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Desharnais' play as of late has been excellent but yes I agree that he most likely won't keep that up for the entirety of the year. As for Sean Walker he's played very well with Philly so far this season but just like Desharnais I don't expect that level of play to last, Walker is best suited as a bottom pair defensemen in my opinion.

Walker however carries a 2.65 million cap hit and is expiring, with 50% cap retention it will just barely fit into our situation and leave us no room for anything else

By the way a package of a 1st, Broberg and a 3rd/4th is a sizeable package, worth much more than a bottom pairing dman. For instance Mattias Ekholm, a player with a long history of being a reliable #3 defensemen on a good team and also being able to manage top pairing minutes and matchups when need be cost us a 1st, Barrie, Schafer and a 4th, and that is with term and a bit of retention too. Combining a 1st, Broberg, 3rd and Ceci for a legit top 4 defensemen (ex: Chris Tanev) would be a better use of our assets. Just like some of the players mentioned above though Ceci has also played an excellent stretch of games. For the record Tanev is a very desirable asset and also Calgary may not want to trade with us but it was just an example of the caliber of player I'm thinking about.

It's too early to tell exactly what we need, I think we'll have a better visual on our team by the new year.
 
Good points @Edmontonian, I would argue that Walker has a decent sample size of being a quality player before he was traded to Philly as well but I see your point with his contract. I think this is the order of priority for patching up some of the holes on this team:

Priority 1:
- Find out what's going on in net: do they trust Skinner or need to bring in someone else?

Priority 2:
- Right-handed 2nd or 3rd pairing defenseman (Tyson Barrie is also being shopped by Nashville right now)

Priority 2:
- Middle 6 winger
 
I trust Skinner to play well in a tandem role, I think we can expect good results when he plays 40-45 games in a season. As for the playoffs I'm not sure what to expect, goalies are very unpredictable. Campbell will get the call back up to play in a game this week or next week, we'll see how it goes but I really don't trust him. If Columbus is willing to make a Campbell for Merzlikins swap I think we try it out at this point.

As for a middle 6 winger it sucks Connor Brown hasn't got it going and scored some goals yet, we just don't have the cap space to make too many moves. We're going to have to get creative and find a league min contract, a player I have in mind is Yegor Chinakhov, also from Columbus. I'm not sure if Columbus is willing to part ways with him or how much they would want for the former first rounder but recent reports state that he is unhappy with his ice time and while he hasn't officially requested a trade if Columbus doesn't move him up in the lineup he may. He is 22 years old and does some things well, he has a wicked wrist shot that could add some needed 5v5 offence especially if he has McDavid or Draisaitl passing him the puck, he has also put up solid defensive results on a bad team in Columbus. In an average of 13 minutes TOI he has 11 blocked shots, 7 takeaways and just 1 giveaway with positive xGA advanced stats. It wouldn't be perfect but he makes just 800k. Aside from that our pro scouts need to do their jobs and uncover another player like Kostin who can provide some scoring lower down the lineup for cheap.
 
Elvis is a great target, I would also add Vejmelka into the mix, it seems like Ingram has nabbed AZ's starting job. When it comes to a cheap 1 year forward addition there are few names that are currently free agents: Nolan Patrick is a UFA currently, he was a highly touted prospect when he entered the league but never really found his game due to injury. He missed the entire 2022-23 season and I'm not sure about his injury status as of right now but he's still on the young side and might be able to find some semblance of his game with a new team after healing, it's been a few years but Ryan Dzingle had a couple productive years with Ottawa, Phil the Thrill is also still out there and last I heard, if he got an offer he would take it, he just wants to play.
 
Personally, I would want to keep the line-up as-is for now. If Jack Campbell has regained his confidence in AHL nets then I'd like to see if that carries over to the NHL before the panic button is hit. Same deal with Desharnais, I'd like to see how he fares rather than giving up on him so soon.
 
Great game last night, I missed most of the fireworks at work but came home to watch them play solid defensive hockey and grind out a win. The Canes got a lot of shots but most weren't super high quality and 5-on-5 they had nothing going whatsoever. Nurse has really turned a corner as of late and its great to see. I know people like to grind on his contract but it wasn't his fault, that's what the Oilers were willing to give him. He's not a 9 million dollar player, but don't make the mistake of thinking he isn't a good player because of that. He's a legit top-pairing D.

Talking about Broberg I've seen a few names thrown out as potential trade targets. Graviteh on Youtube thinks we should go after Oliver Wahlstrom from the Isles and this seems like a good deal to me, he's a skilled offensive player who has failed to come into his own on a stingy defensive team (which shouldn't be too surprising), he could slot right into the middle 6 and may find success on an offensively oriented team like the Oilers. Alex Turcotte is another name that I've seen thrown out, a player who was drafted ahead of Broberg in that same draft and has not been able to make the Kings (injuries being a big factor in that). The Kings may not want to trade with the Oilers being that they are a big rival, although the Neal, Lucic trade went through around the tiem when the BOA was reaching its height so stranger things have happened.

Seems like this is going to be a "change of scenery" trade for both teams and players involved. With prospects that have failed to make the jump to the NHL being swapped.
 
The Oilers showed some grit in that win! They heavily outplayed the Wild but still ended up trailing on 2 separate occasions, they stuck with it though. Stu did not have a very strong game unfortunately. Many will once again blame the defense, but it is literally impossible for the defense to prevent the goalie from ever having to deal with high danger chances. The Oilers are actually pretty good at preventing those chances against and I would say the Wild only had 4-5 of them. They capitalized on 3... he's been playing MUCH better lately than the beginning of the season but we had to expect more out of him in that game. It shouldn't have even been close, 4-1 was about what that game should have been.

Bouchard continues to impress, and statistically he is a top-5 defenseman in the league right now. He should have covered Erikson Ek on the tying goal, I will say though, with the defensive system they seem to be playing (Zone), he technically should have been Ekholm's guy based on the side he was on. Bouchard needed to recognize however that Ekholm had no way of realistically covering Ek and was already on Boldy, so definitely Bouchard's assignment. But he also scored twice including the game winner which makes up for that play.
 
Another very complete game with amazing PK, transition and support.

It could have easily been 7-1.

Great to see EVERYONE pitching in and what an afternoon for #30.

97 looks possessed again and other worldly.
 

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