Deadline Business

There’s a chance the Edmonton Oilers do some summer work at the deadline. If Patrick Maroon or Mark Letestu are traded, and things are trending that way, draft picks may not be the return. A younger player, in his entry-level or second contract, might be the preferred route for the hockey team.

Maroon’s offensive numbers are down from a year ago, but the hammer for Edmonton is his contract. There are several left-wingers who are mentioned as possible trade pieces entering the deadline period, but Evander Kane ($5.25 million), Mike Hoffman ($5.19 million) and Max Pacioretty ($4.5 million) are all substantial contracts and will take up much of a contending team’s available cap. Only Maroon ($1.5 million) and Vancouver Canucks winger Thomas Vanek ($2 million) can deliver offense and give those teams a chance to add in other areas.

Maroon’s offensive numbers, combined with his size and rugged style, mean he can play up and down the lineup as required. Although he hasn’t delivered like he did last season (27 goals), his 13 goals in 48 games all came at even strength, meaning he can score in the most difficult game state.

Edmonton’s needs are many and that’s important when contemplating Maroon’s destination at the deadline.

Oilers needs

  • A replacement for Maroon

  • A scoring right-winger for Connor McDavid’s line (Leon Draisaitl may be the answer)

  • A right-handed defenseman

If the Oilers can gather any of those things for Maroon or Letestu (with assets thrown in), then the build towards summer and fall will begin. Possible solutions include defenseman Jordan Schmaltz of the St. Louis Blues and Peter Cehlarik of the Boston Bruins.

According to a few NHL betting sites, there are several teams who would have interest in Maroon and in Letestu. Edmonton might be able to get a head start of the offseason plan, and audition the new hires, with some astute deadline moves.

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