper-body injury last week, is set to return after the trade deadline, it doesn’t mean there aren’t teams frothing at the mouth for his services. The Oilers have been linked to Guentzel for some time now as a player they’re interested in, and the asking price doesn’t appear to be massive.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Penguins could be looking for a return similar to what the Philadelphia Flyers got for Owen Tippett years back, suggesting the recent Tyler Toffoli to the New Jersey Devils trade could be a similar price point.
Here’s what Larkin wrote about Guentzel and the Oilers:
Why he makes sense: It’s no secret the Oilers are all-in. They were last year, too, when they surrendered a first-round pick and one of their better prospects in Reid Schaefer for Mattias Ekholm. Edmonton should be making perennial Cup runs with the talent they have, but their best result of the Connor McDavid/Leon Draisaitl era is a 2022 Western Conference Final appearance in which they were swept. General manager Ken Holland, who isn’t signed beyond this season, needs to leave it all on the ice and load up in what is likely his final voyage in the job.
What it might cost: The Oilers prospect pool isn’t bursting with blue-chippers. If a Philip Broberg reclamation project doesn’t entice Pittsburgh, do you have to sacrifice Dylan Holloway? It will take a big bid to land Guentzel. The Oilers have their first-round picks, too, plus their second-rounder in 2024 and 2026.
Fly in the ointment: Even if we set aside that the Oilers are capped out and would need to pull off some gymnastics to fit Guentzel in: are we sure he’s what they should pursue? The law of diminishing returns applies. Edmonton is already one of the league’s elite offensive clubs. Given they could use another top-four blueliner and backup goalie, should they really spend their resources adding Guentzel to a forward group already boasting McDavid, Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evander Kane?
Larkin makes some good points. Philip Broberg, however, appears to be off the table unless it’s for a long-term asset, while I’m not sure the Oilers are eager to move on from Dylan Holloway, either.
Even with the Oilers’ plethora of top-six wingers, the Oilers score just 1.75 goals per hour at 5v5 when Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are off the ice. This year’s rate is comparable to the Chicago Blackhawks’ offensive production, while last year’s was 2.42 GF/60 — a rate close to league average. In 2021-22, it was a still modest 2.09.
If they were to pick up Guentzel, it would likely bump someone like Evander Kane down the lineup, helping spread out the Oilers’ out the club’s offence.

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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