According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, during his latest 32 Thoughts Podcast, he noted that sources have relayed the Edmonton Oilers have had some pretty serious discussions with the Arizona Coyotes about two of their players — Nick Bjugstad and Shayne Gostisbehere. While a number of teams are said to be looking at Bjugstad as a depth addition at center, the Oilers might have the edge if they are willing to take both players in a deal.
For the Oilers, a depth center and an experienced defenseman are believed to be their two priorities. While Gostisbehere doesn’t exactly fit the ideal mold of what Edmonton might be looking for, he’s had a relatively decent season up until suffering an injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least a month. He comes at a cost of $4.5 million for the rest of this season before becoming a UFA, but it’s likely the Coyotes would agree to retain salary on any trade, and/or take contracts back to make the money work.
Meanwhile, the Oilers already have a deep group of centers, but head coach Jay Woodcroft likes to deploy some of his top guys (Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Ryan McLeod) as wingers. Adding another pivot who can kill penalties and take faceoffs is high on their priority list, especially if that player comes in at a cheap price point, which Bjugstad does. He’s a $900K cap hit for one more season. Bjugstad has 11 goals on the season, 10 of which were scored at 5-v-5 and one that was shorthanded.
What the Oilers would be looking to move the other way is still unclear. Edmonton would have to trade salary to make any deal work, especially one that would see two players added to the roster at numbers between $3 million and $5 million. It could mean names like Jesse Puljujarvi, Warren Foegele, Devin Shore or others going back to Arizona in the deal.
Next: New York Islanders Have Acquired Bo Horvat from the Canucks
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