Edmonton Oilers: Looking to Acquire Winger from Philadelphia to Upgrade Flanks?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Jakub Voracek #93 and Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on March 22, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Jakub Voracek #93 and Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrate a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on March 22, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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As the Edmonton Oilers season plods along, the pundits and fans of the team become less enamored with the performances of the playing personnel.

The word going around for the Edmonton Oilers is that they are looking for help on the wings in a desperate bid to make the playoffs this season and show to their fanbase that they mean business.

Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers is a winger that has been connected to the Oilers in the rumor mill since before Milan Lucic showed up. If you’re a close follower of the team, you might remember back when there were murmurings of a Jordan Eberle for Simmonds trade in the works. He’s the kind of player Edmonton has always been a fan of, and if the link above is credible, the Oilers are targeting him once again.

Simmonds is on the final year of a contract that pays him $5M (the cap hit is $3.975 million). He’s played 41 games for the struggling Flyers and amassed 12 goals and six assists as well as 53 penalty minutes. For the most part, he’s been seen as a third line winger this year, and that could be due to the emergence of Travis Konecny in their top-6.

The Scarborough native has a 12-team no trade list that he has to submit to the Flyers if indeed they are looking to move him.

The Edmonton Oilers currently have 4th liner Zack Kassian playing first line right-wing with Connor McDavid, and that would concern the most casual of hockey fans. Another concern that might lean to the more dedicated Oilers fan with regards to Wayne Simmonds is that they’re watching a former elite power forward’s career crater in front of their eyes. I don’t imagine they’d be interested in being burnt twice.

On the other hand, Wayne Simmonds still has that taste for blood, and he’s a willing combatant with no fear. Where Lucic has lost his courage to fight and play in front of the net, Simmonds is still quite eager to go to these areas.

Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock has stated that he believes the Oilers need a big man on McDavid’s line because the other teams are already backing off when he brings the puck in, thus making scoring off of the rush much more difficult. He believes that they’ll have to score goals by grinding in the offensive zone. This is where Simmonds fits like a glove.

The Return

I don’t believe that the Edmonton Oilers should be trading any of their goaltenders right now and Flyers fans would want somebody more substantial like Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto, but what if they moved two 2nd round picks and a prospect like Cooper Marody (see what I did there?) for Simmonds?

Next. Will The Oilers Fire Chiarelli?. dark

Would he just be a rental? What might the Simmonds camp be demanding this summer for the services of their client? $6M a year long term? That’s too rich for my blood. Maybe $5M per year is more like it and given the free-fall that some power forwards careers are going through right now, Simmonds might be good to sign that while it’s on the table.