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Potential Extension Deals Blow to Oilers’ Pursuit of Jake Guentzel

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baggedmilk
1 month ago
With the NHL trade deadline only weeks away, the Silly Szn rumours are starting to ramp up, and that means we’re hearing more about what teams are looking for in return for expiring assets. When it comes to the Oilers’ deadline plans, all of us are waiting to see which direction Ken Holland goes, which makes Elliotte Friedman’s information in the latest 32 Thoughts article all the more intriguing.

ON JAKE GUENTZEL

A lot of us have talked about wanting Jake Guentzel over the past few weeks. He’s a two-time 40-goal scorer, he knows how to play alongside stud centremen, and he would bring Stanley Cup pedigree to a club that could probably use a little bit of experience in that avenue. As a general idea, adding Jake Guentzel’s offence to this Oilers lineup makes a tonne of sense for a playoff push.
Yet, in this week’s 32 Thoughts, Friedman mentioned that some teams may talk about an extension with the 29-year-old winger before spending assets to acquire him, and that would really put a wrench in the Oilers’ plans if he is indeed their target.
If teams are allowed to try to extend Guentzel before a trade, that hurts Edmonton. They can’t do it. The Oilers are also very aware that for every dollar that comes in, someone needs to go out. So, they are doing legwork in several different directions.
We all know how tight the Oilers are against the salary cap and the important extensions that are happening soon, so extending Guentzel is basically impossible. But I wonder if this trade + new contract talk from other buying teams might force Ken Holland to be more aggressive in his pursuit than he’d otherwise be.
If Guentzel is indeed the guy the Oilers covet most, would it make sense to toss another asset in the mix to prevent anyone else from snapping him up? Would they be better off spending less on their plan B or C? Only time will tell, but the more I read about teams chasing Jake Guentzel, the less likely it seems that he’ll be helping us out down the stretch.

ON CHRIS TANEV

I know I’m not the only one who thinks Chris Tanev would be a nice upgrade to the Oilers’ top four — if he can stay healthy, of course — but the cost that Friedman suggests it might take to acquire him seems too rich for me given that he would likely be a pure rental for the playoff push.
With Chris Tanev, the Flames continue to hold and see if a first-rounder (or something they consider comparable) becomes available. Dallas is very much into this, although some teams suspect they like Hanifin, too. Others: Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver. Colorado’s been in and out, as have others.
Would we be comfortable giving up a first rounder for a defencemen with as much wear and tear on his body as you’d get with Chris Tanev? Sure, he’s played 53 games with the Flames this year, but we’ve also seen him leave and come back a few times now. How likely is it that Tanev will be able to play all of the games we’d need him to?
Of course, we’ve heard that the Oilers have been kicking tires on Tanev for a while now, but this was the first time I’ve seen that the Flames are looking for a first round pick. Last week, Rick Dhaliwal spoke about the Canucks’ interest in bringing him back, and how they definitely wouldn’t want to see him land within the division.
Sources say the Oilers are making a push for Tanev. You certainly don’t want him going to that team if you’re the Canucks, for sure. Dallas, high interest in Tanev. Many others: Maple Leafs still in there, Winnipeg (too).
Would the Oilers be better off letting someone else pay the cost to acquire Tanev if the ask is a first round pick? Would the Flames have to take Ceci back to make the money work, or would Holland need to flip him in a separate trade to make this happen? Is Tanev even the right fit?
I obviously don’t know the answers to these questions, but it’s going to be fascinating to see who ends up pulling the trigger on a guy that could be an incredible piece down the stretch or one that gets hurt and doesn’t even end up playing. We wait.

THE WRAP

So what have we learned here? Not a whole lot apart from the cost of acquisition on all of these guys seems to go up by the day. Considering the pool of available trade targets is pretty shallow this season, teams are going to have to spend more than they’d probably like on any pieces they do pick up, which makes it trick to predict what anyone will do.
For a team like the Oilers that has limited cap space and assets to move, navigating this year’s trade deadline could be trickier than normal. That said, I never expected expected Ken Holland to make a Mattias Ekholm trade happen, which gives me hope that the ol’ boy has a few tricks left up his sleeve. If not, this could end up being a quiet deadline for the Oilers in terms of sexiness or one that has the fanbase spontaneously combusting after seeing what it costs to land depth pieces over true impact players.

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