Would Jake Gardiner be a good fit for Edmonton?

Jonathan Willis
October 09 2013 09:47AM

So the Jake Gardiner rumours have started up again. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the 23-year-old defenceman is a topic of conversation between the Leafs and other NHL teams, and given his difficulties getting ice-time from Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle that makes a certain amount of sense.

Does it make sense for the Oilers to be interested?

The Edmonton End

It just might make sense for the Oilers.

Some would argue that, because the Oilers have approximately a million defencemen split between the NHL and the AHL. And they might have a point: while the Oilers’ left side defence is relatively weak at the moment, prospects like Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin all play the position. Given enough time, things should work themselves out, and as to the interim that’s what Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference are for.

The case for is pretty straight-forward, though: Gardiner not only has strong potential, but moved out of Carlyle’s system it’s not crazy to think he’s a solid top-four option right now. Gardiner had a solid NHL rookie campaign in 2011-12, playing 21:35 per game for Toronto. Last year he had to wait for his shot, but he was close to the point-per-game mark in the AHL and delivered strong two-way play in 12 regular season games with the Maple Leafs and six more in the playoffs. This is a guy who is ready for a significant role now, and he certainly fits Craig MacTavish’s vision of a mobile defence corps that can also move the puck.

The Toronto End

Here’s how Elliotte Friedman assessed the return the Leafs might be looking for in his report:

If the Maple Leafs do decide to do it, it's going to be for a young asset or assets. So, you have to look at teams with talented young players.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail wrote on this topic too. The full article is here, but the gist of the argument is that the Leafs aren’t really a Randy Carlyle team on defence because they lack both physical players and shutdown types. Unfortunately for Toronto, they don’t really have the money to add that kind of player, so instead they have to settle for youth.

A Trade?

Toronto still needs defenders, and Edmonton would need to move some out, but the problem is that aside from Nurse (who can reasonably be excluded from trade discussions) they don’t exactly have a bunch of physical shutdown types they can move; David Musil might be the only guy who qualifies and he likely isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a trade with the Leafs. If it’s a Gardiner-specific issue, the Oilers could offer a bigger guy like Martin Marincin (who has a lot of the same skills) or unsigned defender Dillon Simpson, but these are ‘more of the same’ type moves. If not for the money, a guy like Nick Schultz might appeal (as might Ladislav Smid, though the Oilers may prefer to hang on to him), but perhaps that could be worked around if the Oilers took back a contract (such as Nikolai Kulemin).

Still, it’s hard to construct a plausible scenario that would appeal to both teams, so while it might make sense for the Oilers to be interested it’s difficult to see how they get a deal done.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Spoils
October 09 2013, 10:58AM
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trashed! ignore the long post- my point is:

watching Pronger march us to game 7 should point out the value of a true top guy. so basically you just have to tie for the half game he doesn't play.

if Klef-Nurse-JSchultz isn't going to do it, we should make the trade now while they have potential value - and we should be happy to give up one of our star forwards.

Stud D is that valuable.

Would Nashville make a move?

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#52 Ari Gold
October 09 2013, 12:00PM
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No. No way! Hell no!!

Pull this off and I'll piss all over myself.

This is not a 'wow' trade. Pass....

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#53 Ron Burgundy
October 09 2013, 01:05PM
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Burke traded for Gardiner while in T.O. (and if memory serves drafted him while in Anaheim)

+

T.O. looking for young assets

+

Burke's willingness to trade youth

=

Oil domination of Gardiner for foreseeable future.

Let Burkey make his first big gaffe as quasi-GM of the Shames and overpay for this lesser version of Petry. We shouldn't touch this kid with a 10-foot pole. Unless the cost to get him is an 11-foot pole.

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#54 oilredemption
October 09 2013, 02:16PM
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Now, teams can sign new players to a maximum seven years; re-sign their own players (those who played the full previous season) to a maximum eight-year deal.

