Chiarelli Willing To Deal?

Jonathan Willis
May 27 2010 12:39PM

NHL Draft Lottery Drawing

Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin isn’t a discussion that’s been confined to fans of the Edmonton Oilers. The team with the second overall pick, Boston, has a big stake in the outcome, and it doesn’t sound like Bruins G.M. Peter Chiarelli is going to let Steve Tambellini make his decision without at least attempting to sway the outcome.

Chiarelli talked to Boston Herald writer Stephen Harris, and the results of that discussion are in an article at the Herald’s site this morning. The short form is that Chiarelli expects Tambellini to talk to him and see if some kind of deal can be worked out, he declines to tell the reporter who Boston is leaning towards and if they’re willing to cough up something to make the player they want fall to them, and that he plans to talk with Tambellini about it but hasn’t yet.

Harris speculates that Hall is the player the Bruins want: in addition to the fact that most people seem to have Hall slightly ahead of Seguin based on his playoff and World Junior performance (Central Scoutings’ ranking notwithstanding), the Bruins are stocked at centre, and less so on the wings. He also suggests that Edmonton might prefer Seguin in any case; the Oilers have all kinds of first rate prospects at wing and their two best forwards (Hemsky and Penner) are both wingers.

This is where things get interesting. What kind of payment from the Bruins would be sufficient to make the Oilers leave Hall on the table for Boston? Here’s what Harris suggests:

What might it take to assure that Hall remains there for the Bruins? Perhaps winger Blake Wheeler? Or Tim Thomas, if the Oilers saw the veteran goalie as an upgrade on Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Nikolai Khabibulin, et al?

I suspect Wheeler is a player that the Oilers might have in mind; a 6’5” winger who can score a little and hasn’t yet turned 24 is always an interesting commodity. Given Steve Tambellini’s public support of Nikolai Khabibulin, I doubt he especially wants to deal him.

But the more I think about it, the more the idea of swapping Khabibulin for Thomas makes sense to me.

After all, the Bruins starter right now is Tuukka Rask, and with the 23 year-old representing both the present and the future in net, 36 year-old Thomas is a redundancy at $5.0 million per season for the next three years.

Khabibulin is signed for the same term, but at a more palatable $3.75 million, and unlike in Edmonton he wouldn’t be expected to hold down the starter’s job; in other words, his health is much less of a risk for Boston, since their other goalie is more than capable of handling a heavy workload.

Certainly, Edmonton is getting the better half of the goaltending exchange, but it gives Boston a chance to get the player they covet and at the same time cut payroll. It’s a deal I’d definitely try to push from an Oilers perspective, particularly if Seguin’s the player the scouts want anyway.

As I said earlier, however, I take Tambellini at his word when he supports Khabibulin, and I expect that if a trade is made, Wheeler’s the one the Oilers would target. Given Wheeler’s salary (he’s a restricted free agent coming off a $2.8 million hit last year) and decline in production (one goal in the playoffs, regular season numbers down) he’s likely to be overpaid a little, so in Tambellini’s shoes I wouldn’t be willing to trade down to number two strictly for Wheeler. I think the Bruins would have to agree to take a player – one of Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan, or Robert Nilsson – off my hands in order to make the deal work.

In any case, given that the Bruins likely want Hall, the Oilers likely want Seguin, and Hall’s probably the better pick than Seguin, there seems to be a lot of room here for a deal to be made that benefits both teams.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#201 SLURVE
May 29 2010, 02:26PM
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There is no laughter baby when Hemsky's name is out there. That may put them over the top especially if their players are in their prime or close to it, do they want to wait for Seguin or get better now with Hemsky (along with a couple of other Oilers).

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#202 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
May 29 2010, 02:34PM
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SLURVE wrote:

There is no laughter baby when Hemsky's name is out there. That may put them over the top especially if their players are in their prime or close to it, do they want to wait for Seguin or get better now with Hemsky (along with a couple of other Oilers).

Your options 1 and 2 are pretty ridiculous. Might as well throw Reddox, Pouliot, and Horcoff to "sweeten" the deal.

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#203 Chris.
May 29 2010, 02:48PM
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@SLURVE

Boston won't move that pick, not even for Hemsky.

