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Oilers’ CEO Hints Team Won’t Shy Away From Huge Deadline Deal

CEO Jeff Jackson said the Edmonton Oilers are looking at multiple trades ahead of the deadline but like where the team is at.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Jeff Jackson, CEO of the Edmonton Oilers, shed light on the team’s strategies as the NHL trade deadline approaches. Saying the team is in a good spot and hinting there’s no need to make a big move, Jackson also hinted the Oilers aren’t shying away from one. The team just finished their pro scouting meetings and have identified a few areas for improvement, but they also like their depth at every position.

As per Jackson, the looming deadline presents a challenge as numerous teams remain in contention for the playoffs, causing a cautious approach for the Oilers. A team tight to the salary cap with bonus overages for next season to contend with, the Oilers are primed to act when suitable trade opportunities arise. Noting they are open to rentals or players with term, Jackson says the team is emphasizing the market on a case-by-case basis.

Jeff Jackson Ken Holland Oilers NHL

Perhaps more importantly, the Oilers know that a making a trade for the sake of a trade could be the wrong move. Jackson explained:

“We’re also cognizant of the fact that messing with chemistry on a team sometimes is a dangerous thing. But if you get the right pieces, and you do it the right way — as long as you’re getting better, and you’re not messing with culture — we feel confident that we can make a couple moves that would make us better.”

What Kind of Move Are the Oilers Willing to Make at the Deadline?

He added, “Anything is on the table. We’re not going to trade picks or randomly. They’re going to have to be ones that we are very sure about.” He said, “If we’re going to make a deal and move assets and picks, it’s going to be for somebody that we really, truly believe is going to make a difference on our team.”

Related: Oilers Eyeing Trade Deadline Moves: 7 Potential Targets Revealed

As for who or what that is, Jackson didn’t reveal his hand.

Brett Kulak Philip Broberg Oilers

Addressing key areas, Jackson praised the goaltending unit, citing confidence in Calvin Pickard, Stuart Skinner, and Jack Campbell‘s performances. The team’s forward and defensive depth, as per Jackson, is in a good place, alleviating any immediate pressure to make significant roster changes.

The hint here seems to be that the Oilers will only add around the edges, or they’ll wait for a trade so obviously helpful that the team has no choice but to heavily consider it.

Team Chemistry is Important in All Areas of the Oilers

While maintaining openness to trades, including a big deal if the opportunity presents itself, the Oilers prioritize maintaining team chemistry and culture. Not only is this true on the ice, but within the executive team. Jackson stressed the collaborative decision-making process within the organization and highlighted the importance of working together to build the right roster. And, when it comes to that roster, not disrupting a successful formula for the sake of being active buyers.

In essence, the Oilers remain vigilant in exploring trade scenarios. As for what the Oilers are willing to give up to make the move they see as the right one, Jackson noted, “As we get closer and we narrow down what player or players we think can help, it’ll be case by case. We’ll see if we’re willing to give up the asset at the time.”

Next: Three Reasons the Oilers Will Win the Pacific Division


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