Chiarelli Willing To Deal?

NHL Draft Lottery Drawing

Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin isn’t a discussion that’s been confined to fans of the Edmonton Oilers. The team with the second overall pick, Boston, has a big stake in the outcome, and it doesn’t sound like Bruins G.M. Peter Chiarelli is going to let Steve Tambellini make his decision without at least attempting to sway the outcome.

Chiarelli talked to Boston Herald writer Stephen Harris, and the results of that discussion are in an article at the Herald’s site this morning. The short form is that Chiarelli expects Tambellini to talk to him and see if some kind of deal can be worked out, he declines to tell the reporter who Boston is leaning towards and if they’re willing to cough up something to make the player they want fall to them, and that he plans to talk with Tambellini about it but hasn’t yet.

Harris speculates that Hall is the player the Bruins want: in addition to the fact that most people seem to have Hall slightly ahead of Seguin based on his playoff and World Junior performance (Central Scoutings’ ranking notwithstanding), the Bruins are stocked at centre, and less so on the wings. He also suggests that Edmonton might prefer Seguin in any case; the Oilers have all kinds of first rate prospects at wing and their two best forwards (Hemsky and Penner) are both wingers.

This is where things get interesting. What kind of payment from the Bruins would be sufficient to make the Oilers leave Hall on the table for Boston? Here’s what Harris suggests:

What might it take to assure that Hall remains there for the Bruins? Perhaps winger Blake Wheeler? Or Tim Thomas, if the Oilers saw the veteran goalie as an upgrade on Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Nikolai Khabibulin, et al?

I suspect Wheeler is a player that the Oilers might have in mind; a 6’5” winger who can score a little and hasn’t yet turned 24 is always an interesting commodity. Given Steve Tambellini’s public support of Nikolai Khabibulin, I doubt he especially wants to deal him.

But the more I think about it, the more the idea of swapping Khabibulin for Thomas makes sense to me.

After all, the Bruins starter right now is Tuukka Rask, and with the 23 year-old representing both the present and the future in net, 36 year-old Thomas is a redundancy at $5.0 million per season for the next three years.

Khabibulin is signed for the same term, but at a more palatable $3.75 million, and unlike in Edmonton he wouldn’t be expected to hold down the starter’s job; in other words, his health is much less of a risk for Boston, since their other goalie is more than capable of handling a heavy workload.

Certainly, Edmonton is getting the better half of the goaltending exchange, but it gives Boston a chance to get the player they covet and at the same time cut payroll. It’s a deal I’d definitely try to push from an Oilers perspective, particularly if Seguin’s the player the scouts want anyway.

As I said earlier, however, I take Tambellini at his word when he supports Khabibulin, and I expect that if a trade is made, Wheeler’s the one the Oilers would target. Given Wheeler’s salary (he’s a restricted free agent coming off a $2.8 million hit last year) and decline in production (one goal in the playoffs, regular season numbers down) he’s likely to be overpaid a little, so in Tambellini’s shoes I wouldn’t be willing to trade down to number two strictly for Wheeler. I think the Bruins would have to agree to take a player – one of Ethan Moreau, Patrick O’Sullivan, or Robert Nilsson – off my hands in order to make the deal work.

In any case, given that the Bruins likely want Hall, the Oilers likely want Seguin, and Hall’s probably the better pick than Seguin, there seems to be a lot of room here for a deal to be made that benefits both teams.

  • Chris.

    This is exactly why the organization needed that first overall pick. If Hall is MacGregor’s man than we get to grab him. If Seguin is deemed to be the best center piece for this organization to build around than Tambellini is in a great position to profit from Hall’s cashe. Win win.

  • Seguin looks like he’s in fantastic shape, and he doesn’t look any smaller than Hall. His attitude is starting to rub off on me. He seems very out going knows that if he comes to Edmonton he will be in the spotlight and has prepared himself for it. From the interviews he also seems much more HAPPY to be there. All I can say is who ever they pick I hope he can come and play this year with Seguin that is a 50 50 call, but I’m not so against him as I once was he is going to be a star.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    I saw video of Seguin at the combine. He looked like the Hulkster. Huge pipes. Monster arms. He has been working out hardcore. I am starting to develop a mancrush. A case of Seguinitis if you will. And the next time someone says that we can get both 1 and 2 overall picks, I am going to sick Seguins pipes on you.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Also, we DO NOT trade down to #2 overall. First stinking #1 pick we ever had, and everyone here wants to trade it. For a mid something rounder. Screw that. We are keeping it, book it now. I told you so.

  • SLURVE

    Go for the first two picks. Tell Boston you are keeping Hall and Boston has no need for another center. We want both and willing to make deals.

    Option 1: Deal Cogs, O’Sullivan and Khabby promise to pay for 1/2 his salary for two years; and throw in Souray.

    Option 2: If Boston says “Nyet” Then throw in Dubnyk instead of Khabby plus we will help out by taking Wideman off their hands.

    Option 3: Give them the Pièce de résistance: Hemsky. As well, sweenten it with Nilsson and O’Suliivan and either Khabby;s deal or Dubnyk or Deslaurier.

    This might pull Boston’s ear to listen.

  • SLURVE

    There is no laughter baby when Hemsky’s name is out there. That may put them over the top especially if their players are in their prime or close to it, do they want to wait for Seguin or get better now with Hemsky (along with a couple of other Oilers).

        • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

          Deliberately so.

          You’re suggesting the LAST PLACE Oilers – who have a reputation for under-performing players with over-sized contracts – try to unload 3 of the over-sized contracts (that even THEY don’t want) for the second-hottest commodity in the off-season, and the GM on the receiving end of this garbage is supposed to do something other than laugh?

