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Oilers Hit Huge Hurdle in Attempts To Trade For Jake Guentzel


Oilers Hit Huge Hurdle in Attempts To Trade For Jake Guentzel NHL Trade Talk.

As per multiple insider reports, it is no secret that the Edmonton Oilers have their hooks in the water on a lot of players at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. With a possible need to upgrade the blue line, and some recent questions in goal, they don’t just need a top-six forward. Still, that second-line right-winger is their priority. Many believe they have identified Jake Guentzel out of Pittsburgh as their primary target. Unfortunately, there might be a major problem.

Beyond just figuring out what assets to send back to the Penguins or making the salary fit onto the Oilers’ roster, a new wrinkle has been added to the equation, as per Elliotte Friedman. Friedman reports in his latest 32 Thoughts column that teams are calling Pittsburgh and asking about a contract extension for Guentzel. In other words, they want to know if they can talk to him about extending before they make their trade offers.

That poses a big obstacle for Edmonton. They can’t afford to re-sign Guentzel. He’s exclusively a rental in their eyes. So too, if they’re competing with trade bids that are put together for a player who is expected to sign long-term, they likely can’t compete.

How Will This Affect the Oilers’ Attempts to Trade For Guentzel?

This could pose an issue if multiple teams are making a play for the player but the playing field has changed. Friedman writes:

If teams are allowed to try to extend Guentzel before a trade, that hurts Edmonton. They can’t do it. The Oilers are also very aware that for every dollar that comes in, someone needs to go out. So, they are doing legwork in several different directions. 

Imagine you’re the Florida Panthers and you too have identified Guentzel as a primary target. The Panthers have several contracts expiring this season. They also have room to offer Guentzel $8 or $9 million per season on a long-term deal. If you know he’s interested, you might be willing to give up a first and something else to secure a piece of your future.

Jake Guentzel Oilers trade talk

Whereas, the Oilers have to make sure they don’t overpay for a player that is only going to be with the team for a few months. Giving up multiple assets for someone about to walk out the door is problematic. It just doesn’t make sense to overpay or get into a bidding war.

Is There A Way Around This for Edmonton?

There are two potential options (which are less likely) that GM Ken Holland could consider. First, they could pay full price for Guentzel, use him as a rental, and then try to trade his rights at the NHL Draft for a pick. Holland considered doing this with Timo Meier last season, but ultimately Meier went to New Jersey. In that scenario, Holland might get a second or a third for the rights to the forward.

Alternatively, if Edmonton wants to talk contract with Guentzel they can trade a different forward in the summer. They’ll likely already be losing Warren Foegele, but they could try and trade other money off the roster. The issue here is that most of the Oilers’ top forwards have no-move or no-trade clauses.

It’s a tricky spot to be in if the market for Guentzel is vast. If teams make a big move because he’s open to signing long-term, the Oilers may have to pivot.

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Oilers Hit Huge Hurdle in Attempts To Trade For Jake Guentzel NHL Trade Talk.

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