The “Wow Factor” Trade

Jonathan Willis
October 30 2012 10:58AM

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.

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.

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?”

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.

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

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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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#1 Kent Wilson
October 30 2012, 11:16AM
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Maybe the Oilers will finally land Heatley?

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#2 The Towel Boy
October 30 2012, 11:21AM
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I hope Pronger comes back.

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#3 HallforCaptain
October 30 2012, 12:06PM
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Will wrote:

Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

For the love of god! The man's name is GAGNER!

Not GANGER! Not GAGNE! Not GANGNAM!

Surely we have enough time during the lockout to do a spellcheck!

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#4 lolhockey
October 30 2012, 12:34PM
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So, Omark for...?*

*Man, these Omark jokes never get old. Am I wrong?

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#5 They're $hittie
October 30 2012, 04:37PM
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@DSF

you are typically what make every canuck fan look stupid. Did you notice in a comment that says this is by far not a perfect method. You are the one who trashes hemsky and gagner yet on the most accepted and definitive measure for forwards (boxcars), Hemsky is always a good PPG with the exception of last year, and Gagner PPG puts him as a top ten number two center.

You said Lack is a NHL Quality Goalie. Yet he has not played an NHL game for you to measure him on.

The Sedins may put up points, but have they ever started in their own zone. No but the majority of the times they finish their shift in it.

You know what I will take out a column and put it in the paper and therefore my opinion means that the oilers defence have 4 of the best 30 in the league. I tell you know, every team in the league would rather have Seabrook than the four canucks listed on that list.

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#7 David Johnson
October 30 2012, 11:30AM
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Daryl Katz trades the whole franchise to Seattle for a cup of coffee.

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#8 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 12:46PM
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Will wrote:

Hmmm, if true I wonder what it could be. I also see the Ducks being a target. It seems like Ryan is done there, but he'd be going somewhere else and bringing back much needed assets. But with such a prolific scoring winger leaving, as well as the absence of Selanee, the Ducks will need some scoring on their wings. I can't really see defense coming back this way for the simple fact of how valuable any and all defenseman were at the trade deadline.

Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

A top line of Getzlaf Hall and Hemsky would be pretty deadly. That way, Nuge and Ebs could have the easy second line minutes and continue to chew up the league. There's so many options to put on the left side of that line, all it would take is to find the best fit for the job (Smyth, Magnus, Harti, etc.) This also gives us a formidable third shut down line, especially if Magnus becomes that utility player like he's shown to do. The forth line is still a bit of a mess, but having a guy with one of the best face off win percentages in the league helps at least maintain puck possession.

Our defense is clearly being built through draft and development. And with so many potential young stars, especially with Schultz exceeding expectations, it seems like our defense will get there in a year or two.

If anyone has another viable trade idea, please post as these pipe dream line combos are always fun to talk about with no hockey on.

Nail and Gagner for Getzlaf? Really?

I wouldn't do Nail for Getzlaf straight up. Anaheim would have to add a lot more to make that happen.

You could probably wait and sign Getzlaf as a UFA and not give up anything for him.

Now I'll piss everyone off (except Derek Zona): Eberle for Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

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#9 Sizzler
October 30 2012, 02:46PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

Vancouver sucks and has never won a cup....With that D lineup you will continue to suck and not win a cup

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#10 Archaeologuy
October 30 2012, 04:08PM
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MattL wrote:

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.)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *Gasps for Air* OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
October 30 2012, 05:42PM
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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.

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#12 Harlie
October 30 2012, 06:39PM
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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?

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#13 Giant Squid Overlord
October 30 2012, 11:20AM
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@LeafsNation

Please DON'T let it be a Luongo trade.

I WANT him playing in Toronto. Leafs cannot afford the trade.

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#14 Giant Squid Overlord
October 30 2012, 11:25AM
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@Archaeologuy

Agreed.

Leave the big 5 alone, plus be sure that this trade doesn't get us a player with a huge cap hit that jeopardizes the big 5 from fitting in under the cap down the road.

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#15 T__Bone88
October 30 2012, 11:29AM
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A trade that might make sense is getting Getzlaf out of Anaheim. This is only dependant upon if they (Anaheim) believe they can not resign him. Only a few teams have the players or is willing to depart with the required players needed and Edmonton might be one of those teams.

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#16 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 30 2012, 11:38AM
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people need to take a step back and think for a second.

