Following the 2017 NHL All-Star Game, the next biggest league-wide event will be the trade deadline. With the Edmonton Oilers surviving with the team they currently have, many are curious as to if they will be active come Feb. 28.
Last season, the Oilers weren’t too big of buyers, but they were sellers as the deadline approached. They shipped out Justin Schultz and Teddy Purcell, but also picked up Patrick Maroon on the cheap. That deal turned out to give the team their leading goal scorer this season.
Last year, the team was pretty much out of the postseason race come February. However, they are still in it at this point in time and have gone 11-3-3 in their last 17 games played. In fact, Edmonton is even vying for the top seed in the Pacific Division.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t work to be done or deals to be made. The Oilers can still use plenty of help, especially when it comes to finding a top-six winger and a puck-moving blueliner for extra insurance. But here is our guide to the 2017 trade deadline for Edmonton.
Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken
Kevin Shattenkirk is a big name that is available at the trade deadline. Many Oilers fans would cite him as the perfect addition to the blue line, even for a short time. He’s a puck-moving blueliner who can put up points and also play strong defensively.
However, what fans and supporters of Shattenkirk forget is that the Blues are fighting for their playoff lives, and won’t give him away for cheap. Not to mention, with the lengthy list of names for the Oilers to protect in the expansion draft, Edmonton can’t afford Shattenkirk. Lastly, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and it is quite possible he would head to another team for more money.
Right now, the blue line is working. There is nothing completely wrong with it, or players that definitely need to go. With that being said, the Oilers shouldn’t be looking at Shattenkirk or trying to fix a problem that isn’t prominent. If everything seems to be flowing well, Edmonton doesn’t need another big name just for the sake of having it.
Besides, it would be smart for the Oilers to reach out to Shattenkirk in the offseason. That way, they get him long-term and don’t need to worry about the expansion draft, salary or short-term deal.
One name popping up in multiple rumors is Eberle. He is a player that has been on the market for years now and he still has great potential as a winger. However, this season, Eberle has seemed to struggle greatly and has trouble hitting the net.
In his last few games, there seems to be more urgency and step in his game, and he is gaining his confidence and ability back. If he continues to bring up his value, he will surely be one player who could be on his way out of Edmonton.
For Eberle, the Oilers should look at another top-six winger, or try to pick up a top-four defenseman with a stable contract. Either way, they need someone with offensive stride in their game; the wingers on the top six appear to have trouble scoring, and behind Eberle, there is not much depth on the right side.
Edmonton won’t make that big of a splash. With the expansion draft on the way, the Oilers will be focusing on who to protect, while also trying to stay in the post-season race. But in the end, this is good: the Oilers truly don’t need a shake-up. Not when everything seems to be working.