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SPECULATION: Should Oilers Trade for Blackwood?

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

We know the Edmonton Oilers need goaltending.

Between Jack Campbell, Stuart Skinner, and Calvin Pickard, as of Nov. 21, the purported Cup contenders sport an NHL-worst .867 Save %.

Could the San Jose Sharks’ Mackenzie Blackwood help?

That’s what insider Darren Dreger suggested on TSN 1050’s “OverDrive” radio show today.

“I believe Kenny Holland has had real hard trade conversations with teams,” Dreger said about Oilers GM Holland and the state of his goaltending.

“I’d be looking Mackenzie Blackwood in San Jose,” Dreger speculated. “I’d be looking at every goalie option there is.”

Keep in mind, Dreger is not saying that Holland has talked to San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier about Blackwood.

But it’s good to hear that the rest of the NHL has taken notice of Blackwood’s strong play under difficult circumstances this season. Despite facing 40 or more shots in seven of his 12 starts for the 3-14-1 Sharks this season, Blackwood sports a .900 Save %.

According to NHL EDGE, Blackwood’s High-Danger Save % is .825, which is in the 69th percentile in the league. This despite facing 143 High-Danger shots, which is in the 98th percentile.

So Blackwood is thriving through tons of rubber.

Who has Holland talked to?

“I think St. Louis, among them,” Dreger said. “The Binnington stuff has been reported.”

This, however, won’t be an easy deal for Holland to execute. Edmonton is close to the cap, and they’ve got an untradable goalie in Campbell who’s got $5 million AAV until 2026-27.

Campbell is currently toiling in the AHL, trying to find his game.

“The problem that Holland has,” Dreger said, “he’s in the expiring year of his contract. He’s not coming back as general manager in Edmonton. He could make that goalie trade.

“But to force Jack Campbell’s contract into that, or make the money work, because it has to be dollar in, dollar out in Edmonton, he has to give up a first-round draft pick or Xavier Bourgault or a piece that he feels, in my opinion, he doesn’t want to give up.

“Because that straps the next GM.”

Or new Oilers CEO Jeff Jackson.

However, Edmonton is 5-11-1 and fast-fading in the playoff chase.

“I feel like a deal has to be done sooner than later in Edmonton,” Dreger said.

If the Oilers were seriously interested in Blackwood, it could present an incredible opportunity for Grier to turn a reclamation project, acquired from the New Jersey Devils for a 2023 sixth-round pick over the summer, into a high-value asset.

Blackwood is a relative bargain with a $2.35 million AAV through 2024-25.

Of course, teams looking at Blackwood’s start this season were also looking the past two years, when Blackwood struggled in part because of a variety of injuries.

So that could cap Blackwood’s open-market value.

It’s also worth mentioning that while the rebuilding San Jose Sharks could absorb the rest of Campbell’s contract without any major issue, they were reticent recently to commit dead money past 2024-25.

In the off-season Erik Karlsson trade, the Sharks lowered the possible return on Karlsson, retaining just $1.5 million AAV through 2026-27, instead of the maximum 50 percent, or $5.75 million AAV allowed. But to extract a first-round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Karlsson, they took on Mikael Granlund, Jan Rutta, and Mike Hoffman’s contracts. Hoffman’s $4.5 million AAV contract expires this year, while Granlund’s $5 million AAV and Rutta’s $2.75 million AAV expire after 2024-25.

So it seemed like San Jose was clearing the decks to be flush with cap space before the 2025-26 campaign. At the moment, their only major financial commitments for that season are Tomas Hertl ($8.1375 million AAV to 2029-30), Logan Couture ($8 million AAV to 2026-27), Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($7 million AAV to 2025-26), Mario Ferraro ($3.25 million AAV to 2025-26), Martin Jones’s buyout cap hit ($1.67 million AAV to 2026-27), and of course, Karlsson’s cap hit ($1.5 million AAV to 2026-27).

Unless the Sharks think that they could rehabilitate the 31-year-old Campbell’s game, would they want to add that contract to their books until 2026-27?

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