    • SLURVE

      Hemsky has great promise but has never been a superstar for the oilers. If you look at the way the good teams are bilt lately its with a couple top picks. If we could trade hemsky and something and get both Hall and Seguin we would be a better team. Without big changes we wont be much better.

  • Pilgor09

    I know Hall is coming off the memorial cup and is banged up, but it bugs me that he wasn’t willing to participate at the combine. Seguin on the other had a great day. The oilers need a leader like Seguin for the future because you know the kid is going to be a stud and he has the leadership in him as well. Hall didn’t even have an A on his jersey despite being in Windsor for 3 years. This worries me and his enthusiasm seems to be lacking compared to Seguin. With Moreau in his last year of his contract, i think Seguin will be the next leader of this organization if given the oppurtunity. And it seems obvious to me that Chiarelli isn’t willing to part with the second overall pick unless our 1st is involved. So the Oil managment should be looking at the 3rd of 4th pick so we can take a future top 2 defenceman like Gudbranson or Fowler. We have little defensive prospects, and in order to be competetive you need a solid to stellar back end.

  • Pilgor09

    I have felt what a lot of people have already expressed. It seems that all things being equal in the talent department Seguin comes out on top because of character and I would pick him.
    If Boston is willing to move their 2nd overall pick then great however i would rather see the Oilers get the 3-5th overall pick and take either Gudbranson or Fowler.

    • SLURVE

      If Boston balks, then yes, 3-5 draft position for a top three d-man, ex. Fowler, Gudbranson or Gormley would set the Oilers up for years and ready for prime time sooner than later…

      I would try Columbus given the GM was an ex Oiler GM assistant, perhaps they would like Hemsky and a few other Oilers. Maybe the Islanders would like to be in the mix. They are always willing to trade with the Oilers and sometimes making outrageous moves that may benefit us. Too bad Milbury is not around anymore.

      • Chris.

        With all due respect, I think it is you who is overvaluing Hemsky. I love the guy but let’s face it: Why would Chiarelli pass up on the opportunity to draft a projected franchise player in either Hall or Seguin for a 60-70 point player coming off a major injury?

        You must remember that Hemsky’s stock is somewhat low right now thanks to uncertainty surrounding his major shoulder surgery (Has Horcoff ever been the same?)… It isn’t too hard to imagine that Hemsky will need some time to round back into form… and by then he may only have one season left before achieving full UFA status… Tough timing for the Oil from a trade value perspective.

        • SLURVE

          My point is if Boston only prefers Hall because they have many talented centermen already and (Bobby Orr is his agent as well), then why not TRY and make a move for Boston’s second pick. The worst thing that can happen is an answer of NO from Boston.

          Hemsky is no push over. If he has a playmaker centerman, then he would have more points. Hemsky is young, recovering from shoulder surgery is minor at this stage. His stock will not decrease because of a shoulder surgery. At 4 million with 1 more year left is not that big of a gamble.

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    Valuable assets like Moreau , Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff and Penner we should be keeping to help develop our youth . Most of you ,and management, seem to want to gut what little valuable assets we have to move forward . 4 years ago we lost a lot when many players bolted and we had to go with youth . Do we really want to go thru another 4 years like the last 4 years ?

    We are not replacing our usefull core once again with equal or better talented NHL players. The result will be the same over next 4 seasons in our ability to develop our talented youth pool . When is this cycle going to end ?

    Overpaid or not , lets at least hold onto our valuable core to develop our youth properly ,instead of letting them go for the “peanuts ” most of you seem to want for some of them . Otherwise, we are going to have a poor AHL club (relegated to NHL status )being our veteran core trying to develop our youth at the NHL level . Now, hows that going to turn out i ask you?

  • Chris.

    Hemsky to Columbus has possibilities as Rick Nash hasn’t put up the kind of numbers expected from him due to young/inconsistent linemates like Brassard and Huselius. Hemsky plays the RW while Nash plays LW so there are possibilities there. But Columbus also needs a franchise D man so I wouldn’t hold my breathe as they are likely more willing to wait on their young crop of forwards to develop as Nash is only 26 and signed long term so the team has time to let their kids grow. If a deal doesn’t happen with Boston to switch picks I’d be surprised if the Oilers got any other deal done on June 25th, and that is if the Oilers even want to deal.

    Also shoulder surgery affected Horcoff because his game depends entirely on his strength as he is not a skilled forward. Horcoff is a blue collar worker with solid offensive abilities. Hemsky is a finesse guy and his shot wasn’t that powerful to begin with. His success is completely dependent on his shiftiness, speed, and very good passing vision. It will probably take him some time to get rid of the rust but he’s got a better chance of getting back to where he was than Horcoff.

  • SLURVE

    Madjam… seriously? –> Valuable assets like Moreau , Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff and Penner we should be keeping to help develop our youth .

    Good lord, I would want ALL my young assets to stay far far away from Moreau, Souray and Horcoff. Let’s see, Moreau could teach the kids how to take a stupid selfish penalties in the last 2 minutes of a game and seal a loss. Souray and Horcoff would teach them how to work management to secure millions of dollars to fill their bank accounts without adding any on ice value. And poor Hemsky. I’m sure he’ll be stuck with Horcoff again as management will try to make him look like a top line centre. I somehow get some sick enjoyment out of watching Hemsky’s eyes roll into the back of his head when Horcoff missing those easy one-timers. I wouldn’t blame Hemsky for wanting to bolt for that reason alone. Hemsky will be wasted spooning Horcoff again next season. What a waste. So the only player out of that group that can offer anything is Penner. Now, there’s a guy who turned his whole game around and became the top point getter last season. These are the kind of character guys that can help shape the future.