Semyon Varlamov Passing on Oilers a Bad Sign for Ken Holland’s NHL Trade Deadline

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That Semyon Varlamov declined to waive his no-trade clause to join the Edmonton Oilers this season is not a good sign. For an organization that already isn’t motivated to move a first-round pick or a high-end prospect to improve this team this season, it was clear a handful of available deadline options weren’t going to be available to GM Ken Holland. If the middle-tier guys are also passing, what can the Oilers really do?

The answer might be not much and if the Oilers are a team barely able to squeak into the playoffs this year, what does that mean for their chances to make a long run?

Varlamov Shoots Down Oilers

To be fair, Elliotte Friedman noted in his latest

32 Thoughts column of Varlamov, “His no-trade covers half the NHL. Teams are petrified of admitting they’re talking to the Islanders.” With that being said, Edmonton was one of the few teams with enough guts to put themselves out there and see if Varlamov would bite. Friedman added, “If it happens, I’m not convinced it will be Edmonton.” The suggestion here is that Varlamov would have turned down more than just the Oilers, but other teams didn’t give him a chance to say no.