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#204 Pilgor09
May 29 2010, 02:49PM
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I know Hall is coming off the memorial cup and is banged up, but it bugs me that he wasn't willing to participate at the combine. Seguin on the other had a great day. The oilers need a leader like Seguin for the future because you know the kid is going to be a stud and he has the leadership in him as well. Hall didn't even have an A on his jersey despite being in Windsor for 3 years. This worries me and his enthusiasm seems to be lacking compared to Seguin. With Moreau in his last year of his contract, i think Seguin will be the next leader of this organization if given the oppurtunity. And it seems obvious to me that Chiarelli isn't willing to part with the second overall pick unless our 1st is involved. So the Oil managment should be looking at the 3rd of 4th pick so we can take a future top 2 defenceman like Gudbranson or Fowler. We have little defensive prospects, and in order to be competetive you need a solid to stellar back end.

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#205 SLURVE
May 29 2010, 04:24PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Now you are being ridiculous...

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#206 SLURVE
May 29 2010, 04:27PM
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@Chris.

Don't underestimate Hemsky's worth not even with Boston. Besides, it would not only be him in the deal. If the deal is sweet enough who knows...

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#207 Dave
May 29 2010, 05:07PM
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I have felt what a lot of people have already expressed. It seems that all things being equal in the talent department Seguin comes out on top because of character and I would pick him. If Boston is willing to move their 2nd overall pick then great however i would rather see the Oilers get the 3-5th overall pick and take either Gudbranson or Fowler.

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#208 SLURVE
May 29 2010, 05:57PM
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@Dave

If Boston balks, then yes, 3-5 draft position for a top three d-man, ex. Fowler, Gudbranson or Gormley would set the Oilers up for years and ready for prime time sooner than later...

I would try Columbus given the GM was an ex Oiler GM assistant, perhaps they would like Hemsky and a few other Oilers. Maybe the Islanders would like to be in the mix. They are always willing to trade with the Oilers and sometimes making outrageous moves that may benefit us. Too bad Milbury is not around anymore.

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#209 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
May 29 2010, 06:23PM
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SLURVE wrote:

Now you are being ridiculous...

Deliberately so.

You're suggesting the LAST PLACE Oilers - who have a reputation for under-performing players with over-sized contracts - try to unload 3 of the over-sized contracts (that even THEY don't want) for the second-hottest commodity in the off-season, and the GM on the receiving end of this garbage is supposed to do something other than laugh?

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#210 Morgan
May 29 2010, 06:35PM
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He's also overpaid IMO and third liners shouldn't make $3M per season......Then was does Horcoff make 7 million a season?

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#211 Morgan
May 29 2010, 06:37PM
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Jasmine wrote:

No to Wheeler. Absolutely not. He'll do the same thing he did to get out of Phoenix. He was drafted by Phoenix and refused to sign there. Phoenix at the time they drafted Wheeler was 26th in the NHL. The Oilers finished 30th this season. Wheeler will not want to play on a team that finished in 30th.

He's also overpaid IMO and third liners shouldn't make $3M per season.

Then was does Horcoff make 7 million a season?

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#212 Chris.
May 29 2010, 09:31PM
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@SLURVE

With all due respect, I think it is you who is overvaluing Hemsky. I love the guy but let's face it: Why would Chiarelli pass up on the opportunity to draft a projected franchise player in either Hall or Seguin for a 60-70 point player coming off a major injury?

You must remember that Hemsky's stock is somewhat low right now thanks to uncertainty surrounding his major shoulder surgery (Has Horcoff ever been the same?)... It isn't too hard to imagine that Hemsky will need some time to round back into form... and by then he may only have one season left before achieving full UFA status... Tough timing for the Oil from a trade value perspective.

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#213 Robin Brownlee
May 29 2010, 09:46PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

But that WOULD be an awesome headline.

Actually, now that I look closer at the photo of Chiarelli and Tambellini and think about what I wrote, maybe we don't need the question mark.

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#214 madjam
May 30 2010, 08:51AM
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Valuable assets like Moreau , Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff and Penner we should be keeping to help develop our youth . Most of you ,and management, seem to want to gut what little valuable assets we have to move forward . 4 years ago we lost a lot when many players bolted and we had to go with youth . Do we really want to go thru another 4 years like the last 4 years ?

We are not replacing our usefull core once again with equal or better talented NHL players. The result will be the same over next 4 seasons in our ability to develop our talented youth pool . When is this cycle going to end ?

Overpaid or not , lets at least hold onto our valuable core to develop our youth properly ,instead of letting them go for the "peanuts " most of you seem to want for some of them . Otherwise, we are going to have a poor AHL club (relegated to NHL status )being our veteran core trying to develop our youth at the NHL level . Now, hows that going to turn out i ask you?

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#215 SLURVE
May 30 2010, 12:19PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

If you read the players in my options such as Cogs, O'Sullivan, Nilsson and or Hemsky, they are not over paid - unlike Pisani, Horcoff, Moreau. Hemsky is the best deal at 4 million over the next 2 years more.

