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Can Oilers Find Another Mattias Ekholm On Trade or UFA Market?

If the Edmonton Oilers are going to be aggressive looking for upgrades, they should follow the model set by the Mattias Ekholm trade.

When the Edmonton Oilers added Mattias Ekholm at this past season’s NHL Trade Deadline, few could have envisioned just how well that trade would work out for Edmonton. Giving up Tyson Barrie to add Ekholm was seen as a risk by some, even though the logic was sound: trade an offensive defenseman for a more solid defensive veteran. What people didn’t account for was the solid offense Ekholm would bring to his very well-rounded game and just drastically Evan Bouchard would take the positive jump when given more responsibility.

For the Oilers, this offseason represents the kind of summer where GM Ken Holland needs to find another similar deal. Whether he trades Cody Ceci or Kailer Yamamoto, moves someone like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, or parts with a player like Warren Foegele, if there is an upgrade out there that provides the Oilers with a missing element, Holland is bound to look at it. The question becomes, who is out there?

Damon Severson

There’s been buzz that Edmonton might be eyeing New Jersey’s Damon Severson as a nice free-agent fit. Frank Seravalli projects that Severson is looking at a six-year deal at around $6 million per season, and that’s doable for the Oilers if they move Ceci and Yamamoto first. The question becomes how much of an upgrade is he over Ceci and if he’s worth that kind of deal, especially since it appears the Devils have chosen not to make Severson a priority.

The Oilers would need to dump both Ceci and Yamamoto without taking anything back, which may or may not be possible.

Erik Karlsson

Prior to acquiring Ekholm, there was talk the Oilers took a long look at Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks. The contract is a monster and while the Sharks might look at moving his deal this summer, it doesn’t appear they’re any more open to retaining salary than the mere 10%-12% that was reported a few months ago.

Erik Karlsson San Jose Sharks trade rumors

If that’s the case, the Oilers aren’t in this conversation. But, if the Sharks are open to being flexible and would take a contract like Jack Campbell back in the deal, there’s a long shot Edmonton might revisit this. Karlsson is absolutely an upgrade as he’s the most likely candidate to win the Norris Trophy this year.

Radko Gudas

Radko Gudas is already a popular player in Florida. If the Panthers win the Stanley Cup, he’ll be even more coveted and the projection Seravalli has of three years times $3.3 million might be on the low end. Gudas isn’t necessarily an upgrade over Ceci, but he brings a different element. The costs would be around the same and a deal like this would see Holland admitting that his mix isn’t quite right.

There’s some risk here as Gudas is 33 and the chances he has the kind of positive impact on any NHL roster like he’s having this year in Florida might be slim. The Oilers would need to be cautious not to overspend with term or money here.

Next: Patrick Roy Rumored as Possible Head Coach for Blue Jackets

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Flames' Delicate Dilemma: The Future of Elias Lindholm

  2. Pingback: Oilers Could Revisit Jonathan Toews Acquisition Conversations

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