One question is getting louder in Edmonton: what happens is forward Jake Virtanen impresses at the Oilers’ training camp?
The addition of Virtanen to the Oilers’ camp roster prompted Sportsnet’s Mark Spector to wonder if general manager Ken Holland will be forced to move forward Jesse Puljujarvi. The winger is earning $3 million this season on a new contract, however, Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.
The trade watch is on in Edmonton as it will be interesting to see how Holland chooses to handle this once time comes to make the tough calls.
The Oilers have to clear cap space, especially if they are going to sign restricted free agent Ryan McLeod. Edmonton must become cap compliant when the season begins.
Holland could always demotes players, but there is a sense that it would be best for him to trade a piece, and Puljujarvi’s name has emerged many times in trade chatter.
Last week, team insider Ryan Rishaug of TSN explained how the Oilers were still exploring the options of moving Puljujarvi.
“Continuing to pursue all trade options for Puljujarvi - the most obvious move to clear out some cap space. If it doesn’t happen they can still start with what they’ve got but it’ll be razor thin margin budget-wise and could cause issues later in season…”
Let’s see if that’s the trade that will have to take place in Edmonton in the coming weeks.