NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers could revist Erik Karlsson trade near draft and recapping the latest NHL trades

Zach Laing
1 year ago
The Edmonton Oilers could be preparing themselves to make another big splash — albeit at the NHL’s draft, instead of at the NHL trade deadline.
It was a small nugget in an article by The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman posted Thursday, but he made a passing remark while pondering about other potential deals.
The Oilers will surely keep tabs on the blue-line market, but there are those in the organization who see the merits in not making another move now that Ekholm is in the fold.
Looking at the uninspiring list of pending UFAs for right-handed defencemen, it’s not hard to understand the logic there.
Of course, that doesn’t have to be the only type of player they could covet. Colleague Jeremy Rutherford, for instance, wonders about the Oilers’ potential interest in Colton Parayko, who’s signed until 2030. Though there could be a stylistic fit and Parayko is from St. Albert, the understanding here is the Oilers would prefer to keep their powder dry for a run at Erik Karlsson — likely in June around the draft.
Could you imagine Erik Karlsson still becoming an Edmonton Oiler?! I surely had thought that given the assets the Oilers gave up — and the three years and $6-million left on Mattias Ekholm’s deal — that the team would surely be out on a future Karlsson move.
From San Jose’s perspective, they likely will never get as much of a return for Karlsson as they could at this point in time. He’s the front-runner for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman, and who knows if he could ever replicate this type of a performance.
Nonetheless, the Oilers are firmly entrenched in “win-now” mode, so I’m all for them doing anything and everything to make this team as good as they can possibly be. A Karlsson move in the future would surely involve a defenceman like Cody Ceci being moved out the door and a forward like Kailer Yamamoto or Warren Foegele.
The Oilers will have $8.5-million in cap space this summer, according to CapFriendly, with Derek Ryan, Mattias Janmark, Devin Shore, and Nick Bjugstad as UFA’s. Ryan McLeod, Klim Kostin and Evan Bouchard will be RFA’s. Things would undoubtedly be tight, but if owners and the NHLPA can put some pressure on Gary Bettman to expunge the little COVID-19 debt remaining, things could open up in a hurry.

Another trade…

Max Domi to Dallas

This one isn’t official yet as it sounds like there are more moving parts, but Frank Seravalli reported Thursday that Max Domi is expected to be traded to the Dallas Stars. In return, the Blackhawks will reportedly be sending back a second-round pick and goaltender Anton Khudobin’s contract to make the money work.
Fans were clamouring for Domi, but I’m happy they passed on him. He’s got no defensive value to his game and his shot attempt share and expected goal share were well below average relative to his teammates at 5×5 this year. He can put up some points, but the Oilers needed defensive help and went the route of Bjugstad, instead.

What are the Leafs doing?

The Maple Leafs will be an interesting team to watch heading into Friday’s deadline day. They’ve made a slew of moves and now have nine NHL-calibre defencemen on their blueline.
On Daily Faceoff Live Thursday, Seravalli talked about what they could have cooking when a viewer asked if the Leafs are done making deals:
I am not certain about that, and I would say that I think if you’re looking at the balance of this team right now, they’re a little bit heavy on the defense side. Nine bona-fide NHL defensemen, that’s a logjam, and yeah the old adage of “you can never have too many defensemen for a Stanley Cup run”, but the problem is when you have three guys that are legitimately good and shouldn’t be out of the lineup sitting as healthy scratches when they could be playing on another team in a playoff chase, that that doesn’t necessarily make everyone happy, especially the few guys that you traded for.
So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see with a little bit of cap space that they have left, and accounting for the fact that they need to sign Matt Knies out of the University of Minnesota, that they trade a defenseman to add in another forward body in addition to Knies, but we’ll see.

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@oilersnation.com.

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