We are just days away from the NHL’s annual entry draft. With that will come speculation, discussion and eventually transactions. We came into June with the thought that the Oilers would just tinker with the edges of their roster, that this summer would not include a major move.
That may still be the case, but all the smoke is telling us there is a big fire out there involving this team somewhere.
On this Monday, we’ll get you caught up on everything from the weekend, looking at some rumors and speculation involving the Edmonton Oilers.
On Erik Karlsson:
Jim Matheson touched on the Karlsson speculation last night, mentioning that the club would love to get their hands on the NHL’s best defender. Matheson mentions that the package could include Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom, combined with the 10th overall pick and another asset.
Interestingly enough, Matheson mentioned that Edmonton wouldn’t be willing to include Kailer Yamamoto, last year’s first round draft choice.
Personally, I’m willing to move any asset not named McDavid in a deal for Karlsson. If you can get him without moving Leon Draisaitl as well? Even better. The Oilers don’t have any depth on the wings and are struggling to develop players to fill those roles. Yamamoto is an excellent bet to fill one of those spots, but he’s absolutely worth trading if you can get someone like Karlsson in return.
I can’t see Edmonton pulling the trigger on a deal for Karlsson because of the cap. Edmonton is already in a cap crunch and probably wouldn’t be able to accommodate Karlsson’s salary demands without some major surgery being done to the roster. I don’t think there is an appetite from Edmonton’s side to do that.
Edmonton’s interest in Karlsson is a no-brainer, but as Matheson says it is a long-shot that a deal between the sides will be completed. Certainly is fun to imagine what McDavid/Karlsson could do together.
On Ty Smith:
Interesting note from club insider Bob Stauffer this morning, who had this to say about the tenth overall pick.
Projected top 9 for NHL Draft:— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) June 18, 2018
Leaving EDM one of Smith, Hayton,Kravtsov or Boqvist at #10.
I believe they take Hayton or Smith
This isn’t the first time Stauffer has mentioned Smith by name, and in theory he absolutely fits what the Oilers are looking for. Smith is a strong puck moving D who produces points and has had a lot of success running the powerplay for WHL Spokane. The Oilers have doubtless seen him good too, as he was a teammate of Kailer Yamamoto’s.
There is a lot of smoke surrounding this player, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the left-shot rearguard was the selection Friday night.
Interestingly, I haven’t seen many places peg Smith as a top-ten pick, and I wonder if perhaps there is an opportunity here for the Oilers to trade down a few spots, still get their guy and add another asset or two.
On The Habs:
This from NHL insider Jimmy Murphy, based out of Boston.
Hearing #Oilers and #GoHabsGo have possibly reignited trade talks they had before and at deadline. Have heard numerous names but nothing that concrete yet. One thing is clear: Marc Bergevin is not done. First domino fell, now what's the next?— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) June 16, 2018
On the face of it, Edmonton and Montreal aren’t a great match in terms of a trade. That said, there are certainly options for these two teams, including Milan Lucic. The Habs were rumored to not be interested in Lucic as recently as last week, but he absolutely fits what that team is trying to do and they have the cap space to acquire him.
There has also been talk about Cam Talbot moving on in a trade, which doesn’t make sense unless the Oilers are acquiring a legit starter to replace him. Could Carey Price be that guy? Unlikely, but interesting to speculate about.
From everyone’s favorite rumor account.
Oilers did talk to Kovalchuk who didn’t close the door on Edmonton....APG— Tracy Lane (@TreenasOil) June 18, 2018
Elliotte Friedman mentioned that Edmonton was interested in Kovalchuk a few months back but that it wasn’t going to happen. I’d be surprised, unless the Lucic news has changed things, if this happens.
That said, I’d love to see Kovalchuk in Edmonton, I think he would be a great fit.
On Milan Lucic:
I wrote last week that Lucic is a strong candidate to bounce back next season and I do wonder if we actually see a trade in the coming weeks. The Panthers, Stars, Habs and Kings make a lot of sense, while I’ve heard the Bruins are interested in Lucic and Lucic is interested in returning to Boston.
That said, I thought it was interesting that NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun pointed out that Peter Chiarelli is looking for a hockey trade if he deals Lucic. After bleeding talent off the wings in the last two summers, Chiarelli has to make a hockey trade here, I don’t think he can afford to simply dump the player at this point.
On Talbot And RNH:
From The Fourth Period on Friday night, the Oilers are reportedly taking calls on Cam Talbot. Carolina was mentioned by name, and a rather big trade was speculated by the publication.
It’s speculated the Carolina Hurricanes have been in talks with Edmonton about Nugent-Hopkins and Talbot, with defenceman Justin Faulk and winger Jeff Skinner believed to be discussed.
I personally cannot see it happening. Nugent-Hopkins has formed a dynamic duo with McDavid, and I think is a better player than Skinner, a UFA one year from now.
Talbot has exceptionally more value than Justin Faulk, and I can’t see Chiarelli moving his starting goaltender. On every Chiarelli team since his first year in 2006-07, he’s had a strong goaltender. Trading Talbot would reverse that trend in a season that very likely is going to determine his job status. It’s far too risky and makes no sense unless the team is acquiring another high-level starter.