Oilers News & Rumors: McDavid, Hall, Del Zotto, Updated Schedule

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there’s some talk that general manager Ken Holland might be searching the trade market for a left-shot defenseman. If so, who does he have on his radar? There’s still chatter that the Oilers are potentially in the Taylor Hall trade discussion, which, of course, has received polarizing reactions among the fan base. Finally, after a 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, Connor McDavid isn’t making excuses, but he’s not at all happy the NHL chose to have that game on the same day as the Colby Cave tribute. Does he have a beef?

Holland Looking for Left-Side Defenseman

The Oilers are fairly well positioned with a healthy roster. That said, the team lacks some experience on the left side of their blue line and could use a second-pairing d-man who can slot in behind Darnell Nurse. Chris Johnston noted that Michael Del Zotto could make sense for the Oilers.

Michael Del Zotto Columbus Blue Jackets
Michael Del Zotto, Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Del Zotto comes with a $700K cap hit, something the Oilers would be able to make work with some minor tinkering and he’s had a decent season in Columbus after being a late addition in free agency. He’s got 10 points in 40 games for the Blue Jackets and playing some healthy minutes for the team.

That said, it’s fair to argue he’s not an upgrade and Holland did say that if the Oilers were going to add, it would be a deal that was clearly bring in something better than what they have. In this case, Edmonton would need to see Del Zotto as better than Caleb Jones, Kris Russell and William Lagesson.

So too, it will be interesting to see if the Oilers watch the waiver wire to see if either Sami Vatanen or Victor Mete fall to them.

Was McDavid Right to Be Baffled By NHL Decision?

McDavid wasn’t about to make excuses for how poorly the Oilers played during Saturday’s game against the Flames, but he thinks he understands why the motivation and enthusiasm to play might have been lacking. Saying he doesn’t understand why the NHL would schedule a game for the team to take place on the same day as the Colby Cave Celebration of Life, McDavid said that was asking a lot of the team.

“I think you’re asking a lot from guys to sit through something like that and remember your teammate and see what they’re going through, the whole family and, you know, expect to perform that night. I’m not sure what the league was really thinking there.” He added, “It’s a hard day. It’s a hard day for the Cave family, a hard day for Emily and her family and it’s a hard day for the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins organization.”

Darnell Nurse was disappointed the team couldn’t play a strong game for their former teammate and there’s been a bit of a suggestion that McDavid was trying to excuse the Oilers poor performance. My sense is that this was real emotion coming from the team captain and one of the few times he really said what was on his mind to the media.

What say you? Should the Oilers have been more motivated having watched the Colby Cave tribute or is it fair to say that there was little chance Edmonton was going to be at full strength. One thing to keep in mind is that it wasn’t a normal game day for the Oilers either. With no afternoon skate, their routine was certainly off.

Latest on Taylor Hall

Amazingly, the Oilers are still being connected to rumors surrounding Taylor Hall. Some are suggesting the team has expressed some interest in a trade and sign scenario while others have noted there’s little to the rumors. Chris Johnston noted on Saturday that the Oilers could circle back here on Hall on Monday.

Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres
Taylor Hall, Buffalo Sabres (Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images)

If the Sabres find that no one is willing to meet their asking price of a first-round pick, could a deal be worked out where they take on a bad contract in exchange for the higher draft choice? Fans in Edmonton are mixed on the Hall talk, but if an expensive contract can be moved out as a part of the deal and Hall extended on a team-friendly extension, it might quiet some of those fans who are extremely opposed to the idea of bringing him back.

Updated Game Schedule:

In case you were wondering what the updated schedule looks like for the Oilers after news broke that the Canucks would have their games re-slotted, that new schedule is below:

  • Edmonton at Calgary, scheduled for May 7, is now scheduled for Saturday, April 10 at 8PM. (already took place)
  • Edmonton at Vancouver, scheduled for May 4, is now scheduled for Friday, April 16 at 7PM
  • Montreal at Edmonton, scheduled for April 20, is now scheduled for April 21 8 p.m.
  • Vancouver at Edmonton, scheduled for April 3, is now scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 at 7PM
  • Vancouver at Edmonton, scheduled for April 12, is now scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 8PM
  • Edmonton at Montreal, scheduled for March 24, is now scheduled for May 10 at 5PM
  • Edmonton at Montreal, scheduled for March 26, is now scheduled for May 11 at 5 p.m.
  • Vancouver at Edmonton, scheduled for April 14, is now scheduled for Thursday, May 13 at 7PM
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