While Edmonton is believed to be looking for help in the top six, Oilers GM Ken Holland is being cautious with the timeline for when such a move may take place. While the trade deadline is now less than six weeks away, Holland told Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun that he expects that it will be a while before activity around the league picks up:
When it comes to the trade deadline, I think it’s still another eight to 10 games needs to be played before anything happens. I want to see what happens over the next 10 games leading to the trade deadline.
He acknowledges that it’s unlikely that they’d turn around and sell if things don’t go well over that eight-to-ten-game stretch but with so many teams within striking distance of a playoff spot, it may take the better part of the next month for some of those squads to pick which direction they’re going to go. If that is indeed the case, the Oilers may be waiting for a while yet for those reinforcements.
Elsewhere in the West:
- Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta is expected to get the start on Saturday, notes Craig Morgan of The Athletic (Twitter link). He returned from a lower-body injury last week only to sustain another injury in his first game back. Raanta’s inability to stay healthy has hurt Arizona over the last few seasons and with Darcy Kuemper also out of action, the timing for this latest one was certainly unfortunate. Fortunately for them, at least this one didn’t keep him out for long.
- While earlier in the week, it appeared as if Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad wouldn’t return until after the All-Star break, that may not be the case. Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Saad participated in a full practice today and is questionable to play on Saturday against Toronto. There are three games left for Chicago before the break so if Saad is a possibility to play tomorrow, there’s a very good chance he’ll get into one of the other two at least.