Rumour Roundup: Oilers are seeking forward depth, linked to Scott Laughton, Adam Henrique, and more

Photo credit:© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
We’re less than two weeks away from the National Hockey League trade deadline, so there are many rumours flying around.
Could Edmonton look to make a trade for two needs? Perhaps they’ll trade for two forwards for their bottom six. In fact, what is their game plan going forward? Let’s find out!

Oilers having serious talks about Scott Laughton and Sean Walker:

According to Oiler Alert on Twitter, a great aggregating account that evidently is in the know, the Oilers are having serious talks about a package surrounding Philadelphia’s Sean Walker and Scott Laughton.
A package for both would require significant assets, obviously. Walker is a pending unrestricted free agent and has five goals and 21 points in 59 games this season and plays significant minutes against elite competition, with the Flyers out-scoring the other team. 
Still, Walker has only played two playoff games in the National Hockey League and stands at just 5’11”, 191 lbs. Walker has a cap hit of $2.65 million. Is he an upgrade on Cody Ceci? Potentially, but adding Walker over Ceci probably isn’t worth the first-round pick in 2024.
Unlike Walker, Laughton has term left on his deal, as he will have a cap hit of $3 million until the end of the 2025-26 season. This season, the 29-year-old left-shot centre has eight goals and 30 points in 59 games, and set a career-high in both goals and points in 2022-23, scoring 18 goals and 43 points.
Laughton would be a good addition, but the Flyers currently occupy a playoff spot and it may not make a lot of sense for them to move him because of the two additional seasons of term.

Oilers interested in the Ducks’ Henrique and Carrick:

During Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman linked the Oilers to Anaheim’s Sam Carrick and Adam Henrique, mentioning he’s unsure if they’ll try to acquire both or just one.
Henrique is a 34-year-old left-shot centre who has 16 goals and 37 points in 56 games this season and is on pace for 23 goals and 53 points, with the latter being a career-high if he can reach it. Henrique has a cap hit of $5.825 million and is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As for Carrick, the 32-year-old right-shot centre has eight goals and 11 points in 57 games this season, with his career-high 11 goals and 19 points coming during the 2021-22 season. He has a cheap contract, with a cap hit of $850,000 and an expiring deal.

Might the Oilers and Flames make a deal?

Julian McKenzie and Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic recently wrote an article about whether or not the Oilers have enough assets to land the Calgary Flames’ Chris Tanev.
In the article, they discuss how the Flames are looking for a second-round pick, but are holding out for a first-round pick. Moreover, it’s pretty clear that the way to get this deal done monetarily is by moving Cody Ceci and his $3.25 million cap hit in exchange for Tanev’s $4.5 million cap hit.
Tanev would be an upgrade over Ceci, as he’s better defensively and at moving the puck.  Ceci isn’t a bad defender by any means, but if the Oilers want to upgrade their defence, he’s the guy to upgrade on.

Ryan Rishaug’s game plan for the deadline:

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug believes the Oilers will look for a top-six winger, which is a great idea! If they don’t land that player… well.
If Edmonton can’t land a player like Pavel Buchnevich or Jake Guentzel, it’s possible that we see them pick up a third-line centre. This would allow them to move Ryan McLeod up to the second line, where he could be reunited with Leon Draisaitl, where most of his success has come this season.
That seems less than ideal, but so is “standing pat” on a goaltender. From November 11 to the loss against the Vegas Golden Knights, Stuart Skinner had a .926 save percentage and a 22-5-0 record. Since then, Skinner has an .858 save percentage and a 2-3-1 record in six games.
There could be a few reasons for this, either Skinner is slowing down and needs a second goaltender to eat some starts, or Edmonton’s defence is letting him down. Either way, the play at the deadline shouldn’t be standing pat or adding a depth defender, unless they go all in for a top six.
The trade deadline is on March 8 and there’ll surely be a ton more rumours leading up to that Friday.

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