TRADE DEADLINE PRIMER 6.0

Lowetide
February 26 2012 02:57PM

NHL General Managers at the deadline go from aggressive to homicidal. Most are trying to "keep up with the Joneses" by adding parts to their team while also keeping valuable items from their opponents. The Oilers had a major item on the block just a few hours ago, but Ales Hemsky's signing means Edmonton doesn't have any forwards who'll go at the deadline. Or do they?

Steve Tambellini's trade deadline work got an "A" the moment Ales Hemsky signed his contract, and that means the Oilers should be much less active this deadline. Robin Brownlee's recent story on the Oilers at the deadline put it right: no deadline day blockbusters expected. It should be noted however, that Tambellini said the club would not be terribly active on the eve of the July 1 flurry that saw this team add Ben Eager, Andy Sutton, Darcy Hordichuk, Eric Belanger and Corey Potter.

June 30, 2011 :"I don't know if anything is going to happen. We already have some young players in some profile spots. If I can find a player or two who gives us some of that poise and experience or some grit we'll do that. I don't know if it'll happen July 1 or July 20." Steve Tambellini.

So, we trust, but verify.

ARE THERE ANY FORWARDS IN PLAY?

 

Maybe. NHL GM's will go after the difference makers but also "role" players, and those player types are in more abundance. An NHL team looking for a big forward with speed and aggressiveness may not have Ben Eager at the top of the list but if one or two options at the top of the list are dealt elsewhere or unavailable then a team might come calling.

Ben Eager started slowly this season--possibly concussion related--but in recent weeks has shown his ability in almost every game. If an NHL team had a pro scout following the Oilers in the last three weeks I'd suggest Eager is on someone's list. It doesn't mean the Oilers trade him, but based on recent performance Eager may be a player of interest.

Sam Gagner's name has been mentioned, but msm members have discounted this rumor and I agree. WHY would the Oilers suffer through the growing pains and offload Samwise when things look so good? Washington would have to send over a king's ransom for the young man at this point. John Carlson would probably have to be in the return and that makes no sense for the Caps, either. I think it's a non-starter.

Eric Belanger is exactly the player type who gets dealt at the deadline, and despite a subpar season and two more years on his contract this is a player who could go imo. The Oilers may not want to deal him, but with RNH and Gagner ready for the skill lines next season, Lander likely for employment and Horcoff's deal immovable, it wouldn't be a surprise to find out Belanger is in play.

Ryan Jones is perhaps the most likely candidate for trade, owing to the Oilers coaching staff recent shuffle that sees Jones in the PB (although that will change tomorrow in Winnipeg according to reports). Jones can score goals, works hard and an NHL  team acquiring him might feel he can be slotted anywhere from line 3 through the pressbox.

Lennart Petrell is UFA this summer and has some unique qualities. Petrell is an impressive forechecker and uses that skill with great effectiveness on the penalty kill. A playoff team with that weakness might

Linus Omark is in the AHL at this time but an NHL team looking for some help offensively and a value contract might ask for him at the deadline. Omark is finally healthy and has been impressive in OKC since his return. The Oilers may have a role for him in the future, but with the signing of Hemsky I'm having a hard time seeing what it might be at the NHL level.

Josh Green is a free agent this summer and has had some time at the NHL level. A team looking for some AHL depth and to improve their list of possible callup might look to Green to help in this area.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers have a group of players they signed via free agency last summer--Ben Eager, Eric Berlanger, Lennart Petrell--and they may end up having them back for another season. However, an NHL team in the market for their skill set and motivated by the deadline can change things in a heartbeat. It's important to note that the Oilers may not be shopping these players, but the calls could come in anyway.

A classic example of this is covered by Punch Imlach in his book "Heaven and Hell in the NHL":

The Oilers, as it happens, have a goalie. A veteran hand with a Stanley Cup ring. The trade deadline is the NHL's "Opposite George" and Edmonton's roster has some things other teams might find attractive. It happens every year. Will it happen for Edmonton?

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#52 Clarko
February 26 2012, 09:16PM
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Jesse wrote:

Sorry about that, i was looking at his AHL stats for 10-11, and not for 11-12. However, as you say, 14 points in 15 games is pretty darn good.

"how many impact players crack an NHL lineup on a regular basis for the first time at age 25?"

I feel like this is a red-herring. If he *can* crack an NHL lineup at age 25, what does this matter? Look at Tim Thomas. His career had an unorthodox career path as well. Likewise with Martin St. Louis.