1)does anyone really think Dithers Tambellini has the stones to pull off a trade that would amount to a "wow" type deal?

2)consider the source and the timing. floating it out to get the fans talking about something else and deflect some of the heat off of batman?

3)i could go for a killer donair

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#17 TigerUnderGlass
October 30 2012, 12:57PM
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@GVBlackhawk

Eberle for Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

If only

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#18 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 01:01PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
Eberle for Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

If only

I know. There would be a lot of angry Oilers fans...until they saw OEL play.

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#19 Rama Lama
October 30 2012, 02:13PM
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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.

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Maybe it's Nicholls for sandstrom and granato. That one made me say "WOW"

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#21 GVBlackhawk
October 30 2012, 06:07PM
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DSF wrote:

You've decided Ballard, Tanev and Connauton are not the answer for their bottom pairing?

Good grief.

Hamhuis

Bieksa

Edler

Garrison

Ballard

Tanev

Connauton

Frank Corrado (16 GP 1G 15A 16P Sudbury Wolves)

Vancouver is loaded with D prospects.

I agree they need some grit in the top 6....that's why they traded for Kassian.

Oilers don't have any.

And Kassian adds grit, but he is not a top 6 player. Ryan Jones would probably fill that role better than Zack Kassian at this point.

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#22 justwondering
October 30 2012, 09:52PM
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If the Oil could convince anyone to take Horcoff I would say WOW!

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#23 konst16
October 31 2012, 01:51AM
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DSF wrote:

You know...it's guys like you who give Oiler fans a bad name.

Guys much smarter than you have actually analyzed who the top defensemen in the game are.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail puts together an annual list of the top defensive defensemen in the league:

http://tinyurl.com/8gaxe6n

You'll notice that 4 of the top 30 currently play for the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, considering there are 60 top pairing defensemen in the league and that Vancouver has 4 of the top 30, I would have to think that the Canucks are loaded with #1 and #2 defensemen.

Also worth noting, Vancouver had 3 of the top 30 scoring defensemen in the league last season.

http://tinyurl.com/9va8du8

Now, don't you look silly.

Being in the top 30 in NHL dmen in scoring does not always equal a "true top pairing" dman. Or would you say Tom Gilbert was a true top pairing dman in 2008-09 (18th in D scoring). Or from the same year, Cam Barker (27th).

Your James Mirtle article claims Christian Ehrhoff is the 10th best *defensive* defensemen. Need I same more about the merit of that list (I shouldn't if you actually watched many canuck games 2 seasons ago)?

How about you lay off the condescending tone, when your sh*t stinks just as bad as the next guy, and in this case you are standing knee deep in it.

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#24 LeafsNation
October 30 2012, 11:08AM
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Please let it be a Luongo trade.

I dont want him playing in Toronto. Leafs cannot afford the trade.

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#25 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 30 2012, 11:09AM
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I dont trust any of this

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#26 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 30 2012, 11:09AM
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I dont trust any of this

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#27 Archaeologuy
October 30 2012, 11:17AM
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Certainly helps explain all the extra scouts in OKC. They arent there just to watch Nuge and Eberle. Those 2nd tier of players in OKC must be up for grabs.

Just dont mess with the big 5 of Yak, Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and Schultz.

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#28 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 30 2012, 11:33AM
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I just wanted a few weeks where everyone was together so we could see what we really have. I would be amazed if the brass didnt as well.

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#29 Sanaa Montana
October 30 2012, 11:38AM
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The NHL season is over.

Bob is making up rumours for his shows material.

Sam, Magnus and a 1st........................................

Hemsky is a lot more valueable to the Oilers and a lot more threatening to opponents than Gagner is. Oilers still need Hemsky, Gagner still needs time.

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#30 Sanaa Montana
October 30 2012, 11:41AM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Amean Donair on 34th.

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#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 30 2012, 11:47AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

He did come awfully close to pulling off the Heatley trade.

he has been so bad we give him credit for being close a few years ago now?

and, in hindsight, it was one of the best moves he never made

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#33 Innovation
October 30 2012, 11:49AM
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Tambellini won't do anything to rock the boat.

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#34 Dman09
October 30 2012, 11:50AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Certainly helps explain all the extra scouts in OKC. They arent there just to watch Nuge and Eberle. Those 2nd tier of players in OKC must be up for grabs.

