After a failed season in 2017-18, the Edmonton Oilers fanbase is hoping the team will do everything they can to upgrade the roster and make the team a Cup contender once again. The Oilers dropped 25 points from the 2016-17 season, and general manager Peter Chiarelli is being pushed to make immediate improvement, if not, he might be pushed out the door.
There was a lot of chatter about the Oilers potentially putting this year’s first-round pick, 10th overall, in play. While Chiarelli mentioned he would only move his first round selection for the right player, one thing seems almost certain: changes will come by what they can accomplish on the trade market.
“A player at No. 9 or No. 10 isn’t going to play next year,” said Chiarelli. “We’ll certainly listen to offers, and if there is a trade, it would probably be on the draft floor.”
On that exact matter, Oilers insider David Staples of the Edmonton Journal has revealed that the team is getting ready to move one veteran player in the summer. According to Staples, there seems to be two clear options for Edmonton when it comes to trading veteran players. Staples believes that defenseman Oscar Klefbom and gritty forward Zack Kassian are the two most likely candidates to be on the move shortly.
"Klefbom is a good player with a very good long-term contract so he would bring back the most on a trade. Benning has yet to sign a contract, but has real value as a solid right shot third-pairing d-man who likely shouldn’t cost much in terms of contract. I could also see a scenario where the Oilers move out a physical winger like Zack Kassian, who has two years left on his deal, for a smaller, speedier winger."
Many fans would prefer to see a player like forward Milan Lucic, and his hefty contract, being moved out and Staples does not completely shut down this possibility. However, it seems quite difficult to find a trade partner for Lucic, who quite honestly, has done basically nothing all year at a very high price point.
"Of course, the Oil might like to move Milan Lucic, and for all I know Lucic would also welcome such a move, but it’s hard to imagine that after the down year Lucic had another team would be willing to take him on for five more years at $6 million per. But perhaps the Oil would eat part of the salary and sweeten the deal. This is pure speculation on my part, though, and I think it’s almost certainly not going to happen."
Chiarelli and team president Bob Nicholson have promised important changes, and it seems like it might be under way now.