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Oilers Shifting Goaltending Gears, Consider Smaller Options

The Edmonton Oilers, once rumored to be looking for a starting goalie, might have shifted gears ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.

According to Allan Mitchell of The Athletic, the Edmonton Oilers might have shifted gears when it comes to their goaltending situation. As the Oilers navigate the goaltending landscape, a smaller deal for netminders like Dan Vladar or James Reimer might be the better move versus going for a big fish.

Mitchell suggests the Oilers swap an available pick or prospect for what they need. With other teams in the market for a goalie, the prices will be high and the guys Edmonton has in Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard are getting it done. Since the recent coaching change, the Oilers have seen commendable performances from both, presenting a reliable tandem with sustainable numbers.

Skinner, logging 976 minutes, and Pickard, with 340 minutes, provide stability between the pipes, allowing the team to potentially focus on addressing other roster needs.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers win

Mitchell points out that during Kris Knoblauch’s tenure as head coach, the team’s five-on-five save percentage ranks 19th among NHL teams, signaling room for improvement. That said, the Oilers have three avenues for goaltending upgrades: internal options, a significant trade for a starting goalie, or a modest improvement on Pickard. Jack Campbell, facing struggles in two leagues, may not find a place in Edmonton, as the team explores alternatives.

Could the Oilers Call Up Olivier Rodrigue?

Prospect Olivier Rodrigue’s impressive surge adds an intriguing dimension. With a stellar .924 save percentage, ranking second in the AHL, Rodrigue presents a compelling case for an NHL audition this season. His performance, including eight quality outings in his first 10 starts, outshines Campbell during the same timeframe.

Mitchell notes that opting for the Skinner-Rodrigue tandem carries the added benefit of a low cap hit, providing financial flexibility for the Oilers. It should be an intriguing few weeks for the Oilers. If the goalies can keep doing what they’re doing, the pressing need for a change isn’t so pressing.

Next: Senators All-Too Familiar Struggles: Patience or Roster Overhaul?

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4 Comments

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