This in from NHL insider John Shannon, his take that the Edmonton Oilers have greater priorities than trading for Chicago Blackhawks ace attacker Patrick Kane.
“If you think that the Oilers are that close to a Stanley Cup, does Patrick Kane put you over the top? My thought process would be a defenceman rather than another forward,” Shannon told Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now. “Goal scoring is not going to be the problem for this hockey club. The issue for this club — as it has been for the last couple of years — is how to keep the puck out of the net at key times. For the most part they’ve done a pretty good job. Jack Campbell is going to address some of those issues. But I still think they need another defenceman before they need another forward.”
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Stauffer broke down what he felt it might take for Edmonton to acquire Kane, either winger Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele (partly to move out salary to Chicago to fit in Kane under the Oilers’ cap), Edmonton’s 2023 #1 draft pick and a few other prospects, but not any of the Oil’s former first picks like Philip Broberg, Dylan Holloway, Reid Schaefer or Xavier Bourgault. Chicago would eat half of Kane’s salary and Edmonton also might need another team to eat 25 per cent of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit, which might cost a third round pick. “For me, all day you should consider doing it, absolutely,” Stauffer said. “Why not? And you do it now. You go make it happen.”
Shannon noted it’s uncertain that Kane, 33, would want to come to Edmonton, then added he wouldn’t trade a first round pick in such a deal.
“I’m one of those guys that doesn’t first round picks, even if it’s a low pick, as our expectation is it will be a 25 to 32 pick for the Oilers,” Shannon said.
“I don’t believe in one year rentals for a first round pick. That’s not good business… If Patrick Kane were a defenceman I might think differently.”
Shannon wondered how many more goals Kane would score than the guy he’d replace in the line-up.
What do the Oilers need more in a trade: Patrick Kane or a Top 4 dman (first or second pairing)?
1. Yes, the Oilers have a lot of scoring talent. But Kane is still at the top of his game. He scored 92 points in 78 games last year, the third highest total of his illustrious career. His 2.61 points per 60 even strength minutes saw him ranked 62nd for NHL forwards, so even if he’s not the featured player on the Oil’s power play he can still help the team score more.
2. It’s not clear what d-man the Oilers could get for the same price as they would pay for Kane, but it’s not crazy to think of a player like John Klingberg shaking free some point this season. Kane isn’t the only player out there who would significantly boost the Oilers. For this reason, a majority of Oilers fans appear to favour the team working to bring in a d-man, not a top winger. It’s certainly a reasonable position to take.
3. The price for Kane would be immense, but the chance to win a Stanley Cup doesn’t come around often. It’s not always a great idea to give up a first round pick in an attempt to win a Cup, but for the right player it’s worth considering. Kane is such a player.
4. I don’t see Patrick Kane as being a fit to play with McDavid at even strength. Both players are brilliant solo puck carriers. They do their best work when they are the focus of the attack. But P-Kane on a line with Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl might well be brilliant. Or even McDavid leading one line, Draisaitl another and Kane another, three lines with NHL superstars? That might well give fits to opposing teams.
5. I’m more bullish on the Oil’s defence than most. I expect Darnell Nurse will have his best season as a pro, anchoring the top pairing. I also expect Evan Bouchard and Brett Kulak to keep improving and for Cody Ceci and Tyson Barrie to be as steady as they were last year. Depth will come from players like Broberg, Markus Niemelainen, Dmitri Samorukov and Vincent Desharnais, who all have plenty of pro experience.
6. The addition Kane reminds me of 1987, when Kent Nilsson was brought in to play with Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson. That worked out. I suspect it would also work out with Patrick Kane here. The goal is to ascend Mt. Avalanche. Colorado has a deep, highly-skilled team. It’s going to take a special team to beat them. The Oilers with Patrick Kane are that much more special.
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