So interesting enough the new CBA didnt get rid of what they wanted to with these ridiculous contracts. But yes Kessel deal is legit because he played withe Maple Leafs all of last season.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20130106/new-nhl-cba-who-gets-what/#ixzz2hG2ImwdR

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#55 Geoff
October 09 2013, 10:38AM
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To state the obvious if Edmonton trades for a Dman it's gotta be a top D man with size and defensive shutdown ability. That kind of trade would involve one of our awesome forwards which would be one of Yakupov and Eberle. Top D guy and a 3rd line RW for Eb/Yak and one of our younger Dmen would be most likely in my opinion and MacT said he wanted to be bold so it's probably a likely scenario if the guys can't tighten up their defense :(.

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#56 WhattaMike
October 09 2013, 11:21AM
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@washed up....

Inetresting maybe tempting...trade idea with Yak for Trouba....but...I think the Jets would have to add something else for such a type deal to be made at this time too. But I must say that I do like alot of what he showed against the Oilers in the first game.

I think Yak should have won the Calder trophy over Huberdeau without question and this alone gives the Oilers to having the better player now...between the two. IMO, Trouba would have to play a yr of defence full time and show his skills off well enough for a 1 to 1 trade off like that.

Yak is soon gonna be a 40 to 50 goal scorer soon IMO... with given top line minutes and PP time. This is then making it harder to trade a guy like that for even Trouba....one for one.

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#57 madjam
October 09 2013, 11:21AM
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We have to evaluate whether our top 6 (Hall, Hopkins, Eberle ,Gagner ,Yakupov and J.Schultz ) is the right mix to go forward with . So far it is looking like maybe not all of them . To much skill and little much else . Chemistry is an issue as it is very sporadic with top group . Rangers used to buy all the skill at one time , and they seldom won much .

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#58 Wonger
October 09 2013, 02:42PM
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BIG JOHN SCOTT would be a better fit than LITTLE dafodil JAKE GARDINER!

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#59 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 02:48PM
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@washed up

I thought your first effort (Shea Weber) was just cloaked sarcasm. I didn't take into consideration you were being serious.

Have at'er dude. You've come to the right place...

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#60 washed up
October 09 2013, 03:10PM
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oilerjed wrote:

And forget the fact that this would mean that we are giving up on a 24 year old player that is already less then 200pts behind hemsky and catching up quick. With no injury history mind you.

I don't know how anybody could think that signing Gagner to an extension was a good move for the Oilers. Total stupidity on MacT's part.

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#61 They're $hittie
October 09 2013, 11:44AM
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Two comments this week and I am supporting 94-4 for a total +90 on my Dalkin score.

Watch all the trashes come in to wreck it now.

LOL.

NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE

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#62 ubermiguel
October 09 2013, 12:18PM
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Spoils wrote:

trashed! ignore the long post- my point is:

watching Pronger march us to game 7 should point out the value of a true top guy. so basically you just have to tie for the half game he doesn't play.

if Klef-Nurse-JSchultz isn't going to do it, we should make the trade now while they have potential value - and we should be happy to give up one of our star forwards.

Stud D is that valuable.

Would Nashville make a move?

It wasn't just the 06 Oilers. Pronger regularly turned ok teams into contenders. The only problem, there's no defenceman that good in the league right now to target. Weber and Suter and great but Pronger was on a different level.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 12:43PM
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@Jonathan Willis

While we're talking Toronto...

How was it Kessel got an 8 yr deal when that was supposedly limited to teams whom originally drafted the player? Thought he was limited to 7 since he was drafted by Boston and not Toronto.

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#64 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 09 2013, 12:47PM
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I've always thought Gardiner kinda looks like a 6 foot toddler. Something about that round face.

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#65 pkam
October 09 2013, 02:17PM
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washed up wrote:

What! 2 trash's for my Awsome trade idea, must be flames fans. I guess you could throw in Omark and labarbra,to even things out.

David Poile has to be heavily stoned to agree to that trade.

And even Poile agree to that trade, we don't have enough salary cap.

Yak and Jones will even out. Weber and Rinne total about 15M. Omark and Labarbera total 1.6M, we need to add at least 13M to stay under the cap. We will need to throw in Hemsky (5M), Gagner (4.8M), then N. Schultz or Smid (3.5M) as well, just to make your trade proposal to be legal.

