A HIGH-END DEFENSEMAN

Lowetide
April 26 2014 10:22PM

mact common7

In mid-April, during his exit interview, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish talked about additions needed over the summer. MacT: “In my mind I’d like to add a very high-end defenseman.” Yeah, you and 29 other teams, Mac.

HIGH-END IS HIGH-RENT

Depending on your definition, there are very few high-end defenders in the NHL, and only a very small percentage of those come available every blue moon. Here are possible options for the Oilers.

  1. Christian Ehrhoff, Buffalo. He is signed through 2021 to a very reasonable $4 million dollar per season contract. Ehrhoff delivered solid to very good results despite playing on a dog in Buffalo this season. He's an expert puck mover, has some edge—although he's not a natural thug—and is an experienced lefty defenseman. Ehrhoff played 24 minutes a night for the Sabres, substantial amounts in all three disciplines. Asking price: Something shy of the third overall selection. Buffalo has the 31st overall selection, and could end up with the Islanders pick at number five, if it comes to that at the draft.
  2. Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh. He is a UFA this summer, coming off a $2.3 million dollar deal he signed two summers ago. Niskanen is playing over 20 minutes a night for the Penguins, including a heavy workload on the power play in their series with Columbus. He's a righty, and Niskanen's skills are already duplicated on the roster by Justin Schultz. Asking price: As a free agent, all that's required are dollars and term. Edmonton would have to overpay to get him, I'd imagine we're dealing in a number beginning with a 4.
  3. Brian Campbell, Florida. Campbell is a big ticket item, his contract has two more years and is north of $7 million per season. He is a minutes muncher, playing 27 a night this season. It's easy to imagine the Oilers pairing Campbell with any of the righties and putting together an effective tandem. Asking price: Florida would no doubt be looking for some offense in return, and the asking price would be significant.
  4. Marc Staal, NY Rangers. A young veteran who has had some concussion issues, Staal may come available because he's one year away from free agency. Slats likes to move on from these players and may be more gun shy than normal because of the Ryan Callahan result. Edmonton would have to make certain they could sign him long term, but the "Staals in Carolina" dream seems unlikely now. Asking price: Sather drives a hard bargain, it would no doubt be one of the young blue plus something nice.
  5. Braydon Coburn, Philadelphia. He has two years left at $4.5 million, and we know the Oilers were in conversations last summer. This isn't a 25-minute man, he averaged 22 minutes in the regular season, strong on PK where he spent four minutes a night. He could be a very nice partner for Schultz. Asking price: Crazy. The draft is in Philly this season, if Edmonton makes a deal with Holmgren it will likely involve third overall. Flyers pick 17th currently (pending playoff outcomes) if it comes to that at the draft.
  6. Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks. Signed through 2019 at $5 million a year, Edler's -39 is a real eyesore. However, his overall resume is strong and he possesses a nice range of skills, is young enough to be a part of this team for a long time, and may be available for one summer only. Asking price: Even after a ghastly season, Vancouver will want the sun, moon and stars—especially from a team in their division. 

THE VALUE OF THE THIRD OVERALL PICK

dumb dumb dogs

I'm inclined to believe the 3rd overall pick has more value than any of the defensemen above, but a package deal may work that allows a team to snare the lottery pick from Edmonton. If Buffalo grabs that Islander pick, we could see fireworks, and don't forget the draft is in Philly so the Flyers will bring the hot and cold running crazy.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

prank

Trading third overall selections can make you look like an idiot, but it's very likely the number one item on shopping lists when dealing with Edmonton. Other asks might include Sam Gagner, Jeff Petry, Nail Yakupov and Martin Marincin.

Next time: How many assets are off limits? If the number is more than two, let's have another look at the standings.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#51 backup bob
April 27 2014, 09:14PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Three of the players listed, would have to wave their no trade clause.

Avatar
#52 oilers
April 27 2014, 11:19PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

My prediction.

It is going to be another long decade.

Avatar
#53 nick
April 28 2014, 07:44AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Cain wrote:

Serious question here, has ANYONE heard the real reason Smid was traded?

Was it truly for the chance to acquire a goaltending prospect or has it come out yet that there was another reason.

This trade has never made sense to me and I have always felt there had to be more to it than what we were told. Then it just seemed to get glossed over, ignored and forgotten,while we kept guys like Potter and Belov.

So...did I miss a better explanation or was the trade truly made for a goaltending prospect? Anyone know?

The reason Smid was traded is because MacT did not like him, plain and simple. Here's the reason MacT is a horrendous GM he let his personal feelings get involved and weakened the team. What moron does that? Oh ya MacT. Other teams go out and hire experienced coaches and GM's not the Oilers they hire people that just talk a good game. There is no way MacT or his bum buddy Eakins should be anywhere near an NHL hockey team. This Oilers management goup is the joke of the NHL

Avatar
#54 Acumen
April 28 2014, 09:29AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

What about Myers?

