Red Line Report: “We think Edmonton is open to shopping that top pick”

Jonathan Willis
June 13 2012 11:20AM

Because they interact with NHL scouts on a regular basis, Red Line Report is in a unique position to read the NHL draft-related tea leaves. They think Edmonton is open to moving this year’s first overall pick.

From Red Line’s 2012 Draft Guide:

[T]he Oilers are stacked up front on the forward lines and could really use a puck mover on the back end to trigger what should quickly become an explosive offence… The Oilers could have happily selected [Ryan] Murray, Morgan Rielly (hint, hint) or Matt Dumba second overall after Nail Yakupov came off the board. But now, how do you sell to your fan base using the first pick to take a player with significantly less upside than Yakupov? So we think Edmonotn is open to shopping that top pick – though they’re somewhat limited in that they can’t hope to move down more than 2-3 spots and still nab whichever defenseman they have targeted.

While I’m unequivocal on the idea that if the Oilers retain the first overall pick they should draft Nail Yakupov, I do have some sympathy for the notion of moving down in the draft and grabbing a player that better fits organizational need.

I don’t think it’s going to happen. Steve Tambellini has been very clear that any trade involving the first overall pick is going to need to be a no-brainer – and I don’t think any of the suggested trades (most frequently Toronto bundling Luke Schenn in with the fifth overall pick, a rumour now denied by Toronto G.M. Brian Burke) are enough to get the job done.

And while some argue that the drop from first overall to fourth or fifth overall isn’t a big one, I’d argue that doesn’t reflect the realities of this year’s draft class. As Red Line (and practically every other scouting service) notes, “Yakupov is in the top tier by himself, followed by a second tier of seven or eight guys who could be placed in any order: Forsberg, Dumba, Murray, Galchenyuk, Rielly, Teravainen and Grigorenko.” In a draft with that sort of dynamic, the drop from first to second could be bigger than the drop from second to fifth.

In short: it’s going to take an overpay. Maybe that first overall pick is dear enough to some general manager that they would be willing to move heaven and earth to land it, and if so then the Oilers might be willing to drop down and grab a Murray or a Dumba or perhaps even a Grffin Reinhart.

Otherwise, they should and probably will draft Yakupov, and look to address need down the road.

Post-script: Of interest, this morning TSN's highly connected Darren Dreger said that he doesn't believe the Oilers will retain the first overall pick.  Lowetide has a piece up on that here.

This week by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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 Dog Train
June 13 2012, 12:22PM
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If it's me, then Toronto needs to include Gardiner in order for us to move down to 5th. If Columbus wants in, then Johansen. If Montreal, then Subban. So basically, it's not going to happen.

Welcome to Oil Country Nail Yakupov...

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#2 sizzler
June 13 2012, 01:10PM
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Never understood why GM's trade down in drafts. Must be a ego thing or getting greedy. If you like a player (BPA) draft him with your pick. Lower you draft higher the uncertainty of a player developing into a solid NHL guy....based on stats.

Man in the picture (luke Scheen) was drafted 5th overall and 1st overall pick that yr was Stamkos.

What would toronto have to give to make that trade workout in todays world.

Scheen + ________ = Stamkos

Draft 1st, dont try to out smart the world.

Similarities in 2008 draft and 2012 draft are amazing: - Run away guy in Stamkos. 2012 brings Nail - 4 dman drafted high (Doughty, bogosian, pietranglo, Scheen). 2012 potentials Murray, Reinhart, Dumba, Rielly - Filatov. Gregrinko

Similarities mean nothing. Just throwing it out there.

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#3 French Toast Mafia
June 13 2012, 03:20PM
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The redline report publishes things and makes rankings not just to be accurate but also to sell what they are saying and draw attention to themselves. SMB has said this in interviews before and people should keep that in mind when they think big huge trades are coming. They say that because people eat it up and get talking.

