NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers were deep in talks on Jakob Chychrun before Mattias Ekholm trade and recapping a litany of NHL moves
Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing27 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers’ desire to add a defenceman has been crystal clear and talks began to pick up in recent days. Even as early as this morning, I wrote about the Oilers going hard after Jakob Chychrun, Mattias Ekholm and Vladislav Gavrikov before they landed the Nashville Predators defenceman.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who has had a great finger on the pulse of the Oilers this week, Edmonton and Arizona were “in deep as of late this morning” before the Oilers pivoted to Ekholm.
I’d be curious to know what the hold up was on a potential Chychrun deal, but if I had to take an educated guess, it seems like the Coyotes may have been against taking on contracts back. The Predators, meanwhile, had no issue with that going so far as taking back Tyson Barrie in the Ekholm deal.
Edmonton had been linked to Chychrun for some time, and while my preference still would’ve been acquiring him given his age and better contract status, I think the acquisition of Ekholm is a near-perfect fit for the Oilers.
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A wild day of trades
If you thought the Oilers had a big day trading Jesse Puljujarvi and picking up Ekholm, boy, do I have news for you. There were six other trades that broke loose! Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
Minnesota Wild acquire Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals for a 2024 3rd round pick
Minor deal here all things considered. Johansson will provide the Wild with some forward depth.
Maple Leafs acquire Erik Gustafsson, 2023 1st (BOS) from Captials for Rasmus Sandin
This one caught me by surprise and I have no idea what the Leafs are thinking here. Sandin is going to be a very good top-four defenceman for a long time, and Gustafsson is a pending UFA. Did they just want the pick? Will they flip Gustafsson? Who the heck knows.
Maple Leafs acquire Luke Schenn from Vancouver Canucks for 3rd round pick
After acquiring Gustafsson and Schenn, the Leafs have nine NHL defencemen on their roster who can all play. Huh?
Islanders acquire Pierre Engvall from Maple Leafs for 3rd round pick
Again. Huh? Engvall has been a solid solider for the Leafs being a strong defence first winger who has produced some points. I’m not sure what Toronto has cooking, but this trio of moves makes me think something else is coming.
Wild acquire Gustav Nyquist from Columbus Blue Jackets for 5th round pick
The Wild get Nyquist for free and this is a deal I love for them. The player should be back towards the end of the regular season and will provide some scoring depth.
Rangers acquire Patrick Kane, prospect, in three team deal
It’s showtime on Broadway and Patrick Kane is a New York Ranger. It was the hockey worlds worst kept secret over the last few days as the two teams were able to figure out how to make the money work. I’m not sure how much better Kane actually makes this Rangers team, but they’re sure going to be fun to watch.
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 email@example.com.
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