The Oilers are basically a parody of themselves at this point. After tripping over themselves through multiple rebuilds, they’ve managed to do the unthinkable and waste the early career of Connor McDavid. The Oilers, who are more of a meme than an NHL team, hired Peter Chiarelli in 2015 and all he’s done since is lose trades and bleed value from the team.
According to Oilers insider Ryan Rishaug, the organization is on a “full court press” to try to salvage their season. Edmonton sits in 11th in the West, two points out of a playoff spot, and amazingly, behind a team who has lost 11 games in a row.
Oilers organization is on a full court press to find help at forward. Scouts and staff deployed en masse.
Cap situation could make it tough, but first round pick, a goaltender, maybe a young developing forward likely all in play.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 14, 2019
It’s pretty easy to win a trade against Peter Chiarelli. As I said, he’s routinely spilling value whenever he pulls the trigger on a deal. Even beyond doing hilarious stuff like trading the league’s MVP for Adam Larsson, he’s managed to somehow downgrade on Ryan Strome and Drake Caggiula.
Those aforementioned Strome and Caggiula trades are the first signs of Chiarelli operating as a truly desperate general manager. It’s shocking that the Oilers are still allowing this guy to pull the trigger on deals but, well, it’s the Oilers, so what can you expect? He’s only going to be in charge for a little longer, so if teams want to take advantage of the village idiot, now is the time.
The thing the Oilers need most is scoring help up front. That’ll, uh, happen when you get rid of Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. How can the Leafs take advantage?
It’s a shame the Oilers don’t need defenders right now because this would be a great time to pawn off Nikita Zaitsev and his $4,500,000 cap hit. Maybe they could shoehorn Zaitsev’s contract into a deal involving another forward if they take a shorter term Oilers contract back. For example, maybe you can dump five more years of Zaitsev for a year and a half of Kris Russell or Andrej Sekera who can occupy Robidas island.
Connor Brown has only four goals this year and moving his $2,100,000 contract would make life easier on the Leafs this summer. Could Toronto manage to get a good prospect or a second-round pick for Brown? I mean, they could probably get both.
Would you count out Chiarelli pulling the trigger on a deal like Zaitsev and Brown for Russell and a first-round pick? I wouldn’t. Kyle Dubas should be on the phone immediately with Chiarelli. There might not be much time left to take advantage of him as an NHL general manager.