The Edmonton Oilers have been mediocre at best this year, and are currently a borderline playoff team in the West. With Connor McDavid in his fourth NHL season (making $12.5M), things are getting desperate in Edmonton.
It is pretty much “playoffs or bust” for GM Peter Chiarelli, if the Oilers don’t make it this year, he may not be back in Edmonton for another season.
It has been a rumored that the Oilers are on the hunt for some immediate help to fill holes on their current roster. It is believed that the Oilers may have their 2019 first-round pick, a young developing player, and a goalie (possibly Cam Talbot) in play.
This might make a lot of Oiler fans uneasy as Chiarelli doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trades. Nonetheless, there is a good chance that moves will be made from here until the end of the trade deadline. The Oilers are desperately looking for ways to give themselves a better shot at securing a playoff spot.
At this point, it is more speculative than anything... but here is a look at some potential targets the Oilers might have on their radar.
Wayne Simmonds - Philadelphia Flyers
Wayne Simmonds is playing on the final year of his contract, and his name has been on the rumor mill for the past several weeks. He seems like the type of player the Oilers could use - possessing the combination of skill, size and playoff experience.
Adding him would immediately improve the Oilers’ depth at wing, which has been one of the team’s major weaknesses this season. Depending on the asking price, the Flyers would likely inquire about the first-round pick and possibly a name like Jesse Puljujarvi.
On the other hand, the Flyers might also take a look at Cam Talbot, as they have been looking for a goalie for a long long time (they've gone through seven already this season).
Overall, the Oilers may potentially be forced to pay a hefty price to get Simmonds as a rental. But they are a desperate team, and teams like the Philadelphia Flyers won’t likely do them any favors as they know the Oilers are dealing from a position of weakness.
Derick Brassard - Pittsburgh Penguins
If you consider the Penguins’ financial situation, they pretty much have no room to add Brassard’s $5,000,000 cap-hit after this season making him a potential rental target for many teams around the league.
Brassard would give the Oilers a very solid third-line center with some offensive upside. Having him in the lineup would give the Oilers more freedom to keep Leon Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing and additionally have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins run his own line.
It is believed that the Penguins are looking for a reliable third-line center or a reliable defenseman in return. So it’s difficult to say if the Oilers have what they want and it remains to be seen whether both teams are suitable trade partners for each other.
Mats Zuccarello/Kevin Hayes - New York Rangers
Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers might be another player on the Oilers’ radar. He is a proven forward who can perform in the playoffs and has the versatility to be moved up and down the lineup.
Compared to others on this list, he may come at a cheaper price, but whether Zuccarello can come in and help the Oilers make the playoffs is another question.
Perhaps the Oilers may have to be a little more aggressive and inquire about a name like Kevin Hayes. Acquiring both players would immediately give the Oilers’ offense a nice upgrade but are they willing to mortgage their future to do so?
What do you think of these potential trade targets for the Edmonton Oilers? Let us know in the comment section below.