The post Oilers Make Big Goaltending Decision Days Ahead of the Deadline appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

As the NHL Trade Deadline approaches, the Edmonton Oilers have reportedly decided against pursuing a significant goaltender trade. General Manager Ken Holland has expressed confidence in the current goaltending roster and seems content with the options available.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Holland stated, “No. I’m not exploring the market at all. We feel really good about our goaltending.” He highlighted the strengths of the goaltending lineup, praising the performance of Stuart Skinner, 24, who has secured 29 wins. Backup goalie Calvin Pickard has also been commended for his .905 save percentage. Jack Campbell, playing in the AHL, boasts an impressive save percentage over .920 since December. Finally, Olivier Rodrigue has consistently performed at a high level, further solidifying the Oilers’ confidence in their goaltending group.

What can Oilers get done ahead of the NHL trade deadline? Ken Holland Q&A

— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) March 2, 2024

There may not be a superstar amongst the group, but the combination leaves the Oilers feeling good about their chances.

Despite initial goaltender trade rumors circulating, various sources say a potential goalie trade is dwindling. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug emphasized the team’s reliance on Skinner, stating, “The Oilers will go as far as Stuart Skinner is going to take them.” He indicated the organization’s commitment to their current goaltending assets.

Nothing on the Trade Market Worth Chasing for the Oilers

Holland’s decision not to pursue goaltender trades aligns with recent market developments. Marc-Andre Fleury was removed from the market by the Minnesota Wild, and players like Jacob Markstrom and Juuse Saros may be out of the Oilers’ price range. The available options on the market are perceived as insufficient upgrades over the existing goaltending lineup, prompting the team to focus on other areas of improvement.

The Oilers are now reportedly directing their attention to forwards, with a particular emphasis on securing a top-six winger and a depth forward. Players like Vladimir Tarasenko, Jake Guentzel, Adam Henrique, and Jordan Eberle have emerged as notable names in top-six discussions. Additionally, Nic Dowd is gaining traction as a potential depth center. Holland noted, “I’ve got to let this process play out. But certainly, our mindset is we’re trying, I’m trying, to see if I can do something between now and next Friday to make our team a little bit better.”

Ken Holland Stuart Skinner Oilers goaltending

In terms of defense, Holland is expected to explore options for a seventh defenseman, aiming for low-cost depth to provide coverage in the event of injuries. With the goaltending situation seemingly settled, the Oilers are strategically utilizing their trade assets to make clear improvements in other key areas as they gear up for the postseason.

Oilers Open to Multiple Deadline Deals

He explained, “We’re open to forwards or defence. We’ll see what’s available. The cap’s a factor. The assets are a factor. We’ve been spending lots and lots of draft picks since I’ve been here, trying to take a run every year.” He noted that the team just can’t blow all your draft picks out in one year and you’ve got to have some draft capital to be able to do something. That may limit what the team can do.

One thing is for sure, the priority isn’t goaltending. The team has bigger needs to fill.

Next: Zach Hyman’s Tenacity: A Key Factor in the Oilers Success

The post Oilers Make Big Goaltending Decision Days Ahead of the Deadline appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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