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Oilers Not Currently Looking to Trade for Left-Shot Defenseman

The Edmonton Oilers could use an upgrade on their blue line, but it doesn’t sound like they have any intention to make a trade yet.

There has been talk that the Edmonton Oilers didn’t address their blue line needs as well as they could have this offseason. Asking Brett Kulak to step up and take on more minutes in the second-pairing role and hoping that Darnell Nurse would have a bounce-back season was where the Oilers were gambling. In five games this season, there are question marks as to whether or not that was the right strategy.

Regardless, it doesn’t sound like the Oilers intend to address the left side of their defense corps via trade. According to a report by Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now — Stauffer is well connected to the club and often knows what the organization is discussing behind the scenes — the Oilers will look for solutions internally.

Related: Oilers’ Depth Forwards Need To Start Finishing Chances

Stauffer wrote on Twitter Monday morning, “Don’t see @EdmontonOilers in the mix for a Left-Shot D at this time. Markus Niemelainen and possibly Philip Broberg (out/UBI in Bakersfield) will get first looks. Closer to the deadline. If needed. Could see a move for bigger (6’2”+) LD…pending UFA…cap hit below 3M.”

The comments make for some interesting discussion. First, is this blue line strong enough? Broberg has been dealing with an injury issue that has kept him out of the lineup. Ryan Murray has been on and off with his effectiveness. Markus Niemelainen has played well, but he’s not getting many minutes and it’s not clear he can handle more than he’s being given. As for who the Oilers might be interested in, Carson Soucy seems to be a popular name among fans and the Oilers were clearly in discussions with Seattle about the defenseman last season and just ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. The deal didn’t pan out, but the Oilers were definitely kicking tires there.

How Long Can Oilers Afford to Wait?

The season certainly isn’t off the rails with the Oilers 2-3 to start the year. They’ve played extremely well at times, but given up a ton of opportunities at others. They were recently shut out by the St. Louis Blues in a 1-0 game until an empty-net goal made it 2-0 for the Blues. The Oilers being kept off the board is not likely to happen much this season with the potent offensive weapons.

It’s the defense that will likely need the upgrade and what Edmonton doesn’t want to do is get in a hole early, especially since they just played their first six games on home ice and will be going on a lengthy road trip here soon.

Next: 5 Trade Candidates Emerging Early in 2022-23 NHL Season

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