For the last couple of weeks, it has been reported that the Edmonton Oilers could be putting together different stunning plans to rebuild a stormer team during the upcoming offseason. Just on Wednesday, The Athletic's Allan Mitchell reported that the Oilers could look into the possibility of trading star goalie Cam Talbot, or look at the trade market to land an experienced backup to help him out - or put some pressure on him to perform better.
There was also talks of NHL insider Darren Dreger who believes there is a chance the Oilers and general manager Peter Chiareilli could pull a blockbuster - call it, almost impossible yet grandiose - move during this summer's offseason.
“As far as I know, Edmonton is not on Erik Karlsson’s list,” explained Dreger. “Could that change? Of course that can change. I’m not predicting it will, but this is the stuff that we’re going to continue to talk about – not specific to Ottawa and Edmonton – but Erik Karlsson, just given his status with the Ottawa Senators moving again to the summer.
“Such a list of things that Peter Chiarelli needs to address. And I touched on a couple of them. Yeah, they need a mobile puck-moving defenseman. No question about that. I suspect – we’ve spent a ton of time, media in the East, talking about Erik Karlsson. TheOliver Ekman-Larsson rumors, speculation, all of that are going to become more of a storyline, I would think.
"I mean again, all very speculative, but I think that’s what Edmonton is hoping for. So as much as Vegas and maybe Tampa Bay were in on Erik Karlsson, I look at the Oilers kind of targeting OEL if there’s even potential opportunity to do that. So if they can land that piece – I’m not sure how they do it – but if they could, that’d be a huge step in the right direction."
Now, there is a new report, Edmonton Journal columnist and Edmonton Oilers insider David Staples cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman about Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom and the seemingly never-ending trade speculation that surrounds him.
It’s believed that Klefbom has been playing through a nagging shoulder injury all season long and the fact that the team has yet to shut him down, despite being well out of the Western Conference playoff race, has led to speculation that Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is showcasing the Swedish defender for a trade.
“It’s pretty clear that he’s been playing hurt. And players who have played against him say that he has been really protective of his shoulder, the way he turns, the way he goes into the boards. Like, he has played pretty hard this year considering he has really been hurting,” said Friedman earlier this week on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central. “And the fact that they haven’t shut him down, I think that’s leading to some belief that they are showcasing him. And if you want to trade something that can get you value in Edmonton, Klefbom might be the guy. And I think the fact that they haven’t shut him down when clearly he has been playing with pain, I think that’s leading to some wonder that he could be a guy that other teams are looking at.”
Friedman’s Sportsnet colleague Mark Spector backs up Friedman as well saying, ““Is he ever healthy? Give me a time when he’s healthy. We’re well into a career here and the guy is hurt every single year. It’s not going to get easier to play. It’s going to get harder. He’s not going to get younger.”
“If the right trade offer came, Spector said, “I’d absolutely move him…. His track record is he’s hurt too much. I’d move him.”
The better plan could be to shut down the young defender for the season, and allow him to gain back his confidence and get ready for next season... if not, the Oilers might not get a whole lot in return for Klefbom... But why else would Edmonton be playing a player who is clearly hurt when this season is a lost cause?
What would you do?