Report: Oilers goalie trade in the works?

Something’s got to give says Oilers insider Allan Mitchell, who breaks down a potential deal between the pipes.

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One of the biggest reasons the Edmonton Oilers have failed to replicate last season’s success? Goaltending. In 2016-17, starting goalie Cam Talbot was a revelation. His sparking 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage in 73 games propelled the Oilers back into the playoffs after a decade long drought. This time around, injuries, inconsistency and a total breakdown of the team’s defensive structure has led to a ballooning of the team’s goaltending statistics.

Talbot himself sports a 3.11 GAA and .902 save percentage in 36 games. It’s even uglier for backup Laurent Brossoit, who sports a 3.22 GAA and .886 save percentage. Yikes.

The addition of veteran Al Montoya, acquired from the Montreal Canadiens via trade earlier this month, seems to have helped a bit, as he’s looked good in his two games. But the acquisition of Montoya has put the future of Brossoit into doubt. Where does he fit in the organization’s depth chart now? 

In his latest article for The Athletic, Allan “Lowetide” Mitchell breaks down Brossoit’s time in Edmonton so far and wonders whether the young goaltender is in the team’s future plans. 

“Edmonton's 'goalie of the future' was supposed to be establishing himself as a solid NHL backup this season,” begins Mitchell before admitting, “It is safe to say he has entered a period of uncertainty with the Oilers organization.”

With such a crowded crease in the Oilers organization, Mitchell suggests a trade to help clear the logjam and give Brossoit a chance to chase his NHL dream elsewhere. Just look at the Oilers’ depth chart in goal:

  1. Cam Talbot, signed $4,166,667 for one more year (through summer 2019)
  2. Al Montoya, signed $1,062,500 for one more year (through summer 2019)
  3. Laurent Brossoit, RFA
  4. Nick Ellis, RFA
  5. Shane Starrett, signed to his entry-level deal through summer 2019
  6. Dylan Wells, entry-level deal starts this fall, running through 2021
  7. Stuart Skinner, unsigned, is eligible to sign and turn pro this fall

That’s a lot of goalies… with four of them on contracts beyond this year. Something’s got to give. So, the plan? 

Trade one of Montoya, Brossoit or Ellis before the fall.

Seems reasonable. But, what’s the return? Brossoit isn’t likely to fetch much more than a low pick or some sort of conditional pick. He’s 24-years-old and at a crossroads in his NHL career. He already passed through waivers successfully early this month and was passed on by every single NHL GM.

If Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli can’t find a home for Brossoit before his contract expires, do they Oilers just watch him walk away for nothing? What are their options really? What’s the appetite for bringing him back on a one-year, “prove it” type contract? One thing’s for sure, there’s so much up in the air for Brossoit and the Oilers right now that predicting his future is almost an impossibility.