The busiest two weeks of the NHL season are upon us and at this point, I don’t think many of us have any idea what to expect from Ken Holland.
There’s no denying the fact Holland has a lot of work to do if the Oilers are going to make the playoffs next year, but I’m not sure we should expect anything significant to be accomplished in the next couple of days.
Here are a few things worth discussing over the next 48 hours.
THE BROBERG HYPE
Rishaug, Stauffer, Michaels, Button and Cosentino have all linked the Oilers to Swedish defenseman Philip Broberg in the past week. It’s interesting because the highest I’ve seen him ranked is ninth by both The Athletic and McKeen’s Hockey while Elite Prospects has him ranked 29th.
I found this tweet from well-connected prospect man Guy Flaming to be interesting.
I recently told a scout about the growing buzz in Edmonton around Broberg at eighth overall.
“That would be the most Oilers pick ever”
He didn’t mean it as a compliment.
I will be shocked if Oilers select Broberg. Many stories get legs during draft week, but after discussions with scouts and other sources I’m led to believe this one will not come to fruition. #NHLDraft
Are the Oilers leaking their love of Broberg to all these insiders? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems too obvious to be true at this point.
BROBERG OVER CAUFIELD
I asked one NHL scout on Wednesday afternoon about Broberg and Caufield, and he did say if it was his call he’d take Broberg ahead of the pint-sized American, take that for what it’s worth.
THE PRICE FOR JP
Ken Holland doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to move Puljujarvi but if the asking price ends up being a bottom six forward I’m sure a deal will get done sooner rather than later.
If I was running an NHL team with an abundance of third line calibre players I’d be willing to flip one of them to take a chance on Puljujarvi.
BENNING FOR BROWN
I see a few folks bringing up the fact that the Oilers and Leafs may still a fit to flip Matt Benning for Connor Brown. I do think Brown would be a reasonable pick up for the Oilers but we need to remember any Brown for Benning discussions would have occurred before Holland took over.
I don’t know if trade talks would have to start from scratch but it will be Holland having the final say as opposed to Keith Gretzky prior to the deadline.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug tweeted on Wednesday morning that Brett Connolly would likely be a target for the Oilers. I like Connolly and I do think he would be a nice fit in the Oilers top six but I’m starting to wonder if his price tag will push the Oilers out of the conversation.
Can a cap-strapped team like the Oilers afford to give him $4,500,000 per year? You may think that number is a little high but GM’s seem to get a little carried away at this time of year. Cough, cough, Kevin Hayes, cough, cough.
If Ken Holland can clear up some cap space this weekend I’m sure the city of Edmonton would host a parade down 104th ave when he returns to town on Sunday.
The easiest way to move some significant salary would probably be a Kris Russell trade. I was told earlier this week that if the Oilers really want to move Russell there would be a moderate amount of interest in him. There is a lot of talk and wishful thinking about Lucic leaving town, but moving Russell would be a much more reasonable solution to the team’s current cap situation. I keep coming back to something built around Russell going to Florida with Pysyk and Reimer coming the other way.
I think Donskoi would be a nice pick up for the Oilers and apparently, I’m not the only one. I asked an agent about Donskoi on Wednesday morning and he described him as one of the best bang for your buck bargains available in free agency this year. Donskoi won’t cost the Oilers and arm and a leg but there will be a lot of interest in him elsewhere.
I saw a lot of reaction to McDavid wearing a skate lace as a belt at the NHL Awards. I love it and plan on doing the same as soon as I get back to Edmonton. If the Oilers make the playoffs next spring you won’t be able to find a skate lace for sale anywhere in the city.
TRIPLE THREAT LEON
How about Leon Draisaitl getting end of the year all-star votes for all three forward positions? L50N received ten voting points for his play at centre, four points on right-wing and 315 points on left-wing. Yet I still can’t get a vote.
ONE TO WATCH
I wonder if Andre Burakovsky’s name pops up over the next 48 hours. He’s an RFA and while the Capitals likely have room to keep him, he’s now 24-years old hasn’t really found his stride offensively. He spent a year in junior with McDavid and I still believe he has some decent offensive upside. If his name appears on the radar the Oilers should definitely make a call.
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Previously by Dustin Nielson: