With all the talk and constant trade chatter surrounding upcoming events like the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and the July 1st opening of NHL free agency, the rumor mill is running at full capacity. One team looking to get over the hump, the Minnesota Wild, have entrusted their direction to new general manager Paul Fenton, but as of yet Fenton has yet to make a move. It’s possible that Fenton is merely biding his time and deciding when to pounce… or it’s possible that he’s working in the shadows, away from the media’s attention. The same cannot be said for Fenton’s counterpart with the Edmonton Oilers Peter Chiarelli, however.
Chiarelli is burdened with the monumental task of overhauling the Oilers’ roster and getting them back into playoff contention. And, thanks in large part to playing in a highly scrutinized Canadian market, Chiarelli’s every move is playing out in a very public manner. If Fenton is working in the shadows, Chiarelli’s working under a 1000 watt spotlight by comparison.
In his latest column for The Athletic, Wild insider Michael Russo surveys the NHL’s trade market and links both the Wild and the Oilers in a potential swap. It’s no secret that the Oilers would love to dump forward Milan Lucic and his $6 million annual salary, but at what cost? And, might the Wild be interested in blue liner Oscar Klefbom?
Check it out:
One of the league’s most disappointing teams last season could be looking to shake things up. Milan Lucic has a brutal contract with five years left at $6 million per, and it’s hard to believe any team would even entertain acquiring him until the Oilers pay a $3.5 million signing bonus July 1. Brodin’s bosom buddy, Oscar Klefbom, could be had, but the left-shot defenseman has five years left at almost $4.2 million per. Restricted free agent Darnell Nurse and the 10th overall pick are two assets that could possibly be had.
Russo stops short of working out a hypothetical deal, but for the sake of argument could the Wild ship out 50 point defenseman Matthew Dumba in exchange for Klefbom and the 10th overall selection? Would the Oilers give up Klefbom so easily? The 24 year old blue liner struggled through injuries in 2017-18 and put up just five goals and 21 points, but he managed 12 goals and 38 points a season prior.
If nothing else, it’s food for thought. Interesting times in both Edmonton and Minnesota.