NHL trade rumors: Leafs inquired about Karlsson, Ekholm; Oilers made pitch for Meier
The dust has finally begun to settle after a hectic NHL trading season. Big names such as Patrick Kane, Jacob Chychran, Timo Meyer and Ryan O’Reilly changed teams before the deadline, while a number of teams fiddled with the fringes of their rosters in preparation for the playoffs or the draft lottery.
But what about some deals that didn’t end up going well? Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek shared some fascinating scenarios during Saturday Segment 32 Thoughts: The Oilers put their names on the Meyer hat, the Maple Leafs are interested in Mattias Ekholm and Erik Karlsson, and many others.
Let’s break down some of the most intriguing moments, including the hype that could escalate into the next big deal opportunity: the 2023 NHL Draft weekend.
The oilmen were tinkering with Meyer; Flames wanted to extend any negotiations
After weeks of messaging that raised concerns that the Oilers would miss trade opportunities on time, general manager Ken Holland instead came up with a pleasant surprise in the form of a lucrative deal with Ekholm.
Obviously, this was not the only spectacular move that Edmonton considered. While the details of the offer were not released, the Oilers reportedly made a “legitimate move” for Meyer. It’s important to note that the Oilers were willing to make a move even without an extension, which would seem to put a team like the Flames off.
To remind you that Holland is still in charge and the market’s obsession with perseverance remains active, Marek noted that the Oilers were also interested in Philadelphia Flyers’ stubborn, marginal forward Zach McEwan, who ended up with the Los Angeles Kings. “.
Busy Maple Leafs couldn’t make money work for Ekholm/Karlsson
Imagine Karlsson’s potential chaos as a maple leaf. It could have been the ultimate, unholy marriage between an incredibly talented defenseman whose flaws are often exaggerated and a talented team whose playoff failures were obsessed with.
Although Friedman reports that Toronto made inquiries about Karlsson, he was unable to make the money work. The Maple Leafs upgraded what was already a stealthy defense-in-depth with a string of trade time moves, but also fell short of a bolder addition in Matthias Ekholm as space under the cap was an obstacle.
It would be interesting to know how close Toronto got to any of these moves, because both of them were considered to be the sort of all-in bets that could change the nature of the playoff race. However, with O’Reilly and a bunch of defensive pieces, the Maple Leafs were definitely not sitting around on a deadline.
Will the Flyers be able to make big deals during the 2023 NHL draft?
Speaking of inactivity, that’s a good way to describe Flyers. As other teams rebuilt or retooled, the Flyers only exchanged spare partswith the inability to get anything for unfinished free agent James van Riemsdyk looking especially egregious.
Whatever the case, Chuck Fletcher, general manager of the Flyers, claims that there were simply no deals for JVR. At least head coach John Tortorella is loyal to his CEO.
Marek and Friedman point out that if the Flyers are capable of making big moves, it’s easiest to do so in the offseason. Given rumors of “soft talks” with the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding Kevin Hayes, such a deal may require some creativity. The 30-year-old Hayes has an unsightly cap of $7.143 million through 2025-2026, which makes you think the proper return would be “anything.” However, the Blue Jackets are in dire need of a center, so perhaps Fletcher and company can redeem themselves.
On the other hand, should Fletcher really get another chance when he seems far behind the curve time after time?
With the Flyers, no one should be out of reach. All of their defenses are stripped of trade protection, opening the door to a potentially merciful conclusion to Ivan Provorov’s failed experiment. As refreshing as this breakout season has been for Travis Konechny, it would probably make sense to sell up given the 25-year-old’s heyday doesn’t sit well with the Flyers’ return to normal.
In general, you can find an excuse for the Flyers not being able to make individual trades. However, the overall picture is not pretty. They may unveil the real plan at the 2023 NHL Draft weekend, but they didn’t get much benefit from the doubt.