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Holland Drops Trade Hint, Oilers With “Lots of Irons in Fire”

With the NHL trade deadline looming, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland has lots of irons in the fire.

With the NHL trade deadline looming, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland is navigating the waters carefully, keeping his options open to make strategic moves that could further strengthen the team. In an interview with Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, Holland expressed the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming trades but hinted at having multiple irons in the fire.

“I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. What I can tell you is, I have lots of irons in the fire. I have done lots of talking internally with my coaching staff. I’ve talked to Connor (McDavid) a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. I talk to (president) Jeff Jackson every day. Every day, I’m talking to other (general) managers.”

The Oilers, currently sitting third in the Pacific Division, are expected to be active buyers after a resurgence under head coach Kris Knoblauch. Holland has a track record of making significant moves, having already acquired veteran Corey Perry this season to bolster the forward depth.

Ken Holland Edmonton Oilers trade deadline

Several names have been linked to Edmonton this season, small big and some small. Reports have the Oilers chasing after top-six forwards, dipping their toes into the goalie market (although that may have changed now), getting a depth center, and upgrading on defense.

Holland Doesn’t Shy Away From Making Deadline Moves

Holland, discussing his past trade deadline activities, revealed, “Since I’ve been a manager here, at the trade deadline – except for the pandemic – I got two players twice, and I got three players once. Whether you like the players or you don’t like the players … the reality is we make moves at every deadline.”

Last year, Holland made a substantial impact at the deadline by acquiring veteran defenseman Mattias Ekholm and depth center Nick Bjugstad. With approximately $2.3 million in deadline cap space, according to Cap Friendly, Holland has some financial flexibility.

Buyers this year, he’s not got as much flexibility and he’s competing with teams who are utilizing LTIR, while the Oilers are relatively healthy.

Who Are The Oilers Looking at Ahead of the Deadline?

The Oilers are eyeing players to enhance their top six, with Tyler Toffoli, Pavel Buchnevich, and Jordan Eberle on their radar, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The team is also reportedly interested in Washington Capitals’ Anthony Mantha and Nic Dowd, aligning with their search for a right-winger and a center.

In a surprising twist, reports suggest that the Columbus Blue Jackets are willing to entertain calls for defenseman Ivan Provorov. The Oilers, among other teams, may express interest, providing a potential solution to their blue-line needs.

Oilers DeBrusk Guentzel Henrique

Meanwhile, trade speculations involve the Oilers possibly making a move for Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, who is seeking a long-term contract. If Boston doesn’t secure his services, Pierre McGuire suggests an Alberta team, potentially Edmonton, could swoop in with a lucrative offer for the talented forward.

Adding to the mix, the Oilers are reportedly in talks with the Anaheim Ducks regarding Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick, as reported by Elliotte Friedman. The Oilers, with aspirations for a deep playoff run, are strategically evaluating their options to address both immediate needs and long-term prospects.

As the trade deadline inches closer, the Oilers and Ken Holland remain a focal point of NHL trade discussions, with fans eagerly awaiting the outcome of the various irons in the fire. The team’s pursuit of key players and strategic maneuvers could shape their path in the playoff race and beyond.

Next: Oilers Added Top-4 D-Man in Offer to Flames For Tanev [Rumor]

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