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Oilers Talking to Predators & Canadiens About Blue Line Trade

The Edmonton Oilers are still searching for a solid defensive defenseman and are said to be talking to the Predators and Canadiens.

As per TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Edmonton Oilers are back at it and trying to find a player they can add to their roster before the March 3 trade deadline comes and goes. Sunday saw a number of big names come off the trade bait board and the Oilers weren’t involved in anything. GM Ken Holland has said he’s looking to add and as the prices fluctuate, there could be a sense of nervous tension mounting, especially as reports of potential unrest exist between an impatient owner and a too-patient manager.

Dreger writes, “Interested to see how big/small Nashville’s next trade will be. Sources say the Oilers and Preds continue discussions on veteran Dman Mattias Ekholm. Among the options Ken Holland is grinding away on with the deadline looming.” He also notes that Holland has circled back to the Canadiens and reengaged in discussions regarding Joel Edmundson.

One on hand, the Oilers are looking at an experienced d-man with a hefty contract. On the other, an often-injured blueliner who hasn’t been in the lineup much. Both are expensive and neither are rentals.

Jeff Marek noted on the 32 Thoughts Podcast over the weekend that the Predators are open for business and they just pulled off a whopper of a trade moving Tanner Jeannot for Cal Foote and five draft picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s hard to know what they’ll be asking for Mattias Ekholm, who eats tons of minutes but has three seasons remaining on a $6.25 million per season contract. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period and NHL Network writes, “Ekholm’s got term, 3 years left after this year, and has a $6.25M cap hit. Oilers aren’t the only club in this mix, I think LA’s kicked this idea around too at one point, but he’d help EDM’s D corps.”

How the Oilers would fit in Ekholm’s cap hit is not entirely clear. It’s unlikely the Predators would be willing to retain salary, thus a trade would have to include pieces going the other way. Could something like Jesse Puljujarvi and another piece go back to Nashville?

Mattias Ekholm Joel Edmundson Oilers trade rumors
Mattias Ekholm Joel Edmundson Oilers trade rumors

As for the Canadiens, the market for Edmundson has reportedly died down. Elliotte Friedman recently noted on the 32 Thoughts Podcast: “I’ve just heard though the activity on Edmundson is down just because his body has been through so much and he really hasn’t played. I think they would be surprised if anything happened with him here.”

Needless to say, both options for the Oilers come with serious risks. These aren’t cheap players, their contracts, age, and physical health will be factors in their effectiveness and it’s not clear that either puts the Oilers over the hump in terms of being the Western Conference team that adds enough to keep up with everything the top teams in the east have done this past week.

Next: Trade Talk Heating Up Surrounding Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk



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