The “Wow Factor” Trade

Yesterday, Bob Stauffer announced on Oilers Now that he expects the Edmonton Oilers to make a “wow factor move” in player personnel once the lockout ended (he further predicts the lockout will be over by early December). In other words, according to Stauffer, a big trade is brewing.

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Is it?

Consider the Source

Stauffer, unsurprisingly, takes a fair amount of flack. He is employed by the Oilers. He has been an unapologetic advocate of Daryl Katz, both when Katz was wildly popular with Oilers fans, and now when his demands as part of a new arena deal have turned that relationship sour. Stauffer’s stuck by Katz, and he’s paid by Katz, and that combination is a tough one to manage while staying on the good side of fans.

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But that doesn’t matter. What matters is Stauffer’s record for getting things right.

In that regard, Stauffer’s batting average is higher than any other member of the Edmonton media. When he makes this sort of statement, he’s generally correct. He virtually announced the Dane Byers acquisition this summer on Twitter. More than that, he was the one voice in the media that consistently said Ralph Krueger was in the mix for the head coaching job back when everyone assumed it was going to Brent Sutter.

Stauffer doesn’t have the same level of distance from the team as other prominent media voices. That’s bad in that it makes it awfully difficult to be independent. It’s good in that he generally has a better idea of what’s going on than others.

The Quote

Here’s the exchange of interest on the show:

Stauffer: “I believe the Edmonton Oilers will make a move that makes people say ‘wow’ upon the CBA being completed, between then and the start of the season.”

Reid Wilkins: “This is a player personnel move?”

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Stauffer: “Yeah. Believe that’s going to occur.”

And then a little later on, Stauffer added this:

“I believe there will be a wow factor move coming. And it’ll make for some entertaining discussion, let’s just say that.”

What does it mean?

Honestly, it’s fairly difficult to handicap what Stauffer’s comments might refer to. The obvious position of strength the Oilers have is at wing. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky are established NHL’ers. The Oilers’ brain trust has been down in Oklahoma watching strong starts from Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi. Over in Russia, Nail Yakupov has been lighting things up.

A serious move probably would involve one of the names we’ve seen in the rumour mill before. On wing, that’s Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky, both of whom likely have significant trade value. Another player we might mention is Sam Gagner – though it’s hard to imagine the Oilers would move him without bringing a center back.

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The holes? Defence is the most obvious; despite the rise of Justin Schultz in the minors (his strong performance early is a significant positive for the Oilers, suggesting he’ll hit the ground running in the majors) the high-end talent on the group is relatively weak.

Center or goal are the other obvious areas that might be addressed. In net, Nikolai Khabibulin was at last report still on injured reserve, and he’s basically playing out the string at this point anyway. Devan Dubnyk’s a solid candidate for 1A work, but could be upgraded. Up the middle, trade rumours have haunted Sam Gagner for some time now, and his one year deal this summer suggests the Oilers really haven’t decided that he’s part of the core they’re trying to build.

But it’s speculation at this point. All we have is Stauffer’s belief that a big trade is coming.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • Wait, wait wait.

    When Stauffer says, “Think of players that can help immediately improve a team but would be a cap casualty in 2-3 years”, doesnt that imply that the inbound players will fall casualty of the Cap, not CAUSE casualty because of their cap hit?

    ie) the Incoming player would be good for the time being, but in 2-3 years when Yak and others have contracts up they would need to go.

    If THAT’S the case then we wouldnt be talking about a player whose salary and term would be debilitating in the future. So maybe a guy like Luongo isnt a good guess because the term of his contract is so long.*

    *I Hope

  • I’m sorry a lot of this makes little sense from an Oilers perspective?

    -Getzlaf is a UFA in less than 4 months now! That trade will NOT happen unless it’s for Omark or Getzlaf signs for 5 years prior to the trade.

    The Oilers stand to get a great Defenseman for nothing if they go into the year with little change.

    Does it then make sense to anyone to trade Eberle for OEL when there is a very, very good chance that you might have a shot at *Jones-Ristolainen-Pulock-Morrissey??

    It makes the most sense to trade Gagner knowing you may have a shot at *Barkov-Monahan-Lazar or Lindholm but there is risk involved with that.

    I say the Oilers stay the same. IMO

    *If the season is played, if not, all bets are off.

  • T__Bone88

    This could be a wild guess based upon Stauffer’s hints but maybe it could be Lecavalier. If the new provisions come through on the CBA like original team is on the hook if player retires and the ability to trade cap space it might actually work out. Right now Lecavalier has almost no value due to contract but in the new CBA he does cause its almost no risk for new team to acquire since if he retires they are no cap issues, and the oilers can easily trade to a lower spending team in a couple of years when his salary goes down.

  • I believe that Stauffer is on to something……….I don’t for one nano second believe it’s something tied to Dithers Tamby!

    Wow seem to point at Luongo, since he is the only high profile player still out there. I for one am against this trade as his best days are behind him. We would have to give up too much to get him……..what we really need is another top four defenseman who can play now, or a centre man with size.

  • T__Bone88

    malkin might be kool-aid, but it would be sweet!! i have absolutely no intrest in having luongo in oil silks. just sounds like disaster. i remember laughing and enjoying watching him tank against b-town. the guys a dud. then look at his contract and explain to me why their would be the slightest intrest in him?? we planned to rebuild from the draft and its working so well. lets just stand pat with what we have

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    trading Yakupov would be the most idiotic thing the oilers could do..
    I dont care if you get a franchise center back, doesn’t matter..there’s only one Yakupov..RNH will be our franchise center and we will find our number two guy yet..dont need to give up Yakupov to get him..
    I still think that Gagner could be our healthy Marc Savard.

  • Gotta be Bouwmeester for Horcoff plus d prospect. Stauff’s not only tied into his own company’s upper management, but the Bouwmeester family as well (as he has repeated ad nauseum on air.)

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Just Bob being Bob. Slow newsday at Oilernow i’m sure. Last time i heard Stauffer passing wind through his lips he swore the Oilers were drafting Ryan Murray. Stauffer/K-days Carny, not much difference.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    So, Stauffer you old tree planter, crappy junior player, John Short mancrusher, Reid Wilkins guffawer, lip smacker, energy drinker, Zenon Kenopka lover, Tencer daddy mentor, referencer of a different show from a different time and a different place (just down the dial), what’s the deal?

  • DSF wrote:

    Connauton is very much like Petry although his offensive upside is much higher. He’s on pace for a 20 goal season in the AHL while Petry could only manage 7 gaols in his first season in the AHL.


    Jeff Petry scored seven goals in 41 games in his first AHL season. Kevin Connauton scored 11 goals in 73 games in his first AHL season.

    While Connauton is “on pace for a 20 goal season,” it’s probably worth mentioning that his stats line is 8GP – 2G – 2A – 4PTS. By the identical logic, Justin Schultz is on pace for a 70 goal season.

  • We don’t know the results of the CBA negotiations yet. The owners want to reduce the cap and the players want their current contracts honoured. So I could see a similar situation to that of 2005 where teams need to shed salary. It’d be Chris Pronger all over again for the Oilers.

    The Oilers can offer a package of young players and prospects that few in the league can offer, so I think Bob is just saying that the Oilers will be ‘Kevin Lowe’ aggressive if the CBA puts some teams in a bind.