The Edmonton Oilers need for a top-pairing defenseman remains a hot topic among the media. With their depth in young scoring forwards, it’s assumed one of them will be dealt to address the Oilers’ blueline needs.

Appearing last Friday on 630 CHED radio, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussed with host Bob Stauffer what it might take for the Carolina Hurricanes to pry center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out of Edmonton. Stauffer feels it’ll take more than defenseman Justin Faulk while Friedman countered it could take more than Nugent-Hopkins to land Faulk.

If the Oilers and Hurricanes are discussing Faulk, the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson points out Hurricanes assistant GM Rick Olczyk used to hold a similar position with the Oilers. He could help GM Ron Francis assess Oilers right winger Jordan Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins.

The Hurricanes certainly need to bolster their offense, but it’s doubtful they’ll use their best defenseman as trade bait for a scoring forward. Faulk’s the anchor of a rebuilding young blueline corps and carries a very affordable $4.833-million annual cap hit through 2019-20. Unless Faulk wants out of Carolina, and there’s no indication he does, the Hurricanes have no reason to move him.

The Oilers might be better off setting their sights on Colorado Avalanche rearguard Tyson Barrie. Friedman told Stauffer he think the 26-year-old Barrie, who’s a restricted free agent this summer, is “definitely in play.” He gets the impression the defenseman’s agents and Avalanche management are having difficulty reaching agreement on a new contract.