Photo credit:The Canadian Press
Other areas the Edmonton Oilers can address
2 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers 2024 has one direction: the shape of a rollercoaster. The highs take a while to peak, but you fall for a while when they drop.
On Friday afternoon, a 5-0 win over the Washington Capitals has fans slowly crawling back to the time. However, even with a victory, the Oilers still sit comfortably outside a playoff spot.
If this season continues positively, Ken Holland must make some moves to help this team achieve the ultimate goal. After a lacklustre off-season with only Connor Brown signing, the holes have a long list of holes that need to be addressed.
The most obvious is goaltending, which we’ve discussed many times now. Who would be available to them if they were to look outside of that area?
Before getting further ahead, Ryan Rishaug reported last week that only three assets weren’t on the team. Of course, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were two and third was this year’s first-round pick. In its current state, this year’s first could be a top-ten pick, so it’s wise to know the actual value of the pick before having that on the table. With that said, if Edmonton were to move that pick, it would likely have a top ten protection.
A third line centre should be a priority on the line. Ryan McLeod is still only 24, but his play needs to be up to the standard they need it to be. With only four points this season and no goals in over 40 games, including playoffs, the Oilers need more production from that position. Kris Knoblauch could experiment with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in that position; however, having him in the top six makes the Oilers more lethal.
There’s a variety of options out there for Holland to explore. Sean Monahan could be in play in Montreal. He’s had a decent season with the Canadiens, scoring 13 points in 21 games from the third line; his production has dropped off, with no points in his last six games.
A player that would be great but is extremely unlikely is Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames. The Oilers would have to pay the price, but why would you not if the Flames would trade him north? He’s a former 100-point player with a cap hit of $4,8 million until the off-season. Additionally, Lindholm was a former Selke Trophy runner-up only two years ago. Of course, he’s a top-six player, but having him on your third line with an inform Warren Foegele could be threatening.
Holland must find another right-shot defenceman before getting a forward to build on their offensive strengths. The left side is stable with Darnell Nurse, Mattias Ekholm and Brett Kulak; however, having Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard and Vincent Descharnais on the other side isn’t going to work. The targeted area should be that third pairing, forcing Descharnais to become the 7th man.
Matt Dumba could be a name out there, but he won’t help your defensive inefficiencies much. At 5-on-5, he gets scored on more than the other Arizona blueliners.
Sean Walker from the Philadelphia Flyers would fit the void. Fans may be familiar with the name after he spent the previous five seasons with the LA Kings. He has found his game in Philadelphia with 10 points in 21 games and is well on track for a career season offensively. Defensively, he has one of the best goals-against rates in the NHL and the 2nd best shots-against for players who have played similar minutes to him.
Edmonton would need to be creative with money to make any of these ideas work. Additionally, the season needs to continue heading in the right direction. The team needs to do more to convince us that things will be okay yet, but we may as well keep the playoff dreams alive for now.
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