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Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Done Up Front, Regrouping on Defenseman and a Goalie

Oilers GM Ken Holland spoke with media yesterday and shared where he missed, where he hit and his plans going forward.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland sat down for a media availability on Friday and during day one of NHL free agency. The fact that he was taking a good 30 minutes during the market rush to answer questions suggested he’d done most of what he was going to do that day and was simply waiting on a couple things. What was learned, was that it was a bit more complicated than that.

Holland revealed some of what he and the team are facing provided a closer look at what might come next.

What Holland Was Able to Accomplish

Holland added Kyle Turris on day one at a low-cost $1.65 million deal for two seasons. It’s a good bet that should fill the hole Edmonton had at center behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It does leave some questions about a penalty killer as it appears Riley Sheahan will be moving on, but it means the Oilers are good there.

The team also brought back Tyler Ennis on a one-year $1 million deal, suggesting, as Holland later confirmed, the Oilers are done adding forwards. In fact, with Jesse Puljujarvi’s return, the Oilers may try to move a forward like Alex Chiasson to clear a little space.

The Defense is Still a Big Question

When asked what his plans were for the blue line, it wasn’t until Holland updated the Oscar Klefbom situation that things began to look a little dire. He spoke of what he expects to be the loss of his top-pairing defenseman and stated he’s operating under the assumption Klefbom will miss a huge chunk of next season, maybe all of it. Holland is looking to add a defenseman on the short-term.

Oscar Klefbom Edmonton Oilers
Oscar Klefbom Edmonton Oilers

He didn’t come out and say he’s got skin in the game when it comes to Tyson Barrie, but there are many reports out there suggesting this to be the case, including ones early Saturday from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger. Dreger wrote:

Discussions underway this morning between Tyson Barrie and the three primary teams with interest. Tight squeeze for the Oilers, but a good fit. Vancouver is eager to land Barrie and Colorado is in the mix as well. All short term.

Oilers Missed on a Goaltender

Based upon comments regarding Edmonton’s interest in Jacob Markstrom, it sounds like the Oilers are going back to the drawing board in respect to a goaltender. Holland said he was in on Markstrom and can’t explain why he lost out to Calgary but the comments suggested Edmonton was willing to go all-in on the netminder to solve their goalie issue for the next six or seven seasons.

Now, there are a few names left on the board, including Jimmy Howard, Linus Ullmark or going back with Mike Smith.

Next: Krug Bashes Bruins, Says Blues Weren’t Even on His Radar

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