According to a report from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, the Edmonton Oilers have received offers on 23-year-old defenseman Matthew Benning. While it’s believed that Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is actively trying to swap left-winger Anton Slepyshev for a right-winger on the trade market, Spector reports that it’s Benning who is piquing teams’ interest in trade talks.
…we have also learned that at least one team is showing interest in defenceman Matt Benning. There is no evidence that the Oilers are shopping Benning, but the sense would be that Chiarelli has targeted other young defenceman and as such, Benning becomes the ask.
While Benning could fetch a favorable return for the Oilers, the problem is that they don’t really have any depth on the blue line as it is. If you remove Benning from the equation then things get even thinner. Oscar Klefbom, their #1 defenseman from last season, has been mostly awful this season. His partner Adam Larsson has been better, but still doesn’t look like his old self. Andrej Sekera is still out recovery from an MCL surgery and partner Kris Russell has not handled the increase in minutes well.
So, to move Benning or not move Benning? IIt really comes down to positional need for the Oilers. If Chiarelli feels like scoring is more important than defense, don’t be surprised if he makes a move. But, Oilers fans would feel a lot more confident in such a move if one of the team’s blue liners suddenly took a step forward.