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Oilers Looked at Chychrun and Gudas Before Pivoting to Ekholm

The Edmonton Oilers had a number of hooks in the water during trade deadline week, ultimately focusing on Mattias Ekholm.

The Edmonton Oilers were among the more active teams at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline, and while they might not have gotten everything accomplished that they wanted to, GM Ken Holland has a busy week and was actively involved in a number of trade conversations — some that happened and some that didn’t.

The Oilers added Mattias Ekholm and Nick Bjugstad while sending out Jesse Puljujarvi and Tyson Barrie. They’re a deeper team with the deals and one that many believe is more defensively sound, with an improved penalty kill. But, those weren’t the only deals Holland had his hand in.

Friedman reported earlier this week that Holland made a pitch for Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks. The idea was that he could get Meier for a playoff run, the forward would go on a heater, and the player would be worth more in trade at the NHL Draft than he was at the NHL deadline. Friedman suggests Holland wasn’t the only team thinking about trying this buy-low, sell-high move.

Jakob Chychrun Mattias Ekholm Radko Gudas Oilers
Jakob Chychrun Mattias Ekholm Radko Gudas Oilers

That deal might not have been terribly close (Meier went to New Jersey), but there were a couple of defensemen the Oilers were relatively close on acquiring. The first was Jakob Chychrun out of Arizona. Friedman notes in his latest 32 Thoughts column that the Oilers considered both Ekholm and Jakob Chychrun and got quite close on Chychrun when it wasn’t entirely clear the Nashville Predators were going to be sellers. Once GM David Poile let the Oilers know they were open to moving him, the Oilers shifted gears and set their sights on the big Swede. Friedman writes the Oilers “ultimately chose Ekholm because they considered him a better fit for two reasons — they felt his skillset better fit what they needed and, even though he’s older, his history is much healthier.” Ekholm has been relatively healthy, having missed around 20 games in the past nine seasons. Meanwhile, Chychrun has had injury issues in the past and even had a scare on his first night in Ottawa.

The Oilers were also interested in Radko Gudas out of Florida. Again, a team that wasn’t a clear seller at the deadline, there was no guarantee that the Panthers were open to moving Gudas, but those conversations were had in the event they shifted gears. Friedman writes that Tampa Bay Lightning were also interested, but the Panthers were unlikely to move Gudas to an in-state rival.

However, once the Oilers acquired Ekholm, Gudas was no longer on their radar and Bjugstad was the final piece of the puzzle that fit Edmonton’s salary cap situation.

Next: Hurricanes Made Deadline Trade Pitch For Elias Lindholm



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