Rumour Roundup: What the Oilers need and want ahead of the trade deadline, scout sent to Red Wings and Leafs game, and more
1 month ago
The Oilers are a playoff team, and as a playoff team, they’re going to need to be buyers at the trade deadline.
With that information, you know the rumour mill is going to be HOT around these parts, and rumours will fly in left and right. It seems like the Oilers have already identified their needs and are scouting to find players to fill them. Let’s dig in.
What the Oilers need, per Frank Seravalli:
The Oilers have been a well-oiled machine since they got off to a 2-9-1 start, winning 21 of their last 27 games. Still, the need to get better is still necessary and the Oilers will need to do so before the March 8 trade deadline.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli was recently on the Kevin Karius Show and identified three needs with an additional want. They are a third-line centre, second-line right wing, and a goaltender to take pressure off Stuart Skinner, and are looking to add a defenceman.
There are a few different pathways for those needs to be filled, and one of them could involve striking a deal with the Montréal Canadiens. The rebuilding team has three goaltenders on the roster, and it appears that Jake Allen may be the odd man out. He has a cap hit of $3.85 million for the next two seasons. On top of that, former Flame Sean Monahan would be a great fit as Edmonton’s third-line centre, as he wins faceoffs and has 11 goals and 25 points in 43 games.
The trouble, of course, is how to make everything work financially, as the Oilers are pressed right up against the salary cap ceiling. Just about any move they make will require money going out.
There’s mutual interest between the Oilers and Corey Perry:
If the Oilers add a centre and a goaltender, it’ll be tough to find the wiggle room to add a winger. Maybe the move will be to sign veteran Corey Perry.
Earlier this season, Perry had his contract terminated from the lowly Chicago Blackhawks for reasons not yet revealed publically. However, he has been cleared to play by National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman, and teams are already interested.
One such team is the Oilers, as one would easily presume. Does he fill the second-line right-wing need? Probably not, as he’s 38 years old and is far removed from his 2010-11 season where he won the Hart Trophy and the Rocket Richard Trophy.
Still, adding Perry to a league-minimum deal would be useful, as he had four goals and nine points in just 16 games with the Hawks prior to his termination. It could be a situation similar to Evander Kane’s.
Oilers scouts were at the Detroit and Toronto game this past Sunday:
On Sunday, an Oilers scout was in attendance when the Leafs hosted the Detroit Red Wings. There are two reasons why this may be the case. Option A, which seems more likely, is because the Oilers host the Leafs on Tuesday and they are preparing to face them. Option B, which is less likely, is that they were scouting James Reimer, who was in goal for the Red Wings win against the overtime merchant Leafs.
Option B is a lot more exciting, well, not really, as it’s James Reimer. This season, the 35-year-old has an .893 save percentage and a 3.30 goals-against average in 13 games played. This is the second straight season with a save percentage below the .900 mark.
The Red Wings are currently in a playoff spot and actually have more points than the Oilers in four more games played. Still, it would make sense for the Wings to move Reimer closer to the deadline, as they were carrying three goaltenders on the roster for the majority of the season before Ville Husso suffered an injury.
It’s to be seen whether or not the Wings compete for a playoff spot this season. If they don’t, they have several unrestricted free agents who could be worth a look. They include former Oiler David Perron, Patrick Kane (no-trade clause), Daniel Sprong, and Shayne Gostisbehere.
Adding Sprong to the bottom six would drastically improve scoring for a bottom six that just doesn’t do that. Kane would fit the need of a “second line right wing”, but who knows if he’d move the no-trade clause.
Elvis Merzļikins has requested a trade from the Blue Jackets:
I mean, can you blame him?
The Columbus Blue Jackets are once again not a good hockey team, but the 29-year-old Latvian has played his ass off. This season, he has a .906 save percentage and a high 3.22 goals-against average, meaning the dude is getting peppered with shots.
For his career, Merzļikins has a .906 save percentage and a 3.15 goals-against average, so there’s definitely a good goaltender there, he just needs a defence in front of him that does their job.
The issue is his contract, as Merzļikins has a cap hit of $5,400,000 for the next three and a half seasons. He’s a good goaltender, so he’s worth it, but to make this work, the Oilers would probably have to send Jack Campbell to balance the salary, as well as a lot of prospects and picks.
There might be some better options out there for Edmonton.
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