Just dont mess with the big 5 of Yak, Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and Schultz.

Maybe,

But I think they realize that the only way Harti is going to perform better is if they keep him with players like Nuge and Ebs. Him staying on the farm without top end offensive talent does nothing for him. I think they may view MPS and Hemsky as expendable because they need some more physical players, if not they are just swapping similar pieces and nothing changes, THEY NEED CHANGE.

It wouldn't be too big of a surprise if something like this happens.

Bulin and Sutton announce that they are retiring due to injuries.

Hemsky, MPS, and Gagner are all included in one more trades that see a sure thing starting goaltender and a sure thing top 2 centerman. I wouldn't be surprised if a 5/6/7 defenseman came back in that trade as well. Potter and Peckham are ? this season and they need a Vet back there.

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#35 Dman09
October 30 2012, 11:52AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

people need to take a step back and think for a second.

1)does anyone really think Dithers Tambellini has the stones to pull off a trade that would amount to a "wow" type deal?

2)consider the source and the timing. floating it out to get the fans talking about something else and deflect some of the heat off of batman?

3)i could go for a killer donair

Dithers....No MacT....oh hell yes he has the stones to make sh*t happen.

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#36 Will
October 30 2012, 12:01PM
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Hmmm, if true I wonder what it could be. I also see the Ducks being a target. It seems like Ryan is done there, but he'd be going somewhere else and bringing back much needed assets. But with such a prolific scoring winger leaving, as well as the absence of Selanee, the Ducks will need some scoring on their wings. I can't really see defense coming back this way for the simple fact of how valuable any and all defenseman were at the trade deadline.

Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

A top line of Getzlaf Hall and Hemsky would be pretty deadly. That way, Nuge and Ebs could have the easy second line minutes and continue to chew up the league. There's so many options to put on the left side of that line, all it would take is to find the best fit for the job (Smyth, Magnus, Harti, etc.) This also gives us a formidable third shut down line, especially if Magnus becomes that utility player like he's shown to do. The forth line is still a bit of a mess, but having a guy with one of the best face off win percentages in the league helps at least maintain puck possession.

Our defense is clearly being built through draft and development. And with so many potential young stars, especially with Schultz exceeding expectations, it seems like our defense will get there in a year or two.

If anyone has another viable trade idea, please post as these pipe dream line combos are always fun to talk about with no hockey on.

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#37 TrentonL
October 30 2012, 12:03PM
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With the Oilers "Braintrust" news like this is always a scary proposition. Perhaps they are just getting in the Halloween spirit and it will fail to materialize....

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#38 BigBurgers
October 30 2012, 12:07PM
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Why do I get the feeling that it's Luongo?

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#39 O-Town
October 30 2012, 12:10PM
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I think Stauffer's track record on calling transactions is probably the best regarding the Oilers so if he says something like that then we shouldn't discount it. That said, there are no guarantees. Take it as is and hope the lockout ends sooner than later so we can find out if he's right or not...let the speculation begin...my guess is Luongo and I hope we don't overpay to do it.

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Luongo. Book it!

PUKE!

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#41 T__Bone88
October 30 2012, 12:10PM
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Ill prob guess its the signing of Jaroslav Spacek to a one year deal to replace Sutton.

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#42 DMan
October 30 2012, 12:18PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Luongo. Book it!

PUKE!

What do you mean?? Don't you want to be chanting LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUU every time he stops the puck on a dump-in??

*Praying the sarcasm isn't reality*

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#43 Jason
October 30 2012, 12:21PM
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Luongo's name has been floated out there and that would certainly be a "WOW" trade... but I just can't see it happening. I can't see Vancouver moving him to Edmonton and I can't see Luongo moving his NTC to come to Edmonton over Toronto or Florida. If in the new CBA the team that signed a player to a long-term deal is responsible for that contract if that player retires, I wouldn't be opposed to Luongo in an Oilers uniform though.

I'd be okay with a Horcoff buyout, and think that may even be a wise move. I just don't really see that happening, either.

The thing is, I don't even really feel the Oilers need a "WOW" trade. In my opinion, they need one more Top-4 defenseman, and potentially a larger Top-2 centre (Gagner would be moved to acquire this). If I'm GM, I'm on the phone every day with Columbus discussing what a package of Fedor Tyutin and Brandon Dubinsky would cost. While I'm not anxious to move either, Gagner and Paajarvi would be on the table for this package. Is that a "WOW" deal? I'm not sure.

