Rumour Roundup: The cost of adding a goaltender, what the Oilers are willing to trade, and more
3 months ago
The secret is out: Edmonton needs a goaltender.
Every team in the league knows it, and, as a result, it’ll cost an arm, a leg, and a few prospects to get it done. It’ll also cost the Oilers a bunch to dump Jack Campbell’s contract, which is likely what’ll be necessary to add another goaltender.
Fun times! Let’s dive into some rumours and cry together.
The Oilers could be looking internally for a spark:
Chris Johnston reported on Insider Trading that the Oilers have been looking externally for a trade, but cautioned against jumping to conclusions that the Oilers will make a trade for a goaltender. He notes that they’d have to find a team as desperate as Edmonton, or the Oilers will have to lose a trade, and that’s something they’d obviously like to avoid.
Johnston also said in this interview that coming off a 30-save shutout on Wednesday, Campbell could be the option for the Oilers to call up to get a spark.
That doesn’t seem ideal, so let’s look at some external options.
Montreal wants Xavier Bourgault for Sam Montembeault:
I’m not sure this move would make Edmonton better. Not only would they be giving up a potential forward prospect with a lot of skill, but Montembeault is far from a guaranteed solution. This isn’t the Dwayne Roloson of 2023-24.
The 27-year-old is having the best year of his career with the Habs this far, as he’s posted a .908 save percentage and a 2.81 goals-against average in nine games played. His previous best season was in 2022-23 when he had a .901 save percentage and a 3.42 goals-against average in 40 games played.
For his career, Montembeault has an .897 save percentage and a 3.43 goals-against average in 112 games played. Most of that time, he’s been the backup goaltender to Jake Allen, but has emerged as the top goalie for the Canadians since Carey Price went on the shelf with a career-ending injury.
Montembeault has a cap hit of $1 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent when the 2023-24 season wraps up.
It gets even worse when Jack Campbell’s contract is involved:
I’m not sure how credible this one is, but according to NewWorldOilers on Twitter, Montreal would want Bourgault, Philip Broberg, and Olivier Rodrigue to take Jack Campbell’s contract. In return, the Oilers would receive Sean Monahan and Montembeault.
So let’s pretend this is true: The Oilers would give up three of their best prospects just to move Campbell’s contract. Now, when you combine Monahan and Montembeault’s contract, the Oilers would save a shade over $2 million in cap space for this season alone, and an additional $5 million for the remaining seasons. However, it’s a very steep price to pay for a backup goaltender and a centre man (which you have a surplus of).
I don’t think this is likely at all.
Ken Holland looking for a fix:
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug wrote a Twitter thread on Thursday giving his thoughts on the Oilers situation. He believes that all players outside the first-round pick, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl, are available for a trade.
Rishaug goes on to note that Edmonton is desperate and teams know that. So unless they make an incredibly lopsided trade to another team, the move to fix the Oilers may not be external. Rishaug also notes that Holland cannot just stand and do nothing. He also mentioned former Oiler Patrick Maroon as someone who has toughness and cup pedigree, and a reunion would be pretty fun.
To wrap the thread up, Rishaug mentioned the same thing Chris Johnston did — which is that Campbell is more than likely going to get another look with the Oilers.
With all that being said…
While on the surface level, goaltending has been the most significant issue, Edmonton’s problems run much deeper than that. Their team defence has been lacklustre, and when you add the fact that Draisaitl and McDavid haven’t performed like they have in previous years, the Oilers are destined for a lottery pick in a “cup or bust” season.
The Oilers need to move fast, as they’re already 10 points behind the pack with many teams to jump.
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