I had a trade deadline post ready to go tonight, but Zack Stortini was part of it. Oh well. I’ll include him in anyway, as there’s a chance he’ll be in the organization come the deadline. When it comes to this deadline, the Oilers are extremely likely to do the same thing they did a year ago: flush blue.
As we discussed in the first trade deadline primer (found here), the Oilers traded four defensemen while acquiring two one year ago. Let’s list the deals again:
- March 1: D Denis Grebeshkov to Nashville for their 2nd rd pick. Stu MacGregor turned that into Curtis Hamilton.
- March 2: D Cody Wild to Boston for F Matt Marquardt.
- March 3: D Lubo Visnovsky to Anaheim for D Ryan Whitney and a 6th rd pick in 2010. MBS turned that selection into Brandon Davidson.
- March 3: D Steve Staios to Calgary for D Aaron Johnson and 2011 3rd rd pick.
The Oilers dealt Grebeshkov and Staios for picks, Wild for a depth minor leaguer and made an actual hockey trade with Anaheim. One of the things that always surprises me at the deadline is the enormous value veteran defensemen hold. We watch them all season and know their every weakness, but the fact remains that smart hockey men stockpile them every deadline. Why? A couple of reasons: young defensemen can kill you when the games get tight, and defensemen get hurt a lot. Remember when the Oilers dealt for Tarnstrom and Spacek near the deadline 2006? They needed them for the run, and that’s for sure.
Nothing more losery than blogging about trades that haven’t happened yet, but I think there’s a chance Steve Tambellini pulls the trigger on a couple of surprising deals. From what we read this is a deep draft and we also know that the organization has done well by adding bullets for Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor’s gun. With that in mind, here’s my list (from most to least valuable) and a guess at the return. Feel free to disagree, I’m certainly no expert on the subject of trades.
UNLIKELY TO MOVE
- Dustin Penner: If the Oilers are convinced Penner won’t sign for a good number, this might be the time to deal him. Penner is having a good season, he’s healthy and it isn’t beyond reasonable for another team to believe he can help them go deep this spring. Return: A very good young player in his entry level contract or an outstanding prospect, plus a pick.
- Ales Hemsky: Because of the injuries, I think 83’s value may be a little lower than Penner’s this year. It’s a good reason to keep him, but the other consideration is that he may have extreme value for a team looking for exactly this player type (and the LA Kings are a candidate). Return: Same as Penner’s, perhaps a little less due to injury concerns.
AVAILABLE FOR THE RIGHT RETURN
- Ladislav Smid: With the development of both Peckham and Petry, Smid once again finds himself on the outskirts of the top 4D in Edmonton. A team looking for a veteran will like his youth, his wheels and his toughness after the whistle. He’s inconsistent, but healthy and at the very least should be a dependable addition to any blueline for years to come. Return: A high 2nd rd pick, say 35-50.
- Andrew Cogliano: Speedster has improved his play this season and gained the coach’s confidence in several areas. An NHL team looking for some secondary scoring and perhaps an extra hand on the PK might make the investment. Return: Oilers would probably be better off getting a bullet for Stu in return, as they have a plethora of young forwards pushing for playing time.
- Ryan Jones: Has a shot at 20 goals and plays with a lot of energy. A team looking for some scoring punch without having to give up a lot for him might see Jones as a solid option. Return: A pick somewhere in the top 100, say late 2nd or early 3rd rd selection.
- Kurtis Foster: Despite having a poor season in Edmonton, his 5×4 resume is obvious and he’s 3-5-8 on a terrible PP in Edmonton. A team looking for an inexpensive option for that position (PP shooter) might see Foster as an attractive option. Return: Because there’s another year on the contract, I’ll say a mid-to-late 3rd rd selection.
- Jim Vandermeer: Laugh all you want, I bet he gets a solid return. Vandermeer is exactly the kind of plodding defender that NHL teams grab at the deadline. Why? He’s a free agent, he can sit for weeks without bitching and you can insert him into the lineup at a moment’s notice and pretty much know what you’ll get. That has value. Return: Identical to the Foster return, mid-to-late 3rd rd selection.
Really, really available
- Zack Stortini: Seems ridiculous now, but this is where I slotted him and there’s no sense changing it now. I think Stortini might have some value to a team looking for a low event winger with some size who can play a few minutes a night and add some grit. I understand he doesn’t belong on the list and may not be an Oiler tomorrow, but suspect he has some value. ST would have shopped him, so there’s not likely a lot of interest now. But, things can change in a couple of weeks. Return: A pick in the 130-140 range.
- Martin Gerber: Minor leaguer is nice insurance for an NHL team with health or performance issues at the NHL level. Return: A pick in the 170-180 range.
- Gilbert Brule: He’s falling so quickly I’m not sure he’s going to play again this season. Rumors about flu and other ailments remind some of us of the "Raffi Torres is missing" period where no one even bothered to ask about the rugged LW. Return: A late round pick. Seriously.
One more deadline update before Feb 28.