While trade chatter appears to be buzzing in Canada, especially since Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson revealed that he would sign a long-term contract with a Canadian team, what is being heard in Edmonton could be a positive sign moving forward for the Oilers.
Since the beginning of the summer, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has been looking around at different options, especially when it comes to the team's blue line, and Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal believes the Oilers should take another look at the Carolina Hurricanes.
With Canes forward Jeff Skinner finally moved, the focus of Hurricanes trade speculation shifts toward defenseman Justin Faulk. Leavins suggests it could cost them a roster player and a high draft pick, pointing out the low return the Hurricanes accepted from the Buffalo Sabres (a prospect and three draft picks) to part with Skinner.
"I have suggested that the Oilers could be looking at Carolina D-man Justin Faulk and that the price-tag could be a roster player and a high pick. You don’t think that would get it done, eh? Consider that Carolina moved Jeff Skinner to Buffalo for a prospect Cliff Pu (who was just a 3rd Round pick in ’16 and has yet to play a professional game), a high draft pick (a 1st Rounder this year), plus a 3rd and a 6th rounder next. Is Skinner not the superior player?"
Cap Friendly currently indicates that the Oilers currently have around $3.9 million in projected salary-cap space for 2018-19 with restricted free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse to re-sign. Edmonton will also have some cap flexibility when sidelined blueliner Andrej Sekera gets placed on long-term injured reserve at the start of the season.
With over $62 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, the Oilers have the cap room to take on Faulk's $4,833,333 annual salary. Faulk has a 15-team trade list giving the Hurricanes more possibilities if they decide to trade him.
As the price went down, a lot more than people expected, on the return for Skinner, the same thing could take place before the start of the season when it comes to Faulk. While new Hurricanes GM Don Waddell once mentioned he would not move one of this two captains, he could change his mind, especially closer to the February trade deadline, especially if the offense keeps lacking in Carolina. The Canes were 23rd overall in goals for per game (2.74) last season and the return received from the Sabres won't replace Skinner's offense.