Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped a post-qualification edition of 31 thoughts Tuesday afternoon and had some interesting notes about what the future holds for the Edmonton Oilers.
To start, Friedman touched on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how a change may be coming sooner rather than later. He speculated that Toronto could explore potential Mitch Marner or William Nylander trades. Marner Friedman feels is less likely to go but adds who knows what can happen.
He also touched on goalie Freddie Andersen as someone who could be had given uncertain goalie situations in Chicago, Edmonton, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Washinton, among others.
Here’s where Edmonton comes into the fold with a potential Toronto trade:
“Looking at those Toronto wingers, I wondered if Edmonton is a fit. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid need help. The Maple Leafs and Oilers have been close on some things before. Connor Brown, before he went to Ottawa. Matt Benning and Jujhar Khaira, although that one fell apart when the forward got hurt. But Oilers GM Ken Holland is determined to avoid previous mistakes and not give up on young players too soon. So I’m not sure it works.”
There’s going to be lots of interesting chatter in the coming weeks and months.
Friedman said that he feels it’s unlikely the Oilers qualify RFA Andreas Athansiou.
I do think it is unlikely Edmonton qualifies Andreas Athanasiou, because the tighter cap and his arbitration possibilities make it difficult.
This would mean he would be eligible to leave the team as a UFA come free agency. However, this doesn’t mean he would leave Edmonton. With a flat cap next year and Athanasiou due a $3-million qualifying offer, it might make things tight for the Oilers with more than enough moves remaining to make.
Edmonton could theoretically sign Athanasiou to a contract at less value.
As our Jason Gregor wrote earlier about Athanasiou, he will have to accept a lower contract or the Oilers walk away.
There’s been lots of chatter that the chance Jesse Puljujarvi signs in Edmonton is getting higher and higher. Freidman has since dampened those expectations.
On Jesse Puljujarvi, it sounds like the Oilers thought a signing was close, the player not so much. We will see where this goes. A trade is still possible.
This is slightly disappointing as he could be an impact player in the Oilers bottom-six for cheap for the next year or two. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months with this too.
On Twitter: @zjlaing