Willis would you actually trade the first overall pick for Gardiner and a 5th? I have trouble thinking that your serious with that. Would you trade Hall or RNH for Gardiner and a 5th? I sure wouldn't in a million years and Nail is in a similar class as these two guys. Outside of Hall, Nuge, and Ebs who is so amazing up front that you can afford not to add the best player in the draft?

I also really don't like this idea that the leafs have sooooo many good young defencemen and that guys like Franson and Gardiner are worthy of swapping the pick. The leafs defence was pretty brutal last year for a team that is supposedly stocked with unreal defencemen.....

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#4 Jasmine
June 13 2012, 03:40PM
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I don't understand the eastern media. This is the third year in a row they've said the Oilers should trade down. Why is there so much Oilers hatred by the eastern media. It's unacceptable. People are still criticizing the Oilers for drafting Hall over Seguin and RNH over Larsson. The crap coming from the eastern media is total BS.

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#5 Walter Sobchak
June 13 2012, 09:42PM
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Eastern media propaganda! JK

Seriously though, I can't remember where I heard this but basically it came down to this.

In three years Yakupov could demand as much as a top pairing defensmen, a top six forward and a pick in a trade.

Think about what it would take to get a player like Stamkos?

Then think about what Burke gave up for Kessel.

It's got to be a huge overpayment of a trade to get Yakupov, can you imagine the backlash if in three years Yakupov is scoring 40 goals and the Oilers traded him, and the best you got was Gardiner.

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#6 John Chambers
June 13 2012, 11:51AM
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Hmm, these tea leaves are making me queasy.

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#7 Cody anderson
June 13 2012, 11:54AM
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JW, I would turn that trade down. I love Phaneuf's hitting and his first couple of years in Calgary I thought he would be a stud. The last few years I find he is running around too much for a seasoned vet.

I would now much prefer a package of Schenn Gardiner and their 5th, or Gardiner, Gunnarson their 5th and second round pick. If the deal wasn't Gardiner+ I would not be willing to trade down to 5th.

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#8 Rick
June 13 2012, 12:05PM
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Does anyone really believe that Tambellini has the guts to pull the trigger on such a career defining trade?

He seems to struggle with what could be classified as routine trades or player decisions, never mind something this colossal.

My expectation is that even if everything for a deal they are thinking about today fell into place perfectly, he would freeze like a deer in the headlights and nothing would get done.

On the flip side, Burke has promised to move the world for two straight trade deadlines and two straight drafts now and came up empty each time. How desperate would he be for the 1st overall considering it seems like an actual achievable target?

A savvy GM may actually be in the position to play on Burkes ego and desperation and take him to the wood shed as a result. He HAS to be running out promises by now and as a byproduct his credibility when it comes to the fans/media in T.O.

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#9 marconiusE
June 13 2012, 12:09PM
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@Jonathan Willis:

I'd turn down the 5th & Phaneuf in a heartbeat. In my opinion, and feel free to disagree, Phaneuf is a slightly above average defenceman in the league. A solid #2 on a good team. I don't see how trading for a risky #1 D prospect (in 3-5 years) and a solid #2 (Phaneuf) is worth the #1 overall pick, especially given Phaneuf's cap hit.

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#10 striatic
June 13 2012, 12:34PM
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they lost me at "the oilers are stacked up front"

why would anyone think that?

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#11 T__Bone88
June 13 2012, 01:18PM
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The King's pick from the Penner trade is not a 2nd rounder!!! The pick they get from LA is the last pick in the 3rd round (91st overall). The condition on the trade was if the kings won the cup in "2011" then it was to be converted to a 2nd round pick in 2011 draft. The Kings 2nd rounder in 2012 was involved in the Richards deal.

I would not trade down to the 5th pick and only pick up Gardiner who only so far has had one good year (Most rookies seem to have a good first year then about half fade out from there on). I remember Gilbert also putting up that many points in his rookie year and look at him now.

