Edmonton Oilers are a “secondary market” when it comes to trades

Jonathan Willis
February 25 2014 03:15PM

Craig MacTavish10

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish held a media availability on Tuesday, fielding questions about the trade deadline, the team’s goaltending and its coaches. The whole thing is well worth watching, but particularly telling was MacTavish’s comments on where he saw the team’s rental players: as fallback options for other NHL teams.

The Full Availability

Secondary Targets

MacTavish made it clear during the press conference that a lot of the guys the Oilers are looking to move aren’t going to be at the top of the list for teams looking to add help:

I think a lot of our guys are going to be secondary market players. Everybody’s going to be looking for the high profile guys, the real high-end guys. We maybe have one or two of those guys but outside of that I think we’re a secondary market and that’s when we’ll try and get some interest and try and get some activity in the market.

In a follow-up appearance on Oilers Now, MacTavish was asked by host Bob Stauffer whether he expected to see people like Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson dealt, and that question allowed MacTavish to expand on the reasons why Edmonton players might not be at the top of other teams’ lists:

I think so because there are a number of teams that when you’re looking to add players are looking to add the player that can help you the most. Clearly the higher level guys are the guys garnering the most attention.

Hemsky et al.

83-Hemsky-1

It’s a sensible take. Given the choice between Thomas Vanek and Ales Hemsky, every team in the league is going to prefer Vanek. Vanek will cost more, but for teams with a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup that’s not going to be a serious stumbling block. Moulson isn’t head and shoulders above Hemsky; he’s a little bigger and has scored a little more this year but Hemsky has more history in critical situations and has played tougher minutes this year.

Somebody’s going to get Vanek. Moulson’s likely on the block, but not necessarily going to be dealt, given that he’s made it clear he’d be open to staying in Buffalo. But if both are available, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that Hemsky won’t be moved until teams know they’re out of the running for both Vanek and Moulson.

As for the other guys the Oilers are doubtless looking to trade - people like Nick Schultz and perhaps Ryan Jones - the situation is the same, except more so. 

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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 zoolander
February 25 2014, 07:34PM
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@Taylor Gang

I'm not sure Stevie would do it either but I keep hearing we need to trade for a top 1 or 2 d-man and if Eberle won't get us that that leaves us with three main options. Offer somebody better like Nuge or Hall for a top d-man (most fans seem dead set against that) / try to package together a few players with a guy like Eberle to sweeten the deal/ or stay the course and try to draft and develop our own D. If people think we can go after a Nash witch would be extremely hard we could certainly go after a hedman. You statement why would stevie do that kind of proves to me that he is a very valuable player and worth going after. Ultimately I am not stuck on hedman at all but I keep hearing the same names and ideas floating around and wonder why guys like hedman are not also discussed.

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#52 DieHard
February 25 2014, 07:42PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

When MacT talks about getting his second and third round picks back man I hope he's talking about Smitty and Jones and Nick Schultz.......and not about Hemsky.

Hemsky for a prospect or a late first rounder 25 to 30th pick range.

Look at it this way: Hemsky for Scrivens!

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#53 The Real Scuba Steve
February 25 2014, 07:44PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I think that while MacTavish should take some of the blame for a lost season, I don't think anyone was expecting that Dubnyk would crumble behind the team. By the time he finally got his legs under him, it was too late; the entire team lost their confidence. My point is that Mac-T has actually done a pretty good job as GM, and I'm excited to see what he does this offseason.

IN MAC-T WE TRUST

Won't be much different than last year or the year before that or the year before that. UFA's will turn down millions to play else where.

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#54 Taylor Gang
February 25 2014, 07:47PM
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zoolander wrote:

I'm not sure Stevie would do it either but I keep hearing we need to trade for a top 1 or 2 d-man and if Eberle won't get us that that leaves us with three main options. Offer somebody better like Nuge or Hall for a top d-man (most fans seem dead set against that) / try to package together a few players with a guy like Eberle to sweeten the deal/ or stay the course and try to draft and develop our own D. If people think we can go after a Nash witch would be extremely hard we could certainly go after a hedman. You statement why would stevie do that kind of proves to me that he is a very valuable player and worth going after. Ultimately I am not stuck on hedman at all but I keep hearing the same names and ideas floating around and wonder why guys like hedman are not also discussed.

