Expectations for the Edmonton Oilers are low as the club sits six days away from the annual trade deadline. The Oilers are into LTIR and have limited salary cap flexibility. They don’t own their second or third round draft picks in this summer’s Entry Draft, and they aren’t willing to move notable prospects like Dylan Holloway, Philip Broberg and Evan Bouchard.
The Oilers, unlike a season ago, are very limited in what they can do at the trade deadline. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to add, and doesn’t mean they won’t make a move. It could be hard to complete a trade, especially with the seven day mandatory quarantine that players must deal with when coming from the United States. GM Ken Holland is trying, however, with an eye towards improving his forward group.
According to sources, Holland has been looking for a top-six left winger dating back to the off-season. That search isn’t over. As we have been saying here for a few weeks now, the team has sniffed around and continues to monitor the situation with former Oiler Taylor Hall. The Oilers have also checked in on Anaheim Ducks sniper Rickard Rakell, who is a more longer-term option than Hall.
The Sabres were reportedly asking for a first round pick for Hall as recently as a week ago. The Oilers are not paying that price. However, it is believed the Sabres will have to settle for less, and that should put Edmonton back in the race. The Oilers will need the Sabres to eat 50% of Hall’s contract, and would likely need to send back a contract like Alex Chiasson, James Neal or Zack Kassian. Chiasson feels like the only realistic option on that front.
He’s also a pending UFA, and could be flipped by the Sabres for more assets. The Boston Bruins had interest in Chiasson in the fall.
The Fourth Period has also linked the Oilers to Vancouver Canucks LW Tanner Pearson, who would be a rental for the group. Pearson is a Stanley Cup Champion and has scored eleven points (6 g, 5 a) in 33 games this season. The Canucks are currently shutdown with COVID-19 and it is uncertain when they will get up and running again. There is virtually no chance that Pearson plays again prior to the deadline.
The publication has also linked the Oilers to Nashville Predators forward Mikael Granlund, a pending UFA capable of playing both center and right wing. The Predators, however, have been hot lately and are firmly in the race for the final playoff spot in the Central Division. It appears unlikely they will sell off assets in the way many thought a month ago.
Multiple sources, and TFP, have also connected the Oilers to New Jersey Devils sniper Kyle Palmieri. Don’t expect that to lead to anything, however. The New York Islanders and the Bruins are the leaders in the clubhouse for the forward. Both teams are reportedly willing to move their first round pick in this summer’s draft, which the Oilers are not.
“Don’t forget about Edmonton, another team trying to find a top-six winger. The Oilers don’t have nearly the amount of cap space the Sharks have, but they have flexibility with LTIR and a lessened quarantine (14 days to 7 days) in Canada has allowed GM Ken Holland to be a little bit more active.”
In addition to a top-six winger, the Oilers are in the market for a depth center who can play on the penalty kill and win faceoffs. Multiple sources have confirmed the club’s interest in Detroit’s Luke Glendening, which has been reported by various media outlets. The club has also sniffed around Calgary’s Derek Ryan, but a trade is unlikely there due to the cap hit on Ryan’s contract.
If Edmonton were to acquire Ryan, they would need the Flames to eat a portion of his salary and likely take on the expiring contract of Chiasson.
While the club ideally adds a right-shot center, there is a left-shot option that could make some sense for the role they are trying to fill. Former Oiler Riley Sheahan, who played the role last season, is likely to be shipped out by the Buffalo Sabres in the coming days.
He is on an expiring contract with a cap hit of $700,000. That is an easy contract to fit for Edmonton. The club could simply send Devin Shore to the taxi squad to make room for Sheahan if he were their choice.