Edmonton Oilers: Could there be a trade on the horizon?

The Edmonton Oilers are over the roster limit and salary cap, is a trade brewing?

Courtesy of CapFriendly.com, we can now see that the Edmonton Oilers are the only team in the league that are over the 23 man roster limit (24 at the time of writing) and are still over the cap by just over $1 million. I don’t know about you, but to me, this says that some sort of deal is imminent.  After all, we know there are penalties for going over the cap and I don’t know the rules around the roster limit but I assume the NHL has penalties for going over the roster limit as well.

Ken Holland is too smart a GM to let these things happen.  Fortunately, both of these goals are easily met by simply trading 1 player. Personally, I have a feeling that that trade will come for a bottom 6 player.  This is the only place on the roster where there is a surplus of players.

I still believe the 2 biggest targets are Alex Chiasson – a RWer signed for 1 more year at $2.15 million.  Josh Archibald could easily take his spot in the lineup.  He proved his 20 goal season 2 seasons ago was a fluke, but he is a veteran of 519 NHL games and while he is overpaid a little bit it’s not by much, and he’d be a great addition to a young team looking for more experience in their top 6.  I’m willing to bet that a 5th or 6th round pick would do the trick to acquire him, too.

The Oilers need to make a trade to get under the roster limit and salary cap

Trading Chiasson in this salary cap dump would then put the Oilers $1,120,842 under the cap and would put the Oilers at the 23 man roster limit.  Good option.  The other player I could see the Oilers trading would be projected 4th line C Jujhar Khaira.  He’s signed for 1 more season at $1.2 million.

Probably could be had for a 6th or 7th round draft pick.  This is a player who brings a great physical game to the table and some ability on the PK but whose offence has gone down the last 3 seasons straight.  His +/- has cratered along with it.

Nonetheless, he’s got 218 NHL games under his belt and seems to be crying out for a change in scenery.  He’s not overpaid at all and could rebound with a fresh start.  Meanwhile, Gaetan Haas should be able to take his roster spot without a problem.  He’s not as physical but he’ll bring more offence to the table as well as better defensive play.

The only issue with Haas is he only has 58 NHL games under his belt so with less experience he’s more a risk to replace Khaira.  However, considering we’re only talking about 4th line C here, IMO this is nitpicking.  Haas will play limited minutes and face the softest competition the NHL has to offer, just like any 4th line C.

In fact, last season the 2 put up the exact same 10 points.  Khaira was 6-4 vs. 5-5 for Haas, but that’s splitting hairs.  Anyway, trading Khaira will also take care of the roster spot issue and put the Oilers at $170, 842 under the cap.

Could you trade both of them in one trade? 

Never say never in the NHL, but it’s unlikely in this cap climate you’ll find 1 team that could take on over $3 million worth of cap space in their bottom 6, even for 1 season.  Could some odd 3-way trade be done?  Maybe, but that’s usually done only for higher-profile players and higher draft picks.

I can’t remember a trade ever being consummated between 3 teams with only bottom 6 players.  If anyone wants to comb through the mountains of trades throughout NHL history and find one, be my guest.  In any case, Holland needs to get rid of at least 1 player out of necessity.  It’ll be interesting to see what he has planned here.  Stay tuned.