The only reason Weber always gets brought up is because Nashville has shallow pockets and the defense is pretty good even without him. In the case of Tampa Bay, their defense is carried by Brewer and Hedman. Brewer is getting up there in age and Hedman is just starting to realize his potential, so it just doesn't make sense.

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#55 Taylor Gang
February 25 2014, 07:49PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

Won't be much different than last year or the year before that or the year before that. UFA's will turn down millions to play else where.

And what would make you say that? Every new offseason brings new challenges, and Mac-T has a better feel of what it takes to be GM.

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#56 Wonger
February 25 2014, 07:54PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I think that while MacTavish should take some of the blame for a lost season, I don't think anyone was expecting that Dubnyk would crumble behind the team. By the time he finally got his legs under him, it was too late; the entire team lost their confidence. My point is that Mac-T has actually done a pretty good job as GM, and I'm excited to see what he does this offseason.

IN MAC-T WE TRUST

I think MACT is excellent as GM as well!!! Eakins-MACT will be successful very soon- you will see- I believe in these men!!! Oil have a ton of upside!!!

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#57 Windsorhockey123
February 25 2014, 07:55PM
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There is nothing that MacT can realistically do at the deadline, or at the draft, or in the offseason to make the Oilers a cup contender in the next year or 2 ...

They lack the overall assets throughout the organization to fix their core problems, and don't have enough depth on the current NHL roster to be truly good for an entire season yet (Or in the near future).

The Oilers won't be true contenders until guys like J. Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse, and possibly Ekblad have 150-200 games of NHL experience under their belts. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just simply wrong. Top pairing defenseman are rarely traded in today's modern era, and almost never make it to free agency... You MUST develop them yourself. Make it your mission to find a good 2-way second line centre, an above average goalie, and at least 1 winger with some size who plays a physical 2-way game while you're young defenseman develop.

The worst thing that MacT can do in the short term is make more trades like the... Paajarvi for Perron, or Hartikinen for Fraser type moves. It's pure desperation to make the playoffs sooner at the expense of how good we could be the future. Keep making moves like that, and guys Perron won't even be on the team 3 years from now when the defence is actually good. Trust me... You're gonna want affordable guys like Paajarvi and Hartikinen on your bottom 6 in the prime of their careers instead of inexperienced rookies like Khaira, Moroz, or Yakimov.

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#58 zoolander
February 25 2014, 08:11PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

The only reason Weber always gets brought up is because Nashville has shallow pockets and the defense is pretty good even without him. In the case of Tampa Bay, their defense is carried by Brewer and Hedman. Brewer is getting up there in age and Hedman is just starting to realize his potential, so it just doesn't make sense.

I see what you are saying. I personally would not trade a Hedman if i had him for an Eberle so I guess my question would be what would a guy like Hedman who is a legitimate asset to go after actually cost the oilers.... And if we are not willing to pay that kind of price then I guess we need to have patience and develop within.

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#59 The Real Scuba Steve
February 25 2014, 08:14PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

And what would make you say that? Every new offseason brings new challenges, and Mac-T has a better feel of what it takes to be GM.

Every new offseason brings new challenges? I don't think firing the coach every season counts, and we have been humiliated in the off season since 2007. I don't see any difference this year, But I like your optimism.

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#60 nuge2nail
February 25 2014, 09:07PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

MacTs off season plan:

1. Draft Center Depth or Defensive Depth(lottery pick)

2. Back up a money truck to fill the hole not filled with the lottery pick

Ekblad Nurse Marincin J Shultz Klefbom Petry

Hopkins Statsny

Or

Girardi or Robidas Nurse Marincin J Shultz Klefbom Petry

Hopkins Reinhert

40+ million gives the team flexibility- and Gagner is a moveable asset.

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#61 Randaman
February 25 2014, 09:19PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

And what would make you say that? Every new offseason brings new challenges, and Mac-T has a better feel of what it takes to be GM.

Are you serious? Do the names Hossa, Heatly, Nylander & now Ryan Miller ring any bells. Pull your head out of the sand. Edmonton is not a destination of choice. We all know this some refuse to accept it. Sucks yes but it is reality.

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#62 Fatbob24
February 25 2014, 09:29PM
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Spydyr wrote:

No telepathic powers I just know hockey better then you.

