The Edmonton Oilers have started yet another season with struggles. A 2-4-1 start in the first seven games has the Edmonton faithful up arms again this season. The Oilers seven game home stand will provide the teams destiny again this season. A terrible home stand will more than likely result in Leon Draisaitl being sent back to juniors, and wholesale changes. The fans have been screaming to shake things up, and Craig MacTavish looks to be at that point.
The Oilers plan to draft all these ultra talented scorers have not panned out. There are numerous theories on why, but quite honestly none of that matters now. It did not work, and it is now time to switch gears and readjust.
Well what should the Oilers do? Taylor Hall has been amazing, and he would be the one untouchable. Nail Yakupov would be up for grabs, and probably should have been dealt last season. His trade worth was so much higher than it is today. Jordan Eberle is the one player that would draw a quality return for the Oilers. I do not think that the Oilers want to move him, but at this point I do not think that they have a choice.
Teams that have been rumored to express interest in Eberle are Columbus, Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Boston. The front-runner, is the Boston Bruins. The Bruins have been searching for a solid right winger to fill the void left by Jarome Iginla’s absence. There is a problem with this whole scenario? The Bruins only have $3.7 million available in cap space, and Eberle has four seasons after this one left on his contract that has a cap hit of $6 million. The Bruins would have to cut cap space, and also would have to figure out whom they would give up. The Oilers are in desperate need off a top end defenseman, and Boston does not have an abundance to offer.
The truth is I do not think that a deal with Boston will take place. The rumors have been flying, but I do not think that there is much truth to them. Lets face it, the Oilers had there chance to make this deal work last summer when Johnny Boychuk was available. The Oilers could have really used a powerful shutdown d-man like Boychuk. He is now a member of the New York Islanders, and the logic of this trade has come and gone.
I also think that Edmonton will want a kings ransom for Eberle. I do not see teams offering up a top-notch defenseman at this point. They are just too hard to come by. The one team that just might is Toronto. It is a total long shot, but would Toronto offer up Edmonton native Dion Phaneuf to the Oilers, and would the Oilers want him? I guess time will tell?
On a side note, I also think the fate of Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins rides on the success of the seven game home stand. MacTavish just may have to go behind the bench again.
* Photo used with permission of Getty Images
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