NHL Rumors: What Should/Shouldn’t the Edmonton Oilers be Thinking a Week From the Trade Deadline?

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Six Degrees of Chris Chelios episode on Edmonton Oilers and what they shouldn’t be thinking about doing.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Friedman: “Let’s have this conversation about Edmonton. Okay. I don’t think they should be trading for a goalie. At least not their best assets for a goalie. I don’t see it. How many goalies, I know that Stuart Skinner is struggling right now but so is the entire team around him. How, how many goalies are you going to get that are going to make you feel better than Stuart Skinner right now. And are going to allow you because you have to fortify your team to and are going to allow you to fortify your team.

Look if you’re gonna go out and get Juuse Saros, I can’t argue with that. But you’re not going to be able to do anything else. So my whole argument is, do, I think you fortify in front of Skinner. If you get help on your D, target the best player you think you can get and then fill in the holes.

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Look like Saturday, like Saturday night, we talked about (Sam) Carrick and (Adam) Henrique. Like to tell me, are they a better team if they go out and they get two forwards and a defenseman or a forward and a defenseman or two forwards or whatever? Or if you go out and you get a goalie?

Like Kevin wants him to get (Marc-Andre) Fleury. Fleury keeps saying he’s not interested. Minnesota is in the race. But if you pay what you’re going to have to get to move Fleury, are you going to be able to help yourself anywhere else?

Plus, also people keep saying to me that the Oilers have $2 million in cap room. They’re also, they’re also carrying only 21 players.”

Marek: “Thank you. They have about, trade deadline right now it’s a million bucks.
A million bucks.”

Friedman: “Well, I mean if you look at CapFriednly and PuckPedia, it’s closer, it’s between two and three but you can’t carry a full roster?”

Marek: “That’s it. Like they’re riding thin. Super thin right now.”

Friedman: “Yes.”

Marek: “Now that is, technically that is the number yes, but you know it’s not going to stay there.”

Friedman: “So Oilers fans, I see all your links to Cap Friendly, but you’re only carrying 21 players.”

Marek: “Right. They’re running super lean to just accrue cap space.

Well let me, okay, so here’s what, here’s what I think about with the, with the goaltender. I think the Oilers want Stuart Skinner, obviously to be their guy and they don’t want any problems in that. Obviously. The thing that I keep coming back to is and here’s the question that I always ask, are the shots going to get easier or more difficult in the playoffs?

The answer is more difficult. And we saw what happened the beginning of the season when the Oilers were leaking difficult shots. That’s the one thing I keep coming back to on this one. Because I understand your point. Trust me there’s a, there’s a few holes that the Oilers would like to plug. Only thing that I keep coming back to is, Ok, we’ve seen Skinner play really well this year, right? That 16 heater was great for Stuart Skinner and the Edmonton Oilers. But I always think, are the shots getting easier or are the shots getting harder in the playoffs?

And ask any goalie, they get more difficult. And the Oilers have been through that and it didn’t look good. And how many times has great play by the blue line, great play by the forwards been clique have been completely undone by bad goaltending? That’s the only thing to your point. Elliotte, I think you keep coming back to and I can’t get off that one.”

Friedman: “You’re wrong. No, I understand. I understand what you’re saying. But here’s the thing, how many how many goalies in the league, I think Saros is one, who are available, who are available, that you think are definitely better than Skinner?”

Marek: “This is where what Mattias Ekholm turns into a general manager Ekholm and said, ‘Kenny I know this guy’  and then starts lobbying for the goaltender. I don’t know, they did a great bit of business with Nashville last year a trade deadline.

Okay, but what that means is you can’t do anything else …”

Marek: “I understand.”

Friedman: “… likely or you can do a lot I should say, not anything else. But you can’t do a lot.”

Marek: “I live in, in fear of the Ferraris that I have up front not being, all their good work being undone by bad goals. Like the last thing you want is your team going into the playoffs and saying okay, in our minds, we’ve got to bank on at least one maybe two bad goals this game. You can’t have that. Can’t have that.”

Friedman: “I mean, we’ll see who turns out to be right here but I think they make themselves a better team if they fortify and play better in front of Skinner.”

Marek: “All right. I agree with you if you’re right.”

Friedman: “Yeah. And you know what, and I think they’ve got, I think they’ve got a lot going on. You know, Jeff, we mentioned Henrique, we mentioned Sam Carrick, and I don’t think it’s impossible that the Oilers try for both in the same deal.

Another name I heard for the Oilers was Luke Kunin from San Jose. I thought that was an interesting name. Like just a guy with a little bit of an edge to him.

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By the way, I heard there was a few teams looking at Mikael Granlund from San Jose. I mentioned on one of the previous pods. I didn’t know how much interest there was in some of their players. Somebody mentioned Granlund to me, and someone else mentioned that they thought that Luke Kunin could be on Edmonton’s radar.”