Should the Oilers make a trade this deadline day? The Short Answer: Yes
Now, here’s why. There is no question that the Oilers are having an undoubtedly bad season by most standards. and because of this, they have become sellers at this years NHL trade deadline. Should it be Patrick Maroon? Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? A defenseman? It’s tough to tell what the right move is, with the new contracts to Leon Draisaitl and captain Connor McDavid totaling 21 million dollars against the cap next year. The right move, however, is to trade someone with a large foreseeable cap hit next year.
Patrick Maroon’s cap hit this year was an extremely friendly 2 million with Anaheim taking 0.5 million of his salary in the trade two years ago. He, of course, will be looking for a big payday after his contract is up; looking in the realm of 3.5-4.5 million. The Oilers right now have an issue with trading Maroon though, and that is depth on the wing. He has 83 points in two and a half years with the Oilers and has been a great addition to the team in regards to the dressing room. He was in Cabo with McDavid this past January for his birthday and most Oilers have said that he is the funniest guy in the room. This is important to a team that looks to revamp this upcoming season.
Nugent-Hopkins is signed with the Oilers until the end of the 2020-21 season at 6 million per year. His statistical improvement (16 G, 15 A, 31 P, in 46 games) this year has skyrocketed his trade value as well. He makes for a formidable 3rd line center for the Oilers but at 6 million a year it is a lot to pay. This looks like the best trade for the Oilers in our opinion. However, the issue is trying to find a trade partner that will take on his entire hit. If the Oilers could get back a winger that can score 20-25 goals and a 1st or second with a prospect this might be the perfect scenario for Edmonton.
There is no question that the Oilers are having an undoubtedly bad season.
What about a defenseman? Many are saying that Darnell Nurse is on the chopping block due to his expiring contract. He will be looking at an increase to 5 million per year on a long-term deal or 3-3.5 million on a bridge deal. His production this year has taken a small jump, but his impact has been felt with his 22+ min average TOI. This is not ideal due to Nurse’s upside and Edmonton should do what they can to get him on a bridge deal for a couple years before they eventually move on from Andrej Sekera’s hefty 5.5 million dollar contract.
No matter the move this trade deadline, the Edmonton Oilers MUST do something to set themselves up to make another playoff appearance.
Cap figures courtesy of: CapGeek.com
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