JONES: Minor changes to trade deadline leave Oilers fans wishing and praying

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Well, give him credit, I guess. Holland did something. No guard. Brent Kulak. Derick Brassard

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At the end of the day there was the stat of all stats from Sportsnet stats.

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On 16 of the last 18 NHL trade deadline days, the team with the most trades has not made the playoffs or made it through the first round.

Well, no worries there.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland hasn’t really done much to write Denver.

No guard.

A third pair defender.

A fourth line striker.

That was it. That was all.

And that barely sent Oilers fans onto the Jasper Avenue parade route to celebrate the pursuit of the Stanley Cup playoffs despite their recent 12-5-1 run under new head coach Jay Woodcroft. before last night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Normally, in a situation like the one the Oilers have created for themselves, having moved into playoff position with only the second five-game home sweep in more than two decades, a general manager would want to make a statement. to his team with a move or two. .

Did it do it?

Well, give him credit, I guess. Holland did something.

No guard. Brett Kulak. Derick Brassard.

It wasn’t really a surprise. Edmonton fans were well warned that would be it. No goalkeeper and a third pair left defender were expected.

Kulak, a 28-year-old Stony Plain native, seems to fit the team’s emerging identity with his skating ability and attention to detail on defense. He appears to be an upgrade replacing record shot blocker Kris Russell, who will temporarily fill a spot for the team’s developing young talents.

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But trading William Lagesson and his $725,000 contract for Kulak’s $1.1 million contract (with Montreal retaining half) while throwing a second-round draft pick, up from possibly a fourth in 2022 and a seventh in 2024, is definitely open to criticism. A 2023 fourth-round pick is what they gave Philadelphia for Armband, with the Flyers keeping half his salary as well.

Holland said Montreal and Philadelphia agreeing to pay 50% of salary was key to both deals.

“They both ate half the salary. I think we spent $610,000 or $612,000 on ceiling space. We are huddled in terms of ceiling space. We have room to call a player.

“We saw a lot of Kulak last year in the Canadian Division,” he added.

“Mobility. Very reliable. Can move the puck,” was his scouting report. slip when he’s healthy. Hopefully it’s only in two or three weeks.

“There wasn’t much left on the market.

“Brassard can play left wing or center and has a good playoff resume,” he said of the veteran of 940 NHL games and 117 playoff games.

No guardian?

The Oilers found themselves in a position with the salary cap, competition for goaltenders in the market combined with a lack of availability to secure a consistent No. 1 starting goaltender.

I understand Holland is not going to admit that he is now heading for the stretch wishing and hoping and thinking and praying and showing he cares. But everyone in Edmonton is.

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Mike Smith, who turned 40 on Tuesday, and the much-maligned Mikko Koskinen, although they have proven they can get hot during stretches, like Koskinen, have also proven they can’t be trusted.

The Oilers, who likely need 12 wins in their last 20 games to secure their playoff berth, won’t make the playoffs with many believing their goalie will outplay the guy in the other net – in especially if they find themselves against Jacob Markstrom and the Calgary Flames.

Think about where the Oilers would be if Flames general manager Brad Treliving hadn’t outbid Holland for his serve or if Markastrom hadn’t chosen to play behind the Calgary defense instead of Edmonton.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Holland kept Josh Archibald, despite his vaccine status preventing him from playing the remaining games on the road this year or against Los Angeles or Vegas in the playoffs.

While this is definitely a “what have you done for us lately” type of thing (just ask Dave Tippett), there shouldn’t be any major criticism here against Holland.

He made by far the best trade delay deal of them all and did it 23 games early with the acquisition of Evander Kane.

The power forward with the longest off-ice rap sheet in the league was a controversial acquisition because of all the baggage he brought with him. He’s packed that baggage so far and has 12 goals and eight assists for a plus-12.

But the two hits Holland made on Monday were scratch singles, not another home run.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @byterryjones

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