Just a couple of days ago, fellow Hockey Writers’ contributor Kevin Armstrong took a look at players the Toronto Maple Leafs might want to target from the Pittsburgh Penguins if the Penguins held a fire sale. Considering the Penguins struggled early thanks to injuries and illnesses, they are on a trajectory to potentially miss the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Armstrong mentioned that might open up the door to the Toronto Maple Leafs who could use some of the players the Penguins might make available.
It was an intriguing exercise and got me to thinking that there might be some similar names the Edmonton Oilers could target, plus another name GM Ken Holland might want to consider as the Oilers work their way towards the postseason.
The Jeff Carter Suggestion Fits for Edmonton Too
Armstrong noted that Jeff Carter is a player who could be popular at the trade deadline and I agree. The Oilers might be one of the teams who poke around if the winger/center is made available. He’s got an affordable contract at $2.6 million and Carter is a pending UFA, which is critical for the Oilers who will not be making major changes to their forward corps over the next few seasons.
The belief that you can never have too many centers is true with this player since Carter can play both center and wing and if there’s a question about depth in the Oilers’ forward ranks, it’s on the right side where Kailer Yamamoto hasn’t shown a ton of consistency. Carter has four goals and nine points in 16 games, could be used on the second-unit power play and play either second or third-line minutes. He could even slot in on the top line if head coach Dave Tippett starts to blend up his lines a little.
He’s a proven winner, he brings a bit of veteran grit to the Oilers lineup and there’s a lot to like about him in a short run with this current Oilers roster.
Brian Dumoulin: A Left-Shot the Oilers Should Watch
Edmonton learned very quickly that depth in a certain position can disappear. The team lost Darnell Nurse, Duncan Keith, and Slater Koekkoek all in a matter of days and their left side now consists of a rookie, a non-regular NHL veteran, and a prospect who hasn’t quite cemented himself as an NHL player.
As Armstrong mentioned, Brian Dumoulin is an interesting option because he’s a steadier, more reliable lefty who offers playoff experience. He could easily come in and shore up the Oilers’ depth issues — assuming the injuries continue to stay a problem. However, Dumoulin has term on his contract which isn’t ideal for the Oilers.
Oscar Klefbom is a big maybe for next season, Keith is still signed and Nurse is the top-pairing lefty. The Oilers have to find ways to fit Puljujarvi and Yamamoto in, plus look for a potential starting goaltender. Dumoulin’s $4.1 million cap hit is potentially problematic.
Tristan Jarry is an Interesting Option
President of Hockey Operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins Brian Burke has denied rumors the Penguins might be looking at trading goaltender Tristan Jarry. That the netminder is having a strong season with a .933 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average has quieted speculation even further. Still, Jarry’s name has been out there in the past. His strong play this season hasn’t completely erased the sting of a terrible previous playoff run and the Oilers do have questions in goal.
Jarry has one season after this remaining on his current deal at $3.5 million, which is actually perfect for the Oilers. It’s not a terribly expensive contract, Edmonton can see what Jarry looks like for a season while further evaluating Stuart Skinner and Mike Smith’s final year will be expiring at the same time with Mikko Koskinen out of the picture. Edmonton can hold off on having to completely reshape their goalie situation for one more season with Jarry in the mix.
If the Penguins sniff around a more seasoned goaltender or decide to test out the idea of bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury, there could be an opportunity there for the Oilers. Jarry wouldn’t come cheap and how the rest of his season unfolds would dictate the interest and the asking price. Again, he’s less likely to be moved, but that could change as the season unfolds.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”