Are you ever accused of being a "nice" guy? Lol

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#63 shaun
February 25 2014, 09:32PM
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Wonger wrote:

I think MACT is excellent as GM as well!!! Eakins-MACT will be successful very soon- you will see- I believe in these men!!! Oil have a ton of upside!!!

I am trying to understand why people are saying MacT and Eakins are excellent. It seems to me they are fishing for hope. But in my opinion the jury is still out on both. Labarbera, Bachman, Acton, Hamilton Gagner extension(to which MacT said he would have given a longer term if he wanted it) are not compelling arguments for excellence. Perron was a nice trade but it was a gift because St. Louis needed to dump salary. When MacT gives a glowing report of ALL his coaching staff one really must wonder about that excellence. They are in 29th place-worse than last year, I dont get how you feel he is excellent. Maybe he will be someday but he certainly has not proved it to date nor has Eakins.

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#64 Woogie63
February 25 2014, 09:44PM
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This interview at this time of the season surprises me.

Why share your trade deadline strategy with all the NHL general managers, as you are about to try to fleece them.

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#65 Seanjohn667
February 25 2014, 09:47PM
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Wonger wrote:

I think MACT is excellent as GM as well!!! Eakins-MACT will be successful very soon- you will see- I believe in these men!!! Oil have a ton of upside!!!

Mark me down under the 'believe it when I see it' column.

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#66 Rod from Viking
February 25 2014, 10:09PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Some of us have been saying Dubnyk was not a starter for years now.

Mac-T saw the problem tried to fix the problem and failed.That is on him.

One of the biggest mistake was Tambo/K-Lowe not putting a decent offer to Ottawa for Ben Bishop, Mac T was not the GM but was in the know, what made them think Ryan Jones a pending FA was a serious offer. How would this team look with Bishop in net.

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#67 Dog Train
February 25 2014, 10:12PM
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We may be a secondary market but at the past few trade deadlines, it seems like the secondary guys are usually the ones who get dealt. It seems like the top end guys are usually too pricey to acquire and teams turn to more affordable options. Don't want to pay the asking price for Vanek? Ales Hemsky is available. The only thing that having secondary assets means is that we will likely have to wait until deadline day for most of our moves.

A lot of buyers also seem to be near the cap ceiling. We have cap space and can afford to retain some salary so that also works in our favour.

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#68 Tree
February 26 2014, 12:06AM
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@Spydyr

Honesty

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#69 gk1980
February 26 2014, 12:18AM
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Trading your top line guys for a top 1/2 defenceman is pointless. All you are doing is filling one hole and creating another one. It serves no purpose. Enough with the Hall or Nuge for a top 1/2 defender. It is what is required to get that top D but not the best option for the oilers right now. From the beginning it seemed to me like MacT was trying to add as much competition on the back end as possible and see who comes out on top. Right now it is defence by committee.

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#70 Manfly
February 26 2014, 05:42AM
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^you get these kind of trade proposals when fans become obsessed with getting top end d-men like Shea Weber.

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#71 Spydyr
February 26 2014, 06:39AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

MUST BE A BURDEN TO BE SO SMART

Spydr: We know grammar better THAN you.

PS: You made the same grade school mistake in post # 21.

A Grammar mistake that is all you have?

This is a hockey blog.

I used then instead of than. Really?

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#72 Spydyr
February 26 2014, 06:41AM
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Fatbob24 wrote:

Are you ever accused of being a "nice" guy? Lol

I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to talk hockey and have intelligent discussions.

Some times that is difficult when you have people saying things like trade Gagner ,Hemsky and this summers first for Weber.

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#73 BingBong
February 26 2014, 07:03AM
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My predictions:

Hemsky for a 2nd, N. Schultz for a 3rd.

Nothing much else I'm guessing.

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#74 Gk1980
February 26 2014, 07:23AM
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What about Chris Philips? Apparently he can be had. Older defenceman who could be a good mentor. Local boy as well.

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#75 Rick Stroppel
February 26 2014, 07:35AM
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Spydyr wrote:

A Grammar mistake that is all you have?

This is a hockey blog.

I used then instead of than. Really?

I STAND CORRECTED!

Spydyr, you are absolutely right. It's not your bad grammar that really bothers me, it's your incessant BRAGGING about your knowledge of hockey.

PS: I do understand that pointing out spelling and grammatical mistakes on a site like this is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500.

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#76 vetinari
February 26 2014, 07:40AM
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It's the end of the night... the other guys are all drunk and have struck out with every pretty girl in the bar and finally turn their attention to the chubby girl sitting at a table by herself who normally would only be a 4 or a 5, but with beer goggles on, now looks like an 8 or a 9... some slide up next to her and throw out their best line while others just simply go home and will try again another night... well, Oilers, you're that chubby girl!!! Plan B, the "moped" (fun to ride but don't let you're friends catch you on one), or "Last Call Girl". Make the most of it and don't expect the other GMs to call you until 10 minutes before closing time...

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#77 j
February 26 2014, 08:34AM
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This could actually be a good ploy by MacT. He announces to the league that he can fill any and all 'secondary' player trades thereby potentially increasing the value of his assets. Let the big dogs tear away at Vanek and Miller while the little ones come calling for Jones and N Schultz. Or it may completely backfire and we fire sale in the summer. Either way, I am sure someone will complain...

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#78 Puck JammeR!
February 26 2014, 08:46AM
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So we're just going to pretend MacT never said all that stuff before the season about how the team was going to be improved and he would take responsibility if they didn't?

Just checking

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#79 Spydyr
February 26 2014, 08:49AM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

I STAND CORRECTED!

Spydyr, you are absolutely right. It's not your bad grammar that really bothers me, it's your incessant BRAGGING about your knowledge of hockey.

PS: I do understand that pointing out spelling and grammatical mistakes on a site like this is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500.

If my pointing out that I was correct about both Dubnyk and Gagner years ago bothers you.Feel free to skip my posts. It won't hurt my feelings.

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#80 VK63
February 26 2014, 09:45AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

This interview at this time of the season surprises me.

Why share your trade deadline strategy with all the NHL general managers, as you are about to try to fleece them.

This is selling hope by the Oilers in response to the negative backlash by its fan base in regards to. A) season seat renewals B) raising prices on same C) the poor on ice product and in game experience

It is part and parcel of the dog and pony show that included players and photo ops for season seat holders last night. Its just marketing and selling Koolaid and showing the people forking over the thousands that hey… we hear you and heres a few crumbs to keep you going while we try and figure this thing out.

As for MacT. I think he is just wired to be honest in a colourful way. He is trying to peddle secondary market players and he expressed that its going to be difficult. His goal. Replace the second and third round picks in 2014. I think its doable.

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#81 ghostofberanek
February 26 2014, 10:26AM
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Spydyr wrote:

If my pointing out that I was correct about both Dubnyk and Gagner years ago bothers you.Feel free to skip my posts. It won't hurt my feelings.

It's easy to be negative about everything, and then stand on your pedestal when all is said and done and say "I told you so". Some of us choose to be fans, and stick with our favorite team through the tough times.

If Dubnyk posts a .914 save % in the first 25 games, I'd bet we'd be within 6 points of the playoffs right now.

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#82 2004Z06
February 26 2014, 10:36AM
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Gk1980 wrote:

What about Chris Philips? Apparently he can be had. Older defenceman who could be a good mentor. Local boy as well.

We already have him. His name is Andrew Ference.

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#83 Spydyr
February 26 2014, 10:59AM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

It's easy to be negative about everything, and then stand on your pedestal when all is said and done and say "I told you so". Some of us choose to be fans, and stick with our favorite team through the tough times.

If Dubnyk posts a .914 save % in the first 25 games, I'd bet we'd be within 6 points of the playoffs right now.

Who said I have not stuck with my favorite team?

If they suck I will say they suck and guess what they suck.

I still watch most games and think RNH, Hall and in his short window here Marincin are players with a future .Parron brings it more often than not, Hendricks brings a positive attitude.The rest, well there is a reason the team is eight years outside the playoffs.

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#84 BobbyCanuck
February 26 2014, 11:36AM
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@Spydyr

Don't feel bad, you were smoking the samething everyone else in town...fans, mgmt, local media etc.

