Apparently, Czech media has linked Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Dominik Kubalik to the Edmonton Oilers in trade talks ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Considering the Oilers might be looking for depth at forward and just lost winger Jesse Puljujarvi for nearly a month with an injury, it makes some sense to suggest the Oilers might be kicking tires here.
The question will be, if true, what is a reasonable acquisition cost, and can the Oilers afford it considering the current salary cap situation? Kubalik is pending RFA with arbitration rights and coming off a $3.7 million contract. What will be the cost of his next contract and if the Oilers can’t afford to keep him, what’s the plan after this season?
Eric Duhatschek covered the Top 30 possible trade bets for this year’s deadline in a recent article for The Athletic. In it, he has Kubalik listed as No. 28. He writes:
Hard to believe it was just the summer of 2020 when Kubalik was named as a finalist for the Calder Trophy alongside Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. That season, Kubalik scored 30 goals in 68 games for the Blackhawks, 26 of them at even-strength. It’s been a rougher ride for Kubalik since then, but he’s still just 26, has a reasonable contract ($3.7 million) and is a restricted free agent following the season. In short, he’d be a perfect middle-of-the-lineup addition for any team needing a shot of goalscoring. He’s been linked in the Czech media to Edmonton, a team desperately in search of depth up front.
Is This The Right Target For Edmonton?
The Oilers could certainly use more depth at forward. That said, they might have more pressing needs on their blue line and in goal where they aren’t as deep and injuries have played a major toll this season. GM Ken Holland has been reportedly calling around the league about different netminders and defensemen, but word is he’s not keen on moving any top-end picks or high draft picks to get what he needs.
If the Oilers add Kubalik, are they moving picks or a roster player? And, if they do move picks without sending out any salary, this will likely be the only move the team makes ahead of this season’s deadline.
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