The Edmonton Oilers are waiting on the green light from a doctor to see if Evander Kane — who was taking part in a full practice on Monday — would be good to go for Tuesday’s matchup between the Oilers and Seattle Kraken. It sounds like Kane is ready, he wants to go, and the Oilers would love to have him in. These are all things that will necessitate some moves from GM Ken Holland to ensure the Oilers have room on their roster to bring Kane’s $5.25 million cap hit off of LTIR.
After sending goaltender Calvin Pickard back to the AHL, the Oilers need to move another $3,487,500 — the difference between Kane’s cap hit and what they currently have available. That could require sending a combination of Devin Shore, Markus Nemelainen, and Vincent Desharnais, along with another player making $1.125 million or more. Defenseman Ryan Murray is likely to be placed on LTIR and there could be news coming as it relates to Kailer Yamamoto, who is also currently injured. If the Oilers don’t want to move a player making $1.125 million, the alternative option is to run with a 20-man roster.
The Oilers have already made one choice, sending Niemelainen down on Monday.
While these decisions will help alleviate the problem in the short term, what happens in the long term? Some of these players deserve to be on the roster and it’s not ideal to run with 21 or 20 men. Is a trade coming? Could it be one that the team has exploring for some time?
Could Puljujarvi Or Foegele Be Moved?
There has been trade chatter surrounding Jesse Puljujarvi for some time. With the news of Kane’s return, Puljujarvi found himself on the fourth line in practice and he’s unlikely to get many minutes as the roster takes shape. He’s been replaced in the lineup by Klim Kostin and Mattias Janmark and many believe Puljujarvi needs a change of scenery to finally make good on his potential. Former Finnish hockey great Teemu Selanne recently commented on Puljujarvi’s situation and noted, “‘Pulju’ should definitely get out of Edmonton.” He added, “It has now been seen, and he should get a fresh start. When I’ve watched him play, he clearly overdoes it a bit. You can see that he is not quite a fish in water.”
As for Foegele, he’s a player the Oilers haven’t used much and his production is low compared to the expectations the team had for him when he arrived. It’s not clear if another team would take on his $2.75 million salary, but if they do, the Oilers would likely be happy to clear that contract off of their books. He’s got one additional season remaining on his contract after this year.
The hope is that Edmonton could kill two birds with one stone, moving Foegele and adding a depth defenseman at the same time. Kane makes them all that deeper on offense, but defense is still their issue this season.
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