As a non-puffer, right after that game I was jumping up and down trade him! Trade him! What happens? He gets a sweathart deal with a NTC&NMC

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#85 ghostofberanek
February 26 2014, 11:46AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Who said I have not stuck with my favorite team?

If they suck I will say they suck and guess what they suck.

I still watch most games and think RNH, Hall and in his short window here Marincin are players with a future .Parron brings it more often than not, Hendricks brings a positive attitude.The rest, well there is a reason the team is eight years outside the playoffs.

You've been saying Dubnyk sucks for years and they should have gotten rid of him long ago. I think it's safe to say the Oilers had much more invested in him than you did, in both time and money. You don't spend millions of dollars and 7 years of development just to get rid of a guy because he's not a Vezina candidate early in his career. Goalies take time. Nobody, including you, could foresee the implosion that took place this season.

I agree that the Oilers suck this year, but maybe it's not quite so easy to fix the problems in real life as it is in your head.

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#86 Spydyr
February 26 2014, 12:20PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

You've been saying Dubnyk sucks for years and they should have gotten rid of him long ago. I think it's safe to say the Oilers had much more invested in him than you did, in both time and money. You don't spend millions of dollars and 7 years of development just to get rid of a guy because he's not a Vezina candidate early in his career. Goalies take time. Nobody, including you, could foresee the implosion that took place this season.

I agree that the Oilers suck this year, but maybe it's not quite so easy to fix the problems in real life as it is in your head.

So your saying hold on to a bad investment until it loses all value.Like trading a former first road pick for a older fourth line player.Ok then.

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#87 ghostofberanek
February 26 2014, 12:28PM
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Spydyr wrote:

So your saying hold on to a bad investment until it loses all value.Like trading a former first road pick for a older fourth line player.Ok then.

Hahaha way to twist my words buddy. You're implying that seeing into the future is a tool at everyone's disposal. I think they expected to see an upward trend, given that he was just entering his prime. Anyways, your logic is ridiculous, and you clearly don't have the hockey knowledge that you think you do.

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#88 Randaman
February 26 2014, 12:39PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

You've been saying Dubnyk sucks for years and they should have gotten rid of him long ago. I think it's safe to say the Oilers had much more invested in him than you did, in both time and money. You don't spend millions of dollars and 7 years of development just to get rid of a guy because he's not a Vezina candidate early in his career. Goalies take time. Nobody, including you, could foresee the implosion that took place this season.

I agree that the Oilers suck this year, but maybe it's not quite so easy to fix the problems in real life as it is in your head.

This is where these guaranteed contracts hurt teams bottom lines and curbs their ability to make changes. The NFL does it right. The league is more important as a whole. The players don't run the show! If you don't perform you can be released. I do understand some dollars are guaranteed in the NFL but only a portion making change easier.

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#89 Randaman
February 26 2014, 12:41PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Hahaha way to twist my words buddy. You're implying that seeing into the future is a tool at everyone's disposal. I think they expected to see an upward trend, given that he was just entering his prime. Anyways, your logic is ridiculous, and you clearly don't have the hockey knowledge that you think you do.

Dubnyk should have been traded two years ago when value was higher. Eberle should be traded for the benefit of the TEAM while his value is higher

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#90 Ed in Edmonton
February 26 2014, 12:45PM
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BingBong wrote:

My predictions:

Hemsky for a 2nd, N. Schultz for a 3rd.

Nothing much else I'm guessing.

MacT came pretty close to saying as much when he said he would like to fill in the 2nd and 3rd picks they don't have this year. Obviously MacT can't mention names but what you suggest seems quite plausible.

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#91 ghostofberanek
February 26 2014, 12:55PM
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Randaman wrote:

Dubnyk should have been traded two years ago when value was higher. Eberle should be traded for the benefit of the TEAM while his value is higher

Then Khabibulin would have been the only guy in net that year. You're saying "should have", based only on what you know now. The Capitals should have traded Jim Carey the year he won the Vezina, but how do they know when a player will have a sharp regression in play?

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#92 Randaman
February 26 2014, 05:20PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Then Khabibulin would have been the only guy in net that year. You're saying "should have", based only on what you know now. The Capitals should have traded Jim Carey the year he won the Vezina, but how do they know when a player will have a sharp regression in play?

Maybe two years was an overstatement but MacT never thought Dubnyk was a starter. He said as much

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