Here we go again with the Edmonton Oilers and Taylor Hall?
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic: Most fans felt satisfied with the 2020-21 season but aim higher. There are lots of questions but for now, the feeling of heading in the right direction is progress.
Interestingly, the biggest weakness is goaltending but the biggest need is a top-six winger. Naturally, this feeds into the persistent rumors of pursuing Taylor Hall once more. There is the idea of pursuing Arizona players, Darcy Kuemper and even Conor Garland. Kuemper would be a bigger priority given goaltending issues.
Mike Smith approaches 40 and most have lost faith in Mikko Koskinen. Again, at least one goaltender is needed.
Then, there is Taylor Hall. A top-six winger would be optimal and allow other players to go back into more appropriate middle-six roles. With the tight salary cap, that still presents a huge problem. Edmonton may want to worry more about Caleb Jones and their defense when it comes to the expansion draft. However, this is Edmonton.
Speaking of defensemen: What about Duncan Keith?
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Is Duncan Keith honestly the answer? Then, it becomes how much will the cost be? It feels like Ken Holland will only protect three defensemen. Will Caleb Jones stay, get traded, or be picked by the Seattle Kraken? There is no clear answer yet.
Would Edmonton have to wait till after the expansion draft to acquire Keith? That is another question entirely. The problem is that Duncan Keith has two years left on his deal and not one. Getting the number down to around $3 million AAV for Edmonton would be great.
Will this even happen? Nothing is imminent currently. Jamie Oleksiak likely fetches too much for Edmonton’s taste on the open market. The Dallas defenseman was a perfect complement for Miro Heiskanen.
The mentorship angle plays big here, but Holland has to wait this out realistically, which means Keith is more likely than Oleksiak.