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Oilers to Take a Big Swing on the Open Market or In Trade [Report]

Because the Edmonton Oilers are comfortable with their young prospects taking on bigger roles, does that mean taking a big swing this summer?

As per a hint from Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers might be preparing to take a major swing in the free agent market or via trade this summer. There’s already talk that general manager Ken Holland is preparing to use much of the available cap space he has to fill roster holes in major areas of need, but Leavins seems to suggest that Holland might not be afraid to spend much of that money on just one or two players.

As part of his “9 Things” post this week, Leavins writes the following:

The Oilers pro scouting meetings have wrapped. If I had to guess, the organization looks at its situation this way: There is substantial talent coming from the club’s prospects. If the team spends on 2-3 bigger pieces then it would be content filling slots in the Bottom-6/3rd pairing with the likes of Ryan McLeod, Evan Bouchard and Dylan Holloway…all on economical ELC’s.

The Oilers think their young prospects are ready to go to and they team won’t be shy about giving them opportunities. While this isn’t necessarily the same thing as thrusting players who are too young into roles they can’t handle, the Oilers believe these players are ready for more responsibility. As such, the team feels confident that if they land a big fish either via trade or a pitch in free agency, not having enough money to fill depth roles is acceptable. These young players are up to the task.

Mike Hoffman Gabriel Landeskog Zach Hyman Oilers possible free agency targets

What this means is that Edmonton might make a massive pitch for a big-name left-winger. Among the names out there are Zach Hyman, Brandon Saad, Mike Hoffman, Gabriel Landeskog, Taylor Hall and others. If the Oilers aren’t afraid to spend $6 million to land their guy, they should be an attractive option for at least one of these names.

At the same time, the Oilers might be comfortable filling the second-pair left-shot defenseman slot with a player who makes a bit more money than they’d like (see Duncan Keith rumors), knowing that Bouchard is ready to roll on the right side.

Maybe the Oilers aren’t afraid to have a little dead cap space on the books from a buyout because they can make up for the losses with great value deals from ELC players.

Oilers Feel Confident In Their Youth

Whatever the case, it sounds like the Oilers see themselves in some pretty good situations to make moves of a different variety and they have the backup of knowing they’ve got a good, young, talented group of prospects ready to compliment their roster in a big way.

That’s massive when it comes to planning out the summer and not making mistakes. There’s a tendency to overpay, but if Holland can identify the player he knows might be able to put the Oilers over the top and make a real run at acquiring that player, he can swing. If he hits, great. If he misses, that’s ok too.

Next: Landeskog and Avalanche to Follow Oilers Lead on New Long-Term Deal?

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