Puljujarvi still likely be to be moved
Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal: Don’t believe that the Edmonton Oilers are interested in any of the remaining ‘high level’ unrestricted free agents.
It’s more likely that the Oilers would go the trade route. They may have a little more wiggle room if going that route and may be able “to do something substantial in another 10 days or so.” Milan Lucic has a $3 million bonus due on July 17th, though not sure if it’s tied to that.
Believe that Jesse Puljujarvi will be traded before the start of the season. There were some who had hoped that arrival of Ken Holland and Dave Tippett would change things but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Translation from agent Markus Lehto from Ilta-Sanomat Urheilu:
“Although the Oilers have a new well-respected GM and a new coach the team is still pretty much the same. Sometimes a player and a team are not a fit. This seems to be the case here. Nothing radical about it”.
Puljujarvi had been linked to the Los Angeles Kings last week, but don’t believe that that will happen.
Trading a defenseman for forward help
David Staple of the Edmonton Journal: Looking at the idea of trading a defenseman like Kris Russell or Matt Benning for a useful forward.
Trading either Russell or Benning could create a hole in their blue line if one of their top four got hurt. They have some prospects could be ready or are close to being ready. If traded Russel, Benning may have to move up to the second-pairing.
Russell has a $4 million cap hit, two years left on his deal a no-trade clause. He has given Oilers GM Ken Holland a list of 10 teams he’d accept a trade too.
Benning has a year left on his deal at a $1.9 million and would be easier to move.
Teams that might be interested in adding a defenseman include Anaheim, Vegas, Winnipeg, Ottawa, San Jose, Los Angeles and Nashville. Not all of those teams have the cap space.
Free agents that teams may prefer include: Jake Gardiner, Ben Hutton, Michael Del Zotto, Deryk Engelland and Alex Petrovic.
Potential trade candidates the Oilers could look at include Tyler Toffoli (LA), Devin Shore (ANA), Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons, Calle Jarnkrok, Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith (NSH), Mathieu Perreault, Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp (WPG), Zack Smith, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mikkel Boedker (OTT), Melker Karlsson (SJ), and Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith (VGK).
(Not saying all one-for-one deals, but sweeteners for either side may be needed)