My main point is that judging Omark on the 51 GP in his rookie year and on the 5 GP this year is not enough to write him off. The five games at the beginning of this year might as well be not considered IMO. So to judge a guy on his production in his first year playing in North America is not prudent, especially when he is obviously producing at the AHL level.

I hope you're right and I'm wrong! To be quite honest, I haven't seen a whole lot of Omark...I was working a lot of evenings last season when he was playing with the big club.

St. Louis is a fair comparison, but these types of player are very rare. But again, I hope you are right...can never have enough talented forwards for either our team going forward or for good trade value.

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#53 Jesse
February 26 2012, 09:43PM
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@Clarko

Haha. I hope I'm right too. Cuz gosh, having a 4th round pick turn out to be a decent scorer? That would be one for the ages.

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#54 Oilcruzer
February 26 2012, 10:20PM
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Clarko wrote:

I like the top 3 guys in Whitney, Smid, and Gilbert and the 5/6 roles can be filled by players like sutton and Potter.

What the team really is missing is that "big minutes" player who plays in every situation. Nearly every Stanley Cup winner has had that player (Chara, Lidstrom, Pronger, Keith/Seabrook, etc).

Unfortunately, that is not an easy guy to find!

Everyone says the same thing. Which of those player's Teams (or anyone else) in their right mind would trade that player away if they had him?

That isn't happening.

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#55 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 26 2012, 10:31PM
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@ lowetide/time traveler/Clarko

The offense is average to above average, the goaltending has been average to slightly below average yet we are well positioned to draft 2nd overall.

Something has to give here gentleman.

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#56 Clarko
February 26 2012, 10:55PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ lowetide/time traveler/Clarko

The offense is average to above average, the goaltending has been average to slightly below average yet we are well positioned to draft 2nd overall.

Something has to give here gentleman.

Our offense has not been average to above average. This team ranks 20th in goals scored (and this is despite scoring the 3rd most PP goals in the league). We rank 21st in goals against. So the offense and defense/goaltending are really both equally delinquent!

The fact is that secondary scoring has been nearly non-existent. Smyth, Jones, and Horcoff all had good starts, but have tailed off dramatically since November. Hemsky has had an off-year, but has shown improvement over his last 20 games. Hall, Eberle, and Nuge have been great, and they are going to improve naturally and therefore improve the team over the next few seasons. Gagner may have just turned a corner and I really believe Paajarvi will be a solid NHLer.

Like I said before, the defense is missing that one key guy. And like I said before, that player is extremely hard to get. I like the rest of the core though and think they will continue to improve as well.

The goaltending is a mess. Khabby was good early, but has been just as inconsistent as Dubnyk lately. I'm not sure if the answer is already in our system or not, but it needs to be better.

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#57 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 27 2012, 09:24AM
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Clarko wrote:

Our offense has not been average to above average. This team ranks 20th in goals scored (and this is despite scoring the 3rd most PP goals in the league). We rank 21st in goals against. So the offense and defense/goaltending are really both equally delinquent!

The fact is that secondary scoring has been nearly non-existent. Smyth, Jones, and Horcoff all had good starts, but have tailed off dramatically since November. Hemsky has had an off-year, but has shown improvement over his last 20 games. Hall, Eberle, and Nuge have been great, and they are going to improve naturally and therefore improve the team over the next few seasons. Gagner may have just turned a corner and I really believe Paajarvi will be a solid NHLer.

Like I said before, the defense is missing that one key guy. And like I said before, that player is extremely hard to get. I like the rest of the core though and think they will continue to improve as well.

The goaltending is a mess. Khabby was good early, but has been just as inconsistent as Dubnyk lately. I'm not sure if the answer is already in our system or not, but it needs to be better.

We are 12th in the league in scoring from forwards (With 2 games in hand on Colarado who is 11th with 2 more goals from their forwards)

We're 16th in goals/game

The combined goaltending is a very respectable .911, I don't have time to go through all the teams, but like I said... I bet that is average, or at very least slightly below average league wide.

One thing I will say, going through the numbers I'm now under the impression that the team is 29th more by chance then by caliber of play, so that's supringly reassuring.

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#58 Petrov
February 28 2012, 08:25AM
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Omark was producing 0.5 his rookieseason he was second in the team at draw penaltys, he was the best player the last 15 games and didnt bleeding. You cant judge him after a pretty good preseason when he played with a defensive belanger and a stone cold prv in 4 of his 5 games. He isnt evaluated yet, but i cant see any room for him and his waiver situation make it hard for the oilers, because they cant send him up and down (3-4 games more i think)

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