Happy Monday and welcome to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help you start your week and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at the Oilers’ deadline strategy, Klim Kostin’s eventual extension, prospects, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
1) @betamanic asks – How much has this streak changed what the Oilers should do at the deadline and what they’re willing to give up?
Jason Gregor:
Not much for me. I still think they’d like to add a top-four D-man. I wouldn’t overpay for Edmundson or Chychrun or others who have been mentioned, but at the right price, I’d do it.
Robin Brownlee:
I’m not sure the streak changes the long view of what Ken Holland is seeking to do, but Klim Kostin, Vincent Desharnais and the return of Evander Kane have upped the edginess quotient that a lot of people thought he’d have to bring in for the time being. That’s significant. They take care of the grit the team was lacking. More than anything right now, the streak puts a damper on all the noise that comes when the team isn’t winning and the “sky is falling” camp gets all revved up. Streaks, good and bad, happen.
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Cam Lewis:
The winning streak and overall success the team has in the next month will make Ken Holland more comfortable moving the first-round pick for immediate help. I don’t think the need has changed, though, as the blueline is still what has to be improved in order for this team to do something in the playoffs.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
The streak is one thing, but it’s more about how certain players have been performing. If Holloway, Broberg, and Desharnais keep taking steps forward, then the Oilers’ plans could really start to change. Instead of needing a high-end defenseman, maybe they opt for a Dmitry Kulikov type and then spend more assets on bolstering their group of centres.
Liam Horrobin:
I don’t think it actually changes things that drastically. Ken Holland has been a patient general manager, and by all accounts, he has been waiting for his team to show up until he makes a decision on a trade. I think now, he is just able to stick to his initial plan as we edge closer to the deadline which seems to be a two-way forward and depth defenceman, whether that defenceman is a puck mover or stay-at-home guy we will have to wait and see.
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Baggedmilk:
I don’t think it changes Holland’s plans too much because the Oilers’ window is open and they need to do whatever it takes to keep pushing this train forward.
Nov 16, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save during warmup against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
2) @JustAnOilerFan asks – Why is Thompson an absolute Calder finalist lock whenever insiders talk, but very rarely is the guy with just as good or better numbers in Skinner not even mentioned?
Jason Gregor:
Likely because he is the main starter and had more wins and lower GAA, but don’t get caught up in mid-season votes. Also, look at who is writing it. If they aren’t a voter, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Robin Brownlee:
Who are you hearing this from? I’m seeing Thompson identified as one of the favorites, but Skinner isn’t far behind as somebody who has a shot. He’s not being ignored. I think any gap between them closes as the Oilers climb the standings. Don’t forget, Thompson has been carrying the load in goal for a Vegas team that has been ahead of the Oilers in the standings.
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Cam Lewis:
I’ve never seen Logan Thompson listed as a lock. It always seems to be a conversation about Matty Beniers and Owen Power from what I’ve seen.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I haven’t really heard a lot of that. It’s probably because Vegas was doing better earlier in the season but whenever I’ve heard the Calder conversation, I’ve heard both Skinner and Thompson mentioned.
Liam Horrobin:
I mentioned something similar to this on Oilersnation Radio on Friday. Stuart Skinner should 100% be in the same breathe as Logan Thompson at this point in the season. I think as the season progresses, we will see Skinner’s stock rise as the Oilers play stronger as a team.
Baggedmilk:
I would LOVE if Stuart Skinner was the first Edmonton Oiler to win the Calder Trophy, and with the way he’s playing right now, he’s going to force himself into the conversation regardless of what the talking heads say.
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Dec 30, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Edmonton Oilers forward Klim Kostin (21) punches Seattle Kraken forward Brandon Tanev (13) during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
3) @BenRix1 asks – If you could sign Klim Shady to a contract today, would you and what would the number be?
Jason Gregor:
Two years at $1.25m.
Robin Brownlee:
Three years at $1.25 AAV.
Cam Lewis:
He’s arbitration eligible and his heater would net him a decent raise for 2023-24 if it got to that. He has three more years left of team control so a two-year deal makes the most sense, at probably $1.25 million annually.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I would go two years at an AAV of $1.5m. It’s a nice upgrade from what he’s making now and based on his short track record at the NHL level, I don’t think he’d really get more in arbitration. He doesn’t have UFA rights and I think giving a guy like that a guaranteed $3 million over two seasons would be very fair for both sides.