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#66 washed up
October 09 2013, 03:38PM
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oilerjed wrote:

What was wrong with the signing? If we hadnt signed Gags who would you have replaced him with?

Grabovski. Does everything Gagner does, and would have cost 1.8mil less.

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#67 pkam
October 09 2013, 03:57PM
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washed up wrote:

Grabovski. Does everything Gagner does, and would have cost 1.8mil less.

Didn't the Leafs sign Grabovski to 5.5M, even 2 years ago? Gagner had 65 pts (prorated at 82 games) last season. Did Grabovski has any year more than 60 pts? If Gagner's 4.8M contract is stupid, how do you describe Grabovski's 5.5M contract?

Grabovski was a Leafs when we signed Gagner. Without a crystal ball, how do we know for sure Leafs will waive him? Do you really think the Leafs will waive him if they failed to sign Bozak? Hindsight is easy, isn't it?

If the Leafs didn't waive him, are you going to trade Gagner for him?

Even you believe the Leafs is going to waive him, how do you know for sure he will sign with us at 3.0M?

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#68 OilClog
October 09 2013, 08:01PM
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What did the Oilers give up to get Pronger... And here ON is suggesting giving up one of the top talents on this team to get another Pronger... How do we get a GM that pull a trade off like that first Pronger trade again.. This place can make heads explode, ridiculous.

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#69 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 09:36PM
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@djc

Guess I sure hit that nail on the head when i mentioned the bitterness thing, eh.

You're living proof of that old adage. It's best a fool remain silent, than speak and remove all doubt. Be well loser.

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#70 Rama Lama
October 09 2013, 10:42AM
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Giving up any of our high skilled youth for a softer type defensemen would in my mind be a panic move. We all know that Darnell Nurse will be playing for this team next year and that we have more defensemen than we do playing time.

Trade for no one unless they play centre, are big & mean, with some assembelence of skill.

What we need is goaltending, everyone know that, even Dubby. He is a great back up but we need a starter, someone with balls of steel who can make a save to win a game. I would try and lure Kipper back from retirement........the guy retired way too early.

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#71 Spoils
October 09 2013, 11:28AM
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Ryan2 wrote:

We shipped out a decent sized, soft, puck moving d-man in Gilbert a year and a half ago so why bring in another one to add to the pile?

It is way too early in the season to be talking about mortgaging the future. The best course of action right now is for MacT to be patient for a bit and let the team gel. There was a decent amount of turnover, another new system for the players to learn, and the team started with their top 2 centers on the IR. I did not expect the Oilers to be a playoff team this year (and stated so), and deep down I doubt that MacT did either. There are still too many pieces missing.

As far as trading the prospects, this team is still 2 years away from being a solid playoff tem let alone a cup contender, if it ever will be.Why waste young assets now on a stopgap player or two that will not make much of a difference at all? Right now the Oilers need to develop system depth (which is sorely lacking at forward) in order to fill roster holes with solid and cheap young players in the future. This is the Detroit model that has been copied in Chicago, and with Nuge, Hall and Ebs locked in longer term as cornerstones the Oilers could follow this model as well. I know that the fans are restless, but it will take two years to clean up Tambi's mismanagement of the roster, if not 3.

I am not saying Gardiner is right. I am saying we should be thinking about whether or not Klef etc. are. and not be afraid to trade while they have mystique.

I am saying we should aim to win in 3-5yrs and so trading draft picks (maybe not this year) and packages of prospects to get a puzzle piece who will fit that time frame (top goalie/#1D) makes sense to me.

I like the idea of the Detroit model, but if Edmonton is structurally challenged e.g. small market, then focusing on windows of years to win seems smart. Strikes me one of those windows is coming up.

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#72 Manfly
October 09 2013, 12:25PM
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if we had a chance to get Jake Gardiner here, i'd still like to see the Oilers do it, though he may not be exactly what they are looking for (Shea Weber?), still very talented. and we'd probably indeed need to take another contract from the Leafs and make it a multi player deal. if it cost us Martin Marincin and David Musil and whatever else the Leafs wanted that the Oil were willing to part with, then i'm OK with it.

