Game Day 42: Oilers vs Flames
This in from Sportsnet insiders Mike Futa, a former NHL asst. GM, and Kris Versteeg, an ex-player, their wish list for the Edmonton Oilers for Monday’s trade deadline.
Who should be at the top of Edmonton’s wish list?
“Oilers fans get ready for this one? Taylor Hall,” Versteeg said. “I think he can be that depth scoring they need. I’ve always wanted them to go out and get a defenceman, but Taylor Hall could be that guy. I think you could have him on the second or third line. I’d preferably play him on the third line, let Yamamoto and RNH play on that second line.”
Futa agreed with Versteeg. “I just think you’ve got a team that needs scoring. You got the two big horses that are tearing it up up front playing. There back up scoring has basically been Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie… Although he’s struggled dramatically in Buffalo, this kid still has magic in stick… That would be a great fit for the Oilers down the stretch.”
1. It’s hard to imagine there’s anything but a small, small chance that Hall will come back to Edmonton at the trade deadline, mainly because of his high-priced contract and Edmonton’s lack of cap space. Edmonton would have to pay extra for Buffalo to retain salary and to take on an unwanted salary from the Oilers. It’s more likely a team that doesn’t have those issues would trade for Hall. Edmonton also lacks draft picks to barter, though it does have a number of strong “B” level prospects who might reasonably be moved in a deadline day trade. By “B” level prospects, I mean any prospects on the Oilers not named Philip Broberg, Evan Bouchard and Dylan Holloway, who will not and should not be going anywhere at the deadline on Monday.
2. On Twitter, I asked fans if the Oilers could trade Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall today (with Sabres retaining half of Hall’s salary to make the deal fit under Edmonton’s cap), would you like to see that trade happen? After 2900 people had voted, 68 per cent were against such a deal. This is no surprise given that Larsson is playing his best hockey right now with the Oilers, providing outstanding defence and physical play each game, while moving the puck in decent fashion. As for Hall, his scoring has crashed. He ranks 256th out of 416 regular NHL forwards this year, with just 1.37 points per 60 in 5-on-5 play.