Today, we look at a creative trade option to give the Edmonton Oilers cap space & the Philadelphia Flyers a defenseman looking to make a comeback. Using the recent news from NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman about Martin Jones gaining interest around the league. Mentioning the Edmonton Oilers as a team to watch for Jones.
With the Flyers season spiraling out of control, they have no use for Jones anymore. Resulting it what very could be a trade to a contender before the trade deadline on March 21st.
Jones, who was brought in to push Carter Hart, has done pretty well in his role. Especially on the road where is numbers are the best.
While the deadline is still over a month away, the team Elliotte Friedman mentioned, the Edmonton Oilers, need help now. Especially in net.
So far this season, the Oilers have been getting mediocre at best goal-tending from their two goalies – Mikko Koskinen & Mike Smith.
Koskinen & Smith have both been given the starters role at some point this season. However, neither have been able to take the reins & run with the job.
This has led to the Oilers to look elsewhere for goal-tender help.
No word on what the price tag might be. But, if the Flyers were willing to accept one of Edmonton’s goalies in return, say Mikko Koskinen, that could be the starting point of a potential deal.
Koskinen, who carries a $4.5M cap hit, has not lived up to his 3-year $13.5M contract signed in 2019.
In addition to the high cap hit, Koskinen also has a modified no-trade clause. Which, if the struggling Flyers are not on his 15-team list, Koskinen would have to approve the trade.
If Koskinen were to approve a trade & the Flyers did accept Koskinen, the Oilers would have to sweeten the pot with another asset. Especially if the Flyers took Koskinen’s full $4.5M cap hit back in return.
One asset the Oilers could potentially use to make this happen is the injured Oskar Klefbom.
Klefbom, who had shoulder surgery in March of 2021, is in the midst of missing his second straight season.
Since Klefbom last played in 2020, things have changed on the Oilers blue-line. Darnell Nurse & Kris Russel being the lone defensemen remaining from the 2019-2020 roster.
Over the past two seasons, Edmonton GM Ken Holland has redefined the Oilers blue-line through trades & signings. While also allowing the Oilers 1st round picks from 2018 & 2019 opportunities in the lineup.
Evan Bouchard (2018) & Philip Broberg (2019) are the future for the Oilers on the blue-line. Both have taken advantage of their times in the lineup. The two, in addition to current #1 defenseman Darnell Nurse, will man the blue-line for the Oilers for many years to come.
The Oilers moving on from Oskar Klefbom would also give them some much needed cap space. Especially heading into an offseason with three restricted free agents due for new contracts & raises from their entry-level deals.
The Flyers taking a chance on Klefbom returning in 2023 would be a nice asset in return for taking Mikko Koskinen & his $4.5M cap hit.
If a deal did come to fruition, the Flyers would also have to add something to pry Klefbom away from the Oilers. Maybe a young goal-tending prospect. Something the Flyers have a stock pile of in their prospect pool.
Say one of Kirill Ustimenko or Felix Sandstrom?
It is hard to judge what a potential trade could look like. But, with the Oilers in need of cap space, GM Ken Holland must get creative. Packaging an injured asset to a high-priced, underachieving goalie would be one way to create cap space and get an asset for the now & the future in return.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bruce Bennett – Getty Images