The NHL All-Star Break is over. With that, it’s time to get down to business.

We begin our look at the Columbus Blue Jackets and the 2022 Trade Deadline. In this series that will run now through the Mar 21 deadline, we will look at different teams the Blue Jackets could strike a deal with and do a deeper dive into the individual situations to see if there’s a potential match.

Today, we begin with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers and Blue Jackets have been linked to each other for some time thanks in large part to all of the goaltending talk surrounding Joonas Korpisalo. Before we dive into that and other potential fits, we have to understand where each team is at and what kinds of things they’re looking for.

Setting the Oilers’ Scene

For the Oilers, it’s simple. Their goal is to win the Stanley Cup. With two all-world players on their roster in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, it makes perfect sense for them to think big. That seems like an easy decision. But recently, GM Ken Holland said that’s he’s not interested in a rental if it means giving up a premium asset.

Here’s what Holland said. “But if the question is to just trade some Grade-A-prospect to give a little boost or a little bump, and that guy goes on and flourishes somewhere else for five or six years, and we’re back at the market next year because the person we got leaves, I’m not doing that.”

Earlier in that conversation, Holland said it’s a different story if a player comes in and stays beyond this season. If a hockey trade comes about, perhaps their first rounder or a top prospect could become available.

It’s clear the Oilers have holes. But they won’t be willing to use a premium asset for a rental. They’ll still explore rentals, but at a lower cost.

In the end, the Oilers have to do something to maximize their chances of playoff success. Another playoff failure will only bring more questions to the team.


Setting the Blue Jackets’ Scene

The Blue Jackets are in the Eastern Conference. Because of that, they find themselves in a precarious spot in the playoff race. They are 18 points back of the fourth place Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division and 14 points back of the Boston Bruins for the last wildcard spot.

While we still have half the season to play out, this race is more or less over.

With that, it’s reasonable to believe the Blue Jackets will look to sell at the deadline. That was the expectation coming into the season. While the season has been entertaining for them and the future is bright, this season has been frustrating. They now face some important decisions.


Blue Jackets Have Assets Oilers Need

We have a clear case of one team looking to buy and the other looking to sell. The question is does the seller have things the buyer needs? The answer is yes, but maybe not in the way you originally thought.