Per a report from Ryan Rishaug of TSN, the Edmonton Oilers are interested in adding a forward.
In the tweet below from Rishaug, he explains that the Edmonton Oilers are anxious to add a forward and have decided to send out their scouts and front office staff to look at various players.
Oilers organization is on a full court press to find help at forward. Scouts and staff deployed en masse.
Cap situation could make it tough, but first round pick, a goaltender, maybe a young developing forward likely all in play.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 14, 2019
Chiarelli’s Trade History
While the Edmonton Oilers desperately need a forward, their general manager, Peter Chiarelli needs to be very careful. Over the course of his career, Chiarelli has made some very questionable trades. When he was running the show with the Boston Bruins, he dealt Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. Since the trade, Seguin has gone on to flourish in the Lone Star State.
After joining the Oilers organization in April of 2015, he’s made some questionable choices in Edmonton. In February of 2016, Chiarelli trade Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 3rd round draft selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Four months later, Chiarelli realized that he needed some defensive help, so he traded one of the best forwards in the game (Taylor Hall) to the New Jersey Devils for Adam Larsson. My question is if he really needed defensive help, then why trade Schultz to begin with?
Jordan Eberle Trade
Unfortunately, Chiarelli also made another frustrating trade. On June 22, 2017, Chiarelli traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders for Ryan Strome. Strome wasn’t able to find success in Alberta and was dealt to the New York Rangers back in November for Ryan Spooner. So, in essence, Eberle was dealt for Spooner. If you look at both Spooner and Eberle at this point in the season, you’ll see that Eberle has 20 points in 40 games while Spooner has 5 points in 40 games. In addition, Eberle has had 5 seasons with 50 points or more while Spooner has had none. To be fair, Spooner did have 49 points in his 2015-2016 campaign with the Boston Bruins, but he hasn’t consistently put up similar point totals since.
The Need For Speed
So, it’s fair to say that Chiarelli isn’t great at making trades. If Chiarelli wants to make a trade for a forward, he needs to trade for a forward that has a tremendous amount of upside. He also needs a forward that is a speedster. Unfortunately for Oilers fans, they don’t have that many speedy forwards. They have a lot of hard-nosed checking forwards who don’t offer much speed such as Milan Lucic, Kyle Brodziak, Zack Kassian and Jujhar Khaira.
If I’m in Chiarelli’s shoes, I’m not only panicking because I might be out of a job, but I’m also looking to obtain a winger with a lot of upside like Connor Brown of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Brayden Schenn of the St. Louis Blues.
All three forwards are in odd situations with their current teams. Brown is a fourth-liner with the Maple Leafs, but could potentially be a fit in a top 6 role. He’s also had a lot of experience playing alongside Connor McDavid, when they both were in the OHL together with the Erie Otters. When they were on the same line in Erie, the two forwards were outstanding and perhaps the Oilers could see if a re-union would be beneficial for both players.
In terms of Schenn, he’s on a struggling St. Louis Blues squad and he’s got two years left on his deal. The Blues are rumored to be moving several different players including Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo and Schenn.
While Schenn hasn’t been having a great season, he’s proven to be an outstanding forward. Last season, he had an average of 0.69 Goals/60 and 1.22 Total Assists/60. Even though, this season hasn’t been the same from a production stand point, if head coach, Ken Hitchcock were to pair Schenn with McDavid, the duo would be explosive and could perhaps get Edmonton out of their funk.
Plus, Schenn is a speedy player. If you take a look at some of his goals from last season including his goals against the Vancouver Canucks (1:43) and the Montreal Canadiens (2:30), you’ll see that he offers a ton of speed.
To recap, the Edmonton Oilers need another forward, but Chiarelli should be very careful. In his past, he’s made some questionable trades and if he wants to ensure that he has a job, he can’t screw up another trade.
stats from NaturalStatTrick, NHL.com and Hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals