The Columbus Blue Jackets Could Be The Perfect Trading Partner For The Edmonton Oilers After First Round Exit

By Dan Dukart on May 27, 2021 at 8:05 am
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins puts a shot just wide of Joonas Korpisalo
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, but the Edmonton Oilers could use some help. 

After a surprising/embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets, the Oilers have effectively wasted another season of prime Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. 

And while their defense corps took a step in the right direction this past year, and Mike Smith had a resurgent season, the club lacks the overall depth to optimally supplement its two megastars. 

Enter the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Per a report, the Oilers had previously had conversations with the Blue Jackets surrounding goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, and those talks could resurface this offseason.

The Oilers had expressed interest in such goalies as Matt Murray and Joonas Korpisalo in the past, and Holland could revisit talks with Columbus regarding Korpisalo this summer.

As has been referenced ad nauseam, the Blue Jackets will likely move on from one of its two goaltenders this offseason, as both Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins are one season away from free agency. Smith is a pending free agent this summer, though it's expected he will return, and Mikko Koskinen, who will be 33 this summer and is making $4.5M against the salary cap, is one year away from UFA. Per the same report, a buy-out for Koskinen is "expected". 

Should the Oilers move on from either goaltender, they'll have an immediate need to replace him (all due respect to Alex Stalock). 

Depending on how the Blue Jackets choose to attack their future (full-on rebuild vs. re-tool), there could be other fits, too. The Oilers need "now" help, while the Blue Jackets, should they choose to re-build, could be interested in prospects and future pieces.  

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the club's second-line center on most nights, is a pending UFA. The Oilers need more offensive depth, not less, but can they afford to bring him back? If not, the Blue Jackets could be interested in bringing him in, not via a trade, but as a free agent.  

It's a footnote, but Caleb Jones, Seth's younger brother, could be a change-of-scenery type of player. Would the Blue Jackets be interested in the younger Jones, either as a depth piece or even as a potential recruiting ploy for the elder? Obviously, that's highly speculative, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility. 

The Blue Jackets roster will look much different when they take the ice to start the 2021-22 season. So, too, should that of the Oilers. With both of these more or less accepted as universal truths, it could make sense for the two teams to come together to achieve their individual goals. 

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