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#12 Mabell
June 13 2012, 01:19PM
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We don't get a second round pick from LA, for the Penner deal - the condition was if LA won the cup last year, the third round pick would be converted to a 2nd round pick.

It remains a 3rd round pick - which with them winning its the 90th pick

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#13 thebiggestmanintheworld
June 13 2012, 02:05PM
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It is amusing to see what is drummed up in the summer for attention. I mean, is their any other reason to even contemplate trading this pick?

I'm not trying to slag the post, you gotta write about what's there, but none of this makes any sense.

Gardnier + 5th overall isn't even close to enough in my mInd

Subban + 3rd overall doesn't even cut the mustard for me

For as highly as both were touted, who's helping the lighting more.....stamkos or hedman? We have that choice right now except the stamkos is more of a sure thing than the hedman for us

Take the Yak Don't look back

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#14 Riles97
June 13 2012, 02:10PM
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What about Hamonic and the 4th overall pick? Would that be enough. If Montreal offered Subban and the 3rd, I think the oilers have to take that.

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#15 rubbertrout
June 13 2012, 02:33PM
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PLEASE GOD NO!

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#16 AGUY
June 13 2012, 02:54PM
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No way in hell I trade the first for Phaneuf and the 5th. Man would I be upset if that happened. I mean, seriously!?

How about we just draft Yakupov. When we won the lottery, I was ecstatic! Yakupov will round off the high end talent and the core of this team for years. When the team is getting close, we can attract a great FA d-man or two then. Why even consider trading our great asset to water down our talent!? Especially for guys that can walk in a couple years.

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#17 justDOit
June 13 2012, 04:36PM
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Nothing really new here. Yes, that pick will be traded IF some desperate GM decides to overpay. Pretty much the same position that the Oilers have maintained with the last two 1st OA picks - we'll listen to offers, but the price to make it happen will be steep.

I don't know this Gardiner guy very well, but him and the 5th pick seems light on the return for Nail.

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#18 Manfly
June 13 2012, 10:39PM
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i'll personally be glad in a week and a half (roughly) when the Oilers actually pick Yakupov at #1 overall and we don't have to listen to anymore moronic trade ideas for the #1.

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#19 @Oilanderp
June 13 2012, 11:29PM
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~Hey let's trade the #5 and Gardiner for STAMKOS~.

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#20 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 13 2012, 11:25AM
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But we already have 3 or 4 Luke Schenn types in the Oilers lineup. How do we know Murray isn't going to be just one more Schenn for the Oilers blueline?

Why trade a one hundred dollar bill for two twenties?

Why not be proactive and go out and net yourself an opportunity to get both of these kids? If Edmonton chooses not to, then maybe the Oilers aren't as in love with Murray afterall.

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#21 slopitch
June 13 2012, 11:30AM
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I agree with this. Some trade out there thats a no brainer might work. Otherwise draft Yakapov. No need to make a "fair trade" when your moving the best player in it.

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#22 Lummeropenet
June 13 2012, 11:43AM
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If the Leafs want our first overall pick, the trade would need to be: the Leafs best defenseman, the Leafs first and second round picks from 2012 and 2013 at least (maybe more). If they can't meet his requirement then they should SUCK real hard next year and get their own first overall pick. If they win the draft that is.

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#24 Dman09
June 13 2012, 11:50AM
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slopitch wrote:

I agree with this. Some trade out there thats a no brainer might work. Otherwise draft Yakapov. No need to make a "fair trade" when your moving the best player in it.

Ya I think its crazy to talk about trading the 1st away at this point. The team needs a good offensive defenseman Rielly would fit the bill but there is no way that he is worth a first overall. If the oilers could position themsleves with a top 5 pick, a roster defenseman, and a high 2nd rounder for the 1st overall it might make some sense if they have another trade in the works that involved the oiler 2nd round pick + to land another top 10-15 pick to take a center, likely Gregorienko. I don't think it is likley that anything happens and I would probably put an 80% chance that the oilers keep the 1st overall and take the Yak.

