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Rumour Roundup: Oilers will be patient during winning streak, Blues considering selling ahead of trade deadline, and more
22 days ago
The March 8 trade deadline can’t come any sooner.
This is the Rumour Roundup, where we look at rumours from across the league that are related to the Edmonton Oilers. In this edition, we’ll look at what the Oilers are wanting to do, as well as a rumour that could impact them. Let’s dig in.
Oilers still looking for defence:
Elliotte Freidman appeared on The Jeff Marek Show and he noted that the Oilers are still looking for defence. There are two clear pathways for an upgrade, either by moving Cody Ceci and upgrading the second pair right-shot defenceman role or moving Brett Kulak and letting Philip Broberg play. Ideally, the Oilers go with the former.
Interestingly, Marek mentioned Sean Walker as an option. The Philadelphia Flyer has five goals and 17 points in 50 games, along with a 53.95% goal share and 53.17% expected goal share. Furthermore, he has played 284.3 minutes against elite competition, or 35.1% of his ice time.
Of course, there may be other options available, such as Calgary Flames right-shot defenceman Chris Tanev, who plays a ton against elite competition and is a terrific defensive defenceman.
It’d be nice to move Ceci + for Walker (who is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end), and then push for Tanev in free agency with the cap saved from Ceci’s contract.
Brett Kulak on DFO’s Trade Target Board:
Speaking of Kulak, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff ranked him as his 11th name on the most recent Trade Targets list, noting that he may be a cap casualty and be replaced by Broberg.
Kulak has been steady on the third pairing with Vincent Desharnais, so it’d be a shame to see him traded. However, Broberg has been fantastic with the American League Bakersfield Condors since being sent down, picking up a goal and 15 points in his last 20 games. It’s clear that Broberg is ready for some real NHL minutes.
Trading Ceci is the way to go if the Oilers want to make a change on their blueline, but it’s clear the Oilers need to make some cap space before the March 8 deadline.
The Fourth Period Top 25:
On Sunday, The Fourth Period released their Top 25 trade list for the 2024 season. In this article, they linked the Oilers to seven players: Adam Henrique, Anthony Duclair, Jake Allen, Ilya Lyubushkin, Sean Walker, Pat Maroon, and Adam Boqvist.
Henrique could be slotted anywhere in the lineup and has 15 goals and 32 points in 48 games with the Anaheim Ducks this season, along with a cap hit of $5.825 million that ends at the end of the season.
Duclair has eight goals and 16 points in 44 games with the abysmal San Jose Sharks. In 20 playoff games with the Florida Panthers last season, he had four goals and 11 points and had 31 goals and 58 points in 2021-22. The winger has a cap hit of $3 million and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Those two and Walker are the only three players the Oilers should look to add, as the Oilers don’t really need a goalie anymore, and Bovqist and Lybushkin are unneeded at this point. A reunion with Maroon would be fun, and he has four goals and 16 points in 49 games with the Wild with a ton of playoff experience.
Connor Brown’s bonus will be paid by the Oilers:
The Oilers’ right wing has been snake-bitten this season, picking up four assists and no goals in 38 games. His cap hit is the league minimum, but since he played 10 games, he hit his bonus worth $3.25 million that’ll count towards next season’s cap.
Elliotte Friedman mentioned on the latest 32 Thoughts podcast that the Oilers are on the hook for Brown’s salary next season no matter what, so at this point, you just have to hope he figures it out.
Either way, he’s quality depth to have in the bottom six.
Oilers look to remain patient due to The Winning Streak™:
On that aforementioned 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman mentioned that the Oilers “don’t want to hear about [trade stuff] because of how well things are going”. Friedmann also mentioned that it doesn’t make sense for the Oilers to change anything.
Marek went on to say that they’re a lot of other teams giving Ken Holland a lot of decision time. Friedman responded by saying that their schedule in January was easy, but it’ll be a lot more difficult in February, so they’ll “have a lot more time to see how it goes.”
I wouldn’t be expecting any moves from the Oilers until they either start losing or at the March 8 deadline.
St. Louis Blues looking to sell:
Sticking with the 32 Thoughts Podcast, Friedman mentioned that St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was floating players around, but teams weren’t biting.
Even though the Blue occupy the final Wild Card spot, there are a few players that could pique the Oilers’ interest. One of them is Kevin Hayes, who has 10 goals and 21 points in 48 games but plays centre and wing and would slot in nicely in the middle six. The Flyers retained 50% of his salary, so the Blues only have a cap hit of $3,571,429 for the next two and a half seasons.
Another player of note, and one who was listed on The Fourth Period’s Trade Watch List, is St. Albert native Colton Parayko. The 30-year-old right-shot defenceman has eight goals and 18 points in 48 games and carries a cap hit of $6.5 million until the end of the 2029-30 season, along with a full no-trade clause. You’d have to imagine that maybe he’d waive it to play for his hometown team, right?
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