THE SPECULATION GAME

Robin Brownlee
February 24 2014 04:41PM

Craig MacTavish6

I doubt Nashville GM David Poile has taken leave of his financial senses to a point where he'll put Shea Weber on the trade block now, but if he did, should Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish offer a package of players including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Taylor Hall to get in on the action?

It's an intriguing question – a possibility that's far-fetched from where I sit because of the money the Predators have already paid Weber in bonuses on his 14-year, $110-million contract – given the needs of both teams. Nashville desperately needs forwards who can score and the Oilers need, among other things, the stud first-pairing blueliner Weber most certainly is.

It's a question that's been posed, discussed and debated more than once around here and on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260. It was one that was fodder again today down the dial on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer.

Stauffer asked guest Jim Matheson of The Journal if he'd trade a package that included Hall or Nugent-Hopkins – not both – defenseman Jeff Petry and Edmonton's first pick at the 2014 Entry Draft for Weber. Matheson said he'd consider it. Stauffer's take was it wasn't a deal he'd make.

What say you?

PROS AND CONS

At 28, Weber is squarely in his prime. There's no question he's one of the top three defensemen in the NHL. Big, physical and skilled with an absolute cannon of a shot from the blue line. Weber is, without question, the kind of player every team, not just the Oilers, wants and needs.

If there's a bit of a downside, it's Weber's contract. His $7.857 million cap hit isn't a problem, especially with the salary cap expected to go up, but his deal runs through 2025-26, taking him to age 40. It's heavily front-loaded, of course – he has bonus money owing through 2017-18 – with a real salary of just $1 million in the final three years.

While those numbers aren't a major concern, they are a consideration. Weber will earn a salary of $6 million in 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 when he's aged 33-36. So, Weber has, what, five or six more prime years remaining? Seven?

While Weber could slip a bit over the next six or seven years, he'll still be a bonafide first-pairing guy eating up quality minutes in that span. As an aside, he'd also provide some shelter for a youngster like Justin Schultz and kids on the way like Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse. He could mentor Martin Marincin. The importance of that shouldn’t be dismissed.

THE WAY I SEE IT

4-Hall-15

Is adding Weber going to make the Oilers Stanley Cup contenders now? No. Might they be contenders in the five, six or seven prime years he has left? You would like to think so, assuming MacTavish addresses needs the Weber deal, as framed, doesn't. Hmm.

Trading away Hall takes the team's most dynamic offensive player off the left side. Trading RNH leaves coach Dallas Eakins without his most creative offensive player and a power play catalyst. It also leaves the Oilers beyond weak down the middle. Who is the first-line centre? How about the second?

Petry? He's not the stumblebum a lot of fans make him out to be. On most teams, he'd be a fourth or fifth defenseman. He's asked to play too many minutes here. That's not his fault, even if it is his problem. I have no problem moving him. What about that first-round pick? Who does that turn out to be? Sam Reinhart? Sam Bennett? Aaron Ekblad?

If I'm MacTavish, I do that deal, preferably with Hall rather than Nugent-Hopkins. I happily include Petry and I cross my fingers moving that first pick doesn’t come back to bite me down the road. As for Poile, would he consider the deal as spit-balled today? That's an entirely different question.

WHILE I'M AT IT

83-Hemsky-6

. . . Count me among those who have Ales Hemsky a goner by the trade deadline, which falls Wednesday next week.

MacTavish won't get great value for Hemsky as a rental, but there's no chance he'll re-sign here. Getting something for Hemsky is better than nothing – a prospect, please, not a draft pick. John Shannon of Sportsnet has mentioned Detroit. Makes sense. I can see Phoenix in the mix.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#101 Eberle4MVP
February 25 2014, 11:06AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I make that trade 101 times out of 100. Because that #1 defenceman is more important right now then our #1 offensive player. And yes, the draft pick may turn out to bite us in the ass... 4 years+ down the road, and we need to get better now, or we risk the same mentioned players asking for a trade out of town anyways.

Plus, we have lots of other offensive players that can pick up the slack and a wealth of prospects that can be packaged up with future picks and wingers for a center.

like i said, i do that deal any day of the week. And brag about it afterwards.

Unfortunately for us, Nashville never does that deal. Not cause its not a good return, but because Suter is gone, they just paid Weber a truckload of money, and Seth Jones isnt ready yet. It leaves them using 3/4 pairing as their 1/2.

Avatar
#102 BobbyCanuck
February 25 2014, 11:16AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Mclick wrote:

I forgot to add this.

I don't think there is a definitive need to make major moves at the deadline for the Oilers.

I personally think this will be really quiet for the Oil. I suspect some or all of our free agents will be moved for picks or prospects.

Those prospects in turn may be used for trades at the end of the season. The players we want or need are likely going to be on playoff teams.

Agreed, Katz has made it clear that he is ok that the Oilers suck for the next couple of years, so why sell the farm now?

Unfortunetly in 2 yrs, I fully expect Hall to demand a trade

Avatar
#103 Igor Ulanov
February 25 2014, 11:44AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

I'd argue you'd be giving away more in Eberle and Yakupov than you would be with RNH/Hall and Petry.

You can find another Petry.

I'm with you Robin about finding another Petry, but there is no way I'm trading RNH or Hall instead of Eberle or Yakupov. Guys like Petry, Ebs and Yak can be "replaced"

RNH and Hall are the type of players the Oilers have that will be talked about by others as being the elite, and the type every other team wishes they had. Kinda like how we wish we had a Weber or Lidstrom. Its pretty rare to see those guys get traded.

MacT isn't gonna make that kind of trade, even if he thinks he's going to be "bold" He's going to stay the course, draft Ekblad (Canadas future Weber) and not make any trades that end up hurting us. Bit by bit, this team is getting better and better and will continue to do so.

Avatar
#104 samurai003
February 25 2014, 12:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I don't see why Nashville would trade Weber. Everything pointed out as a benefit for the Oilers is a benefit for the Preds too, and every other team.

So why don't the Preds just sign a top 6 forward? Then they have the best of both worlds.

If the Oiler get him, great. Just hope he stays longer than Pronger. Else we'll have lost a couple young forwards and T6 D. Shades of 2006-2007 again.

Kblowe did it once, I'm sure he can screw it up again.

Avatar
#105 Death Metal Nightmare
February 26 2014, 09:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

how many cups does Nashville have? how many will they ever have? (zero)

they should trade that "key to the cup" to Edmonton so they can say "we had two #1 defensemen leave town. we plan on building for our cup now by re-acquiring that #1 D-man to fulfill the Olde Garden Variety Hockey Logic (AKA MAGICAL SPELL BOOK) of how to win a cup"

it's going to take a lot more than just a sexy canadian name player to get EDM anywhere near a cup.

more than likely Weber will rot here for years while the staff F's it up and he asks to be traded to a better built team. while Hall is stuck on a cash strapped team that will need a magical recipe of scouted players and contract alignment to ever do anything special.

Comments are closed for this article.