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Oilers Shifting Focus From Kane to Goaltending?

The Edmonton Oilers might have to put aside thoughts of Evander Kane and focus on a bigger issue: their terrible goaltending.

While the Edmonton Oilers wait on the results of the NHL’s investigation into Evander Kane traveling over the border in late December, the Oilers need for a better goaltender hasn’t changed. Things have gotten so bad that some are suggesting the back-and-forth between Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson and forward Leon Draisaitl all stemmed from the star’s frustration over continued losses, much of which has to do with poor netminding.

Related: Maple Leafs Open to Clearing Cap Space for a Deadline Deal

As per a report by Elliotte Friedman on a recent 32 Thoughts article, it appears the focus on priorities in Edmonton may have shifted. He notes, “I think Edmonton’s looking harder at acquiring a goalie.” He adds, “Remember: Jaroslav Halak has control in Vancouver and doesn’t seem inclined to move.”

Obviously, if the Oilers are really in the market to make a goaltending change, GM Ken Holland will do more than just look at Halak. That said, what other names are available is still very much a question mark. Could Semyon Varlamov be available from the New York Islanders? Could Alexander Georgiev be had from the New York Rangers? What about Braden Holtby out of Dallas or Jonas Korpisalo out of Columbus?

None will come cheap, some might not be available yet and the cost of some may be too hefty for Holland to pull it off without salary cap issues or creating other roster problems.

Mikko Koskinen Dave Tippett Edmonton Oilers

That the Oilers may be shuffling their priorities also doesn’t mean they’re out of the running on Kane. It simply suggests there’s little time to waste and the team now knows they can’t rely on Mikko Koskinen, Stuart Skinner might not be ready and Mike Smith is still a big question mark. In other words, if the Oilers are going to get themselves back in the playoff conversation, they need to start getting stops now. Kane can come later.

Once the Evander Kane situation is cleared up, the Oilers will get back into the mix — assuming, of course, he’s not suspended for so long it makes going after him pointless.



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