“We’re not really in a position where we can trade assets for draft choices right now”

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2014 10:56AM

Craig MAcTavish5

Craig MacTavish continued his rounds of the local media on Tuesday with an appearance on Oilers Now. In a wide ranging interview with host Bob Stauffer, MacTavish covered a lot of ground, but particularly interesting was his pragmatic view of what Edmonton needs to do at this year’s draft.

Recouping Draft Choices

30-Scrivens-9

The Oilers presently have no selections in the second or third rounds, which has led to speculation that the team might attempt to add picks in that range, perhaps in a deal that would see Sam Gagner leave Edmonton. MacTavish did his best to quash that speculation with his answer on that subject:

We’re not really in a position where we can trade assets for draft choices right now. We’re really on the other side of that. That’s why we don’t have a second, we don’t have a third; we traded those for immediate help, staffing our team now. I felt that at the trade deadline, with some of the players that we had, that we should have been able to bring in a second round draft choice, certainly for Ales Hemsky; we weren’t able to do that. I think there are teams that regret not paying that price the way that Ales played when he went to Ottawa...it’s unlikely that we’ll have a pick in the second or third round at this point. I haven’t had anything proposed to me that would lead me away from that.

That seems obvious and sensible, but “obvious and sensible” hasn’t always been the order of the day for the Oilers, and there’s a reasonable argument that whenever practical a team should be stocking up the organizational cupboard every year.

Unfortunately for the Oilers, that isn’t practical. They needed David Perron more than a second round pick; they needed Ben Scrivens more than a third round pick.

The situation hasn’t changed. Edmonton needs immediate help, and can’t afford to move the assets that would bring back those picks off the roster right now. The team has a finite amount of assets, and can’t afford to run around chasing tertiary needs when primary (on defence) and secondary (at forward) slots still need to be filled.

The No. 3 Pick

Stauffer also asked MacTavish whether he’d been in talks regarding the Oilers’ third overall selection:

Oh yeah, absolutely. I’ve had some fairly intriguing conversations at this point, both to go forward and to go back. At this point there’s nothing imminent. The pick is a highly sought-after asset on the open market, that’s for sure. Teams are trying to determine what the value is, what their situation is, what they’re willing to commit to that, as we are.

The “nothing imminent” line makes this mostly a “no news” statement, but the one interesting thing here is that the Oilers are keeping an open mind about both moving forward and moving back. There are those who (perhaps scarred by the 2003 debacle) are adamant that moving down never makes sense, but that kind of inflexibility isn’t a very desirable quality in a general manager. In that sense it’s good that the Oilers are open to perhaps sliding down in the draft if they can find a deal that makes sense for the team.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 YakCity1024
June 18 2014, 06:08PM
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If anything, the Oilers should re-coup those 2nd and 3rd rounders for next year, a much deeper and better prospect pool.

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#53 Dockstaff
June 18 2014, 11:03PM
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Spydyr wrote:

If push comes to shove I would pick the size of the fight in the dog over the size of the dog in the fight.As long as it is not a lap dog against a pitbull.

How do I give this comment ten thumbs up at once?

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#54 camdog
June 19 2014, 08:58AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

"You can have Ben Scrivens... or a 1-in-5 chance of maybe having Ben Scrivens five years from now if you develop him properly."

With other teams it's been the normal for 1-5 chance with success, problem with the Oilers is it's usually a 1 in 10 chance of getting a Scrivens with that pick.

Other teams turn 2nd and third round picks into star players, that doesn't happen in Edmonton so we might as well trade all of our picks except the 1st overall, hard to screw them up, especially when they are top 5.

Now that 3rd in the rich 2015 draft for a goalie whom was 4th in the charts in Anaheim, now those kind of trades eventually hurt an organisation.

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#55 camdog
June 19 2014, 09:12AM
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Spydyr wrote:

If push comes to shove I would pick the size of the fight in the dog over the size of the dog in the fight.As long as it is not a lap dog against a pitbull.

I was a kid when Gilmour broke into the league. All I know is I want a centre or d man who's number 1 priority is winning. We have too many players whom number 1 priority isn't winning. As to the Gilmour comment when he broke into the league, I can't imagine he was much more than 165 pounds. Don't know if Bennett is that type of player or not, but would love to get more guys like Gilmour on this team.

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