Mattias Ekholm Headed To Oilers
Mattias Ekholm is an Oiler. Edmonton just got some serious help on the blue line. While Ken Holland had to pay a big price, it should be worth it come playoff time. In his 12 year career, Ekholm has been a regular in the playoffs and even played in the Stanley Cup Final back in 2017. The longtime Predator’s move continues to highlight Nashville’s commitment to a rebuild. Elliotte Friedman had both the news of the deal and return below:
A lot to unpack here. For starters, Edmonton swapped out a puck-moving defenseman in Tyson Barrie in exchange for the more defensively solid Ekholm. Furthermore they gave up their 2023 first and a fourth along with former first-round pick Reid Schaefer. Ken Holland has finally taken a step towards some defensive solidity behind their all-world group of forwards. Of course, however, it will also put some pressure on Jay Woodcroft to find a new powerplay quarterback without Barrie. Does it become Evan Bouchard? How about Ekholm himself? Is another trade coming? The answer to that might be yes. Nashville also held onto roughly 4 percent of Ekholm’s deal, bringing Edmonton’s cap hit to an even $6 million. Even at age 32, he’s got a lot to give, as JFresh points out below:
Nashville Tears It Down
The Preds really mean business ahead of the deadline. And some of their fans should look away. David Poile’s final trade deadline in charge is an absolute firesale. After trading away both Tanner Jeannot and Nino Niederreiter, this is one of the first real veterans that gets moved out. I speculated in the Jeannot post about who else becomes available. Matt Duchene? Ryan McDonagh? Ryan Johansen? Would they even go as far as trading franchise faces Filip Forsberg or Juuse Saros? How about captain Roman Josi? It seems like almost anything is on the table.
When Barry Trotz takes over on July 1st, he is gonna have a clean slate. A lot of assets. Maybe not too many players worth keeping around. A handful of sizeable contracts. He’s proven to work wonders as a coach in Nashville but it will be interesting to see how he handles the front office job.
Once again, the NHL never fails. Most non-fans probably think today is the trade deadline with the amount of deals going down. However, no. That’s Friday at 3 PM. Buckle in because we still have two more full days of trades coming down.