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#216 SLURVE
May 30 2010, 12:26PM
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Chris. wrote:

With all due respect, I think it is you who is overvaluing Hemsky. I love the guy but let's face it: Why would Chiarelli pass up on the opportunity to draft a projected franchise player in either Hall or Seguin for a 60-70 point player coming off a major injury?

You must remember that Hemsky's stock is somewhat low right now thanks to uncertainty surrounding his major shoulder surgery (Has Horcoff ever been the same?)... It isn't too hard to imagine that Hemsky will need some time to round back into form... and by then he may only have one season left before achieving full UFA status... Tough timing for the Oil from a trade value perspective.

My point is if Boston only prefers Hall because they have many talented centermen already and (Bobby Orr is his agent as well), then why not TRY and make a move for Boston's second pick. The worst thing that can happen is an answer of NO from Boston.

Hemsky is no push over. If he has a playmaker centerman, then he would have more points. Hemsky is young, recovering from shoulder surgery is minor at this stage. His stock will not decrease because of a shoulder surgery. At 4 million with 1 more year left is not that big of a gamble.

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#217 Mike K
May 30 2010, 12:45PM
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Hemsky to Columbus has possibilities as Rick Nash hasn't put up the kind of numbers expected from him due to young/inconsistent linemates like Brassard and Huselius. Hemsky plays the RW while Nash plays LW so there are possibilities there. But Columbus also needs a franchise D man so I wouldn't hold my breathe as they are likely more willing to wait on their young crop of forwards to develop as Nash is only 26 and signed long term so the team has time to let their kids grow. If a deal doesn't happen with Boston to switch picks I'd be surprised if the Oilers got any other deal done on June 25th, and that is if the Oilers even want to deal.

Also shoulder surgery affected Horcoff because his game depends entirely on his strength as he is not a skilled forward. Horcoff is a blue collar worker with solid offensive abilities. Hemsky is a finesse guy and his shot wasn't that powerful to begin with. His success is completely dependent on his shiftiness, speed, and very good passing vision. It will probably take him some time to get rid of the rust but he's got a better chance of getting back to where he was than Horcoff.

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#218 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
May 30 2010, 04:46PM
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SLURVE wrote:

If you read the players in my options such as Cogs, O'Sullivan, Nilsson and or Hemsky, they are not over paid - unlike Pisani, Horcoff, Moreau. Hemsky is the best deal at 4 million over the next 2 years more.

O'Sullivan and Nilsson only made the team this year because Quinn needed warm bodies on the bench. The fact that O'Sullivan gets paid at all is a miracle in my books.

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#219 Shapeman
May 30 2010, 10:08PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

O'Sullivan and Nilsson only made the team this year because Quinn needed warm bodies on the bench. The fact that O'Sullivan gets paid at all is a miracle in my books.

I agree if O' Sullican didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all.... The only player I saw out there as an Oiler that whiffed on more chances than horcoff.....

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#220 SLURVE
May 31 2010, 08:20PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

O'Sullivan and Nilsson only made the team this year because Quinn needed warm bodies on the bench. The fact that O'Sullivan gets paid at all is a miracle in my books.

Hence, the trade as I mentioned...

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#221 spanky
June 02 2010, 10:29AM
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@SLURVE

Hemsky has great promise but has never been a superstar for the oilers. If you look at the way the good teams are bilt lately its with a couple top picks. If we could trade hemsky and something and get both Hall and Seguin we would be a better team. Without big changes we wont be much better.

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#222 redstaper
June 06 2010, 11:31AM
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Madjam... seriously? --> Valuable assets like Moreau , Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff and Penner we should be keeping to help develop our youth .

Good lord, I would want ALL my young assets to stay far far away from Moreau, Souray and Horcoff. Let's see, Moreau could teach the kids how to take a stupid selfish penalties in the last 2 minutes of a game and seal a loss. Souray and Horcoff would teach them how to work management to secure millions of dollars to fill their bank accounts without adding any on ice value. And poor Hemsky. I'm sure he'll be stuck with Horcoff again as management will try to make him look like a top line centre. I somehow get some sick enjoyment out of watching Hemsky's eyes roll into the back of his head when Horcoff missing those easy one-timers. I wouldn't blame Hemsky for wanting to bolt for that reason alone. Hemsky will be wasted spooning Horcoff again next season. What a waste. So the only player out of that group that can offer anything is Penner. Now, there's a guy who turned his whole game around and became the top point getter last season. These are the kind of character guys that can help shape the future.

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