It’s no secret that the Edmonton Oilers are hot after a goaltender this summer. Whether that goaltenders comings in free agency or trade remains to be seen at this point, but the assumption was that they were looking to add a backup or someone to simply compete with Devan Dubnyk for the starting gig.
However, given what we’ve seen from the Oilers in the past couple of days, the Oilers may actually be coveting a starter, rather than someone to bring in to throw behind Dubnyk. A couple of names that they targeted during Sunday’s draft indicates that they were looking at a starter.
Prior to his being traded, the Oilers were believed to be in on Cory Schneider. He was eventually traded to the New Jersey Devils for a return significantly less than what Edmonton had reportedly offered. That package was apparently their first two picks in the draft, as well as a prospect.
There were also whispers of the Oilers being in on Sergei Bobrovsky, before he was eventually signed to a new two-year deal by the Columbus Blue Jackets. We don’t know what the Oilers were offering, but coming off of a Vezina Trophy season, it was at least as significant as what they had offered for Schneider.
The Oilers likely aren’t completely sure what they have in Dubnyk at this point. He’s been really good at times, and just mediocre at others. In 128 career starts, he has a .913 save percentage and a 2.78 goals against average. He’s coming off of the best year of his career, and perhaps playing behind a better blue line, which is a goal for the Oilers this summer, will help him realize his potential.
Edmonton may have simply just seen a couple of options that they felt were too good to pass up in a trade, and that’s hard to argue against. Bobrovsky and Schneider will undoubtedly be better than Dubnyk in the long term. But at this point, it’d be surprising to see them go after another starter out there.
What we can probably expect is the Oilers to bring in someone to either backup Dubnyk, or someone capable of pushing him for the starting job, with the intention of handing him the reigns next season. Either way, it appears that Craig MacTavish isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a huge move at some point this summer, so definitely keep an eye on what the Oilers do moving forward.