The Edmonton Oilers are facing goaltending challenges, and on Monday night, Calvin Pickard will get his first start for the team against the Florida Panthers. Deserving of a look, there’s some nervous tension among the Oilers’ fan base, simply because Pickard is unproven and the team can’t really afford to lose another game.
Meanwhile, the recent release of Jaroslav Halak from his PTO with the Carolina Hurricanes has sparked up an interesting idea when it comes to the veteran netminder. While Halak may not be a starting goaltender at this point in his NHL career, he could serve as a reliable backup to Stuart Skinner.
The decision to part ways with Halak in Carolina was described as mutual, acknowledging the challenges of finding playing time in a crowded goaltending lineup. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour said it was really more led by Halak than anything, suggesting he’s looking for a better opportunity to get into game action. With the Oilers struggling in the goaltending department, there’s a palpable sense that Edmonton is exploring alternatives. The latest is that they’ve been scouting the Montreal Canadiens, but the cost to acquire one of their three goaltenders could be significant.
Oilers Could Save Money and Assets On Halak Deal
The potential move to acquire Halak wouldn’t require significant roster adjustments for the Oilers. The veteran goaltender, known for his reliability, could seamlessly fit into the lineup without causing upheaval. Given Edmonton’s history of signing veteran goalies like Mike Smith, Halak’s experience and consistency make him an intriguing option.
So too, Halak’s affordability aligns with the team’s financial and trade considerations. GM Ken Holland has already talked about how hard it’s been to find a team willing to make a trade and insiders have noted that the Oilers refused to rush into a deal. Halak could be the perfect go-between.
Since the Oilers find themselves in a serious goaltending dilemma and Halak is now without a team, his availability might present an opportunity for a practical and cost-effective solution. The veteran goaltender’s reliability and experience could address Edmonton’s immediate needs and the cost wouldn’t be prohibitive.
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