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#73 Lochenzo
October 09 2013, 12:27PM
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I'm going to say no based on the fact that we have Justin Schultz. I believe that you can only carry one offensively gifted, but smaller defenceman in your top 4. Your top 4 will play most of the minutes and play against top competition. I'd prefer to have a little more size out there playing most of the minutes.

I think that's the situation that Toronto is in right now. They have Gardiner and they have Reilly who is looking very good right now. They both must play in the top 4 to be at their best, but there's only room for one.

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#74 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 02:29PM
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@oilredemption

Thank you sir.

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#75 kawi460
October 09 2013, 02:45PM
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@Wonger

He can't skate or play the game... why do you think he got moved to LW?? Now he plays 3 mins a night

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#76 washed up
October 09 2013, 04:11PM
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pkam wrote:

Didn't the Leafs sign Grabovski to 5.5M, even 2 years ago? Gagner had 65 pts (prorated at 82 games) last season. Did Grabovski has any year more than 60 pts? If Gagner's 4.8M contract is stupid, how do you describe Grabovski's 5.5M contract?

Grabovski was a Leafs when we signed Gagner. Without a crystal ball, how do we know for sure Leafs will waive him? Do you really think the Leafs will waive him if they failed to sign Bozak? Hindsight is easy, isn't it?

If the Leafs didn't waive him, are you going to trade Gagner for him?

Even you believe the Leafs is going to waive him, how do you know for sure he will sign with us at 3.0M?

Grabovski, got bought out around the 4th of July. Gagner didn't sign his extension until the end of July. I'm just using the number he signed in Washington. P.S, no way Gagner gets 65 points in a season.

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#77 Oiler Al
October 09 2013, 04:30PM
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First I think Leafs are giving up to early on Gardnair,unless he has health issues, ON the other hand why would Oilers need him, we have the other pea that came from the same pod, in Jr. Schultz . I think one of these is enough, even though Schultz is much better , but they both came from the same school...and system. Kinda shows on the ice today.

Oilers need a heavy , hitting D man , that can skate. PS SMid is a poor imitation of one.

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#78 nick
October 09 2013, 10:50PM
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@Wonger

aer you kidding me. Andrew Ference is a small under sized defenceman that is over hyped in Edmonton. Why people think the Oilers have a top defenceman in Ference is amazing. He is already -4 and the season is 3 games in. Over hyped addition

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#79 Zarny
October 10 2013, 02:02PM
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No, the Oilers should not pursue Gardiner.

He's certainly a good player and if you look at him in isolation any team in the NHL would like to have Gardiner in their lineup.

Winning the Stanley Cup however, is about the right mix of players; and Gardiner is more of the same.

He's no different than David Perron. In isolation, he's a very good player. However, he's more of what the Oilers already have and does nothing to address what the Oilers are missing.

On the blueline the Oilers need a legit shutdown D like Braydon Coburn who can physically matchup against big F like Getzlaf, Perry, Toews etc. The Oilers right now have no one who fits that bill.

Up front the Oilers need a power F like Jeff Carter or Nathan Horton...not David Perron.

The #1 picks have given Edm the skilled F they need but until MacT addresses the Oilers deficiencies they have no hope of ever contending.

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#80 Ryan2
October 09 2013, 10:57AM
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Spoils wrote:

There has been a lot of chatter about the millions of bottom 4D we have. As much as I loved the 4 goal 3rd period, we aren't contending this year.

Still, I believe it is time to mortgage the future (draft picks and players that won't be on the team in 3years). Trading guys that have potential before they underwhelm is one of the great ways a GM can add value.

Aren't we expecting the D to look like this when we win a cup? Klefbom was 1st team allstar at the WJC (so in the company of Alex Pietrangelo Erik Karlsson PK Subban Drew Doughty Kris Letang Ryan Suter). Nurse was a "young larry robinson" at camp.

Nurse- Klefbom Schultz- Petry Smid- (Marincin/Simpson/Gernat etc.)

If Klefbom is not the #1 guy let's package him up and trade him, but to get a bona fide #1 like a Pronger, we'll be forced to give stuff up (like maybe even a Gag, Yak or Ebs).

