This time of yr, family and friends typically collect spherical to have a good time the vacations, a few of them watching the Edmonton Oilers. At present, the staff is 2 factors again of first place within the Pacific Division heading right into a sport towards the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night time.
A win over Vancouver would go a good distance previous to the quick NHL vacation break. For all intents and functions, that needs to be merchandise one on the vacation want checklist — a win over the Canucks.
What else would the Oilers like underneath their figurative tree in the event that they’re to see any short-term and long-term success?
A Third-Line Middle
The experiment that’s splitting up Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid doesn’t appear to be working. As such, that slots Ryan Nugent-Hopkins because the No. 2 pivot and Riley Sheahan taking part in above the place he needs to be. If the Oilers may maintain Sheahan on the fourth line and herald a third-line heart, that will be a pleasant reward.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
The early rumblings are that Edmonton has their eyes on Jean-Gabriel Pageau out of Ottawa. This wouldn’t be a long-term repair however extra a rental if the Oilers can keep within the hunt. Hypothesis is that Pageau goes to get extraordinarily overpaid in free company so the Oilers are greatest to keep away from an extension.
Nonetheless, Pageau is having an excellent season and there’ll doubtless be different groups within the race. Maybe he doesn’t transfer till February, however the Oilers may be within the dialog.
Associated: Oilers Historical past: The Paul Coffey Impact
A Honest Contract For Kassian
Latest dialog revolves across the Edmonton Oilers speaking to Zack Kassian’s representatives and starting preliminary talks round a contract extension. Kassian has each proper to try to swing for the fences throughout a record-breaking season.
Zack Kassian, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
It could be good if Kassian determined his greatest plan of action was to not try to land a $four million-plus deal and discover a three-year time period across the $three million mark. The thought right here is that Kassian understands how fortunate he’s to be taking part in the place he’s taking part in in Edmonton.
Three years by three million would make the Oilers comfy retaining him whereas not regretting it down the road if it seems this season is his solely actually productive one.
Associated: NHL Rumors: Islanders, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Extra
Mike Smith To Discover His Sport
Mikko Koskinen is successful the battle in internet and has doubtless grow to be the Oilers starter. That mentioned, the Oilers received’t achieve success if they should rely solely on Koskinen staying sizzling. Mike Smith must get again to the Smith that was so efficient to start out the season.
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Smith is struggling. His frustrations boiled over within the sport towards Pittsburgh the place he went after Evgeni Malkin and clearly he’s pissed off. As a identified battler, the hope is that he can work his means out of a short-term funk. It could be a pleasant vacation reward if he may accomplish that prior to later.
Plan B Behind Taylor Corridor
It could have been good to see the Oilers land Taylor Corridor. Contemplating what the Coyotes gave up when it comes to draft picks, it’s not shocking Edmonton wasn’t the staff to accumulate him. It doesn’t imply the Oilers shouldn’t take a look at different choices.
Edmonton Oilers normal supervisor Ken Holland (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
There are many names on the market within the commerce mill. From Chris Kreider to Tyler Toffoli or Andreas Athanasiou, Edmonton can enhance their staff this season with out giving up a king’s ransom to take action.
For the fan base who has been patiently ready and for the gamers who need the perfect odds at making this yr’s playoffs, it will be good if Edmonton may make one or two additions down the stretch. Our high vacation wish-list merchandise is that GM Ken Holland has a plan to do exactly that.
Associated: NHL Rumors: Rangers, Oilers, Capitals, Blackhawks, Extra