Seravalli: Oilers looking for goaltending and defence ahead of the NHL trade deadline

2 years ago
We’re closing in on the NHL’s annual swap meet and I figured that I’d kick things off with a look at the Oilers’ roster needs and what kind of trade chips they may have to try and work out a deal.
With the trade deadline only a month away, it’s time to start wondering what the Edmonton Oilers might have up their sleeve in terms of a plan to upgrade the roster for a final push down the stretch. Even though the Oilers are playing much better over the last couple of weeks, I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that there are still some areas on the roster that could use some work. What might they do? That’s a good question. Over at DailyFaceoff.com, Frank Seravalli has been running through each division and listing what each team could be looking to do and what they may be willing to give up in order to make it happen.
Looking at the Pacific Division ahead of last night’s loss to the Minnesota Wild, Seravalli has the Oilers listed with a couple of major to-dos on their list, including the need for an upgrade in net as well as a physical, shutdown defencemen.
Primary Objective: Starting goaltender
Secondary Objective: Physical, shutdown defenseman
Mike Smith has a chance to flip these objectives around. Over his last three starts, Smith has a .955 save percentage and appears to be rounding into form after an injury-ravaged season. Is his recent run enough to assuage fears that Edmonton’s goaltending doesn’t have the goods? Smith is 39. He’s played a total of 11 games this season, sidelined for two prolonged stretches. His durability is fair to question because Mikko Koskinen has not proven capable of carrying the ball for long. The problem the Oilers have learned as they’ve scoured the goalie market for two months is two-fold: There aren’t enough difference makers available and the acquisition cost is expensive. GM Ken Holland has said he doesn’t envision trading his first-round pick. Short of that, they could really use a physical, shutdown defenseman that would support whoever is in net.
So who might be on the way out if indeed there is a trade to be made? Frank listed Dmitri Samorukov, @Tyler Benson, @Kailer Yamomoto, and @Mikko Koskinen all as potential trade chips for Ken Holland to use if he decides to pull the trigger on a deal. Now, who knows what kind of value these guys have around the league — only Kailer Yamamoto and Mikko Koskinen have any real NHL experience under their belts — and it will be up to Ken Holland to use that vacuum cleaner experience to try and work some magic.
Over at TSN, Ryan Rishaug re-iterated Holland’s earlier point that any deal would likely be a “money in, money out” type of scenario, and that leads me to believe we could be in for a quieter deadline day barring some kind of creative maneuvering that we haven’t seen a whole lot of around these parts. That’s not to say that the Oilers won’t do anything — I fully expect some kind of minor transactions for low-level picks or something — but I doubt we’re going to get much in terms of a real “holy shit” type of trade. Could it happen? Of course, but based on what I could find as I was cruising the Internet this morning and also what Seravalli is saying over at DailyFaceoff, I’m starting to think we’re looking at another quiet shopping day for the Edmonton Oilers. What say you, Internet friends?

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