Latest Oilers and Capitals Speculation – March 28, 2018

by | Mar 28, 2018 | Rumors | 36 comments

More speculation over possible off-season moves for the Edmonton Oilers plus the latest on Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson in your NHL rumor mill.

Could the Edmonton Oilers consider trading Oscar Klefbom this summer? (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell believes the Edmonton Oilers must add a right-handed defenseman who can anchor the power play, a scoring winger for Leon Draisaitl’s line and a substantial backup goaltender in the offseason. He also speculates their cap payroll could reach $74 million for 2018-19 if they re-sign their key free agents and if a youngster such as Kailer Yamamoto cracks the roster.

Pursuing a top free-agent defenseman such as Washington’s John Carlson or Detroit’s Mike Green could be a pipe dream unless they can shed some salary. They could trade forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins but he appears to be part of the Oilers’ future. If they trade Oscar Klefbom they could get a good return but Mitchell advises against it. Cheap free-agent options could include Ottawa’s Chris Wideman or San Jose’s Tim Heed.

The Oilers could use Jesse Puljujarvi on Draisaitl’s wing. However, if they move on from Puljujarvi, Mitchell suggests trying to find a way to acquire someone such as Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen, who carries an affordable contract. He also suggests attempting to make a hockey trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for a young forward such as Kasperi Kapanen,  Connor Brown, Andreas Johnsson or Josh Leivo.

As for backup goaltender options, Mitchell recommends free-agent options such as St. Louis’ Carter Hutton, Arizona’s Antti Raanta, Boston’s Anton Khudobin and Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Mitchell is merely spit-balling here, though his suggested options are reasonable. An $82 million cap gives them nearly $8 million in cap room if they indeed re-sign all their notable free agents. I agree that they can’t afford someone such as Carlson or Green unless they can shed some significant salary first.

Given Nugent-Hopkins chemistry on Connor McDavid’s line, it’s becoming more unlikely he’ll be dealt this summer. They could shop Klefbom but I think they’ll give him another chance, especially considering he was hampered by a shoulder injury. The Hurricanes need scoring punch so they won’t part with Teravainen, but the Leafs could be willing to listen to offers for one of those young forwards Mitchell noted.

Landing a quality backup should be an easier task. Of those listed by Mitchell, Hutchinson could be the best bet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Hutton, Raanta and Khudobin re-sign with their current teams. 


TSN: Pierre LeBrun speculates over the possibility of a sign-and-trade scenario for Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson. He’s the top blueliner in this year’s free-agent market and leads all NHL rearguards in scoring this season.

LeBrun believes Carlson’s preference is re-signing with the Capitals and keeping him is their priority, but they could find it difficult fitting his new contract under their cap. “The only reason there’s a possibility of a sign and trade is if the eighth year matters that much to John Carlson”, said LeBrun. If the Capitals can’t re-sign him, he suggests “they get something in return if they give him that eighth year and trade him.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Capitals have over $63.9 million invested in 16 players. In addition to Carlson, forwards Jay Beagle and Alex Chiasson are unrestricted free agents while wingers Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly and goaltender Philipp Grubauer are their notable restricted free agents. Those three also have arbitration rights.

If the cap rises to $82 million, the Caps will have almost $18 million to work with. They could also get an additional $3 million in cap savings by buying out the final season of defenseman Brooks Orpik’s contract. In theory, that would leave more than enough to re-sign Carlson to perhaps a new eight-year deal worth over $8 million annually and re-sign or replace the others.

Of course, we don’t know for sure how much Carlson will seek on his next contract, if the Caps intend on buying out Orpik and if the cap ceiling will exceed $80 million for 2018-19. A sign-and-trade is possible, though such moves are rare. I think they’ll find a way to re-sign Carlson and free up sufficient cap space to re-sign other key players. 



  1. Well thought the Oil might take a run at Chara but he signed with Boston for one more year.

    • Yeah, would have nice but never saw him leaving Boston. He probably would have retired if they didn’t get a deal done.

  2. I still think that the Oilers can’t afford to trade Klefbom. They don’t have anyone in the system to replace him. They just simply do not have the depth to trade anyone from their top 4 d-men. Bear has been an nice surprise this past month but, can he keep this up for a whole season? What the Oilers need is a top 3 RWer for McDavid’s line (Hall is a LWer and they already tried that and didn’t work so please don’t go there) and a top 6 LWer for Draisaitle’s line. Don’t know if it’s a smart gamble to expect Puljujarvi (RW) and Yamamoto (LW) to be able to step into those positions next season. Lucici is an expensive third line LWer but you gotta live with it I guess. If he loses the weight he said he needs to and improves his game he maybe a solution on the top 6 LW but do you really want to take that gamble as well?
    I like the bottom 6 centres in Strome and Khaira. Hopefully the other positions can be filled from the minors. Benson has been looking good in Vancouver but, he might benefit from a season in the AHL.
    I don’t really know how the Oilers can get the defencemen to anchor the powerplay next season unless they sign one from free agency. Although with McDavid and a few tweaks to the powerplay system do you really need that anchor?

    • Kevjam your post sound like, your happy to leave the present lineup intact or minor tweaks. Which might be all it needs. This was a team that all the pundits predicted would challenge for the Cup this year.
      Maybe they weren’t as good as they played last year and maybe they aren’t as bad as they played this season.
      Never under estimate Chiarelli as he has proven he doesn’t mind moving big pieces after all he traded the 1st and 2nd overall picks from the 2010 draft… side note and lost both them trades.

      • I assume you are referring to the Horton, Campbell trade for the 2010 1st? Boston didn’t trade it’s 2nd but TB’s in 2010 essentially for Seidenberg. Didn’t Boston win a cup the year after those 2 trades? & make it to the final again 2 years later with all 3 of those players on their roster? How could they have possibly lost those trades?

      • Striker, if you are referencing my post, I did state the 1st and 2nd overall picks in 2010 draft; that being Hall and Seguin. Meaning he isn’t afraid to move a big piece. And yes he lost both the Hall and Seguin trades.

      • I don’t really like to relate who picks became as a different team could draft a different player but LA used that pick to draft Forbort who took forever to get to the NHL, 3 years in University & then another 3 years in the minors but is a solid top 4 shut down Dman now in just his 2nd full season in the NHL.

        TB’s 2nd became Petrovic. Who has shown glimpses but has played as Florida’s #6 this season.

        Both Forbort & Petrovic need years of development still to reach full NHL development. Forbort has played 171 & Petrovic 221 NHL regular season games. Regardless of age, the # is still 400 for me, an older more mature Dman may beat the curve nominally, all part of 80/20 rule.

      • I didn’t understand your reference. Agreed Chiarelli isn’t adverse to moving picks & taking chances.

        We could debate those 2 trades endlessly & never see eye to eye although I accept far bigger issues in play than just the players being moved. Cap issues, personalities, etc. The business side of today’s cap world forces hard decisions & buying Dman is never cheap. Far more in play than just the players moved.

        As I stated at the time Hall was moved, NJ won the trade solely based on the players moved, Edm paid the price to get a young elite shut down Dman with a solid long-term deal & it made them a better team, no slight to Hall who has shown himself to be just below an elite level LW, with injury concerns. I need more time to evaluate that deal, as both players contracts have time remaining, Hall 2 years & Larsson 3 years remaining after this season. What happens to each come that time will factor in for me as well what happens to each player on there next deals & whether their respective teams can retain them.

        Edm made a ton of cash on those 7 playoff gates last season, NJ was awful. NJ is holding down a playoff spot currently but still not secured. Edm has struggled all year. I didn’t have Edm as a cup contender but I had them winning the Pacific when the season started, due to Anaheim’s injuries.

        As for the Seguin trade I get why it was done but don’t like it but R. Smith has become a solid 2 way RW, Eriksson played many years for Bos & Dallas ate Peverly’s cap hit. Someone had to go & unfortunately it was Seguin. It was brutal for me if you factor in all issues.

    • Do worry you have Lucic signed until he’s 35, he’s a top player in the league, everyone knows forwards are great until last 30s.

      • Late 30s

  3. Instead of trading Nuge is buying out Lucic’s contract an option?

    • No, but they don’t need to trade Nugggent Hopkins if the cap is raising so significantly.

    • They could t4ade lucic and retain salary. Keep 2 million will still knock the cap hit down considerably to allow them to get that D and winger.

      • Lucic has a full NMC right now. 2021 it becomes a M-NTC where he list 8 teams that he can be traded to. So there is that to work around. He would probably only accept a trade to a contending team and what contending team would have the space to take on his cap hit. Suppose the Oilers could retain some salary, but it would still be difficult to do.

      • Well there goes that

  4. “such moves are rare”

    The buzz words of this off season from multiple websites and sources is sign-and-trade

    Pundits are trying anything to generate buzz me thinks

  5. The Bruins just signed Chara 1yr @ $5m plus incentive

    • Awesome. 5 mil guaranteed another 1.75 that can be differed if earned & necessary. Still, Boston’s #1 & sits 33rd in the NHL for TOI/GP for all Dman.

  6. “Eichel frustrated to be in lottery sweepstakes again.

