The big news for Edmonton Oiler fans this week (aside from the Brule-Bono story having more sustain than the Stanley run of 2006) is that General Manager Steve Tambellini is listening to offers for the #1 overall pick. Is he serious?
Let me preface this by saying that I’m 99% certain that Jason Gregor’s recent article on the subject is spot on. When Jason says "In the past month Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has become the consensus first overall pick. He is number one on every mock draft that I’ve seen, (if there is a reputable one that doesn’t have him first please let me know) so I don’t see why Tambellini would trade him" that makes sense to me and I’m sure all Oiler fans. As recently as late last night–early this morning, Redline Report’s final rankings confirm RNH as their number one overall.
However, what if one team–one solitary team looking to make a splash–made a tremendous offer, Steve Tambellini would have to look at it. Right? Is there a team such as this? I count two.
HOW COMPELLING MUST IT BE?
I think the offer would need to solve two of the Oilers problems with a strong solution. Something so good that Steve Tambellini can feel he’s addressed two needs by dealing one selection. Not a "#1 plus #19 plus #31 for "#2 and #11" solution, but rather the first overall pick for another pick high enough to secure a top flight position player and either another high pick or quality player/prospect.
WHO ARE THE TEAMS?
The Winnipeg franchise arrives in Guess Who-ville with a solid young team capable of having strong seasons in the not too distant future. They have a couple of areas of need that could work out well for Edmonton:
- A need to put a face on the franchise. The Winnipeg team has all kinds of talent and a true young star in Evander Kane, but fans could get behind a splash at the draft and could adopt the first true Winnipeg roster player as their own.
- An extreme weakness at center, as described by Gabriel Desjardins in his look at the Winnipeg HC.
If the Oilers and Winnipeg start talking, is there a framework of a deal? Perhaps the number one overall pick and a pick/solid prospect for the number seven overall pick and defenseman Zach Bogosian? Remember, even if the top of the draft goes according to Hoyle, there will be an exceptional talent at number 7 overall.
Does that hold value? Say Sean Couturier or Ryan Strome or Dougie Hamilton plus Bogosian for number one overall and a lesser asset? I think it’s worth thinking about.
The second trade has been discussed pretty much everywhere. The Jackets have the number 8 selection and are apparently looking to make a splash and make the playoffs before the end of next century. Is a high pick for Hemsky enough? It is if #83 isn’t going to sign here a year from now. Is Hemsky healthy enough to risk a high pick on? Likely not, but desperate times call for desperate measures and Howson would know Hemmer pretty well.
The same group of players (minus one) would be available at number 8, so the Oilers could walk out of the top 10 with RNH and perhaps Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Murphy or Mika Zibanejad.
Nation Radio is on again today (12 noon local time) on Team 1260 radio. Guests scheduled to appear:
- AJ Haefele from Mile High Hockey will discuss the Avs at the draft. We’ll attempt to get #2 and #11 from him in exchange for #1 and #19 and a promise to select Tyler Arnason first overall. We’ll also give him supreme heck for changing his web nick to AJ Haefele from the classic "SlamDunkthe Funk."
- Kent Simpson, Edmonton Oil Kings commentator. We’ll talk about the draft, what people who spend their winters in hockey rinks do in the summer and I’ll ask him about the SCF.
- Cam Moon, Red Deer Rebels play by play man and a legendary WHL figure. We’ll talk Memorial Cup, the draft, I’ll ask him probing questions about the RNH EV/PP and Goals/Assists controversy and find out if he’s lazier than Kent Simpson in the summertime (one imagines it’s neck and neck).
- Kirk Luedeke is quickly becoming our draft guru at Nation Radio. Buddy knows his stuff, and came back from the combine with some juicy rumors about trade activity at the draft. We’ll put him under a dim bulb, give him a rickety chair and mock the Bruins until he spills the beans.
Plus I’ll pass along my updated top 30 for the 2011 draft and we’ll read some of your top 10’s that have been flooding in for our first Nation Radio contest. You still have time to enter by sending your top 10 prediction for the 2011 draft to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can say it’s been fun reading through about 100 entries so far. I grew up thinking I was the only draft nerd on the planet, turns out I was born 30 years too soon. Dammit!