After losing Evander Kane to a horrific wrist injury nearly a month ago, Edmonton The Oilers are reportedly looking for a player who can help replace the crime of a 30 year old, along with his physical strength and advantage. Unfortunately, there are very few such players in today’s NHL, and this complicates the task of general manager Ken Holland.
With that said, there is one available player who could be a great fit – Blackhawks forward Max Domi. The 27-year-old signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Chicago this summer and will likely be transferred on or before the deadline.
Although Domi’s career has been full of ups and downs so far, he has proven that when given the opportunity to play at a high level of skill, he can produce. That is the case this season as he has an impressive nine goals and 19 points, playing in the same line with Patrick Kane at times. With this result, combined with the Oilers’ desire to add a player like him to the offensive line, both sides were tied as a potential matchup.
Kevin Wicks, analyst and former NHL goaltender seems to believe The fit between the two teams makes a lot of sense, which is exactly what he suggested in a recent conversation with ESPN’s John Buccigross.
“Well, here’s the thing, he (Domi) impressed them, so far he’s been a good fit for them in Chicago,” Wicks said. “There is an opinion that either he is going to make an extension, or, in your opinion, his services may be needed by a competing team, a buyer. Possibly Edmonton.
It’s worth noting that Wicks isn’t the only credible insider who has mentioned that Domi has been on the move lately. Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff also included it in his first Top 20 Trading Targets article that was published last month. Even though Wicks has said an extension is possible, the public consensus seems to suggest that the deal is only a matter of time away.
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Given Weeks’ wording, it seems like he’s only speculating at the moment, but it certainly makes sense. The Oilers are a team that started the season with sky-high expectations but has so far struggled with a mediocre 14-11-0 record. While there are a few areas they could improve on, they desperately need hitters not named Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to help carry the load on offense.
Bringing in Domi would not only help the Oilers increase their roster scoring, but also give Jay Woodcroft the opportunity to balance his lines. Lately, the young head coach has been forced to pair McDavid and Draisaitl together, something the team has been trying to get away from in recent years to create more depth.
That $3 million salary shouldn’t be a problem for the Oilers and their cap situation either.
As for where Domi should appear, Woodcroft will have plenty of options thanks to the young forward’s versatility. In his 525-match career, he has proven he can play all three positions up front. With McDavid, Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all available in the center, he will most likely play on the wing, but could see some time in the center if Woodcroft decides to combine one of the three mentioned above together.
No matter which seat he takes, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree with the fact that Domi can help the Oilers right now. They have greatly missed Kane’s presence in the roster over the past few weeks and despite only having his first time on the ice since injury just a few days ago, he is expected to be out for another 2-3 months.
It’s safe to say that Edmonton might need a replacement for now, and Domi seems like the most reasonable option available.
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