Oilers Rumors: Veteran Defenseman Named As Trade Candidate

Just six weeks away from the NHL trade deadline, and some new names are cropping up in the latest Trade Boards. 

The Edmonton Oilers currently have next to no available cap space in which to bring in any new reinforcements that they'll be looking for by March 8th. According to Cap Friendly they have only $347,000 available under the cup at the moment and that obviously just won't get it done. 

Per Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli, the Oilers are going to need to manufacture a little wiggle room, and he feels that defenseman Brett Kulak could be the odd man out, despite the good marriage.

Scoop: The Oilers like Kulak. The Stony Plain, Alta., native likes playing in Edmonton. Full stop. It’s just that if the Oilers are going to manufacture salary cap space to make a big trade deadline acquisition, Kulak might have to be the casualty.

Kulak has a $2.75 million cap hit (for two more years), and by swapping him out in their lineup for youngster Philip Broberg (currently in the minors), that would save them $2 million in cap room. (Of course, it should be noted that Broberg has also been mentioned over the past couple of months as a trade candidate as well).

The 10-year veteran, Kulak is a left-shot D, now in his 2nd full season in Edmonton after being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 trade deadline. After a decent year last season, though, when he posted a plus/minus of +11 and got 17:31 of ice time per game, Kulak's minutes and effectiveness have dwindled somewhat this season, down to just 14:36 on ice per night, while he has just five points in 44 games (he had 20 last season) and even his hits are down from 105 last year to just 30 this campaign. 

Playing on the third pairing, he could be sacrificed without creating too much of a disruption for the red-hot Oilers, who took a 15-game winning streak into Saturday's game against the Nashville Predators.

 Photo:  Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports