Don’t take your eye off the Edmonton Oilers this week.
With Friday’s NHL trade deadline looming, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Oilers are actively pursuing defensive reinforcement, as they’re linked to Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm and Montreal Canadiens rearguard Joel Edmundson.
The Predators appear to be one of the NHL’s sellers this deadline season, having already dealt Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday and Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. The Canadiens are obvious sellers, given they are 13 points back of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
And, among the other options, I’m told the Oilers and Canadiens continue to discuss a trade involving Joel Edmundson. https://t.co/rfvBGKeYo4
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 27, 2023
Ekholm, 32, has been a stalwart defenceman for Nashville throughout his career, playing 719 NHL games, scoring 62 goals and 208 points while also buoying them to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2017.
Ekholm has three years left on his contract beyond this season, paying the 6-foot-4 defenceman $6.25 million per season.
Edmundson, 29, has one year remaining on his contract beyond this season, carrying a $3.5 million cap hit. The 6-foot-5 defenceman is averaging 19:50 of ice time per game with the Habs this season.
It’s no secret that the Oilers would love to add a top-four defenceman to their group to help take a run at the Stanley Cup. The difficulty for Edmonton will be fitting new players under the salary cap.