Priority this year should be making the call on whether or not Nurse/Schultz/Klefbom can be first team NHL All Stars norris winning cup champs.

goaltending and puzzle pieces(Gazdic(s) for example) are the trades we need to make immediately.

We shipped out a decent sized, soft, puck moving d-man in Gilbert a year and a half ago so why bring in another one to add to the pile?

It is way too early in the season to be talking about mortgaging the future. The best course of action right now is for MacT to be patient for a bit and let the team gel. There was a decent amount of turnover, another new system for the players to learn, and the team started with their top 2 centers on the IR. I did not expect the Oilers to be a playoff team this year (and stated so), and deep down I doubt that MacT did either. There are still too many pieces missing.

As far as trading the prospects, this team is still 2 years away from being a solid playoff tem let alone a cup contender, if it ever will be.Why waste young assets now on a stopgap player or two that will not make much of a difference at all? Right now the Oilers need to develop system depth (which is sorely lacking at forward) in order to fill roster holes with solid and cheap young players in the future. This is the Detroit model that has been copied in Chicago, and with Nuge, Hall and Ebs locked in longer term as cornerstones the Oilers could follow this model as well. I know that the fans are restless, but it will take two years to clean up Tambi's mismanagement of the roster, if not 3.

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#81 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 09 2013, 12:22PM
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EDM probably not a good dance partner for TOR on the Gardiner front.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that TOR might take something other than this "shutdown D" in a trade for Gardiner if you give them something else they want, ie., there's no reason they can't off-lift Gardiner for say a prospect (maybe a forward?) and a pick (or whatever) and find their shutdown D elsewhere.

That is, needs aren't addressed in a one-to-one vacuum.

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#82 madjam
October 09 2013, 12:29PM
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MacT. run out of viable trade options unless he exposes top 6 youngsters . Same problem Tams had . Coaching making little to no difference , which should not be much of a surprise . MacT. had one good trade in Perron -at least it appears to be for now , which is good for us . Top 6 either gets to another level , or we lounge again in cellar of league .

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#83 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 09 2013, 01:17PM
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@916oiler

If Yak was on the table, we could get a lot more than that. If a gun was to my head and I had to trade the kid, I'd send him to Washington for Carlson and Wilson. Carlson is locked in at 3.9 untill 17/18 without a no trade clause. I would consider that. Washington would consider that.

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#84 washed up
October 09 2013, 01:43PM
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What! 2 trash's for my Awsome trade idea, must be flames fans. I guess you could throw in Omark and labarbra,to even things out.

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#85 washed up
October 09 2013, 02:35PM
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pkam wrote:

David Poile has to be heavily stoned to agree to that trade.

And even Poile agree to that trade, we don't have enough salary cap.

Yak and Jones will even out. Weber and Rinne total about 15M. Omark and Labarbera total 1.6M, we need to add at least 13M to stay under the cap. We will need to throw in Hemsky (5M), Gagner (4.8M), then N. Schultz or Smid (3.5M) as well, just to make your trade proposal to be legal.

Not really. I think the oilers have about 5 mil in cap space. So lets throw in Gagner, and Shultz. Keep Hemmer and offer him a contact extension at the end of the year. Arcobello can be second line center. Switch Labrabra for Dubby. Good to go.

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#86 Sidney Frosby
October 09 2013, 02:43PM
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@washed up

Yaroslav lokomotiv

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#87 washed up
October 09 2013, 02:49PM
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@pkam

I always thought players had to be on LTIR for a team to get the cap relief.

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#88 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 02:51PM
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pkam wrote:

We have about 5M because Gagner is on IR. Once Gagner returns, we will have around 1M left in cap space.

And forget the fact that this would mean that we are giving up on a 24 year old player that is already less then 200pts behind hemsky and catching up quick. With no injury history mind you.

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#89 washed up
October 09 2013, 03:14PM
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@pkam

Not sure, just got the number off cap geek.

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#90 madjam
October 09 2013, 04:03PM
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Hall, Eberle , Gagner , Petry ,second round pick and Dubnyk for Toews , Keith , Seabrooke and good old Khabby back . Now to find a number one goalie .

