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Friedman: Oilers’ Chiarelli ‘very mindful of that cap situation’

Chris Nichols



(Steven Alkok/Icon Sportswire)

The Edmonton Oilers have lost back-to-back games coming out the All-Star breaking, falling 2-0 to the Nashville Predators Thursday night and 5-2 to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday.

The Oilers are still in a good position to potentially secure a playoff spot in April though. So with the trade deadline approaching, what sort of mindset might Peter Chiarelli have with his roster?

NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman tackled this topic, along with Jordan Eberle trade rumors, on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 Friday morning.

“I think they have tried to trade both Eberle and Pouliot for some time now, and I just don’t think there’s a market,” said Friedman. “One of the problems is that the word out of the All-Star break was that the cap is going to be flat next year, that we’re not going anywhere.  So I think it makes it harder for those kinds of guys to get dealt. So Edmonton is in a situation where they’re aware of that.

“I think everything that Peter Chiarelli does is with the realization that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have to be re-signed. So what are those two guys going to be making together – $16 million? $18 million? $20 million? I mean, I don’t know. But you have to be prepared for that eventuality.

“So I don’t think they’re adding contracts unless it’s a real superstar move. I think that they may do rentals. Shattenkirk wouldn’t go to Edmonton long term. I think he’d go there short term. But I’m not sure the Oilers want to do that. I’ve heard they may stand pat as much as anything else.”

Dreger examines potential trade deadline mindset for Oilers

The discussion circled back to Eberle, with a look at what sort of need the Oilers might want to target if they were to trade the winger.

“They had their forward depth. They used that last year to get Larsson,” said Friedman. “I’m sure if they were looking to deal Eberle… do they need another defenseman now? I guess you could always use another defenseman. And they do want to re-sign Russell too, which only adds to that issue.

“I just think they really think that Eberle needs a change of scenery, as much as anything else. I think if they could get that contract off there then it wouldn’t be as much as what they would get, it would be as much for they could remove.”

Cap relief, plain and simply.

“And they will need it,” said Friedman. “Peter Chiarelli had a chance to get P.K. Subban last summer, and one of the reasons he said no was because he didn’t want to have to include Subban’s 9 with everything else he was going to have to pay. He is very, very mindful of that cap situation.”

Eberle has two more years left on his contract past 2016-17 at $6 million per season.

Leon Draisaitl is playing out the final season of his entry-level contract this year, while Connor McDavid is in the second campaign of his three-year entry-level pact.

Source: Sportsnet 960

For reference: Covering the Insiders

NHL Insiders. 17-year digital media hockey career includes a combined decade online with Sportsnet and ESPN.