December 1, 2017 | 10:19am ET
OILERS GM VERY ACTIVE IN TRADE MARKET
Peter Chiarelli, Edmonton Oilers GM
When it's hitting the fan, it's hitting the fan. The Edmonton Oilers failed to gain any traction in the standings Thursday night when the team lost a heartbreaker against the Toronto Maple Leafs on an own-goal by defenseman Kris Russell.
Still 29th in the NHL, the Oilers have been looking for ways to bring in outside help and General Manager Peter Chiarelli is extremely busy manning the phones.
If the Oilers continue their pace and fail to make up any ground in the playoff race, they'll look to move out some pieces, such as winger Patrick Maroon and center Mark Letestu, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents next summer, but that isn't Chiarelli's only motivation.
As much as the Oilers may end up selling off some of their assets, if they can't rebound their season, they'll also be looking to retool their current roster and bring in long-term assets.
Chiarelli, in a perfect world, wants to add at least one top-six winger and a top-four defenseman, and possibly a goaltender, according to multiple reports.
Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to pop up in trade talk and speculation, but the overall sense around the NHL is that type of move is more likely to occur in the off-season, if at all. Chiarelli is not overly interested in trading Nugent-Hopkins, but will certainly listen and if an offer comes in that blows him off of his feet, he'll seriously consider it.
It appears the Oilers are willing to move out some of their other contract-controllable players, such as Anton Slepyshev, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, all 23, and Iiro Pakarinen, 26, in an attempt to upgrade the team both up front and on the blueline.
Caggiula, Slepyshev and Pakarinen are in the final year of their respective contracts and can become restricted free agents next summer, while Khaira has one year left on his contract beyond this season before hitting RFA status.