According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Edmonton Oilers were trying to complete a trade for Sam Lafferty, but just couldn’t make it work.
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Sam Lafferty to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2024 draft. However, apparently he could have instead been suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers.
Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman made the comments on Monday, during his weekly 32 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek. Friedman said:
"“I do think the Oilers (were) one of the teams which talked to the Leafs about Sam Lafferty. I think they had some interest in Lafferty going back to last season, but they obviously couldn’t work out a deal.”"
Adding Lafferty certainly would have been an interesting move by the Oilers. He would have brought speed, energy, versatility and toughness to the bottom six.
While not the most gifted of offensive players, the 28-year-old forward is coming off a season where he scored a career-high 27 goals combined for the Blackhawks and Leafs. He will earn $1.15 million this season, before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
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As such, it’s a shame the Oilers were unable to add Lafferty to the roster. What didn’t help, was that they were compromised by their current injury situation.
In particular, Friedman said the Oilers were “screwed’ by the injury to Markus Niemeläinen. As a result of the injury, they couldn’t send him down to the AHL.
Now combine this with the injuries to Mattias Ekholm and Ryan McLeod, and it caused a domino effect the team didn’t want. More specifically, having to place Lane Pederson, Ben Gleason and — most concerning — Raphael Lavoie on waivers during Sunday.
Fortunately, as reported by Jason Gregor of Sports 1440 Edmonton, Lavoie did (somehow) clear waivers. If he had been claimed, it would have added a sense of irony to the Oilers’ inability to land Lafferty.
Overall, missing out on Lafferty, while he would have been a solid addition, is not exactly a disaster. However, the whole situation surrounding it does highlight the Oilers’ ongoing injury concerns heading into the new season on Wednesday night.