The Edmonton Oilers, after an impressive 2-1-0 road trip through Tampa, Florida and Carolina, return to Rogers Place tonight to battle the Boston Bruins. The business on the ice is obviously important, but the business off of it is getting quite a bit of attention as well.
We are now just five days from the NHL’s annual trade deadline. The Oilers are expected to be buyers, and have been looking at numerous pieces. In fact, the club pushed hard for New Jersey’s Blake Coleman before he was dealt to Tampa Bay.
Here is the latest regarding the Edmonton Oilers.
1st Round Pick In Play….Kind Of:
The Oilers, Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning were among the teams pushing hard for forward Blake Coleman on Sunday. Tampa Bay eventually acquired him for a 2020 first-round pick and Nolan Foote.
Edmonton’s interest was first reported by NHL Insider Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now on Sunday afternoon.
According to the source, as of 4:45 PM ET, the Bruins, Avalanche, Oilers and an unknown team were still very much involved in trade negotiations with Devils interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman followed up on that report Tuesday in his weekly ‘31 Thoughts‘ column. He, like Murphy on Sunday, reported Edmonton’s interest in Coleman. He also confirmed that the club was willing to deal their first-round pick this June for the forward.
2. Tampa outbid Boston for Coleman, but Edmonton made a real push. A couple of teams said they heard he was the guy the Oilers would give up a first-rounder for.
GM Ken Holland is not willing to deal the pick for a rental. That would explain his refusal to include the pick in talks for winger Taylor Hall in December. It is also why, according to sources and reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie on Tuesday night, he isn’t willing to move it for rentals Chris Kreider and JG Pageau.
Coleman was not a rental. The forward has another year remaining on his value contract at $1,800,000. He will be a free agent in July of 2021.
If the Oilers can get a player they like with term, the 2020 pick could be in play.
Friedman admitted as much on the FAN 650’s ‘The Program’ last week. “If they get somebody with term I think there’s a difference in what they’re willing to do.”
One name to keep an eye on, especially as the Montreal Canadiens continue to lose games? Tomas Tatar.
Adding A Forward Likely:
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet had this to say in a recent radio interview regarding the Edmonton Oilers.
“I think [Jesse] Puljujarvi and a second are probably [Holland’s] two biggest chips to play in terms of trying to bring in more forward depth so I wouldn’t be surprised if Puljujarvi did end up on the move by the deadline,” Johnston said, according to Sportsnet.
“There’s also been extensive talks with teams. The New York Rangers showed lots of interest in him through the summer and into the season. The Devils have asked about him. Tampa at one point. I think there’s enough history there that the Oilers will be pretty clear on who at least has some interest,” the insider continued.
“I think he still has some value, not the value of where he was selected obviously, but this is one of the real cards I think the Oilers could play.” The Oilers also have ample depth among their defensive prospects. In addition to Puljujarvi and their second-round pick, someone like Filip Berglund or Markus Niemelainen could be dangled.
Johnston is confident that Holland, in his first deadline at the helm, will make some sort of addition.
“And I do expect Edmonton to be active to at least bring in one more forward,” he added.
Among the players connected to the Oilers are Montreal’s Tomas Tatar and Ilya Kovalchuk (Eric Engels of Sportsnet), Ottawa’s JG Pageau and Tyler Ennis, New York’s Chris Kreider (although it is highly unlikely), San Jose’s Melker Karlsson and Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou.
The Oilers also showed interest in Coleman, Jason Zucker and Tyler Toffoli before they were dealt for packages deemed too rich for the club.