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Oilers, Sabres Among Teams Interested in Brett Pesce Trade

If the Carolina Hurricanes feel forced to trade defenseman Brett Pesce, the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres would be interested.

The Carolina Hurricanes have indicated their intention to re-sign defenseman Brett Pesce, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the 2023-24 season, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. Pesce has also indicated that he’d like to play his entire career in Carolina. He noted, “I’ve only been here my whole career, but even just talking to guys coming in, it seems that we’ve got it good here. The weather, the community, the team, the coaching staff, everything. It’s just an unbelievable place.”

With all of that said, for some reason, there is talk that a contract extension with the Hurricanes might not be a guarantee and if there are complications getting a deal done, Pesce could be on the move.

LeBrun noted in a recent TSN Insider trading segment that if contract negotiations fail, the Hurricanes are prepared to explore trade options in order to secure the highest possible return for Pesce during the upcoming summer. Pesce is currently in the final year of a six-year contract he signed in 2017, which carries a $4.025-million cap hit for the 2022-23 season and does not include any trade protection.

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The Buffalo Sabres have emerged as one team showing interest in acquiring the talented defenseman. Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reported that the Sabres are actively working on contract extensions with their franchise defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and prospect Owen Power. While no agreements have been reached yet, there is a sense of optimism that deals will be finalized, although it remains uncertain if they will be completed before they can officially sign in two weeks. Pesce would fit in nicely with that group, giving the Sabres a solid top-four as they strive to contend for the playoffs.

Darren Dreger also mentioned that the Edmonton Oilers have expressed interest in Pesce as they seek to strengthen their defensive lineup with a top-four defenseman. Potentially willing to move Cody Ceci, Warren Foegele, or Kailer Yamamoto, Dreger hints that GM Ken Holland might see Pesce as a nice upgrade. Without a move of one of those three players, it’s unlikely the Oilers would be in the running as they face financial constraints and lack sufficient salary cap space.

If the Hurricanes decide to part ways with Brett Pesce, they would likely seek a top-six forward in return.

Oilers Have Other Needs Too

In addition to addressing their defensive needs, Dreger noted that the Oilers are also in the market for a competitive forward at a reasonable price, potentially including players like Connor Brown. Their need at forward, along with the reality they don’t actually have a top-six forward they are looking to trade means they might not be an ideal trade partner.

It is worth noting that Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns are currently the only defensemen under contract for the Hurricanes for the 2024-25 season, indicating the potential impact of Pesce’s departure on their blue-line depth.

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