Skip to main content

Players, picks, prospects – almost everything on the market for desperate Oilers: TSN


The Edmonton Oilers are willing to trade anything except for captain Connor McDavid, sniper Leon Draisaitl and this year's first-round pick, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug.

The Oilers lost again Wednesday night – 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes – falling to 5-12-1 on the season and 30th in the NHL.

"They're scrambling. Their season is very much in jeopardy," Rishaug told CTV News Edmonton.

"Everything is on the table: your second-round pick, your prospects, the players you have on your roster…What I believe is that Ken Holland can't do nothing in this situation."

The aforementioned general manager has already fired head coach Jay Woodcroft and assistant coach Dave Manson and sent his highest-paid goalie, Jack Campbell, to the minors.

The Oilers initially responded well, winning their first two games under new coach Kris Knoblauch but have since lost three straight, giving up 17 goals in that stretch.

Despite the disaster season so far, defenceman Mattias Ekholm told reporters he still cares deeply about turning things around and making the playoffs and said other guys do too.

"I know we're a resilient group and I know guys care in here, almost to the point where they care too much and it gets to be a nervous thing or a pressure thing," Ekholm said.

"So that's something we're working on, to be able to perform under pressure, and to be able to perform in a situation like this is hard but it's something we're working on."

On the trade market, Rishaug believes the team is looking for Stanley Cup winners, toughness and guys who will bring positive energy to the locker room.

He mentioned former Oiler and current Minnesota Wild Patrick Maroon as a fit, but said he wasn't sure if the Wild would want to move him.

The risk for Edmonton and Holland right now, Rishaug said, is that every other general manager in the league knows the Oilers are desperate and at risk of making a bad trade.

"Can Ken Holland go out and make a bad trade in a desperate effort to find a goalie or a defenceman? I'm sure there are 31 GMs who are like, 'Come into my office Ken. We're happy to do business with you," Rishaug said.

"They're not really in a position to make that big deal, unless they get lucky and find a team that's equally desperate."

Many hockey insiders have said the team is looking for goaltending help. Stuart Skinner was pulled on Wednesday after giving up four goals on 12 shots.

He sat 71st in the NHL in save percentage Wednesday at .865 and 63rd in goals-against-average with 3.66.

Knoblauch said the Oilers are still failing to do the small things correctly. He stopped practice Thursday to hammer that home to his players.

"We talked to our players about being great at things that require little to no talent. Things like making a little pass, finishing your check, being on the defensive side," he explained.

"Doesn't matter what level you're at, you can execute those. Any successful team is good at those details and is structured."

Rishaug said the Oilers fall, from one of the best teams in the league at the end of last season to one of the worst this season, is shocking to a lot of people.

He said Oilers players are most likely included in that bewilderment, although he agrees with Ekholm that they haven't yet given up hope on this season.

"I think the idea of a five month death march to missing the playoffs is a nightmare that these players want nothing to do with," he said.

"In my 23 years covering the team, I've never picked the Oilers to win the cup, and I picked them this year. So many people thought this would be so different."

The Oilers next play the Washington Capitals on Friday at 1 p.m. MT. Top Stories

Stay Connected