The Edmonton Oilers entered this season with goaltending as a lingering question mark. It could become an issue that sends general manager Ken Holland into the trade market later this season.
In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman acknowledged the current tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen play well enough in the regular season but come up short in the playoffs. He pointed out Holland attempted to sign Jacob Markstrom last fall and tried to acquire Darcy Kuemper before the Arizona Coyotes traded him to the Colorado Avalanche.
Nugent-Bowman suggested the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson as possible trade targets. Cap Friendly shows Fleury, 36, is in the final season of his contract with a $7-million salary-cap hit. He could be receptive to a trade given the Blackhawks’ problems on and off the ice. Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Gibson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual average value of $6.4 million.
Nugent-Bowman felts Fleury’s age and contract status could make him a more affordable acquisition for the Oilers. He’s heard the asking price for Gibson could be as high as four assets, including a first-round pick and a good young player.
Fleury and Gibson each carry 10-team no-trade lists. Holland would be forced to look elsewhere if neither goalie is keen to come to Edmonton.
Joonas Korpisalo of the Columbus Blue Jackets could be a decent rental option. Like Fleury, Korpisalo is slated to become a UFA next summer. The 27-year-old goalie lacks the pedigree of Fleury and Gibson but played well during the 2020 playoffs and carries an affordable $2.8-million cap hit.