Sometimes, it’s a simple as one NHL insider saying he thinks a team has an interest in someone. From there, another insider picks it up and before you know it, social media is buzzing with speculation that ‘this’ person is headed to ‘this’ team.
That’s how rumors and buzz heading into the NHL Trade Deadline often work and such was the case on Sunday when rumors broke that Mike Green was a potential target for the Edmonton Oilers.
It doesn’t always work this way, but sometimes the buzz becomes reality.
Oilers Trade For Green During Win Over Kings
It was announced during the third period of the Edmonton Oilers game that the team had acquired defenceman Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick in either 2020 or 2021. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug noted, “Pick is 4th in 2020. Goes to a 3rd in 21 if they get to final 4 and he plays 50 percent of the games.“
A Quick Shift From the McDavid News
Sunday started great for Oilers fans as captain Connor McDavid announced he’d be back in the lineup as the Oilers took on the Los Angeles Kings Sunday night. An important game for Edmonton, McDavid said he was excited to get back in and help a team he’s had a lot of fun watching stay in the race.
Once the captain was confirmed, much of the talk on social media quickly shifted focus as word spread that Elliotte Friedman had said he believed the Oilers had interest in both Tyler Ennis from the Ottawa Senators and Green from the Detroit Red Wings.
Ennis wasn’t new information. Green sort of came out of left field. But, there might have been something to a Green trade as he was being held out of the lineup by the Red Wings for precautionary reasons.
Friedman On Green
In a recent Sportsnet article and accompanying video, it was noted that Green might be a player to watch out of Detroit.
Green has a modified no-trade clause so there’s some control on his part. With just 11 points in 48 games, he is one of many Red Wings having a disaster of a season, but greener pastures could bring better production. He’s still a strong puck-mover who could thrive in a support role on a good team where he’d be surrounded by better talent. At the very least, he’d be an upgrade to many second PP units.
That meant, if Green was interested in leaving Detroit, more specifically, permitting a trade to Edmonton, there’s were a few things to consider.
The Oilers a Fit?
With the injury to Oscar Klefbom, perhaps there’s a need for a power play quarterback. The Oilers were trying Darnell Nurse there and while he did what he could, there were certainly struggles. Considering the Oilers had one of the best power players in the NHL, these weren’t struggles Edmonton wanted to see continue.
Ethan Bear was moved over to play the role of PP quarterback in practice and will got first-unit time on Sunday. Perhaps the Oilers were looking for a little back up there. On paper, adding Green to the best power play in the NHL sounds like a winning formula. When Klefbom returns, Edmonton will have a strong one-two punch.
Green may not be the player he once was, but he can still run the man-advantage. And, as a rental, perhaps that’s the biggest job the Oilers would ask of him. They’ve got depth, but inexperience on the blue line. Adding a veteran presence who has experience winning might not hurt either.
The question became the money. Green makes $5.375 million this season. But, a closer look at the deal breaks it down as Edmonton paying $2.65 million because the Red Wings retain $2.65 million. Detroit also takes on, Brodziak’s $1.15 million. It’s really a shade of what the cap hit could have looked like.
Green will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and, as such, the Oilers aren’t committed. It’s possible this could be about the only move Edmonton makes. Certainly, it might be the biggest.
That has some fans concerned. Is there more coming? About 16 hours from now, fans will know the answer to that question.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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