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#91 washed up
October 09 2013, 04:12PM
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@madjam

I like your trade proposal. BOLD

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#92 washed up
October 09 2013, 04:16PM
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OilClog wrote:

Yakupov.. If Yakupov gets traded I hand in my Oilers Lifer Club Card. I've defended this team against anyone that has ever said an negative unjustified non sensible derogatory word. But if YakCity gets sent out of town, my 31years have been betrayed. Only 3 players I would trade Yakupov for. Crosby, Stamkos, Bill Ranford 1990. All impossible!

I'd have Perron or Ebs middle the 2nd line until 89's return. Nuge Hall Hemsky Ebs Perron Yak

You find some other way to acquire the "pronger" you don't trade a #1 pick to do it no matter what. If you do you should be shot.

Does this other way you speak off, require magic beans, and unicorns.

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#93 bwar
October 09 2013, 05:17PM
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Do the Oilers want/need Gardiner? NO.

Why would we trade away highly valuable young assets to get a subpar d-man? We have at least Nurse and Klefbom in the pipeline and if anything we need to strengthen our defense not add more offense to defensive positions.

What is our defense going to look like next year? Schultz-Ference Petry-Smid/Belov Kelfbom-Smid/Belov

If Gardiner is replacing anyone in that picture it would be Petry and I'm not entirely sure he is such an upgrade over Petry that would be worth the price Toronto will be asking. Furthermore what does our defense look like in 3 years? Schultz-Klefbom Nurse-Smid/Belov/Ference Petry-Other devolped d-man

I just don't see Gardiner being a substantial upgrade in either the short term or the long term.

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#94 pkam
October 09 2013, 05:29PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

It'd take 2+ of the untouchables, maybe even more to even get Nash to the bargaining table on that one.

Hall outscored Nash last year and Eberle did that the year before. RNH is probably going to do it this year and Yak likely next year.

Except perhaps Eberle, I believe these 4 kids will be nearly as good as Nash in 2-4 years. Why would I trade 2 future for 1 now unless we are completing for the cup this year instead of debating if we can make the playoff?

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#95 gcw_rocks
October 09 2013, 07:55PM
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If the Oilers could get Gardiner and Kulimen for Schultz and another asset, that would be pretty sweet for the Oilers.

You could do

Hall - RNH - Eberle

Perron - Gagner - Yakupov

Kulimen - Gordon - Hemsky

Joensuu - Arcobello - goon of choice

Smid - Petry

Ference - Schultz Jr

Gardiner - Belov

The left side could be switched up based on chemistry

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#96 Cynic
October 09 2013, 09:14PM
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The Oilers were gifted Pronger by a bankrupt STL. That will never happen again.

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#97 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 09:20PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

Watching monday's game I thought Smid and Nick Shultz really struggled making passes. In fact they looked terrible.

This seems to be a common ailment to many Dmen paired with Shultz Sr.

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#98 Wonger
October 09 2013, 10:04PM
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kawi460 wrote:

He can't skate or play the game... why do you think he got moved to LW?? Now he plays 3 mins a night

You. Are right! I just am hoping for more toughness/aggression/bite on defense ,though I love ANDREW FERENCE!!! He and CHARA were agreat tandem in BOSTON!!!

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#99 Wonger
October 10 2013, 02:52PM
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nick wrote:

aer you kidding me. Andrew Ference is a small under sized defenceman that is over hyped in Edmonton. Why people think the Oilers have a top defenceman in Ference is amazing. He is already -4 and the season is 3 games in. Over hyped addition

-4 is a team defence problem. FERENCE is a great captain and leader who can drop the gloves and go with much bigger guys!!!! A super-coditioned athlete!!!! Ask CHARA what having Ference as a teammate and d-partner meant to his game over the last number of years!!! FERENCE IS A WINNER!!! end of story BUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#100 DOMINATOR
October 09 2013, 11:28AM
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@Jay Gray

THATS ANOTHER NO . HOW ABOUT CAM WARD NEEDING A NEW ADDRESS .

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