It's no secret to anyone that the Edmonton Oilers are in year, what is it, ten? of their rebuild, and the time has come, apparently, to deal some of their young core group. According to general manager Peter Chiarelli, anyway.
"Anything is possible, but I can tell you I'm not really looking at that type of deal now. But that doesn't mean I won't be looking at that for the spring and summer."
"I would explore any option," he said. "I want to improve this team and if we have an excess supply of certain types of players, yes, certainly I would look at it. Having said that, they're good players and it has to be the right deal." - Edmonton Journal
What the Oilers Have (That They're Willing to Deal)
In the years of Kevin Lowe, the Oilers were always unwilling to deal their core of young players. Yes, it would have gotten them the best return, but the plan was always to build around those players. Not so this year, and Chiarelli (Dallas Stars fans will remember him as the Boston Bruins GM who handed us Tyler Seguin on a silver platter) has indicated the core could be at play.
And that means the big names: Taylor Hall (though I don't see them trading their leading scorer for less than, say, Carey Price), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have made redundant), and Jordan Eberle (I don't have an aside for him). It also means names a bit lower down the ladder are on the list, like Justin Schultz, who has been disappointing for the Oilers as a No. 1 defenseman, because he isn't a No. 1 defenseman. He could, however, provide some depth on a team that is lacking.
None of those trades are terribly interesting for the Stars though. While there's room in the cap for the $6 million salaries of the erstwhile kid line, the return would have to be huge, and would probably have to be a big defenseman, which is something the Oilers are sorely lacking.
The Stars simply don't have what the Oilers are looking for in return. Not only that, but Jim Nill has said he isn't interested in dealing a roster player at trade deadline. And Justin Schultz would only add depth in an already deep defensive pool.
So who should the Stars look at?
Veteran left winger Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot has spent much of his season on the top two lines, playing with Eberle and either Connor McDavid (when he's healthy), or Nugent-Hopkins at center.
Some of these numbers look terrible, but he's currently playing on the Oilers, so . . .
Pouliot is currently fourth on the team in scoring, and tends to make his teammates play better with him than without. Yes, he's mostly been playing with Hockey Jesus this season, but his time with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle was also very productive for him. (The gap in the middle is games missed with a lower body injury.) He could slot in very well on the Stars second line with Spezza and Sharp.
What Should the Stars Give Up?
In the world of pure imagination: Jamie Oleksiak, in a one-for-one trade. Oleksiak has had trouble breaking the roster in Dallas, what with the aforementioned depth, and could help provide depth to a flailing defense in Edmonton. Question is whether the Stars are willing to give up that height and reach.
Because the Oilers will be looking for more in return than just a defensive prospect who's played limited minutes in the NHL, the Stars would have to sweeten the deal with a pick or additional prospects. Luckily, prospect depth is a strength in this organization. So what do you think we should give up? Or should we pass on the Oilers roster all together?