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Liam Horrobin:
If I could sign Mr Klim today I’d offer him a three-year deal between $1.25 and $1.75 million. Somewhere in that ballpark should hit the sweet spot.
Baggedmilk:
Somewhere in the $1.25 – $1.5 million range for two or three would be the sweet spot for me. I mean, right now he’s on an absolute heater with his shooting percentage floating over 20% and that reminds me too much of when Kassian got extended. Can’t get hypnotized by the short-term results on this one.
4) Shane asks – If and when the Oilers make a trade, whom does the panel think are untouchable prospects, and whom can we trade and not lose a key piece? For example, I’ve heard Montreal is interested in Xavier Bourgault, and I cringe we’d lose him.
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Jason Gregor:
No one is untouchable. It all depends on who is coming to Edmonton in the deal. At some point, Edmonton will likely give up a key prospect for a player. They haven’t done it to date, but likely will. If I gave up a top prospect it would have to be for a player with term and not just a one-year rental.
Robin Brownlee:
Who is coming this way? That changes the definition of untouchable, no?
Cam Lewis:
The players who are helping the team right now are the only ones who should really be considered untouchable. Even then, I would use untouchable pretty loosely given you never know who’s going to be available. Moving Holloway or Broberg for a very good player who’s under control for multiple years could be a fine move.
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Tyler Yaremchuk:
Holloway and Broberg are definitely untouchable. Bourgeault and Schaefer are close but if there was a slam-dunk deal for a player with some term left, I’d do it. I think Holland should just be using his first-rounders though.
Liam Horrobin:
I have grown to love almost all our prospects if I had to be honest; however, realistically I think Broberg is the only untouchable at this time. With that said, it would have to take a big fish like Bo Horvat or Patrick Kane for me to want the Oilers to move Xavier Bourgault or Reid Schaefer. If they moved a key prospect for a Joel Edmundson for example then they would’ve lost that deal.
Baggedmilk:
According to DNB at The Athletic, Bourgault and Holloway are basically untouchable for the Oilers, which makes sense given that we’ll need cheaper players that can produce in the coming years.
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Nov 27, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Edmonton Oilers right wing Jesse Puljujarvi (13) celebrates with Edmonton Oilers left wing Warren Foegele (37) after scoring a second period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
5) Ryan asks – There seems to be a lot of talk about getting harder to play against but also more depth scoring. With the struggles of some of the wingers this year, is there a possibility of swapping an underachieving winger for say another underachieving winger who is also very tough to play against? Say a Tanner Jeannot from the predators who scored 20 plus goals last year but also hits a ton?
Jason Gregor:
Jeannot isn’t underachieving. His 24-goal season was highly unlikely to be achieved again. He is more of a 12-15 goal scorer, but the Preds aren’t trading him. They love what he brings, and he kills penalties, hits, and fights. He is more than just point totals. He would be a great add for Edmonton, but I don’t see the Preds moving him, especially because his next contract will now be lower than what he was asking for to start this season.
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Robin Brownlee:
The Oilers are harder to play against right now. I’m not sure they’re lacking physicality or grit up front with Evander Kane back in the line-up and Klim Kostin looking like a keeper.
Cam Lewis:
I would be looking for bottom-six players who can score and can score consistently. Players who push the play in the right direction are the ones who are most difficult to play against.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I think Jeannot is a bit of a pipe dream just because of what he did last season and how much the Predators seem to like him. I like Trent Frederic in Boston, but he’s having a solid season. I wouldn’t say a swap of struggling wingers works, but moving Puljujarvi or Foegele for a player who is better on the PK and can bring a little bit of offense to the bottom six isn’t a terrible idea by any means.
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Liam Horrobin:
It’s possible, sure but I think the Oilers would rather pay the cost for Max Domi, who is doing well with Chicago. I don’t think Holland is in the market for underachieving players right now, but maybe in the off-season, we could see a move like that. Maybe Klim Kostin can be our Tanner Jeannot?
Baggedmilk:
Anything is possible, but I can’t see this trade happening. He’s having a down year compared to last year’s heater for sure, but I’d be surprised if the Predators gave up on him this early. We’ll see.

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