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#25 speeds
June 13 2012, 11:50AM
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I can see the argument for turning that down, JW. You move down to 5, and for that you get 2 years of Phaneuf at a 6.5 mil cap hit.

Is that worth passing on Yakupov, in particular if you don't think the Oilers would make the playoffs in 12/13 even with that move?

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#26 Dman09
June 13 2012, 11:52AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

So you're saying that if the Leafs offered you - they never would, but if they did - Dion Phaneuf and the fifth overall pick for this year's first you'd turn them down in Tambellini's shoes?

Because that seems kind of crazy.

Franson the 5th and possibly another pick. would that be an option?

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#27 oilers2k12
June 13 2012, 11:53AM
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So I wonder what is considered a no brainer, some would argue that something like Huberdeau+Gudbranson for 1st pick may be..I think it would be a lose-lose situation for both teams..its too much to give up for a "potential" superstar, and for the oilers it would be like the poster above said "why would you take 2 $20s over a $100?" In this case it would be more like 2 $20s over a $50, but still you don't do it because that 50 dollar bill is more rare than those two 20 dollar bills..

And I don't buy the fact that edmonton is stacked at forward position..their top three are good, but the second line right now is very average at best..Hemsky is the only true nhl second liner on this team..way more defensive prospects on this team than forward prospects..if oilers trade the pick for defensive help, in 2 years everybody on tsn will be saying how oilers need more depth at forward and how they should of picked the obvious number 1 prospect at the 2012 draft.

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#28 jonrmcleod
June 13 2012, 11:53AM
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If a trade involving the #1 overall pick has to be a "no-brainer," does that mean the Oilers have to trade with a GM who has no brain? If Tambellini recognizes it as a no-brainer, then the other GM has to be really lacking in cognitive powers.

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#29 Bucky'sGolfSwing
June 13 2012, 11:57AM
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What about PK Subban being involved in a swap? What would that take Jonathan?

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#30 Cody anderson
June 13 2012, 11:58AM
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What does Franson's contract look like?

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#31 Will
June 13 2012, 12:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

So you're saying that if the Leafs offered you - they never would, but if they did - Dion Phaneuf and the fifth overall pick for this year's first you'd turn them down in Tambellini's shoes?

Because that seems kind of crazy.

I'll give you that he's a top D man. His numbers this last year were impressive, especially that he played 82 Games. But, there are some players in the league that the fan base simply would not except, and I think Phaneuf is one of them.

As for the idea that we already have many Luke Schenn types in the system, I agree with that, and I think Tambi does too. Didn't he say solid defense is a roster need, not an organizational one? Can we take that to mean we don't need more defensive prospects, or defense that may develop into something? What we need is proven defense, and can't we get that from Free Agency this year?

I know there's been articles written at length debating what's on the market and what are chances at getting those guys are, but surely one of the talked about free agent defensemen would come to Edmonton, even if we had to over pay for a few years until our own prospects develop.

Finally, I've noticed Feduin hasn't been talked about much. I understand that's likely because the look he got in the preseason rookie tournament, as positive as it was, isn't enough to determine how that would translate to the NHL. I guess my question then, is there a possibility, with all the defense we've stocked up on, that just like Petry last year, we get lucky with the development of one of our bazillion players in the system?

A free agent signing, a Yakapov, and a little bit of luck (as all teams need to be serious contenders) or at the least just a little less bad luck (crazy injury curse) and I don't see why we're not a markedly better team next year.

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#32 Lummeropenet
June 13 2012, 12:01PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

So you're saying that if the Leafs offered you - they never would, but if they did - Dion Phaneuf and the fifth overall pick for this year's first you'd turn them down in Tambellini's shoes?

Because that seems kind of crazy.

Yes I would and no I don't think it's crazy. Oilers need a lot of things and the best way to get them is to stack the top end talent by drafting Yak and see what squirts out the side and becomes trade bait. The risk is lower. High end talent is retained and middle talent will fatten up for market.

