Oilers reported interest in Jordan Binnington is a reach

Jan 3, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50) looks into his mask before play begins in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50) looks into his mask before play begins in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Oilers being interested in Jordan Binnington is understandable and probably legitimate, it’s still unlikely the goalie will end up in Edmonton.

It seems somewhat surreal there is already so much trade speculation surrounding the Oilers, with the deadline still four months away. However, this just ties in with what a bizarre season this has been for Edmonton’s NHL team up to this point.

The Oilers have been a disaster, with their 2-8-1 record through 11 games equalling the worst ever start to a season in franchise history. They have severely underachieved in all areas, and they look nothing like the team predicted to be genuine Stanley Cup contenders during the preseason.

This includes horrific defensive play, highlighted by the Oilers having the worst team save percentage in the league as of Thursday morning. In addition, they have allowed the second-most average goals per game.

A scapegoat of sorts

As a result something had to give, with Jack Campbell paying the price for the collective defensive failings of the team. The Oilers almost had no choice but to place him on waivers, given the hanging albatross that is his five-year, $25 million deal, combined with him clearly not being the answer between the pipes.

Campbell unsurprisingly cleared waivers and was assigned to Bakersfield. Regardless, the Oilers are now desperately searching for a way to strengthen the goaltender position.

While there would be no issue with being proven wrong, Calvin Pickard probably isn’t the answer. And how confident are Oilers fans, that Stuart Skinner will suddenly return to the form that saw him excel last season?

As a result, the Oilers are considering alternative goalie options outside the organisation. This has led to them being linked to the likes of Juuse Saros, James Reimer and Jake Allen.

Interest in a Stanley Cup champion

However, a particularly intriguing option the Oilers have been linked with, is Jordan Binnington. No less an authority than Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman, has advised of reports mentioning the team’s interest in the goalie.

Certainly you can understand why the Oilers would be considering Binnington. He is extremely talented, has excellent movement and reflexes, and knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

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Critics will point towards the 30-year-old still living somewhat off his Stanley Cup win with the St. Louis Blues in the 2018-19 season. Or more to the point, that he has never quite managed to return to that level of play or perform well on a consistent enough basis.

Regardless, Binnington has a career record of 120-77-27 in 226 regular season starts (231 games overall). With a .907 save percentage and .919 Goals Against Average, he would more than likely boost the Oilers’ goalie situation.

Financial and temperament issues

However, it is quite unlikely the Oilers will end up securing the services of the 2020 All-Star. One of the main obstacles is his contract, which carries an annual cap hit of $6 million through the end of the 2026-27 season.

It’s no secret how precarious the Oilers’ salary cap situation is this season, with just $21,308 available at the time of posting. (As per CapFriendly.) And it’s unfeasible to imagine the Blues being willing to take on Campbell and his salary, as part of any return package.

In this respect, why would the Blues decide to part company with Billington? Aside from the team looking good enough to contend for the playoffs this season, Joel Hofer is not ready to become the full-time starter; plus, most teams need a solid goalie tandem in today’s NHL.

As for the player, would Billington himself want to move to Edmonton? He has a lot of control in any potential move, with a 18-team no-trade clause for this season.

Further, and we give due credit to NHL Trade Talk‘s Jim Parsons for this, what about the Richmond Hill, Ontario native’s mental makeup? The narrative is that he has one of the NHL’s biggest egos.

This includes Billington being prone to anger issues, which sees him periodically make headlines for the wrong reasons. As fragile as the Oilers’ collective confidence is right now, would adding someone prone to temper tantrums be such a good idea?

Next. 4 trade targets to solve Oilers goaltender woes. dark

Overall, the addition of Binnington would definitely have the potential to boost the Oilers, but also possibly break them. Ultimately, the team will not end up trading for the 2011 third round draft pick.