Connect with us

Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Should Consider Trading for Kessel Later in 2021-22 Season

While it shouldn’t be now, the Edmonton Oilers might want to look at trading for a player like Phil Kessel at a later point this season.

The Edmonton Oilers are getting a lot of love from insiders heading into the 2021-22 NHL season. Many say this is the deepest team the organization has put together in some time, specifically at the forward position. As such, there’s no need to add a big-time top-six forward. That doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t keep their options open as the season rolls along.

Related: Phil Kessel Trade All But Guaranteed During 2021-22 NHL Season

If the Oilers are a playoff team — which many predict they will be — as the NHL trade deadline approaches, there may be a need to add depth or a couple of pieces that put them over the hump and turn the club into a playoff success, something the franchise has not been one in the past two seasons. For this reason, forward Phil Kessel should be on their radar.

News has made the rounds that Kessel is not in the long-term plans for the Arizona Coyotes. He is looking for a trade and the team is looking to trade him, hoping they’ll get a young prospect or draft picks as they rebuild and move on without the veteran. The trouble when it comes to Kessel isn’t his production. The trouble is his contract and even though he only makes $1 million in actual salary, his cap hit at $6.8 million for one more season is a red flag for a number of teams.

In a flat cap NHL, most teams that could use him can’t afford him. The Oilers are in the same situation. That said, recent news that Josh Archibald is likely out for the season at a $1.5 million cap hit and the flexibility that comes with teams retaining salary or prorated deals later in the year makes Kessel a possible fit. Throw in another contract on the current roster and this is a trade scenario that is more than plausible.

The Oilers Might Need a Right-Winger

If there’s an area where the Oilers could use a little help in their top six, it’s at right-wing. Jesse Puljujarvi is pegged to take a huge step this season. So far in the preseason, he looks like he’s on his way to being an impact player. After that, there are question marks.

Kailer Yamamoto or Zack Kassian are next in line. Yamamoto hasn’t proven he can hold that spot and Kassian is probably more useful in a third-line role. Kessel could slot in nicely if the Oilers want to add that piece for a playoff push.

Phil Kessel Coyotes Upper Deck
Phil Kessel Coyotes Upper Deck

Kessel also has something to prove. He’s in a contract year and one of the reasons he wants a fresh start is because he’s looking to produce somewhere and make himself more attractive to teams who might offer the 34-year-old another deal this offseason. What better chance does he have to produce than playing with either Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid?

It’s not a simple deal to pull off, especially anytime soon. But, as the season winds down and the Oilers feel the need to add, Kessel is a player they should look at. He’s guaranteed to produce and has a track record of doing so when it matters most. This is something the Oilers really need. At the same time, there’s no need to commit to him beyond this season and frankly, Edmonton would likely have no desire to keep him.

The Oilers have some flexibility, but having that pure scorer for the postseason is an attractive thought. That said, the trick is to play the first 50 games or so and see where everyone is at.

Next: Montreal Canadiens Carey Price: Class Act & Playoff Record Holder



  1. Pingback: Panthers Sign Aleksander Barkov to Massive 8-Yr Deal

  2. Pingback: Panthers Sign Aleksander Barkov to Massive 8-Yr Deal – Hockey 1 on 1

  3. Pingback: Oilers' Zack Kassian Status After Nasty Fall During Preseason Fight

  4. Pingback: Oilers’ Zack Kassian Status After Nasty Fall During Preseason Fight – Hockey 1 on 1

Leave a Reply

More News

Discover more from NHL Trade Talk

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading