What Could Be Next For The Oilers?

What Could Be Next For The Oilers?

Oilers

What Could Be Next For The Oilers?

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On Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oilers pulled the trigger on their first trade of the season. The club sent Jussi Jokinen to Los Angeles in exchange for Mike Cammalleri, who could possibly make his debut tonight for the club. As mentioned here yesterday, I’m a fan of the trade and think Peter Chiarelli did well in this low-risk swap of veterans.

While Cammalleri, in theory, adds a little more speed and more offensive pop to Edmonton’s winger situation, the club still has holes. Andrej Sekera should be back soon and that will help the defense, but Edmonton’s forward situation still needs work.

We heard about Jokinen’s potential availability a few weeks back and clearly there was fire behind that smoke. That wasn’t the only Oiler tidbit we had heard, however, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Chiarelli isn’t done yet.

What could be next for the Oilers?

Anton Slepyshev’s Return:

Trade or no trade, this will be happening soon. Slepyshev was placed on IR last Friday and could return to action at some point next week. When he does, he’ll without doubt return to the lineup and play right away. It may not be in a top-six role, Jesse Puljujarvi has taken that spot, but there are plenty of spots in the top-nine. I could see Slepyshev playing on the third line upon arrival back into the lineup.

When Slepyshev returns, it’ll be interesting who gets moved out or waived.

Waiving Pakarinen or Khaira?:

When Slepyshev returns, Edmonton will need to create a roster spot. They could send Puljujarvi back to Bakersfield, but he’s played well enough that he doesn’t deserve that plane ticket right now.

The next best bet would be Edmonton waiving either Iiro Pakarinen or Jujhar Khaira. Khaira wasn’t playing much at all, and prior to returning to the lineup over the weekend he wasn’t playing well when in the lineup. That’s changed the last two games, however, as Khaira has played physically and stepped up offensively.

Pakarinen, however, hasn’t looked good lately and I believe has been playing below NHL-level. If I had to waive one of these players, I think the easy choice at this point would be Pakarinen.

The most likely outcome? The club sends Brad Malone back down to Bakersfield when Slepyshev is ready to rock.

A Trade:

A few weeks ago, with the Oilers reeling, the trade rumors began to fly. In addition to Jokinen’s name, we heard Slepyshev, Matt Benning and Ryan Strome’s names tossed around by reputable sources in the mainstream media. With Jokinen now gone, where does the attention turn to?

My bet? Strome. If Edmonton’s offense continues to flounder they will have no choice but to find other options, especially on the wing. Rumor has it that Edmonton’s front office simply isn’t happy with the Eberle-for-Strome trade return, and Strome hasn’t exactly played well in Edmonton’s recent 3-1-1 stretch.

Could the next move for Chiarelli and company be to move Strome for a middle-six winger? I’m not sure what the value for Strome would be right now, especially after his start, but Edmonton was able to get something in exchange for Jokinen.

The problem? Things are really tight right now in the NHL standings. Only Arizona is out of things so the odds a team will be willing to sell are very low. If Edmonton were to make another trade, and I suspect they’d like to, it would have to be a lateral deal like the Jokinen-for-Cammalleri trade.

My bet? The next move for Edmonton will be to assign Brad Malone to the AHL and activate Anton Slepyshev from IR, who would strengthen the Oiler lineup.

If another trade were to come down the pipe? I suspect it would be in two or three weeks, especially if the Cammalleri deal doesn’t provide any kind of offensive spark.

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