Assessing The Oilers Six Days From The Deadline

K Holland

The Edmonton Oilers are currently 3-1-0 since Connor McDavid was injured against the Nashville Predators. They are also currently first place in the crowded Pacific Division. Things are looking up for an organization that has, quite frankly, been a mess for over a decade. The Oilers, finally, appear to be in a good position.

In six days, the NHL’s trade deadline will hit. Edmonton is expected to be, and quite frankly should be, a buyer. Some of Ken Holland’s targets are already off the board, however.

The club had interest in Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, New Jersey’s Blake Coleman and Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli. Zucker and Coleman went for high prices that the Oilers were not willing to match.

That is understandable. After all, the Oilers aren’t quite at the level of the Penguins and the Lightning, who are in the middle of their contending window. As for Toffoli, things are a little cloudier. The Oilers could have matched that price, but clearly elected not to. Why, we do not know. Perhaps something else is up their sleeve.

Holland Is Looking:

Ken Holland is certainly looking. Although he hasn’t made a trade since shipping Milan Lucic to Calgary for James Neal, Holland has had his sights set on a third line center and a top nine winger since he took the job last spring. The search continues as we barrel towards the deadline.

Edmonton’s recent play, sources believe, has only increased Holland’s appetite to make a trade. The Oilers know that the west is wide open.

The Oilers have expressed an interest in penalty killing forward Melker Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks, multiple sources have confirmed. Karlsson, who has playoff experience, is a strong two-way winger who doesn’t bring a ton of offense. He’d be a bottom six addition.

Mike Hoffman of the Florida Panthers is on the trading block and could be an excellent fit for the club. Hoffman is a legit top six forward and a first shot scorer. The Oilers need a winger for the McDavid line and Hoffman would represent a nice upgrade over James Neal at five-on-five.

Any deal for Hoffman would be more of a hockey trade. The Panthers had interest in Adam Larsson over the summer.

Speaking of Adam Larsson, the tough veteran has also garnered interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs dating back to last January. The Oilers, according to multiple sources, have been scouting the Leafs.

Ottawa’s JG Pageau remains of interest to the club, while Tyler Ennis could be a cheap wing option for the team. Ennis has rebounded nicely in Ottawa this season with 14 goals and 31 points in 59 games. It’s his highest offensive output since the 2014-15 season when he was with the Buffalo Sabres.

Could Holland go shopping in his old neighborhood? Detroit has speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou on the block and the Oilers make sense as a suitor. The winger combines speed with goal scoring ability and could be a fit on McDavid’s wing. There are some concerns with this player around the league, however.

The Oilers could also turn to Montreal. The club has expressed an interest in Tomas Tatar, who could be an ideal fit inside the top six. Montreal, still somewhat in the playoff race, could be hesitant to move pieces at this time, however.

This week promises to be fun. Stick to The Oilers Rig for all of the latest.

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