The upcoming draft lottery will change everything for the Oilers in terms of what they will do this offseason. But regardless of where the lotto balls fall on April 30th, there are some moves in Edmonton that need to be made. Here are the 5 moves I believe the team should be pursuing this coming offseason.
1) Get Value For Yakupov
Obvious. Everyone knows that Nail Yakupov will likely be traded this summer. But the one thing the Oilers must do is avoid dealing Yakupov for peanuts. The definition of “peanuts” varies. But in my mind they can’t deal the 22 year old for just draft picks. The options are flip him for another young prospect like an Anthony DeAngelo or maybe even Jonathan Drouin although Drouin’s resurgence now makes this deal unlikely.
Another option would be to package him in a deal to get more value. If a team needs wingers bad enough maybe a Pouliot/Yakupov package would entice some GM’s.
Regardless, a warm body for Nail Yakupov is a must.
2) SIGN A DEFENSEMAN
There are three options for this one. Keith Yandle is my first choice. I could see him taking something similar to Mike Green in Detroit, maybe a little more since he would be coming to Edmonton. Yandle would be a great fit in the Oilers top 4, being offensive minded,he would able to help their struggling power play. Yandle was 2nd in the NHL in powerplay points per 60 with 6.07. Not too shabby.
Dan Hamhuis is another name I’d look into, especially if he wants to stay in Western Canada. Would look nice in their top four, especially if they could grab another offensive piece. If he does leave Vancouver and wants to stay close to home, Edmonton is a great fit.
The third name is a little less popular. But Brian Campbell could be affordable (under $4M) and although he’s old, he could play next year and be a great presence in the room. Although he may not be a top four dman in two or three years, it would a simple transition to hand the reigns over to Nurse/Klefbom.
This step is the most crucial. Filling another hole on the back end without losing assets would be a massive help to this team.
3) Acquire Hamonic
It was a match made in heaven from the day the news broke that Hamonic wanted out. A top four d-man who WANTS to play in Western Canada?! Yes please.
Once the offseason rolls around I firmly believe that Garth Snow’s price is going to drop and Jordan Eberle and a 2nd round pick. Hamonic would round out this teams top 4 very nicely, especially if they can get a offensive defender as well.
The cost may even be more, but Chiarelli has to find a way to get this done.
4) Sign A Big Body
A few directions to take this one. David Backes is an excellent option especially if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Leon Draisaitl is dealt. A leader in the room and on the ice. If he isn’t more than $6M then it would be a great add.
Milan Lucic’s name gets thrown around a bit, I like him but I’m not sure if he is a fit given the additions of Maroon and Kassian and he might be a little too pricey should he even hit free agency. Word is he really wants to stay in LA, I can see that happening, meaning Edmonton won’t get a chance.
Kyle Okposo is another name I’d watch. Not exactly what I would want, but he’s a big body who will go to the net, something the Oilers have lacked.
If the team is looking for a bargain, maybe a kiss and make up scenario with David Perron is in the cards. He fits the mold of what this team wants, he liked Edmonton just not the coaching staff or management during his time here. Perron at $3.5m/3 years would be a great addition to this team. Between these 4, him and Backes are who i would aggressively pursue.
5) Clear Cap Space
Nikitin ($4.5M), Scrivens ($500K) and Schultz ($1.95M) clears up around $7 million and if they can find a taker for Fayne than that means over they over $10 million in new-found cap space. Combine that with the space they already have open, they will easily have over $15 million to spend this coming offseason.
Moving Jordan Eberle saves some space, especially if he is dealt for Hamonic.
This is probably the simplest task to complete, and the most important.