He's the only one I've seen linked to the Oilers by a credible source--which was Bob McKenzie saying right after the deadline that a deal was still on the table where they would move the pick for him.

Avatar
#55 Wintoon
April 28 2014, 09:49AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Perhaps the most astute staement made in this article is to have a look at the standings. Due to the terrible finishes for what seems forever, Oiler fans have a tendency, due to familiarity and desperation, to over value their own talent and also potentially over value assets which other teams have.

Last season I did not see Ehrhoff, Coburn or Edler as a solution to the Oilers problems. If MacT goes whale hunting and lands any of these three then we are in for some major disappointment. Niskanen or Staal at the right price might work but certainly no guarantees.

I believe absolutely that the Oilers must retain their #3 Overall pick and draft either Ekblad or a #1 or #2 Centre. Any other action would be a disaster. Couple this with acquiring a decent 3/4 option on defense and we will see a marked improvement providing MacT is able to fill some of the 3rd and 4th line holes in the lineup.

My sincere hope is that MacT makes progress without selling the farm.

Avatar
#56 BobbyCanuck
April 28 2014, 10:26AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I do not know about all this 3rd 4th line talk, I agree with the need for 1-4 D men

It would appear to me that the first two lines are responsible for winning games, and it would appear to me that the Oil faithful do not think our top two lines have any issues.

I sure hope MacT does not think our top two lines are issue free, I also hope he realizes that the Oilers have exactly one player (Hall) that should be held on to.

I do not want to talk about Gagner as a trade chip, cause he isn't one.

All trashes will be on th assumption that Oil nation is happy and willing to acquire a record of Stanley Cup futility that will eventually rival the Leafs 47 yr drought.Relax we are only on year 24, we can easily go another several years at the bottom before the fan revolt.

btw, do not give our players any ideas about the quickest way out of Etown is to be critical of team/mgmt to the media (Smid).

On a happier note, did you'all notice that Cogliano, and Fisteric were on the ice for the Ducks when they scored the OT winner last night? Good times, good times.

Avatar
#57 2004Z06
April 28 2014, 12:23PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Cain wrote:

Serious question here, has ANYONE heard the real reason Smid was traded?

Was it truly for the chance to acquire a goaltending prospect or has it come out yet that there was another reason.

This trade has never made sense to me and I have always felt there had to be more to it than what we were told. Then it just seemed to get glossed over, ignored and forgotten,while we kept guys like Potter and Belov.

So...did I miss a better explanation or was the trade truly made for a goaltending prospect? Anyone know?

Smid asked to be traded. He didn't expect the timing or the destination though.

Avatar
#58 druds
April 28 2014, 02:07PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Cain wrote:

Serious question here, has ANYONE heard the real reason Smid was traded?

Was it truly for the chance to acquire a goaltending prospect or has it come out yet that there was another reason.

This trade has never made sense to me and I have always felt there had to be more to it than what we were told. Then it just seemed to get glossed over, ignored and forgotten,while we kept guys like Potter and Belov.

So...did I miss a better explanation or was the trade truly made for a goaltending prospect? Anyone know?

Because he sucks? He looked pretty bad playing for Calgary and as someone mentioned 3.5 Mil for a 6th def is too steep... I dont miss the guy at all.

Avatar
#59 Al Evjen
May 08 2014, 08:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

We need to change our entire coaching staff first, then we need a top two defence and a big solid centre man. Let the new coach pick his staff. Other teams far better than us have fired there coaches and will sign another that has NHL experience. Eakins is a AHL coach and even after a year he is still a AHL coach. His Ego and temper are not needed here. there are some good NHL coaches available. We can not build with a coach with no NHL experience.

Eakins may talk a good show but even that is always the same. His coaching knowledge is very poor for the NHL. We have the making of a playoff team under a experienced NHL coach. Clean house for the last time and get some keeper coaches for the next few years otherwise we will continue to be the laughing stalk of the NHL.

Avatar
#60 Al Evjen
May 08 2014, 08:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

We need to change our entire coaching staff first, then we need a top two defence and a big solid centre man. Let the new coach pick his staff. Other teams far better than us have fired there coaches and will sign another that has NHL experience. Eakins is a AHL coach and even after a year he is still a AHL coach. His Ego and temper are not needed here. there are some good NHL coaches available. We can not build with a coach with no NHL experience.

Eakins may talk a good show but even that is always the same. His coaching knowledge is very poor for the NHL. We have the making of a playoff team under a experienced NHL coach. Clean house for the last time and get some keeper coaches for the next few years otherwise we will continue to be the laughing stalk of the NHL.

Comments are closed for this article.