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 a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#51 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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#52 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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#53 T__Bone88
February 25 2014, 06:50PM
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MacT isn't wrong in that the players the Oilers have to offer are in the secondary market. There are at least five forwards ahead of Hemsky that are available Moulson, Callahan, Vanek, Cammalleri and Ott. After those players are traded the Oilers might get a desperate team but I highly doubt it.

I can't believe that some people are expecting that the Oilers will magically be a better team after the deadline. No one in the playoff picture trades proven players. That is why it's better to hold onto Gagner and make a trade at the draft when it's easier to acquire roster players instead of just picks.

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#54 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 25 2014, 07:00PM
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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.

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#55 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 07:06PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

I've been with you all the way on the trade Gagner deal....with the exception of a couple of weeks about a year ago where David S had me believing we should keep Gagner........what the hell was I smoking for those 14 days?

That eight point anomaly fooled many people.Take that game out and his stats are that much worse.

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#56 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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#57 D
February 25 2014, 03:49PM
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Another of Tambogenius' lasting legacy.

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#58 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 06:57PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Spyder did make the call on Dubnyk when he says he did. He's been pounding the move Dubnyk message here for a couple of seasons.

Like you Taylor Gang, I was in the camp that thought Dubnyk might work out prior to the start of this season. But Spyder ( and a few others) were right....gotta give credit where credit is due.

Thanks ORG.

Just don't get me started on Gagner.

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#59 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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#60 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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#61 jtkj
February 25 2014, 07:14PM
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@Will

Yeah love samuelsson, almost worth trying to pry him out of Phoenix anyways

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#62 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 07:16PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

If ONLY ONE of Gagner or Hemsky got moved, I would rather see Gagner moved than Hemsky. (assuming a higher return for Gags)

Me too but the only problem is Hemsky is UFA he has to be moved or signed. It is not like they need him for a playoff run.

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#63 Taylor Gang
February 25 2014, 04:49PM
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zoolander wrote:

Would the oilers consider trying to trade somebody like Eberle for Victor Hedman. The lightning are quite weak on the right side especially since Martin St Louis is getting old. What does the nation think it would take to get Hedman or if the oilers should even try?

Hedman doesn't really excite me in the same way that other top defensemen do, maybe it's because he isn't a household name, but maybe because he isn't as good as the players that most of us are interested in. Also, why would Stevie-Y do that?

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#64 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 05:36PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

I also see in your comment that you wrote that on October 12. At this point, Dubnyk had already pooped the bed in 4 games, including the fans being upset fresh after the loss against Toronto, which was arguably his worst game of the season.

Like I said before, hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it?

"For more then a year now I have been saying the team needs a good young goalie to push Dubnyk.When they brought in LaBarbera it was disappointing."

Did you miss that part?

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#65 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 06:08PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

What you need to realize is that these players are human, they aren't robots in NHL 14 who play to their very highest caliber without having any sort of confidence loss after losing.

At the start of the season the Oilers were playing well. They were outshooting their opponents and they were playing with some swagger. Unfortunaltely, Dubnyk's terrible goaltending counterbalanced the players' strong play. Now how could you expect these players to keep putting up the amount of goals that they did when they knew it wouldn't matter because Dubnyk would just let in more anyways? Once the losses started to pile up, their confidence went into the sewer. By the time Dubnyk finally started to play alright, the damage was already done and the players gave up.

It wasn't a matter of Dubnyk "making up 17 points for Edmonton". It was a matter of the Oilers having confidence in themselves that they could actually walk into a game with a fighting chance to win. And with the 60 games that they've played, I think that Edmonton could have been close to a playoff spot had Dubnyk not let the team down right off the bat.

So you are saying "the players gave up" because their goalie "let them down"

Well it does explain eight years outside the playoffs.

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#66 Bucknuck
February 25 2014, 07:09PM
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@Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

A lot of people wanted to move Dubnyk and get something else. I think MacT wanted to as well. It wasn't exactly a minority opinion, neither is the "trade Gagner" idea.

I wish Gagner wouldn't have been hurt so we wouldn't have any more excuses. as it is he isn't worth much in a trade, but he could be one of those 60 point guys who consistently bites this team in the a$$ (like Arnott). I just wonder "what mighta been" if the guy would have had an intact face to start the season.

I really don't like Kassian.

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#67 bazmagoo
February 25 2014, 07:15PM
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Hemmer, Larsen, Jones, Potter, N Schultz, Belov, Joensuu likely on the trading block. Will be great to get another look at Lander, Arcobello, Fedun, Pitlick, Klefbom, Horak, Hamilton before the season is up.

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#68 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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#69 HardBoiledOil
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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#70 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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#71 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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#72 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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#73 Spydyr
February 25 2014, 05:47PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Well my point in my original comment was that MacT has done a pretty good job with the team despite the standings, and if Dubnyk played the way he did the 3 seasons prior, I believe Edmonton could be close to a playoff spot right now.

Now that made me laugh out loud.The Oilers are 17 points of a playoff spot. The best goalie ever would not have made the team 17 points.

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#74 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
February 25 2014, 07:04PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Thanks ORG.

Just don't get me started on Gagner.

I've been with you all the way on the trade Gagner deal....with the exception of a couple of weeks about a year ago where David S had me believing we should keep Gagner........what the hell was I smoking for those 14 days?

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#75 Taylor Gang
February 25 2014, 07:09PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I love all this hindsight bashing of MacT.

You can't hang Gagner on him, who knows what kind of season Gagner might have had if he hadn't had his face busted up.

Goaltending? He tried to fix it, but no one predicted Dubnyk would be THAT bad... until four games in of course.

hiring Eakins? The jury is still out on that, though his comments about Yak have made me doubt him a little. Time will tell.

I can't be too mad... not like I was with Tambellini. He's not sitting on his hands, and yet he hasn't given away the farm either. Pajaarvi for Perron was a great trade, as was the Scrivens trade (IF THEY SIGN HIM). Ference was a good addition. The team seems to be heading in the right direction.

I still trust MacT.

I've been saying this the whole time!

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#76 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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#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 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 T__Bone88
February 25 2014, 06:50PM
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MacT isn't wrong in that the players the Oilers have to offer are in the secondary market. There are at least five forwards ahead of Hemsky that are available Moulson, Callahan, Vanek, Cammalleri and Ott. After those players are traded the Oilers might get a desperate team but I highly doubt it.

I can't believe that some people are expecting that the Oilers will magically be a better team after the deadline. No one in the playoff picture trades proven players. That is why it's better to hold onto Gagner and make a trade at the draft when it's easier to acquire roster players instead of just picks.

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#87 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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#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 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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#90 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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#91 Tree
February 26 2014, 12:06AM
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@Spydyr

Honesty

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#92 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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