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#33 Lummeropenet
June 13 2012, 12:13PM
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To answer your question, no, not by himself.

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#34 Peter
June 13 2012, 12:20PM
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Darren Dreger is a tight insider? - when has this guy reported anything "inside" that is noteworthy. First pick, Gagner and Whitney for Letang and Staal

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#36 aeiouY
June 13 2012, 12:34PM
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@Jonathan Willis

i wouldn't do that deal. no way now how

subban and pacioretti for our first and hemsky is the only deal i would consider.

montreal gets the galcenyuk - yakupov connection.

we get our number one d bag and our power forward

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#37 striatic
June 13 2012, 12:39PM
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i mean seriously .. how do you get from 22nd in Goals For 5x5 to "oilers stacked up front".

unbelievable.

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#38 Dman09
June 13 2012, 12:42PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

What does Franson's contract look like?

RFA actually, I didn't realize that.

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#39 Cody anderson
June 13 2012, 12:42PM
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To trade with Columbus I need Johnson

Montreal I actually don't care for PK. I would prefer Nathan Beaulieu. Remember the team dynamic and the problems PK has had with his own team.

NY Islanders I would look at Ryan Strome or Travis Hamonic.

Toronto I would need Gardiner and a sweetener or would look at Franson and Schenn. I don't want Kadri unless he is a throw-in.

My choices depending on what we got in the trade would be Murray then Galchenyuk, then Reilly, then Dumba, the Reinhardt, the Ceci.

I wouldn't go down any lower than that unless you are getting a big star centre or stud d-man that are signed long term to a reasonable contract

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#40 Yzermanfan19
June 13 2012, 12:46PM
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My biggest concern is that we dont come out of day 1 of the draft looking like the dumbest team in the league.

Its gotta be BPA, dont mess around, just like with Hall and Nuge, Take the best.

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#41 WhattaMike
June 13 2012, 12:50PM
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There is no sane reason to stop or alter the Oilers plans to draft Yakupov at #1 overall.

The kings now owe the Oil a 2012 second rd pick (conditional from the 3rd round with Penner deal) and with those two picks alone and the talent pool the Oil has for down the road with some very good players (Hemsky, Gagner, etc), the Oilers can easily get going with a trade for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th overall picks in this draft in order to get Murray, Dumba, or Reilly and/or Reinhart.

The Oil then can make a great type offer to Justin Schultz, and even get a good quality UFA or two come July 1, and then make trades with Belanger, Eager, etc.

Its sounds easy but this can be done with patience and smarts in the next two to six weeks plus.

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#42 Clyde Frog
June 13 2012, 12:53PM
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I just see when you move down you are betting you are smarter than every scouting department between you and the pick you traded for. If that is 5th then you are betting you are smarter than 4 other NHL Quality scouting departments.

The odds just aren't in your favour, which means you need a stud in return that alleviates that risk. Now you have to find a team with a serious positional need in RW and too many studs in another position. This just doesn't exist in a bottom 5 team.

If you take the best kid, you get the best kid. You win, plain and simple. The best kid will have the strongest future value regardless of if your teams depth needs change or not.

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#43 WhattaMike
June 13 2012, 12:56PM
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Just wanted to add that the Oil have the 32nd pick with that added Kings' pick from the Penner deal and we do have future #1 picks in the coming years to add if necessary as well to make those potential trades for this yr's #2, 33, #4, overall trade pick.

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#44 Spydyr
June 13 2012, 12:56PM
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Always take the BPA.A competent Gm then should be able to trade for the missing pieces from a position of strength.

If they must trade down and I'm not liking that at all.Take Nail first then wait a few picks if the player you want is still there.Then make the trade. Nail for the pick and a very,very,very nice sweetener.

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#45 Lummeropenet
June 13 2012, 01:08PM
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@Clyde Frog

The 0il may. Ove their draft pick next week just not the first overall. Their second and a body to move into the late first round.

