The Edmonton Oilers had a fairly predictable trade deadline. We knew that GM Ken Holland wanted to upgrade the defence, there was talk that he might look at a depth forward, and we also knew that there just wasn’t a good fit on the goaltending market. All of that turned out to be true.
Holland gave up a second-round pick and a pair of throw-away assets in a deal for Brett Kulak and honestly, I like this move. Giving up a second-rounder may seem like a lot, but the Canadiens retained 50% of Kulak’s deal and took back William Lagesson in the trade which freed up a roster spot. The fact that the Habs were going to retain money meant that the Oilers would have to give up a little bit more than market value for the player. Kulak gives the Oilers a defensively responsible left-shot defenseman and I considered that their biggest need heading into the deadline. Mission accomplished.
The pick will also be the 2022 second-rounder unless the Oilers make it to the Stanley Cup Final and Duncan Keith plays top-four minutes in the first three rounds, then the Canadiens would get a 2023 second-rounder because the Oilers 2022 pick would go to the Hawks. I like that Holland didn’t commit to giving Montreal the 2023 pick right from the jump since that draft class is much better.
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The Brassard deal was a little puzzling to me. The Oilers are pretty deep down the middle. When they’re healthy, they have Devin Shore, Ryan McLeod, and even Brad Malone who could all play centre, and with the big three down the middle, they only need one of them there. They also have @Zack Kassian, @Warren Foegele, @Josh Archibald (half the time), and @Derek Ryan along with the three potential centremen as bottom six-wing options.
Brassard very well could be an upgrade on most of the players I listed off, but he doesn’t really kill penalties so it might be hard for him to get consistent minutes.
More depth is never a bad thing but I was surprised they gave up a fourth-round pick for a guy like Brassard considering how their depth chart currently looks.
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As for what didn’t happen, Elliotte Friedman says that the Oilers were in on Arturri Lehkonnen leading up to the deadline but they weren’t offering as much as the Avalanche were. The Canadiens ended up getting prospect Justin Barron, who went 25th overall in 2020, and a 2nd round pick in 2024. Maybe the Oilers’ offer was a 2nd round pick and a lesser prospect? 
Either way, it’s interesting to know that Holland did make an attempt to get one of the better forwards on the marker.
Bob Stauffer also said that the Oilers could have moved Warren Foegele but they didn’t. Unless there was an upgrade out there, I can understand why the Oilers wouldn’t move Foegele. I like the player but if there’s interest in him this summer, then it might make sense for the Oilers to move him, especially if it makes it easier for them to sign all three of @Kailer Yamamoto, @Jesse Puljujarvi, and @Evander Kane.
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The Kane storyline will be fascinating. If there was a way to bring him back for one more year, then I think the Oilers should be all over it. I don’t think they should be moving one of Puljujarvi or Yamamoto so that they can sign Kane to a multi-year deal though. Even though he’s red-hot right now, the Oilers should remember Kane’s history. Signing him to any sort of deal with term carries risk.
I assumed that the Oilers would find a taker for Josh Archibald and Holland apparently told the player and his agent that he would try to make a deal. He ultimately didn’t, saying that he didn’t want to add a sweetener. Makes sense I suppose.

THE EVGENI DADONOV SITUATION

What a mess this situation is. The Golden Knights thought they had moved forward Evgeni Dadonov along with a second-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Ryan Kesler’s contract and defenseman John Moore but Dadonov had a ten-team NTC that included the Ducks so now the deal is being voided.
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That means the Golden Knights won’t get the cap savings from the deal and won’t be able to activate key pieces like Alec Martinez or Mark Stone from LTIR when they’re healthy.
Frank Seravalli says that the Golden Knights still might be able to move Dadonov in the next few weeks but he won’t be eligible to play for the remainder of the season, which is unfortunate for Dadonov who didn’t do anything wrong in this situation. 
Seravalli specifically mentioned the Arizona Coyotes as a team who could take Dadonov but added that the Golden Knights are going to have to pay a premium to get a deal done. The Seattle Kraken have been mentioned as a team that could also be interested in bringing in Dadonov.

QUICK NOTES

  • I’m surprised at how the Winnipeg Jets handled the deadline. There are reports out there that they didn’t even take calls on Paul Stastny and not only did they hold onto other pieces like Brendan Dillon, but they added two depth forwards in Mason Appleton and Zach Sanford. They did alright in the Andrew Copp deal, but didn’t sell as much as I thought they would.
  • The Canucks didn’t sell off too much either, but it sounds like they’ll be very active in the summer.
  • Not only did the Islanders, who are well out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, not get a deal done, but they signed two veterans to extensions in Cal Clutterbuck and Zach Parise. Not a good deadline for Lou.
  • The extension for Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk (two years at $4 million per season) should make him much easier to trade this summer. It sounds like his trade request still stands despite the two-year deal.
  • Pat Brisson, the agent for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, will meet with Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson to discuss the future of the club and the direction Davidson plans on going with the team. If either of those two are available this summer, there will be plenty of interest. Kane would bring back a nice haul for the team and if they retained 50% of Toews’ cap hit, he would probably get them a nice return as well.
  • The Flames were apparently in on a lot of the rental defensemen on the market, just didn’t get anything done. I like the move they made to get @Ryan Carpenter though.

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