NHL Rumors: Edmonton Oilers – Kris Russell, Matt Benning, and Darnell Nurse
Could Kris Russell or Matt Benning help get a forward in a trade?

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal:  The Edmonton Oilers struck out on free agency. However, could Kris Russell or Matt Benning help them in their quest to attain a forward? Several mitigating factors exist for both players. For one, Russell has a no-trade clause and comes at a $4 million AAV the next two seasons. Also, can Benning play in a top-four role in Edmonton or anywhere? That is debatable.

There exist seven or eight teams that need a defenseman and one interesting target is the Los Angeles Kings. Would they move Tyler Toffoli at this point? Nashville could move a Mikael Granlung or Craig Smith but the cost would be high. Nick Bonino comes cheaper.

Lastly, among the other teams, Vegas makes the most sense. A sweetener or two perhaps acquires Edmonton the services of Reilly Smith. This all depends on what Ken Holland is willing to do as far as trading Kris Russell and Matt Benning.

The next Darnell Nurse contract?

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic:  The dilemma with Darnell Nurse partly stems from pairing him with more effective defensive partners. Kris Russell exists as a defensive albatross in Edmonton and drags numbers down. If Nurse plays at least a third of his 5-on-5 time with Connor McDavid, 40 points look likely and a bigger payday. If not, a lesser payday is inevitable.

Darnell Nurse is not a top-pairing defender but makes for a good three or four basically. He is not “the” shutdown guy or puck-mover yet can be effective. That is enough to see an AAV of $5.8-$6.5 million times seven.

Watching The Sausage Get Made

Allan Mitchell of Lowetide.ca:  Again, the Ken Holland plan represents getting younger and building brick by brick. Draft and develop. Kris Russell still appears the most likely RHD trade bait over Matt Benning.

Dave Tippett reviewed a lot of last year’s video for good reason. It’s like doing homework then taking extra credit for classes. Every bit helps and that will aid Edmonton in forming their roster for the 2019-20 season.