There's just no stopping the Edmonton Oilers at the moment. Following Thursday night's hard-fought 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, they've won 15 games in a row.
The Oilers are now within just two games of equalling the all-time NHL record of 17, held by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Of course even if they do equal or indeed break the current record, it won't really mean anything if they don't go on to capture their first Stanley Cup since 1990.
With this in mind, despite the current winning streak the Oilers could still stand to strengthen their team. And despite going 13 straight games of allowing two or fewer goals, the blue line is arguably the position they could most do with improving.
A potential solution in Ottawa
With this in mind, there is some intriguing speculation which has emerged of late, from the nation's capital. More specifically, that the Ottawa Senators might be open to moving Jakob Chychrun.
It should be noted that Chychrun himself has slammed the rumors. As per The Athletic's Ian Mendes, the defenceman has said: "I think it’s ridiculous, if I’m being honest. I went through it in Arizona and that was a different situation. But to see it now is a bit ridiculous. And I don’t think it’s based off anything."
Despite this, the speculation continues to spread as we edge ever closer to the Mar. 8 NHL trade deadline. And a major part of the reason comes down to the Senators' struggles, which sees them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings as of Friday morning.
This has understandably led to various hockey media outlets picking teams which they believe should make a move for Chychrun. This includes Matt Larkin of Daily Faceoff,, who has selected six potential landing spots including Edmonton.
Even taking into account Chychrun's comments, the Oilers owe it to themselves -- and their fans -- to test the speculation and make their pitch to the Senators. After all, we're talking about a quality and durable all-around top four blue liner, who would undoubtedly improve the team.
The Oilers have been here before, just last season making a major trade before the deadline to acquire Mattias Ekholm. His addition certainly boosted the defence, particularly Evan Bouchard.
Of course, making a play for Chychrun is one thing, but the Oilers do have to factor in their extremely tenuous salary cap situation. As per Cap Friendly at the time of posting, they are projected to have a mere $687,387 available at the trade deadline.
The 2016 16th overall draft pick has a cap hit of $4.6 million for this season, which clearly creates a major obstacle for the Oilers. So how do they go about resolving this?
It's a given the Oilers will need to include a first round draft pick in any potential package, but in terms of players, Larkin suggests Philip Broberg or Dylan Holloway. However, with respective cap hits of $863,333 and $925,000, this clearly wouldn't be nearly enough.
Who else will it take?
In reality, the Oilers would probably have to offer the aforementioned first round pick, one of Broberg or Holloway and another player. One suggestion has been Warren Foegele and his cap hit of $2.75 million.
However, aside from the fact this still wouldn't be quite enough to cover the financial difference, we wouldn't move Foegele anyway. He's now establishing himself in the top six, which includes a run of seven points and a +5 rating in his seven games prior to Thursday night.
Instead, we'd be tempted to include Cody Ceci in any package. Yes he's also a top four blue-liner, but he's five years older than Chychrun; it would also be a straight swap of two contracts which both expire after next season.
Now it should be noted that Ceci has a cap hit of $3.25 million. However, when combined with Broberg or Holloway -- and we'd prefer it was the former -- and the Oilers' projected trade deadline cap space, they can just about make it work.
Overall, we appreciate there are some mental gymnastics going on here, combined with there likely to be plenty of fans not happy to see any combination of Broberg, Holloway, Ceci and Foegele leave. However, one thing we do know, is that the Oilers need to test the Senators' resolve and improve their defence, otherwise it could come back to once again bite them in the ass come playoff time.