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Edmonton Oilers Need Goaltending Help… Again

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The Oilers have lassoed Nicholson. McDavid. Chiarelli. McLellan.

The list reads like a who’s who of brilliant hockey minds. Different facets of hockey, mind you. But brilliant hockey minds nonetheless. The pieces are all starting to fall into place for the Oilers, but the elephant in the room remains the same. Goaltending.

It’s a bit of an uncomfortable situation for the Oilers going forward. MacTavish’s (reasonable) gamble on both Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth has not really paid off and yet another replacement is needed.

Fasth never really found his stride with the Oilers and is not expected to re-sign with the club. And while Scrivens is signed for 1 more year, the idea of him becoming a bona-fide #1 goaltender at the age of 29 seems a bit far-fetched. Unless he pulls a Tim Thomas on us, Scrivens is what he is. A very good backup, but not a starter.

Sorry, Ben.

Who do the Oilers chase? Here are a couple of trade options. Not UFA targets.

1. Eddie Lack – Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER, CANADA – MARCH 1: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) during the family skate after practice for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic game at BC Place on March 1, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

A few years back, it’s widely believed that the Oilers were in the Cory Schneider sweepstakes but we unable to trade for him because Vancouver didn’t want to trade a #1 goalie within their own division. And why would they? It makes sense that they wouldn’t want to hand Edmonton a terrific goaltender.

For this same reason, I believe that it will be tough for Edmonton to land Lack in any sort of trade. Lack is coming into his own at the age of 27; Ryan Miller turns 35 in July and has a lot of hard miles on him. Tough to say whether or not Vancouver will want to trade Lack at all, but he’s certainly an intriguing target in my mind. Just be prepared to pay above market value as we’re still a division rival. He’s signed to a very cap-friendly deal for 1 more season and will be in line for a pretty big raise after that.

2. Cam Talbot

Now this is one that has beenparroted a lot during the last couple of weeks. Popular opinion seemsto be trading our 16th overall pick for Talbot, (or something around Talbot) and then havingScrivens and Talbot battle it out for goaltending supremacy. A quick look at Talbot’s statsindicate a very impressive performance over the past 2 seasons andLundqvist isn’t going anywhere for the next couple of years at least. Talbot will want more opportunity, and who can blame him?

3. Robin Lehner

OTTAWA, CANADA – SEPT 11: Robin Lehner of the Ottawa Senators poses for his official headshot for the 2013-2014 season on September 11, 2013 at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robin Lehner

With the recent signing of Boston University alumni Matt O’Connor, the Senators crease is looking extremely crowded and it’s pretty obvious that something has to give. Lehner struggled with injuries and inconsistency in 2014-15 but is still only 23 and could probably be had on the cheap because of the logjam in Ottawa. Look for an asking price of a 2nd round pick or a B level prospect for Lehner.

This trade would probably be the easiest of the 3 for Edmonton to make but probably carries the most risk. There’s no guarantee that Lehner will be 100% by training camp and he’s a hot head who sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him, which in turn rattles his team.

My Personal Opinion

Of the 3 options that I’ve presented here, my personal opinion is to go after Lehner. There are a couple of different reasons for this, most importantly being his potential. As mentioned, he’s still only 23 and developing his game. It seems like he’s been around for a long, long time already but I believe that he still hasn’t reached his potential.

Talbot is the sexy name that’s been punted around like nobody’s business lately, and it makes sense. He’s a young goalie in his prime, but stuck behind Henrik Lundqvist. King Henrik. That guy who’s capable of playing 70 games a season and is only 33. Talbot’s numbers look awesome while with the Rangers, but you know who else had great numbers with his previous team? The Professor. I believe that Talbot isn’t as good as his numbers indicate and Edmonton’s porous defense will expose him in a real hurry.

I avoid Lack if I can just because the asking price would likely be much higher for Edmonton than for anyone else. That’s the downside of trading within your division and it only makes sense from Vancouver’s side. It’s not like we would trade Hall to the Canucks for the same price as it would cost anyone else. Due diligence, my friends.

Any other names that you like? Tweet me @oilonwhyte or leave a comment below.

Onward.