The Oilers have reportedly decided against trading for a goaltender
By Cam Lewis8 months ago
Don’t get your hopes up when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers adding a new goaltender ahead of next Monday’s NHL trade deadline.
According to Elliotte Friedman in his most recent 32 Thoughts column, general manager Ken Holland has taken a look at the market for goaltenders but has decided against pulling the trigger on a trade…
7. Finally, on goaltending: Erik Källgren — Swedish for “saviour”? — brought Toronto stability on Tuesday night against Dallas. Edmonton and Minnesota have looked at the goalie market and decided against it, feeling the acquisition cost is too high for the potential solution. There are also teams that feel plugging in a goalie this late in the season is too risky. In Edmonton’s case, GM Ken Holland felt it didn’t make sense as the Oilers slipped toward the playoff cutline. You’re not, he said, going to trade your best picks or prospects if not good enough to contend for the Stanley Cup. I wondered if Toronto would feel the same way as Boston closed in, but the Maple Leafs are far from conceding, even though some private models are less kind to their overall defensive play than public ones. The win over Dallas tied them for fifth in the NHL with a .675 points percentage, and they believe that is a true representation of who they are. They also have a potential option Edmonton didn’t — Marc-Andre Fleury. If the Maple Leafs go down that road, it’ll come down to whether or not Fleury thinks he can win there. A number of you tweeted at me about the possibility of John Gibson … I don’t think so.
We’ve already heard this sentiment from Holland over the past few months.
Back in January, the word was that Holland wouldn’t trade the team’s first-round pick unless they were higher in the standings, and the Oilers are still floating around on the bubble in the Western Conference. Holland also said earlier this month in an interview with The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman that he’s comfortable with the team’s current veteran duo of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner as an insurance option.
So, unless Holland’s been playing coy with the media, we shouldn’t expect him to make a trade that involves the team’s first-round pick or an upgrade in net. More than likely, this year’s deadline will feature veteran depth additions similar to ones we’ve seen in the past from Holland, such as moving a mid-round draft pick for Dmitri Kulikov or Tyler Ennis.
As frustrating as this might be, the goaltending market isn’t ideal for a buying team right now. Marc-Andre Fleury is the best option, but he carries a heavy cap hit and can essentially decide where he goes. Other names such as Joonas Korpisalo who are on the market might not even be an upgrade over what Edmonton currently has. Also, the Florida Panthers giving up a first-round pick and a prospect to acquire defender Ben Chiarot indicates just how high the cost of marquee additions are going to be this year.
Smith will start for the Oilers on Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres. It’ll be his first outing since March 5 as Koskinen has started the team’s last three games. Smith’s last win came on February 17 against the Anaheim Ducks. Since then, he’s dropped four starts in a row and has allowed 14 goals on 86 shots.
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