The Edmonton Oilers are in desperate need of goaltending help, and could seek out Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks if he makes it to free agency this summer. The Edmonton Journal writes that the Oilers would “aggressively” pursue the netminder as a free agent, but would it be all that surprising to see this lackluster squad make a move for him before then?
If the Oilers are going to have any sort of prayer of saving their season, they’d need to make a move within the next week or two. The odds of them making the postseason are long as it is, and they only seem to sink farther and farther into the abyss as the year continues.
What would the 3-10-2 club need to part with to secure Hiller’s services for the remained of the year while giving them a head start on talking an extension with him?
Word is that the Oilers would love to upgrade in net or on the blue line, but have thus far been totally unwilling to part with any young assets to make that happen. While they could wait for Hiller to become an FA and attempt to grab him while giving up nothing, there are sure to be several other teams bidding for his services.
He’s making $4.5 million a year on his current deal, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him net an extra $1.5 million or so on top of that number as a free agent. (Hey, we don’t make the rules, but managers lose their minds during free agency)
Of course, there’s always the risk of Hiller joining Edmonton for the rest of the year, only to bolt as a free agent. Protected draft picks could help ease those concerns, yet it doesn’t seem likely that the Oilers would want to part with first-round selections given their recent track record of being kind of terrible.
So that leaves the Ducks asking for what?
Oscar Klefbom has received endless amounts of attention from various teams around the league, but the Oilers have balked on that front. If a deal did materialize between Edmonton and Anaheim, it’d be interesting to see what all the moving parts could be. A trade between the two clubs could quickly balloon to include picks and prospects going in both directions.
Or maybe nothing happens at all. It’s hard telling.
Regardless, the Oilers need to understand that they need to give something to get something, and if they’re unwilling to move any young assets then landing a player of Hiller’s caliber prior to free agency is mostly just a pipe dream. It’s a buyer’s market when it comes to goalies, but that won’t always be the case.