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Puljujarvi for Kapanen: Oilers and Penguins Solid Trade Partners?

One NHL scribe is suggesting there could be a trade fit between the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Following an article posted by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Jonathan Willis of The Athletic jumped on the idea that perhaps one of the names listed in Seravalli’s piece could make for a good fit in Edmonton. Suggesting the Oilers might be able to easily move Jesse Puljujarvi for Kasperi Kapanen, Willis suggested this was a deal that might make sense for both sides.

Noting each team has a winger that is struggling and both players might be open to a change of scenery, the money makes sense, the contracts aren’t that different and the two players are essentially positioned on their respective teams to offer the same value, even if their respective games are slightly different. Willis writes, “Kapanen is a guy I wonder about as a change-of-scenery flip for Edmonton. Similar money to Puljujarvi, signed a year longer, better 5v5 scoring & finishing history, worse possession metrics.”

In other words, Willis is suggesting that Kapanen is a more proven offensive threat, but his analytics aren’t as good. Puljujarvi has the potential to be something, but he’s yet to reach the level the Oilers and many had hoped he would. There’s only so much time the Oilers can afford to wait for Puljujarvi to figure it out and if he can’t do it in the window Edmonton has to compete, it’s time to find a player that will produce with elite-level talent.

Jesse Puljujarvi Kasperi Kapanen trade talk
Jesse Puljujarvi Kasperi Kapanen trade talk

Willis cited Seravalli’s article, likely because it points out how willing the Penguins are to probably move Kapanen. Seravalli wrote, “Of all the term handed out by GM Ron Hextall last summer, the extra year to Kapanen might be the most painful at this moment in time. Kapanen has struggled. His warts in compete and effort are there for all to see. And he’s not an inexpensive contract to offload given the circumstances, as Hextall has been one of the more active GMs out there trying to find a landing spot for him.” This is not a glowing review of the player and the Oilers should make sure they know what they’re trading for should they choose to move someone with Puljujarvi’s potential upside.

Is This An Easy Trade To Make?

If both sides are willing, there really shouldn’t be anything holding these two teams back from dealing with each other. They aren’t in the same division, neither player has trade protection and the salaries are quite comparable (Kapanen makes $200K more).

The league is ripe with rumors of a potential trade, but few get made simply because the salary cap has posed serious problems for teams wanting to do business. That’s not an issue here with Pittsburgh and Edmonton.

Next: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Simmonds, Murray & Giordano

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