Is It Time for the Edmonton Oilers to Bring Back A Familiar Face?

As the search to upgrade the Edmonton Oilers’ wings continues, more and more names are coming up in the rumor mill.

Edmonton Oilers: Rumor has it they are looking at bringing in a former Oiler who is having a tough time getting acclimated to his new surroundings — someone who plays in the New York area.

Last time, I spoke about Wayne Simmonds being brought in to help out Connor on the 1st line. I thought that he would be the perfect blend of skill and power but that the return for him might be one of Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto and a draft pick.

I was a tad shocked when I read that Lyle Richardson (Spectors Rumors) suggested that Tampa Bay could offer up Slater Koekkoek for him in a package. That would be a slight underpayment in my opinion, and now we know that Koekkoek has been sent to Chicago for Jan Rutta.

If that’s all it will cost for a top-6 winger who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, this might be Edmonton’s lucky year. They’ve got a plethora of defensemen that could be moved if that’s the going currency.

Speaking of a top-6 winger who will be a UFA this summer, Jordan Eberle is on pace for around 16 goals this season, a substantial drop off his career average. Word has it that he and his new wife are disillusioned with life on Long Island and that they’d like a return to a small market Canadian team.

Enter the Edmonton Oilers. A small market Canadian team.

Eberle did not leave Edmonton under the rosiest of circumstances. The fanbase was aggravated with him because he didn’t score during the 2016-17 playoffs. He was nearly a healthy scratch by then head coach Todd McLellan and spent some time on the 3rd line in that post-season.

But times have changed a bit. The Oilers are desperate to upgrade their wings and McLellan isn’t coaching the team anymore. Eberle would be a welcome addition to their first unit power play, and if general manager Peter Chiarelli could find a way to send some money back to the Islanders, Edmonton could fit the former Oiler under their cap no problem.

The Cost

I can’t see anybody spending more than a 2nd round pick on the underperforming winger. Maybe add in a B-rated prospect.

I would offer them three packages to choose from:

  1. A 2nd round pick in 2020 and a choice of Filip Berglund, Dmitri Samorukov, or Ostap Safin
  2. Milan Lucic (50% salary retained) and Matt Benning
  3. Cam Talbot and a mid-round draft pick (Greiss would come back to Edmonton)

The first package is one that could benefit them in the long run and allow them to use that extra cap space to make a deal elsewhere. Edmonton would need to work something out on their end to get Eberle’s contract under the salary cap mind you.

The second package would be great for the Islanders should they match-up with the Capitals at any point here on in. Lucic vs. Tom Wilson would be a battle I’d pay to watch in the playoffs and Matt Benning’s playing style is built for the post-season.

The third package would be goaltending insurance if Robin Lehner were to slow down or get injured. It would also give Edmonton a goalie under contract for next season.

He’s Not for Connor

I believe that Leon Draisaitl will be Connor McDavid‘s wingman for the foreseeable future. Any winger brought in will most likely be to compliment Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and what better player to trade for than someone he’s had mad chemistry within the past?

I say, bring him in and get him signed to a 3-4 year deal worth $4M per year. Then reap the benefits!