3 reasons Evander Kane could be key for the Oilers at the trade deadline

As the Oilers look for ways to make a move ahead of the Mar. 8 trade deadline, there are several reasons why it would make sense to offload Evander Kane.

Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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The NHL trade deadline is just four days away, but as yet the Edmonton Oilers have yet to make a move. However, don't mistake this for meaning they aren't still trying, as they look at the likes of a top-six forward, a top-four blue liner and tandem goalie.

Not that general manager and president of hockey operations Ken Holland wants to make a trade for the sake of it. During a recent Q&A with The Athletic's Daniel Nugent-Bowman, he said: "I’d like to do something between now and the deadline. Obviously, if you do something, you’re doing it because you like it. You’re not doing it because you don’t like it; you’re doing it because you like it."

The question is, who are the Oilers prepared to offload in order to upgrade the roster? We offer three reasons why they should give serious though to attempting to trade Evander Kane:

1) Salary cap hit

During the excellent Elliotte Friedman's latest Saturday headlines segment for Sportsnet, he mentioned the Oilers' focus ahead of the Mar. 8 deadline. More specifically, their need to free up some cap space in order to help facilitate any trades.

You can certainly appreciate this, given the current precarious situation surrounding the Oilers' salary cap. As per Cap Friendly, at the time of posting they are projected to have just $2,373,102 of cap space at the deadline.

Among those being mentioned include the likes of Cody Ceci and Warren Foegele, who have respective cap hits of $3.25 million and $2.75 million. Of course in an ideal world the Oilers would love to rid themselves of Jack Campbell and his $5 million cap hit, but short of a miracle this just isn't going to happen.

However, another potential option is Kane, who has a cap hit of $5.125 million. In addition, he still has two more seasons on his deal after this one, before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

What's interesting about Friedman's comments, is that the Oilers are apparently trying to find some more cap space prior to making any significant trades. However, you can make the case this is the wrong approach, as it only makes it more difficult to get another team to accept taking on board Kane, or whoever else.

Instead, our belief is that Kane, etc, should be included as part of any potential deal to upgrade the roster. Think last season's trade for Mattias Ekholm (and a sixth round draft pick), when the Oilers gave up Tyson Barrie and prospect Reid Schaefer, as well as a first round and fourth round draft pick.

It's going to take a similar kind of package for the Oilers' to bring in a player who will have a similar impact to Ekholm. Certainly if they want a team to take on the mercurial Kane.

Fortunately for the Oilers, they do have some intriguing assets to offer to interested parties, including first round draft picks. The can also offer prospects such as Philip Broberg or Dylan Holloway, who both have upside and arguably just need a change of scenery to fulfil their potential.