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NHL Rumors: Matt Benning on Trade Block in Edmonton?

The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell suggested in a recent article that Edmonton Oilers defenseman Matt Benning could become a trade candidate.

In an NHL rumors update out of Edmonton, The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell suggested in a recent article that Edmonton Oilers defenseman Matt Benning could become a trade candidate as general manager Ken Holland tries to figure out just how many potential NHL defensemen he has on the roster.

One of the potential strengths for the Oilers going into this season was the depth they’d been building in the pipeline when it came to defense. With young talent growing and improving — specifically names like Evan Bouchard, Joel Persson, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Dmitri Samorukov and others — the Oilers have had a number of younger defensive prospects show they might be able to do the same, if not more, than what Benning is offering.

None carry the experience Benning does, but Mitchell points out the underlying numbers look pretty strong in certain instances and that may be enough to move Benning to fix other needs.

Related: NHL News and Rumors: Oilers, Bruins, More

There’s a Market for Benning

Benning has been somewhat of a whipping boy in Edmonton of late. He’s not had a great preseason and last year, took a lot of heat for his inconsistent play. Still, there’s a market out there in the NHL for a defensemen with his experience and contract.

There’s no shortage of news and rumors around the league of teams looking to improve their defense. The Winnipeg Jets, for instance, are a group that just saw their blue line corps completely depleted with the exit of Tyler Myers, Jacob Trouba and now, potentially, Dustin Byfuglien. Someone like Benning &mdash’ who also carries an affordable $1.9-million cap hit &,mdash; might fit well. He’ll also be a restricted free agent next summer, which means the acquring team is under no obligation to keep him.

Allen Mitchell of The Athletic writes:

Although wisdom suggests it takes 240 to 300 games for a defender to fully mature in the NHL — Benning is at 205 games — one can make the case he will be the odd man out. He has struggled early in the preseason, and several young right-handed defenders — Persson, Ethan Bear and Evan Bouchard — have played well enough to be considered an option this season.

source – ‘Matt Benning may be vulnerable to a trade as Ken Holland works to tweak Oilers roster’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 09/22/2019

The question is, and Mitchell wonders this as well, is Benning worth enough on the open market to fetch the Oilers that third-line center they badly need?

Next: NHL News: Lightning Sign Brayden Point to 3-Yr Deal

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