3 Big Trades Oilers Can Make as Deadline Deals Already Go Down

The Hockey Writers

The Edmonton Oilers want to be buyers at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. They’ll have to be cautious about disrupting team chemistry or where they spend their money, but if they can make an upgrade, the team will be looking to do so. The problem is, the market is already starting to establish itself and big moves are happening. Elias Lindholm was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks and Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets. These were two players who might have looked good in Oilers’ colors.

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The price was too high for either player. This is something the Oilers will have to wrestle with ahead of March 8. Does that mean all big deadline deals are out of the question for GM Ken Holland? Perhaps not.

Oilers a Spot for Jake Guentzel?

It’s not clear how realistic the idea of Jake Guentzel coming to Edmonton is. Frankly, it’s not exactly known how realistic it is that the Pittsburgh Penguins even trade the highly-productive winger. But, if he’s going to be moved, it’s a safe bet to assume the Oilers at least look into this.

Jake Guentzel Pittsburgh Penguins
Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic writes:

“Also, now that the rival Canucks have made a bold move, how will the Edmonton Oilers respond? Maybe it’s too rich a price tag, and the Pittsburgh Penguins may decide not even to move him, but I love the idea of Jake Guentzel in an Oilers uniform.”

source -‘ LeBrun: How the Elias Lindholm trade could impact the market for centers, Chris Tanev and Jacob Markstrom’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 02/01/2024

Dubas won’t be afraid to trade Guentzel if his team can’t find common ground in contract negotiations. If and when that happens, there will be a lineup for his services. It’s going to cost the Oilers a big haul to make that deal, but if he’s the player they identify as an ideal fit alongside Leon Draisaitl, this is a player the Oilers can and should feel comfortable going all in on.

Would the Oilers Try to Upgrade on the Blue Line and Move Money?

It’s fair to argue or debate whether Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Sean Walker is an upgrade for the Oilers, or if Jakob Chychrun is the right fit for the blue line, but Edmonton could pull off a big move that involves either. If not these two, a similar type of trade might be on the team’s radar with Holland moving out a player like Cody Ceci to clear cap space.

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Walker has been mentioned in the rumor mill because of the arrival of Jamie Drysdale in Philadelphia, but there is also talk that Jakob Chychrun might be on his way out of Ottawa due to cap issues during any potential contract extension talks. Would the Oilers take a risk, move Ceci and then make a play for a different type of defender, possibly getting a team to retain salary?

Could the Oilers Bring Back Patrick Maroon?

This trade wouldn’t be “big” in terms of the scale of the trade. But, it could be big when it comes to the literal physical stature of Maroon, what he brings in terms of intangibles, and his Stanley Cup pedigree. Sometimes the best moves are the subtle ones and Maroon already knows what it’s like to play in Edmonton. He’s not a top-six player who would disrupt the good thing Edmonton has going and he wouldn’t cost a lot to add.

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This would be the kind of deal where Edmonton looks at the market and says, ‘The prices are way too high, we need someone that can make an impact on games but not cost a lot.’ That’s Maroon. He’ll drag people into the fight, whether he’s playing every night or not.

Maroon knows what it takes when it matters most. That’s a critical component the Oilers could use.

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