We’re now at the other side of the All-Star Weekend. February is just a few short days away on your calendar, and that means that the NHL’s trade deadline is now a few short weeks away. Four weeks, if counting is your thing.
It’s been a real fun season, but the Oilers are in trouble if they’re thinking about the playoffs. With 33 games to go, the Oilers are a solid ten points out of the wild card spot. There are four teams hanging around at the wild card cutoff, while the Oilers are firmly entrenched at 47 points and a sixth place Pacific standing. This comes even after the Oilers have four wins in their last five games. With a possible 66 points remaining in the season, the Oilers are 56 points away from their 103 point finish of last year.
In other words, it’s time to start thinking about next year. Now before the Oilers go and win another draft lottery, it’s time to tie up some loose ends here on the farm. This means figuring out what you’re going to do with UFA contracts, and the Oilers have got a couple of those to deal with before the February 26th deadline.
Depending on who you ask, it’s either Patrick Maroon or Cam Talbot that is Chiarelli’s diamond acquisition. Talbot cost three middle draft picks, while Maroon was acquired two years ago for the tidy price of Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick. Even better? Anaheim is on the hook for 25% of that deal. Everything’s roses, yeah? Almost. Maroon will turn 30 in April, and will likely look for a multi-year deal as his last big NHL contract. The Oilers could fit Maroon into the books if they didn’t have the unmoveable $6MM a year Lucic situation to worry about until 2023. A $4M or a $5M/year Pat Maroon almost certainly price him out of Edmonton’s future plans.
The Oilers got a 27 goal season out of Maroon last year, and 27 goals coupled with 15 assists is a hell of a haul for under a $2MM cap hit. Those numbers aren’t going to happen this year, and it’s almost certain that Pat Maroon will have a new mailing address come March.
Pat Maroon would fit nicely on a team with playoff aspirations. Would St. Louis send a first round pick to Edmonton at the deadline for their native son?
Mark Letestu is another UFA who has worn a few different shoes since becoming a member of the Oilers. The strangest one is probably being the hammer on the power play last year. It worked, at least for a while. Letestu was signed to a three year deal with the Oilers in July of 2015, making Boyd Gordon’s time come to an end on the Oilers. Letestu was a less expensive bottom six option than Gordon who played all around the bottom six and on special teams.
Soon to turn 33, Mark Letestu is about to hit the UFA wire. Like Maroon, he’s a prime candidate to be moved at this year’s trade deadline to a playoff team in search of a bottom six centre. I don’t think he fetches as much as Maroon in return, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him in the Central Division for a third round pick in a month’s time.
Should the Oilers move on from Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu?
This poll is closed
Yes, move on from both
Keep Letestu, move Maroon
Keep Maroon, move Letestu
No, the Oilers should try to keep both