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Oilers No Longer Frontrunners for Huge Trade Deadline Rental

The Edmonton Oilers are no longer frontrunners for Jake Guentzel in a trade at this season’s deadline. They don’t think they have a shot.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Edmonton Oilers have fallen back in the race to acquire Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Still very much interested in the forward, it is believed other teams have a better chance in trade talks. No longer frontrunners, the Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks, and Florida Panthers are among the other teams kicking tires.

Friedman notes in his recent 32 Thoughts column that the Oilers have to make a money-in, money-out deal to do anything major at this season’s deadline. Guentzel is considered major, maybe the biggest deal that will be made this season. Unfortunately, the Oilers simply don’t have the cap space to trade for him straight up. And, getting the Penguins to retain 50% of Guentzel’s salary will be costly.

Holland feels Oilers no longer frontrunner for Penguins trade on Jake Guentzel

If the Oilers add, Cody Ceci could be a cap casualty. It’s why the Oilers’ bench went so wild when he scored versus the Penguins on Sunday night. “That was their way of showing support,” Friedman said. They all know GM Ken Holland is trying to do something. It could mean Ceci is moved.

As mentioned earlier, Edmonton is believed to have offered a first-rounder to Calgary for Chris Tanev, but the Flames didn’t want to take a contract back. It was believed that the contract was Ceci’s. So, it makes sense that the defenseman would be linked to any Guentzel trade. But, do the Penguins want Ceci back? They liked him when he was on the team, but that franchise is a mess and they want to get younger.

If Not Guentzel, What Are the Oilers Going to Do at the Deadline?

Friedman writes it appears the Oilers are prioritizing a defenceman, “but they are looking at a few options.” He added, “They don’t seem to believe they’ve got a great shot at Guentzel. They’ve talked to Anaheim about a double deal with Carrick and Henrique. They like Toffoli, but, as written earlier, I’m not convinced he’s going. They could add multiple pieces, the challenge is trying to figure out the biggest.”

Next: Is a Pavel Buchnevich Trade to the Oilers a Real Possibility?

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