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Oilers Looking to Add a Depth Defenseman Before NHL Trade Deadline

The Edmonton Oilers are looking for an upgrade on the left side of their blue line. Is a player like Michael Del Zotto a fit?

Michael Del Zotto Edmonton Oilers rumors

There was talk the Edmonton Oilers might be a sleeper team in on the Taylor Hall trade speculation, and while that still might be a rumor that gains some traction before Monday’s NHL trade deadline, new chatter is that general manager Ken Holland might be looking for a depth, low-cost defenseman over the next 24 hours.

The Oilers are fairly well positioned with a healthy roster. That said, the team lacks some experience and could use a second-pairing left-shot defenseman who can slot in behind Darnell Nurse in that top pair. Chris Johnston noted that Michael Del Zotto could make sense for the Oilers.

Related: NHL Trade Deadline 2021: Maple Leafs Interested in Mattias Janmark?

There are some other names available before the deadline passes, including Jamie Oleksiak (DAL) and Dmitri Kulikov (NJ), but both of those players might be too pricy for Edmonton who has very little cap space to work with. Del Zotto comes with a $700K cap hit, something the Oilers would be able to make work with some minor tinkering.

Oilers Looking to Upgrade, Otherwise No Deal

The report doesn’t come as a result of the 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday. That was an ugly game, but not one the Oilers are looking at as any sort of indicator there’s a problem that requires addressing. In fact, the Oilers are a bit frustrated with how that game went considering it was on the same day as the Colby Cave Memorial, not that they’re trying to make excuses.

Edmonton has played quite well of late and any adding that Holland does ahead of the deadline is going to be for players he believes are upgrades to what the Oilers have. That means on the blue line, whoever they add needs to be more effective than Kris Russell, Caleb Jones or William Lagesson.

It will be interesting to see if the Oilers think Sami Vatanen or Victor Mete would be upgrades. Both have played the left side and were put on the waiver wire Sunday by the Devils and Canadiens respectively.

Next: Montreal Canadiens Acquire Defenseman Jon Merrill from Red Wings



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