As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers aren’t done trying to add to their mix of defensemen heading into the 2021-22 season. With a group that consists of Darnell Nurse, Duncan Keith and Kris Russell taking up the left side, and Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci and Evan Bouchard on the right side, there’s potentially a need for more depth beyond William Lagesson and unproven prospects like Phillip Broberg.
Leavins writes that the Oilers want to add another piece before the start of training camp. He notes:
They’re probably looking to spend Trevor van Riemsdyk money ($950k). Two primary names to keep an eye on are Slater Koekkoek and Jordie Benn. We should assume the Oilers and agent Rich Winter have already chatted about returning the 27-year old Koekkoek. He made $850k last year. 34-year old Jordie Benn could also be an option. Might his agent J.P. Barry be interested in doing the Oilers a favor after one of his other clients, Adam Larsson, suddenly departed Edmonton in the off-season? Benn made $2m last year.
Fans will know Koekkoek from his run last year with the Oilers. Unfortunately, injuries hampered him from getting to show what he could really offer, and while his numbers weren’t great, it was clear the Oilers coaching staff had confidence in his ability. Benn is a veteran now who spent time with the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets. At one time, he was considered a reliable piece in a team’s top four. Today, he’s, at best, a 34-year old depth guy who might not play every night.
Leavins mentions Benn and his agent doing the Oilers a favor, but it’s not exactly like Benn is getting a million offers. He had 10 points over 39 games last season, split between the Canucks and Jets. That said, he is capable of playing regular minutes in a depth role.
Other defenseman still out there as free agents include Jason Demers, Erik Gudbranson, and Sami Vatanen.
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