A TSN report from Aaron Ward came out overnight stating that the Jackets and Oilers were discussing a trade, potentially involving David Perron and Artem Anisimov:
Perron has been in the headlines recently, with TSN reporting three days ago that the Oilers were trying to trade the winger. From a Columbus perspective trading for Perron certainly makes sense, as President John Davidson and GM Jarmo Kekalainen are intimately familiar with him from the trio's days in St.Louis.
Coming off a career year last season where he scored 57 points in 78 games, Perron has struggled this season, like many of his Oiler teammates.
Perron has thirty-goal potential, and would seem like a good fit alongside Ryan Johansen. He isn't afraid to mix it up, as evident by his PIM totals. According to Cap Geek, Perron has two years remaining on his contract, at a cap hit of $3.8125 million AAV.
If the Jackets do in fact trade Anisimov, the timing is strange as the team is currently missing two of their four starting centers in Brandon Dubinsky and Mark Letestu. Anisimov and Johansen are the other two. Trading Anisimov, especially with Dubinsky and Letestu still out, would leave a void up the middle- a position of strength coming into the season.
Unless the team honestly thinks that rookie Alexander Wennberg is ready to step in for Anisimov, the deal doesn't make a lot of sense at this time. Wennberg has been outmatched thus far, playing less than ten minutes on the fourth line last night. He needs to be sent to Springfield to get serious ice time- I'm not sure he's ready to replace Anisimov.
There's a chance that Anisimov's name was put out there to light a fire under him, with the discussions between the two teams involving other assets going to Edmonton for Perron. While the Oilers claim to be looking for a top line center, they really need to improve their defense and goaltending. The Jackets can't help them in the latter department, but the team is loaded with defensemen on one-way contracts. Perhaps Tim Erixon- a recent healthy scratch-along with a pick or prospect? Maybe even Jack Johnson, who's struggled this season amid off-ice drama but would be a top-pairing defender for the Oilers.
As rumored, this deal doesn't make sense from a Columbus perspective, but while Perron would be a perfect fit with the Jackets, a deal involving blueline help to Edmonton is more logical.