The Edmonton Oilers are (once again) in familiar territory.
Last night’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins keeps the Oilers six points out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. That’s bad enough. Add to it the four teams that are between Edmonton and that second Wild Card spot currently held by Minnesota, and it’s no wonder that the Oilers currently hold less than a 4% chance at a playoff berth.
The Oilers could catch lightning in a bottle and peel off a dozen wins in the next month, bringing themselves to relevancy in the wild-card chase. Fan fiction is for another site, so let’s see what the Oilers can trim from the roster between now and the 2019 trade deadline.
The Oilers have a handful of expiring deals. Expiring deals make good trade targets. Is there anything on this roster that other clubs would covet?
What’s in the bag?
This is probably the most obvious deal to be had. With Mikko Koskinen signing a three year extension after just 27 games played, Cam Talbot will likely not be an Oiler for much longer. Talbot has not had a good season, currently brandishing a n.893 SV% on the year with a 10-15-1 record and a 3.36 GAA. There’s a fair bit of smoke that suggests he could be dealt to the Flyers for another goaltender that has a smaller cap hit. Talbot would likely become a backup for a Flyers club with a long-shot postseason wish. Barring an injury to a starting goaltender in the next ten days, he’d be a backup wherever he landed. He could likely be had for a mid to late round draft pick.
Alex Chiasson was a PTO that began the season on fire. Everything this guy tossed on net was going in. He had a shooting percentage well over 30%, which was over twice as high as his career year. A strong campaign to start the season has fizzled as of late, though Chiasson’s 17 goals are tired for third on the team. A team looking for some depth may pay a middle pick or a prospect for Alex Chiasson at the deadline.
Tobias Rieder was brought back to the team that originally drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Rieder had a 2017-18 campaign that saw him finish with 25 points between two clubs in LA and Arizona. The Oilers brought Rieder back for a one year, two million dollar deal to hopefully play some mid six time on the wings. Rieder has yet to score a goal on the season, his demand could be marginal at deadline time. He would fetch a late draft pick if he could be moved.
Yeah, move on.
The Oilers shipped Chris Wideman and a third round selection to the Florida Panthers for Alex Petrovic in late December. A club trading for Petrovic would be looking for depth only, and nothing more than a late round draft pick would be the likely cost.
The Oilers aren’t going to fetch a whole lot should they move on from these players. There are some other players who could (should) be moved at the deadline, but I’m not buying any ideas that teams are clamouring for the services of Brandon Manning through 2020,
or an extra four years of Milan Lucic.
Or an extra two years of Kris Russell.
Or another year of Ryan Spooner.
Maybe an extra year of Zack Kassian?
Probably not another year of Kyle Brodziak.
The Oilers have plenty of assets to sell. But after a couple of expiring contracts, who’s buying?