Well, it’s getting to that time of the year I suppose where we should look at the Oilers’ who are most likely going to be playing for another team after the NHL’s trade deadline at the end of February.
But before we get into the list of 5, I want to give you the opportunity to listen to a podcast that I was on recently that is called Oilers Live! It’s hosted by a gentleman who lives just down the QE2 in Calgary and it’s new. I’m really honoured that he’s asked me to come on his show TWO TIMES now and am looking forward to working with him in the future as well!
Without further delay, THE LIST OF FIVE!
- Patrick Maroon (LW) – No surprise here with Maroon being a UFA at the end of the season. Some team will definitely benefit from a player who has great size, good hands, and an old-school “don’t f*ck with me or my boys” hockey attitude.What makes Maroon one of the most coveted targets on the trade market is his salary. Without looking I believe the Oilers are paying him $1.5M and most of that will be paid up by the deadline, so he can fit under the cap of nearly any team.
Cost: 2nd rounder and prospect OR an AHL prospect that is near-NHL ready
Teams Possibly Interested: St.Louis, Nashville, Los Angeles
- Mark Letestu (C/RW) – The 32-year-old right-handed centre was determined to be the best PP specialist from last season by analytics guru Rob Vollman in his latest version of the Hockey Abstract. “Test” can give any Stanley Cup contender the Swiss Army knife they’ll be looking for and every year these kinds of players swap teams, so there’s definitely a market for them.Cost: 3rd rounder or B-grade prospect
Teams Possibly Interested: Columbus, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Vegas
- Anton Slepyshev (LW/RW) – Our enigmatic Russian who can’t seem to get on the same page as Todd McLellan may finally be on his way out and that’s a shame because there’s a player here. Slepy has speed, hands, a shot, is tenacious on the puck, and has not complained one time about his TOI or playing in the minors after coming over from the KHL.The other thing to add to this is that the Oilers seemingly need what Slepyshev brings to the table but McLellan would rather toss Drake Caggiula up with McDavid or move Auvitu to forward instead of giving Anton Slepyshev more time to work through his supposed weaknesses.
It really is too bad because he’s going to go to another team and get the opportunity to do what he does best along players that will allow him to look the best and the Oilers will be accused of squandering another talent away…
Cost: Minor league prospect or mid-round draft pick
Teams Possibly Interested: San Jose, Columbus, New Jersey, Ottawa, Calgary, Florida
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C) – The Nuge is out injured at the moment but he was on a helluva tear before that. He effectively replaced Jordan Eberle’s scoring at the same time as playing the infinitely harder position of centre. Tell me the Oilers are missing Eberle’s goals… POPPYCOCK! lolRNH is shooting way higher than his career average (it’s nice someone is this year) and if there’s a year where Chiarelli has a chance to win a big deal, it’s this one. If there’s a year where he could finally grab that young right-handed PP destroyer, it’s this one.
Do I want to see it? I do not. I love the Nuge, McLellan loves the Nuge, Chiarelli loves the Nuge! This team is so much better when McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins are down the middle. Strong spine folks! It’s not a myth.
A positive about dealing Nuge over Hall and Eberle is that he’s a centre with two-way pedigree. Centres bring back more in trades and teams are willing to pay for them. I also believe that it’d be a tad easier to find a proper 3rd-line centre either through trade or from within.
Cost: Top-3 right-handed PP specialist on defense or a top-6 winger who scores plus a grade-A prospect or 1st rounder
Teams Possibly Interested: Montreal, Columbus, Carolina, Colorado, Vancouver, Ottawa, Detroit, Arizona, Minnesota
- Andrej Sekera (LD) – I know, he’s got one of those “clauses” that gives him the right to choose where he can be traded and he’s coming off of major knee surgery but with that said, we seen how he performed in last year’s playoffs and no doubt other teams saw it too. That will be of some value and the chance to play for a Stanley Cup will be of value to him as well.’Rej is a great guy to have on this young Oilers team but I think he’s the guy to go first in that D corps, clause or not. A team like the Tampa Bay Lightning who just saw Victor Hedman go down for 3-6 weeks could very well acquire Sekera and give him the necessary TOI so as not to push him too much. They’ve also got a great stable of prospects to buy him with.
The other reason I believe Sekera to be the man to go first is that the Oilers NEED to make room for a 2nd pairing right-handed dman (I’m looking at you Mike Green) and probably this is a trade that Chiarelli would have to sweeten to get done. Also, I don’t believe Kris Russell is the preferred sacrifice on the left side of the defence in Edmonton.
Cost: 2nd/3rd round draft pick, AHL prospect (RFA probably)
Teams Possibly Interested: Tampa Bay, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Vegas
Other Notable Trade Candidates: Eric Gryba, Drake Caggiula, Yohann Auvitu, Brandon Davidson, Zack Kassian, Mike Cammalleri
The Oilers can go about this trade deadline in one of two ways, they can either try to improve the squad for next year if things are looking on the up or they can wipe some of the slate clean and attempt to go mad this summer and hit free agency hard to correct this year’s mistakes!
What are your thoughts? Who are your top 5 trade candidates for the Oilers? Let us know in the comments below!