Oilers GM Ken Holland answering questions for the media.
Photo credit: HockeyFeed

Oilers GM Ken Holland blew a chance to acquire a stud defenseman

Published January 16, 2024 at 10:45
With the power of social media and news outlets releasing trades and trade talks throughout the NHL, fans now have the chance to discuss missed or failed deals that should have happened after reviewing the facts.

Recently, an Oilers writer was musing online about a missed opportunity to land a stud defenseman far earlier than Mattias Ekholm that would have changed the dynamics of the team. The defenseman in question was Devon Toews.

The argument is that Holland decided to make a trade for Andreas Athanasiou along with Ryan Kuffner from the Red Wings in exchange for Sam Gagner and two second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.

During that same period, Devon Toews was unable to be signed by the New York Islanders as they were cap constraints in which he was moved to the Colorado Avalanche for two second round picks in 2021 and 2022.

It's hard to take that the Oilers could have hung on to their picks and traded them to the Islanders and received a top two defenseman rather than a third line winger who only remained with the team for one year. Those kinds of trades cripple a team as draft capital needs to be weighed out and the returning player needs to be signed long term.

What's even tougher is that the Avalanche managed to sign Toews for 16.4 million over 4 years which meant he would have had a cap hit a 4.1 million AAV.
If Holland would have landed him, it's likely the same deal could have been done and would have set the Oilers for years.

Making this move would have been bold but brilliant. Toews has shown what he brings and in my view a big opportunity was wasted.
January 16   |   247 answers
Oilers GM Ken Holland blew a chance to acquire a stud defenseman

Should the Oilers have traded for Devon Toews over Andreas Athanasiou in 2020 ?

Yes - A stud talent for two second rounders, DEAL18072.9 %
No- at the time the deal was the right one6727.1 %
Latest 10 stories