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#46 TonyT
June 13 2012, 01:12PM
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Do the Oilers even have a draft party this year!? I'd love to buy a no. 10 Yakupov jersey but I'm prepared for the worse...

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#47 WhattaMike
June 13 2012, 01:35PM
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Thanks for letting me know that the Kings pick is not a 2nd rounder this year. I read about it wrong.

Anyways, the Oil must not trade down the first overall pick and look at taking whats left.

Take Yakupov then BUY...Buy...BUY...!!!!!

The Oil does enough more than enough resources (players, picks, prospects)to start going for the Gusto!!!!

IMO, both Columbus and the Islanders can be bought out for their #2 or #4 picks with other Oiler picks, players and/or prospects easier than either the Habs or Leafs.

The only way to swap with Burke with #1 to #5 is to get Gardiner, maybe also Colburne and next years 1st rounder.

For #3 overall to get #1, the Habs would have to throw in Subban and a very good player or prospect such as Beaulieu also.

Not worried now about defenceman...can get them later either with another first round pick trade or free agency or player swap.

Take Yakupov and lets get going for the Fall!!!!!

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#48 freeze
June 13 2012, 01:37PM
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TonyT wrote:

Do the Oilers even have a draft party this year!? I'd love to buy a no. 10 Yakupov jersey but I'm prepared for the worse...

OilersNation is having one at the Pint!

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#49 Dman09
June 13 2012, 01:57PM
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WhattaMike wrote:

Thanks for letting me know that the Kings pick is not a 2nd rounder this year. I read about it wrong.

Anyways, the Oil must not trade down the first overall pick and look at taking whats left.

Take Yakupov then BUY...Buy...BUY...!!!!!

The Oil does enough more than enough resources (players, picks, prospects)to start going for the Gusto!!!!

IMO, both Columbus and the Islanders can be bought out for their #2 or #4 picks with other Oiler picks, players and/or prospects easier than either the Habs or Leafs.

The only way to swap with Burke with #1 to #5 is to get Gardiner, maybe also Colburne and next years 1st rounder.

For #3 overall to get #1, the Habs would have to throw in Subban and a very good player or prospect such as Beaulieu also.

Not worried now about defenceman...can get them later either with another first round pick trade or free agency or player swap.

Take Yakupov and lets get going for the Fall!!!!!

When I think about a trade for Gardiner a couple of things come to mind.

First: He has offense which is somthing that is badly needed on the defensive side of the Oil.

Second: Gardiner is an old defensive partner of Justin Schultz I believe. Would he be more inclined to sign in Edmonton when he would not only be playing in Canada close to home but with a formilar defensive partner in Gardiner?

This could make a big difference in the defensive makeup of the team and wouldn't require moving any of the current roster players. With the 5th pick they could pick either a defenseman of a forward but having acquired two defenseman already I think it likely that they would take either Galchenyuk or Gregorienko. that still leaves a lot of guys that they can package up and shop around looking for another mid to late 1st rounder.

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#50 Dman09
June 13 2012, 02:10PM
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thebiggestmanintheworld wrote:

It is amusing to see what is drummed up in the summer for attention. I mean, is their any other reason to even contemplate trading this pick?

I'm not trying to slag the post, you gotta write about what's there, but none of this makes any sense.

Gardnier + 5th overall isn't even close to enough in my mInd

Subban + 3rd overall doesn't even cut the mustard for me

For as highly as both were touted, who's helping the lighting more.....stamkos or hedman? We have that choice right now except the stamkos is more of a sure thing than the hedman for us

Take the Yak Don't look back

I agree that Gardiner and the 5th probably wouldn't be enough but what if they throw in the 2nd round pick. Or what about Edm throwing in the rights to Omark and Peckham to get TOR to throw in next years 1st round pick? I think it was just meant as a starting point and then work on the little add ins and such to seal the deal.

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