A year ago around this time, the TSN trade board had two Oilers as possible exit options (Cam Talbot No. 8, Jesse Puljujarvi No. 34) along with three completed deals (the trifecta: trading Chris Wideman, acquiring Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic). Vancouver’s Sam Gagner was on the list at No. 44, he would eventually find his way back to Edmonton.
This year’s list is just 20 deep, but there’s more interest among Oilers fans than a year ago. Why? Edmonton could be buyers. Hallelujah! Amen.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here.
- New Lowetide: ‘Connor McDavid: Whatever It Takes’ works as breaking news, drama and personality profile
- New Lowetide: Oilers prospects Evan Bouchard and Tyler Benson deliver best minor league performances in 20 years
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hey, Sparky, can you do that?’: How the Oilers’ AHL video coach got his start as the Islanders’ mascot.
- Eric Duhatschek: ‘He’s special’: The people who know him best tell the story of how Leon Draisaitl took the NHL by storm
- Pierre Lebrun: Where all 31 teams stand one month before the trade deadline
- Lowetide: What do Connor McDavid’s best lines tell us about his optimal linemates?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: I was an AHL coach for a day: Here’s what I learned
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Oilers player poll: From the serious to the silly, the players weigh in on best dressed, most superstitious and more
- Thomas Drance: Inside how ‘Okanagan boy’ Ken Holland helped bring back the Penticton Young Stars tournament
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers minor-league defenceman Brandon Manning suspended five games for racial slur
- Jonathan Willis: An updated list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto gives Oilers a midseason spark, one of the best in team history
- Lowetide: With the Oilers’ minor-league goaltending not good enough, Ilya Konovalov might be the answer
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Josh Archibald, Riley Sheahan show the upward trend of Ken Holland’s offseason moves for the Oilers
- Lowetide: Post-Christmas performance spike has Evan Bouchard pushing for an NHL job with the Oilers
- Lowetide: Central Scouting’s midseason list offers Oilers some strong draft options
- Jonathan Willis: The Oilers’ road forward — and perhaps to a Stanley Cup — requires trusting the kids on defence
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Deciding what to do with Darnell Nurse, Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s targets for his first trade deadline with the Oilers.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s trade deadline options for the Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
- Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019
KEITH GRETZKY’S DEADLINE LIST LAST YEAR
I suggested at the deadline last year the interim general manager Keith Gretzky should try to offload as many veterans as possible. That list included Cam Talbot, Alex Petrovic, Brandon Manning, Matt Benning, Alex Chiasson, Ryan Spooner and Tobias Rieder. Gretzky did in fact deal Talbot and Spooner, with Petrovic and Rieder leaving over the summer.
I also suggested Gretzky acquire a scoring forward with term, and he grabbed Sam Gagner. My idea was to aim higher but teams aren’t selling players they need at the deadline.
I further suggested Gretzky find a righty defenceman (with term) who could play between Larsson on the top pair and Benning, Bear, Bouchard or Persson on the third pair. The answer was Bear.
Finally, I recommended a backup goalie who could push Koskinen. He was playing for Calgary at the time, and Mike Smith has had two solid runs this season for Edmonton.
OILERS CURRENT 50-MAN
KEN HOLLAND’S DEADLINE LIST
It looks like the Oilers will arrive at the deadline as a buyer. The TSN list has several quality options that would be ideal for Edmonton. I think the Oilers would do well to pursue a player under control. That would include Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou, or Columbus RW Josh Anderson. The price point on either man would be dear, not sure there’s a match there for Holland.
The top end of the rental (UFA) side will also be dear. The idea of having Chris Kreider on McDavid’s wing is a dream, but it’s going to cost the moon. I think Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tyler Toffoli will also come in at prices the club will consider too expensive.
At the lower end of the Chiarelli list there are names like Ryan Donato (has a year left) and Craig Smith that might offer Holland an upgrade for the current roster while also working on a budget. I’ll throw NJD Miles Wood in here too, although he’s not on the TSN list, and Jason Zucker because he may be on the TSN list again if the Wild slide down the standings in the West.
REMNANTS AND ROLL ENDS
Jesse Puljujarvi is having a solid year and would have value, I always thought he would fit with the Rangers, Hurricanes or Blues. We’ll see and it’s probably a summer trade.
William Lagesson has to be traded before fall and waivers at the start of the 2020 season. It’s him or Caleb Jones and Jones has the contract. I think the deadline might be the place to make the trade, although Holland moves by sundial.
Jujhar Khaira gets mentioned as a player who could be heading out of Edmonton, but his poor play over the last while (month?) have him outside the lineup. If value is going to be built between now and the deadline, Khaira will need to play and play well. He is a strong PKer.
I will guess that Holland has decided to offer his second-round pick at the deadline, in hopes he can give the team a push into the playoffs. He might be able to get it back on the draft floor (Puljujarvi) this summer.
Stuart Skinner is making all the stops in January and the Condors are back in the playoff race after winning three in a row. Noticeable are Stuart Skinner, Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson, Matt Benning and Dmitri Samorukov. Adding Benning has given the team’s defense real structure, there’s a lesson there.
Up front, Josh Currie has been scoring at an impressive clip, Tyler Benson went 1-2-3 on the weekend and Markus Granlund is a top flight player at this level. Will we see a recall in the coming days?