In any case, this is how I currently see the Oilers:

Eberle / Nugent-Hopkins / Yakupov
Hall / ___________ / Hemsky
Smyth / Horcoff / Jones
Hartikainen / VandeVelde / Eager

Petry / Smid
J. Schultz / _______
N. Schultz / Whitney

Dubnyk
Khabibulin

Fill those two gaps, and I'm comfortable heading into next season, whenever that is.

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#44 mayorpoop
October 30 2012, 12:22PM
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certainly hope this "wow" trade is progressive. as much i think Luongo is an upgrade over Dubnyk that term would be regressive.

we need D. big forwards like getzlaf and ryan would be great but not exactly our glaring hole right now.

there is no way dithers is capable of filling more than one hole poorly at a time.

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#45 Clyde Frog
October 30 2012, 12:27PM
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Could there be a 3 way between Edmonton, Florida and Vancouver?

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#46 vetinari
October 30 2012, 12:33PM
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A "wow factor" deal could also end up being a stupid one as well... that being said, Tambi's butt has GOT to be in the hot seat right now after finishes of 30, 30 and 29 and I can see him cash in some of the kids on the farm for assistance, but really, can we obtain an upgrade in goal, an upgrade on defence for our top 4, and an upgrade at centre all at the same time?

Fixing any one problem to the exclusion of the others likely means a spirited run at a playoff spot to be followed by an early exit in the opening round of the playoffs (if we're lucky) or a 9th to 12th place finish in the West (if we're unlucky).

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#47 PaperDesigner
October 30 2012, 12:38PM
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Forget actual needs of the team. What is the management's perceived need? I mean, they have their future in the mix on the blueline with Schultz, Marincin and Klefbom (minus the injury) all enjoying promising seasons. They probably want to see what happens with Dubnyk cast as the number one before aggressively pursuing a goalie. What does that leave for what the Oilers might seek to address immediately.

More size in the top six. I mean, a defencman is also a possibility, but I think they want to see Petry and Schultz establish themselves, see where Whitney's health is, before they make a definite move there.

But we need to think of big players available. Would acquiring a Bouwmeester in a salary dump really qualify?

More than that, I think, given they already have Eberle, Hall and Yakupov, which made Stauffer's list of players who he wouldn't move, while discussing what it might take to land Weber (which I think should read "players the Oilers won't move unless they are acquiring Crosby"), he listed Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Nugent-Hopkins, Klefbom, Justin Schultz and maybe one other player (might have been Dubnyk). The most prominent players I heard left off that list were Gagner, Paajarvi and Petry. They probably don't want to delete Petry from their depth chart if they aren't dealing for a defenceman.

They do have Hartikainen, who, rightly or wrongly, I think they believe will give them some size on the wing. They are probably looking for a centre, especially if Gagner is a trading chip.

So who's a big, physical centre, "wow" name that has had some rumors swirl around him about possibly being available.

Ryan Getzlaf.

Gagner and Paajarvi, and possibly a bit more, for Getzlaf.

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#48 DSF
October 30 2012, 12:38PM
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One has to ask...what do the Oilers have that the Canucks would want?

If Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, Schultz and Yakupov are not on the table, there really is nothing the Oilers have the Canucks need.

The Canucks already have 2 very promising young defensemen in Tanev and Connauton.

They already have 3 NHL quality goaltenders in Luongo, Schneider and Lack.

Likely their only current needs are a 3rd line centre and a top 6 winger to play with Kesler and Booth so, other than Hemsky, what else is there?

Gagner? Too small, slow and weak to play third line centre.

I can't imagine Hemsky would be a good fit for Kesler since both like to carry the puck.

Paajarvi is no better than Niklas Jensen who is ripping up the SEL and Zack Kassian is leading the Wolves in scoring with 4 goals and 5 points

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#49 DSF
October 30 2012, 12:41PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Could there be a 3 way between Edmonton, Florida and Vancouver?

Vancouver wants Nick Bjugstad out of Florida but Tallon doesn't want to give him up.

What could the Oilers send to Florida to change his mind?

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#50 Mantastic
October 30 2012, 12:44PM
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Bob clarified it today on Oiler's Now:

"Think of players who could help immediately improve a team but would be a cap casualty in two or three seasons..."

screams Luongo.... but i hope i'm wrong.

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