June 09 2011 12:38PM
After the GMs meetings yesterday a few stories popped up that Steve Tambellini was open to trading the first overall pick. I don't see any REALISTIC scenario that would see him moving that pick, but here is what he said yesterday.
"I've had a few calls (from) people kicking the tires of how they can help me make the Oilers a better team. For me to move the No. 1 pick it would have to be obviously something exceptional. Because this is a huge building block again for us.
"These couple years here are exactly the time that we have to put pieces in place that are going to be part of the Oilers success for a long time. It would have to be something quite sweet."
By something sweet he means a massive overpayment. In the past month Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has become the consensus first overall pick. He is number one on every mock draft that I've seen, (if there is a reputable one that doesn't have him first please let me know) so I don't see why Tambellini would trade him.
Since Tambellini's comments many readers and listeners to my show have sent me questions and/or scenarios that they felt would make sense in dealing the first pick. In almost every case the return was far greater than what I think an opposing GM would offer up, but I respect your positive outlook.
Tambellini can't move down one or two spots and expect anything significant. The Panthers won't deal Erik Gudbranson and this year's 3rd pick for the 1st. It won't happen folks.
Some wondered if the Oilers should trade with Ottawa and get the 6th and 21st pick, thus ensuring the Oilers three picks in the top 21. I know it is a different regime right now, but having three picks in the top 21 in 2007 hasn't worked out great for the Oilers.
History shows there is a big difference between the 1st pick and the 6th. Let's quickly compare the last ten drafts:
YEAR 1st 6th
2010 Taylor Hall Brett Connolly
2009 John Tavares Oliver Ekman-Larsson
2008 Steven Stamkos Nikita Filatov
2007 Patrick Kane Sam Gagner
2006 Erik Johnson Derick Brassard
2005 Sidney Crosby Gilbert Brule
2004 Alex Ovechkin Al Montoya
2003 Marc-Andre Fleury Milan Michalek
2002 Rick Nash Scottie Upshall
2001 Ilya Kovalchuk Mikko Koivu
In most cases the difference in skill is drastic. I don't see why Tambellini would give up the opportunity to draft a potential franchise player with the first pick. I don't see Colorado giving up a lot to move up one spot, especially considering they are a division rival.
If you look back at teams that traded out of the first slot, I can't find one that eventually won the deal. The Panthers ended up giving up more draft picks to move down to #3 in 2002, and the Thrashers completely botched it when they took Patrick Stefan in 1999. Based on the cap and the amount of money the first overall pick receives now, I'm not sure it is even fair to compare potential deals to ones that occurred in the 1980s and later.
I understand why Tambellini tells the media is he open to dealing the pick, so every team knows he is contemplating and maybe one of them will come in with an offer too good to pass up; but realistically I don't see it happening. I also think the optics of moving the first overall pick wouldn't sit well with Oilersnation right now.
You've spent the past five years watching your team miss the playoffs, and in a few cases be out of the race by January, so moving a likely elite player at this point might not sit well with many of you.
I'm sure Tambellini will listen to all offers, but I fully expect the Oilers to still be picking first in 15 days.
I also expect them to announce a trade on draft day involving the 19th pick; I just don't know how far they will be able to move up. From where I sit moving the 19th pick is a more realistic option, and it could involve a roster player. The question is which team is willing to move down?
Right now the Calgary Flames are desperate for more picks, and I suspect they might move down a few notches to secure a few more picks, but would the Flames and Oilers make a deal involving multiple picks? Pulling the wool over Darryl Sutter's eyes to take Steve Staios is one thing, but would the Alberta rivals trade first rounders? I highly doubt it, considering I assume the Flames would want more picks rather than an NHL player, but that would make for some great debate on here and at www.Flamesnation.ca
Based on the conversations I've had to date, I'd expect Tambellini to try hard and move up from 19, but I highly doubty he will move the first pick.
If he does, I think he is making a big mistake.
I would like to thank all of you who donated for my MS Bike Tour and got into the draw for the Ultimate Sports Fan Package. We will be doing a reverse draw during the show today, and we will announce the winner at 5:25 p.m. We limited this to 75 entries of $100, and along with the auctions we did on air we have raised almost $11,000.00 to fight MS.
THANK YOU for you support.
Good luck to all who entered.