This morning we’re still basking in the glow of getting our guy after news of F Adam Cracknell’s signing broke yesterday.
Then today, we get this, from the Oilers unofficial official mouthpiece Bob Stauffer this morning:
Over the course of the last three seasons as per Natural Stat Trick @EdmontonOilers defenceman Darnell Nurse is tied for 7th (Hedman) in NHL D in 5v5 scoring with 77 points (17-60-77).— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) September 11, 2020
The D ahead of Nurse:
Carlson, Josi, Burns, E. Karlsson, Rielly, Barrie. pic.twitter.com/iWA4ouGcd3
Your interpretation may well vary, but it sure seems like they’re setting the stage for an Oscar Klefbom trade. Call me paranoid. Call me crazy. Call me other things, I don’t care. I just hope you don’t end up calling me right.
Given Klefbom’s age, performance, slot on the team, and sweet, sweet, contract (and the cost certainty it provides), it’s virtually impossible for me to conceptualize a trade the Oilers win here.
It’s probably fair to suggest that, among all possible outcomes, there are probably a few returns that would make the Oilers better after giving up their cost-controlled 1D. But, given their history — and Ken Holland’s too — do you have any sort of confidence that they’d be able to pull that deal off? They’re already starting from a questionable place by identifying Klefbom, and not Darnell Nurse (if we’re talking trading from the top end of the LD depth chart), as the one to go.
As for their recent trade history? Their biggest ‘hockey trade’ since Holland’s arrival, by far, involved sending two second-round draft picks to his former team, the Detroit Red Wings, for Andreas Athanasiou. That trade alone should give everyone pause when it comes to the Oilers trading anyone, let alone their best defenseman. Nobody should have had more experience with Athanasiou than Holland. While it’s true we lost a chunk of the assessment period with Athanasiou, I think it’s probably correct that the (very) early returns have been poor. That the fit has been so poor speaks to Holland fundamentally misunderstanding both the needs of his team, and how a player he knows better than anyone might fit into it. He also paid a premium to get that decision wrong.
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