The Edmonton Oilers in a surprise move have dealt 4th line face-off specialist and defensive zone starts mastermind Boyd Gordon to the Arizona Coyotes for Finnish winger Lauri Korpikorski.
I’m not sure why the Oilers would make a deal like this unless they’ve got some different plans for the 4th line. Maybe it was to clear some cap space for a free agent signing like Shawn Mattias or ex-Bruin Greg Campbell but then again it’s only a difference of 500k. Gordon makes $3m per year to Korpikorski’s $2.5m per year.
I wrote yesterday about how I felt the Oilers lineup might look going into training camp and I had a spot on the 3rd line left wing occupied by Leon Draisaitl. Well Lauri Korpikorski slots right in there very nicely leaving the young German to start the year in Bakersfield.
Korpikorski, 6’1″ 205lbs, was drafted 19th overall by the New York Rangers back in 2004. He was dealt to the Coyotes in 2009. He’s never been anything more than a 3rd liner but he’s got speed to burn. Offensively there’s not much to his game (21pts in 69 games last year), defensively he’s solid. He’ll probably be deployed a lot on the PK with Anton Lander.
I’m not sure if I like this trade. I’m always harping on about how the Oilers need to add some older bodies to balance the team a bit and this doesn’t really do that. I’d have preferred to keep Gordon because of his ability to handle the difficult zone starts and face-offs. Not only that but that 4th line of Hendricks – Gordon – Klinkhammer was buzzing last season.
Between all of the staff upheaval, the trades at the draft and yesterday’s Nail Yakupov rumor, this is the kind of deal that makes you wonder, who’s safe on this team?