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What do we know about the Edmonton Oilers deadline plans?

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Tyler Yaremchuk
8 months ago
We are just three days away from the NHL’s Trade Deadline! Moves are happening already though, as they often do, and some big names are already being crossed off the board. Tomas Hertl is staying put in San Jose, Ben Chariot is in Florida, and the Calgary Flames just keep on loading up.
From an Oilers perspective, it’s frustrating to watch the Calgary Flames continue to give up future assets to bolster their roster. The Oilers entered the year with hopes of being Stanley Cup contenders and the Flames looked like a borderline playoff team. Now, they’ve totally flipped and it’s the Oilers who are just trying to get in while the Flames are being talked about as one of the most complete teams in the NHL.
So while Calgary tosses out high draft picks to round out their forward group, the Oilers are sitting around trying to decide whether or not they should spend assets on a second-pairing defenseman or someone who belongs on the third pair. Riveting stuff.
Listen, maybe Ken Holland will surprise us, kind of like he did back at the 2020 deadline when he brought in Andreas Athanasiou, Mike Green, and Tyler Ennis. That could happen, but I’m not holding my breath and I don’t get the sense that much of the fan base is either.
It sounds like the Oilers have made the decision that they won’t be getting involved in the goaltending market, which does make some sense.
Earlier in the season, the obvious candidate to clear cap space in order to bring in another goalie was Mikko Koskinen but now there’s no way you’re moving him. It’s also unlikely that they’ll be able to get Mike Smith off the roster. So, with those two sticking around and Stuart Skinner in the minors, does it make sense to bring in a goalie if it’s not a slam dunk upgrade?
On the DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli said that the cost for @Alexandar Georgiev is falling to somewhere closer to a mid-round pick. That certainly made me think about the chances of the Oilers acquiring him but there are a few things that would scare me away if I was the Oilers. 
First, his play on the ice has been inconsistent. He’ll have stretches where he looks like a goalie that could be a 1A option for a long time but then he’ll go on a ten-game run where he barely looks like a capable backup. Frank also said that there are concerns about him off the ice and he used the word selfish when talking about how the Rangers feel about him.
That would concern me. I’ve heard from people that there is a lot of talk about Georgiev not being a great teammate. That’s something to consider when you’re looking at a player who you’re hoping could be a long-term solution.
I also don’t really expect the Oilers to be that involved in the forward market. I think they could look to add a fourth-liner with some grit, especially if they find a taker for @Josh Archibald, but it will be a small move. The Dominik Kukablik rumours really don’t make much sense to me unless Chicago was preparing to really sell low on him. If Chicago was willing to take a mid-round pick and take back a contract like Kassian or Barrie, then maybe the Oilers would be more open to it, but I don’t see that happening. I think this is just a rumour. 
I like Ryan Carpenter out of Chicago as well. If the Oilers wanted a solid defensive centreman, then Carpenter would be a good fit. That would allow them to keep both @Derek Ryan and @Ryan McLeod on the wings and still run the three big centres on different lines. Still, a significant forward addition sounds unlikely.
A lot of fans have talked about Nic Deslauriers from Anaheim, who is one of the few tough guys left in the game. He has just five goals in 60 games this year and carries a $1m cap hit. He will likely get traded, he would be a decent fit for the Oilers I suppose. 
I saw some chatter about Arturri Lehkonnen as well, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Oilers have enough depth on the wing and Lehkonnen will cost a lot. There was talk earlier in the season that the Habs want a first-round pick in the deal.
The Oilers should add a defenseman before 1 pm on March 21st though. I fully expect that to happen. It’s not going to be Jakob Chychrun or Hampus Lindholm, they won’t aim that high.
The names I like include Carson Soucy, Justin Braun, Nick Leddy, and Calvin De Haan. Of those players, the only player that is under contract for another season is Soucy and we know Holland would prefer a player with team control although, with the number of young defensemen in their system, I would say a pending UFA would be a better fit.
If they wanted to check down and shop for a bargain, then guys like Brett Kulak, Robert Hagg, Michael Del Zotto or Mark Pysyk could be of interest. None of them should cost more than a mid-round pick.
One name that I like is Vlad Gavrikov out in Columbus. He’s a LHD who has one more year on a contract that carries a $2.8 million cap hit. He’s a solid defence-first player and he’s only 26-years-old. He could be a decent fit if the price isn’t too high.
On The DFO Rundown this week, Jason Gregor asked Frank Seravalli if maybe Ken Holland should do more than some people expect considering how good the Oilers have looked at points this season. Seravalli said maybe and that the team could use a shutdown-style left-handed defenseman.  Gregor brought up Carson Soucy.
Seravalli said that he doesn’t think that they’re moving their first-round pick or any of their top prospects.
So if the second-round pick in one of the next two drafts are on the table, then maybe one of the high-end defensemen are on the table. If they don’t want to move a piece that significant, then it will be a trade that looks more like the Dmitry Kulikov deal they made at last year’s deadline.
Frank wondered if Nick Leddy makes sense and added that the asking price is a second-round pick. Gregor called him an ideal fit for the Oilers.
For Oilers fans, it’s beyond frustrating to watch their provincial rivals continue to load up while the Oilers keep throwing around the same excuses that the fan base has heard every year. The Oilers should be in a position to load up, but it doesn’t appear as though that is going to happen.

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