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NHL Draft Diaries: Day One

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Photo credit:Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Yaremchuk
4 months ago
I am out in beautiful Montreal, Quebec to cover the NHL Draft for both Oilersnation and Daily Faceoff. Things are relatively quiet right now in terms of actual transaction news, although Mike Grier deserves a massive shoutout for becoming the first ever Black GM in the history of the NHL, but the rumours are flying around and there are plenty involving the Edmonton Oilers.
We dropped a new episode of Oilersnation Radio earlier today and went through a bunch of the rumours surrounding the team and had some good, in-depth conversations about potential moves that Oilers GM Ken Holland could make.
We started by predicting what Holland’s first move could be. I think it will be a deal involving Tyson Barrie. He’s #8 on Frank Seravalli’s Trade Targets board and despite some Oiler fans’ opinions of him, he has value around the league. If all Holland wants is a draft pick, then they will have no problem moving him.
Now, you might scoff at the idea of just moving Barrie for a second-round pick, but considering the quality of this year’s draft, what if moving Barrie for a second-rounder pick then allowed the team to flip the first-round pick (29th overall) for immediate help? That could be a smart way to add to this year’s team while still adding a prospect to the system.
One of my podcast co-hosts Rick brought up an interesting idea though: if Duncan Keith retires, could the Oilers hold onto Barrie?
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug got Twitter fired up with his comment that Keith is actually considering retirement. That’s a bit of a surprise to me because while there were a few reports that goaltender Mike Smith was unlikely to play next season, we really hadn’t heard much about Keith and I had just assumed that was because the veteran defenseman was planning on coming back to play next season. I guess that may not be the case.
I don’t necessarily think that Keith’s status really affects Barrie’s future with the team. They play on opposite sides of the ice and regardless of whether or not Keith returns, Barrie isn’t a player the Oilers need at his cap hit. Evan Bouchard can quarterback the powerplay and the Oilers can get a more defensively responsible defenseman to play on their third-pairing for less than $4.5 million. That would give them more money for their forward group and for an upgrade between the pipes.
There are just so many unknowns with the Oilers right now that it’s hard to really tell which way the team is going to go.
  1. Will Keith return?
  2. How will the Evander Kane grievance play out?
  3. Will anyone be willing to trade for Zack Kassian?
  4. What’s the market for Jesse Puljujarvi?
  5. What’s the value of the team’s first-round pick?
There are just so many different directions that Holland could go over the next few days and it will truly be fascinating to see how things play out because every question really seems connected.
One thing that has really surprised me is the Claude Giroux talk. I did not see that coming at all but after thinking about it for a bit, it makes sense.
If Giroux wants to both go to a team that’s capable of winning and have some sort of stability for his family, which are both apparently important to him, then Edmonton could offer that. While teams like Colorado, Florida, and others may offer a better chance at winning the Stanley Cup, they apparently might not be willing to offer Giroux a multi-year contract. Edmonton was just eight wins away from a Stanley Cup last season and would apparently be willing to offer Giroux a multi-year contract.
Honestly, signing Giroux to a three-year deal worth between $4-4.5 million is a better option than signing Evander Kane to a four-year deal worth upwards of $6.5-7 million. While Kane has higher upside, Giroux is the safer play and would be cheaper. It will be interesting to see if this is all talk. Either way, it’s something worth keeping an eye on.
TOMORROW: We’ll be dropping a new episode of The DFO Rundown with Jason Gregor and Frank Seravalli in the morning and I’ll be hosting The Daily Faceoff Show live from Montreal at 10am mountain time. Will also have some fresh content coming up on The Nation Network YouTube Channel, so go hit that subscribe button!

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