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Oilers Got Fortunate With 4 Failed Deadline Trades

Oilers Got Fortunate With 4 Failed Deadline Trades

To say Mattias Ekholm has fit like a glove on this Edmonton Oilers roster would be understating the impact he’s had thus far in the few games he’s played since the NHL Trade Deadline. Ekholm has not only brought steadiness to the team’s blue line but he’s helped limit minutes for Darnell Nurse and done a world of good for Evan Bouchard. The Oilers paid a hefty price to acquire him, but he was the right guy at the right time for a team that has long-need to improve their 5-v-5 play and penalty killing.

Interestingly, Ekholm wasn’t necessarily the Oilers’ first trade deadline target. While assistant general manager Brad Holland said that the organization was ecstatic when it was learned the Nashville Predators were open to trading the bgi Swede, the Oilers had their toes in the water on a number of players. This post looks at some of the names Edmonton kicked tires on and failed to land for a variety of reasons. This post also discusses why it was good the Oilers missed on those swings.

Erik Karlsson: The Wrong Guy at the Wrong Price

Like Ekholm, Erik Karlsson had term on his contract, which is something the Oilers liked. If Ken Holland was going to take a home run cut on a defenseman — meaning give up a first-rounder and key assets to acquire him — they wanted someone who would provide consistent production over the next few seasons. Karlsson is having a Norris-caliber campaign on a terrible San Jose Sharks team. He’s going to be good for the next few years, at least.

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The Oilers may revisit this in the offseason but Holland should tread carefully. This was a player that was going to come at the cost of around $9 million per season ($3 million more than Ekholm) and for four more seasons versus Ekholm’s three. Both players are the same age, but Ekholm offers more defensive structure, which was what the Oilers really needed.

Had Karlsson come in and run the power play, Edmonton still would have lost Tyson Barrie, but the progression of Bouchard doesn’t happen.

Patrick Kane: He Isn’t What the Oilers Needed

There was talk the Oilers wanted to upgrade at right wing and looked at both Timo Meier and Patrick Kane. Meier went to the Devils and Kane to the Rangers, but how good the Rangers will be having made up most of their forward corps almost entirely of skilled and less gritty forwards will be fascinating to watch. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and starting to play a bit better, but there was an adjustment period…

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