There was plenty of action during the National Hockey League's offseason this summer but the move that came as perhaps the offseason's biggest surprise came courtesy of a trade between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. The Oilers traded veteran winger Milan Lucic to arguably their biggest rivals, the Calgary Flames, in exchange for veteran winger Milan Lucic. The trade was surprising not only because of the relationship between these two teams, but also because both players were viewed as being untradable given their recent performances and their respective contracts.
That trade thus far has seemingly worked out great for the Oilers and perhaps as a result of the success of that trade many fans have now started to wonder whether or not the Oilers could pull off a similar trade in an effort to get rid of yet another problem player. The Oilers of course are currently without former first round pick Jesse Puljujarvi due to the fact that the Finnish forward has chosen to play in Europe following a trade demand that thus far has not been acted upon by Oilers general manager Ken Holland, and some believe that there is an obvious swap out there available for the Oilers.
You see there is another team out there with a problem player that is somewhat similar to Puljujarvi in that he is also a former first round, I am of course referencing much-maligned New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang. After failing to make the Islanders main roster out of training camp once again this season Ho-Sang, like Puljujarvi, has demanded a trade as he seeks what will hopefully be a better opportunity somewhere else in the National Hockey League. Could the Islanders and the Oilers come together to work out a trade similar to the one that saw Lucic swapped for Neal earlier this year? Well Lye Richarson of The Hockey News feels like the Oilers would be coming out on the losing end of such a deal.
Some fans might wonder why the Oilers and Islanders haven’t swapped Puljujarvi and Ho-Sang, giving both wingers the change of scenery they seek. Despite Puljujarvi’s struggles, he’s viewed as having more upside than Ho-Sang. The Oilers (and other clubs) still believe he can blossom into a top-six winger, something Ho-Sang hasn’t done at the NHL or AHL levels.
Ho-Sang is of course several years removed from the incredible form he showed as a member of the Niagara IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League and it is fair to question how much upside he really has as an NHL player at this point. However perhaps the Islanders could find a way to entice the Oilers to give up Puljujarvi by sweetening the pot, but it sounds like the Oilers and Ken Holland are hoping that a strong showing from Puljujarvi in Europe will increase his trade value in the NHL.