Controversial trade scenario surfaces in Edmonton and Oilers are in win-now mode!
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Controversial trade scenario surfaces in Edmonton and Oilers are in win-now mode!

There’s never any shortage of drama surrounding the Oilers! But this might not be the right call…



The expectations from many fans in Edmonton in 2023 were that the Oilers could win the Stanley Cup this year, but they fell out in Round 2. Now, the devoted fanbase in Edmonton have taken a look at the tight cap space and all the players to re-sign and wonder if the Oilers will be able to improve enough in the trade market to take the next step.

And fans aren’t just wondering, per Adam Proteau of the Hockey News. The reporter revealed that fans “have legitimate questions about where the Oilers are heading in the 2023-24 season.”

No one can blame them…

Proteau feels already defeated when it comes to the goaltending situation since he believes the Oilers and general manager Ken Holland will stick with Jack Campbell and youngster Stuart Skinner. He however has a feeling that changes could come to the defense corps and bottom-six forwards if the Oilers can find a willing trade partner.

“The Oilers are in win-now mode, so we could see Holland dealing Edmonton’s first-rounder in 2024 or 2025 to add an elite veteran to the lineup. But the Oilers have to find a trade partner to either provide more cap space or bring in a proven performer who can make them tougher to play against in their own zone. In the flat-cap environment, that’s easier said than done.

Holland must identify a target another team will part with and then make the financial component of the trade make sense under the cap.”

Proteau also explains how Holland has already traded away his first-round draft pick on the deal that brought former Nashville Predators cornerstone defenseman Mattias Ekholm to Edmonton. He also cannot see the Oilers trading away veterans like Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evander Kane - oh and especially Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
That’s just the thing too. The Oilers could choose to stay the course with two of the best players in the league at the moment… But if Holland does not at least “engage with his fellow GMs and come up with at least one trade of consequence this off-season”, Proteau predicts fans will have more criticism than questions after the summer.

On Tuesday, the Oilers signed forward Derek Ryan to a two-year deal worth $900,000 per year, which means they have only $5.07 million in salary cap space with 18 players under contract for next season, per CapFriendly.

Stay tuned - though if you’re an Oilers’ fans, I really know you’re tuned in on what happens next in Edmonton.

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