    Jack Eichel has difficulty accepting the sorry state of the Buffalo Sabres, who haven’t had a sniff at the playoffs in the three years since his celebrated arrival. “When I got drafted, if you would’ve said we’d be in this position, I probably would’ve told you to give your head a shake,” Eichel told The Associated Press.”

    Whose responsibility does Eichel think that is?

    People mature, so you can’t write him off, but Eichel is such an entitled drip.

    Tin man.

    No wonder Tim Murray was so upset to lose the McDavid lottery. He had probably talked to the kid and knew he had no heart and a ten cent head.

    • Well, he got his way with ownership & a good coach & GM were sent packing & Buf was the worst scoring team in the league for like the 40th time in the last 5 years.

      • Eichel is the Bobby Ryan of that draft. Good but never great. Problem is Buffalo hasn’t figured out you need to “sell high” like Anaheim did.

      • Offensively Eichel will be fine, an elite level offensive player. I assume he will mature but if rumours are to be believed a primadonna. He isn’t the 1st nor will he be the last.

    • Tim Murray botched that rebuild about as bad as you can. The fact they still don’t have a suitable winger for Jack is embarrassing.

    • Eichel isn’t worth his 10M that will kick in next year… Though at least he wants to win unlike players who play entire career in Vancouver w/ their brother :). Buffalo has been a disgrace of a franchise from their uniforms to their play on as as long as I can remember… They had that Hasek guy who lost in game 6 of the SCF but they still cry about that? You would have lost regardless it wasn’t even a game 7. They don’t even show Buffalo games in NFL/NHL in most parts of NY that those teams are so bad :). Eichel should hope they win the lottery to draft the stud defensemen so they can be the next Oilers :).

      • you sound like a leafs fan

      • No I’m not a Leafs fan, though I do hate when they call them “Buds” or stupid crap like that ;). I do have a hat for Toronto in an interesting style when bought a few years ago… I think I have an Oilers and Jets in that same line too… I liked Wendell Clark when he was on Toronto along w/ a few others… I thought they were on right track when had Lewiskie or so who was w/ Kings when won 1st Cup, now w/ Seattle going for franchise. Jets old/new would be my favorite team from Canada by a wide margin for the record though.

      • your hate for buffalo is more than little over the top

      • Leafs have zero chance at a cup, Eichel is 21 years old, most players don’t rise to their talent level until 4-5th season, I can name 2 dozen players who did nothing first few years then became stars in 4th year, Doug Gilmour for example.

    • No one knows this but Casey Middelstadt was just signed, he is a high end center, will help, plus Buffalo will get a top 5 pick this year.

    • How is being pissed his team missed the playoffs for the 3rd season in a row being entitled? Not only missed but still in a top 5 pick. Hes calling out the organization. Everyone else talking about Buffalo rips them, why can’t it’s employees?
      It’s actually nice to see an honest quote about how a hockey player feels about a situation instead of the standard clichés.
      If Toews came out and expressed the same attitude to the Blackhawks missing the playoffs when they expect to contend every year, people would probably claim great leadership. Athletes want to win, and when they don’t they get frustrated. That’s not entitlement, it’s competitiveness.

  7. Buffalo like edm0nton cant seem to find the proper mesh of players.

    • Chiarelli significantly altered EDM’s core. You can’t judge those fundamental changes in 2 years. As I have stated before everything went right last season, the opposite happened this season.

      I don’t like the Eberle trade for Strome although Strome has served well as a #3 C. Edm progressed to quickly last season & making the playoffs in any year now in either conference is hard.

      Let’s wait & see what the next year or 2 brings to this team. I sure hope they don’t clean house at the management & coaching level again as this constant change is part of the problem.

      • I never dislike any off the moves. Changes needed to be made to the team. It just they can’t seem to make a trade and bring in a solution for whatever reason.

    • I would certainly not give up on Eichel just yet. There’s no choice really, given his contract. He needs to mature, stay healthy and become a better, and less vocal, player. Others have done it, so can he.

    • No Buffalo is worse than Slap Shot 3 and 2 combined :). Least Edmonton is like Slap Shot the original movie before the hard times of the Yakupov/McDavid era :). I can’t list Hall, Eberle since they have gone on to new teams doing quite well compared to players traded for them :). Kings took Forbort over Tarasenko who shouldn’t even be in the NHL. PRotecting trash like Forbort in the expansion draft while losing McNabb is almost like Kimmo Timonen 2.0 for Galley :).

      • Buffalo is in far better shape than edmonton, Sabres have cap space and have valued assets they could trade. Oilers have a terrible GM…Lucic lol