The Edmonton Oilers may be upset that they are not involved in the current playoff run, but they are surely enjoying watching the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators in action during the second round of the series. They are liking the look and performance of one specific player, whom they hope to pry out of Music City and get as one of their own next season.
Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis has just one year left on his bargain deal, which only counts $2.5 million against the cap, and it was expected that intense speculation would pick up on his case as the summer approaches. During a Friday segment on Edmonton’s 630 CHED with Elliotte Friedman, Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer flat out asked the NHL insider if one of the potential targets could be Ellis.
While Friedman agrees with the fact that the Oilers will be looking to bolster their back end this summer, Friedman doesn’t believe the Predators will shop him and feels they’ll do everything they can to retain him.
“I can’t see Nashville moving Ellis,” said Friedman. “I just don’t see it. He’s a Predator born and bred. He’s happy to be there. He’s one of theirs, right. I think they would try to sort out the whole situation with Ellis before they would consider moving him. I think he’s a very big part of their identity and who they are.
“I think Nashville would exhaust every possibility about keeping him before they would consider moving him. And from everything I know about Ryan Ellis, he loves it there and he would make it work.
“Until I’m led to believe anything otherwise, I believe he’s going to be there forever and ever and ever amen.”
Coming back from a serious injury in time for the second half of the season, Ellis managed to record nine goals and 32 points in 44 contests during the regular calendar. So far in the postseason, he amassed five assists in 10 games. In the first game of the series against the Jets, Ellis took a skate blade to the face. Ellis and Jets player Ben Chiarot became tangled up, and as they fell to the ice Chiarot’s skate caught Ellis near his visor. Ellis was bleeding heavily as he left the ice.
He was however back within minutes. We know the kid is a tough cookie and the Preds will want to hold on to him.
Better luck next time, Oilers.