Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Seravalli on depth forward adds for the Edmonton Oilers
1 month ago
The Edmonton Oilers’ top six have found their groove recently, with Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele now playing alongside Leon Draisaitl.
The struggles finding linemates for Draisaitl were loud leading up to Christmas, with Evander Kane, Connor Brown and Mattias Janmark proving to be the answer. With McLeod and Foegele alongside the Oilers’ superstar, the threat of offence is more apparent on every shift. However, while the problems at the top of line have a solution, the holes in the bottom six are now glaring. Derek Ryan is playing in the third-line centre spot right now, but having him as a long-term solution in the playoffs feels risky.
Throughout the season, Ken Holland’s shopping list has changed drastically. The initial plan of finding another goaltender has dropped down the list, with Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard playing exceptionally. Additionally, the hunt for an upgrade on the right side of the blue line is still on the list but less pressing than a bottom-six forward.
Kevin Hayes has popped up in trade conversations lately. The 31-year-old is unfamiliar with being traded most recently, moving from Philadelphia to St Louis for a 6th-round pick. His contract is $3,571,429 until 2026, which, at half retained, is within the Oilers’ price range.
“I think he’d be a good fit in many places,” said Frank Seravalli on Kevin Hayes. “Cap-wise, at $1,789 million, it is more doable for the Oilers if the Blues retain half. I don’t know how Kevin Hayes feels about going to play in Edmonton; however, he did do a trade deadline stint in Winnipeg.”
While the money is good, Hayes can refuse a trade to Edmonton as his contract has a 12-team no-movement clause. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but with two years remaining, it’s unlikely the Dorchester, MA, native moves to Edmonton for a lengthy period.
If he did accept a deal with the Oilers, Hayes would have nine goals and 19 points in 40 games for St Louis, and his two-way game would be welcomed.
“If the Oilers were to target someone to play a 3C role, it would probably be someone with one year remaining like Sean Monahan.” continued Frank Seravalli on Edmonton’s hunt for a third-line centre.
Monahan, now 29 years old, is in his second season with the Montreal Canadiens after the Calgary Flames moved on from him for a 2025 conditional first-round pick last summer. Injuries sidelined Monahan in the 2023 season, but the production was there during his healthy period, with six goals and 17 points in 25 games. He is scoring at a different pace this season; however, 11 goals and 24 points in 41 games while playing on the third line is impressive.
“The health is certainly a concern,” continued Frank Seravalli on Monahan. “As good as he has been and healthy as he has been, there’s a reason why he had a bonus for hitting 26 games. It means he would’ve played one more game than last year, which motivates him to do all the right things to stay healthy.”
The other third-line centre options on Frank Seravalli’s trade targets list were Adam Henrique (Pending UFA, $5.825 million), Jack Roslovic (Pending UFA, $4 million), Morgan Frost and (1 more year, $2.1 million). They are all good players in their own right, but they are a little too expensive for the Oilers now.
With Hayes and Monahan, you get a guy on a cheaper team deal who can help the Oilers in various ways. Hayes is the better option of the two with the extra few years and potential of 20 goals in his weaponry. However, with a 12-team no-movement clause, it’s hard to imagine Edmonton is on his list of destinations.
On the other hand, with Monahan at half retained, the cap hit is only $993K, which doesn’t force you to move on from Warren Foegele or Cody Ceci. He fills the void on that third line and can play in the wing if needed. The price is up in the air, but the fit is good.
The need for help in the bottom six has grown massively over the past few weeks. With the news that Corey Perry is now an option, adding him and a third line centre with the Calibre of Hayes or Monahan would help the Oilers achieve their ultimate goal of a Stanley Cup.
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