Trade Deadline Primer #1

The NHL trade deadline is February 28th at 1PM Edmonton time. Last year there were over 30 trades on Deadline Day and another 20 or so leading up to it. Why talk about it this soon? Two reasons: the Oilers should be very involved and the Oilers did quite well at the last deadline. Can Steve Tambellini do it again?

Logic suggests that 50 trades in a 30 team league means that an average team would be involved in 3.3 trades each deadline period (if 50 trades is the norm). The Oilers did some big business at the last deadline:

  1. March 1: D Denis Grebeshkov to Nashville for their 2nd rd pick. Stu MacGregor turned that into Curtis Hamilton.
  2. March 2: D Cody Wild to Boston for F Matt Marquardt.
  3. 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.
  4. March 3: D Steve Staios to Calgary for D Aaron Johnson and 2011 3rd rd pick.

There are a couple of items here: first, the Oilers traded defensemen in all 4 transactions. That’s a theme for every trade deadline, a day when grizzled veterans enjoy their peak value. When a team trades for a 33-year old defenseman it’s like taking out insurance on injury. Better to give up your 2nd or 3rd rd pick in the summer than endure the pain of the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres (brief description here).

I’ve discussed the Oilers possible trade assets for 2011 here and here. Among the current Oiler blue, I’d suggest that Jim Vandermeer, Ladislav Smid and Kurtis Foster are possible trade items that fit the trade deadline "need for blue" so many playoff bound teams will be looking for at the end of February.

The Oilers have trade partners that they do a lot of business with and that may factor into the deadline:

  1. Carolina: Oilers acquired and then dealt Erik Cole to the Hurricanes in the recent past.
  2. Los Angeles Kings: The Lubo-Stoll/Greene deal and the Cole-Williams-O’Sullivan trade.
  3. Philadelphia Flyers: Pitkanen trade and the Potulny deal since 2007 summer.

Edmonton has also done business with the Islanders, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Nashville, Boston, Anaheim, Calgary, Chicago and Phoenix. I can’t imagine another Flames-Oilers trade but those other teams should be considered as we look toward the deadline.

Edmonton (and other non-playoff teams) are going to enjoy an active market based on how many teams are still in the playoff hunt. 10 eastern conference teams are in go mode and as many as 14 western teams are probably thinking about adding men. More on the deadline in the days to come.

  • Lowetide

    Way to premature on the talk of trading Penner or Hemsky. These guys look great with Hall in the middle & have the potential to be an impact #1 line in this league. They’re both young yet so I think talk of trading one or both of them is a little premature. The Oilers can still package a good deal to get another 1st rounder if that’s what they want but I would be careful at this point because I think the long term core of this team is still evolving!

    • Jamie B.

      From what I’v seen of Hemsky playing with Hall, it looks like Hemmer is having more fun than he ever has as an Oiler. Don’t know how long it will last or what that does for the future but from my eye it looks like a symbiotic relationship.

  • John Chambers

    It amazes me how the “speculated” trades never work out, and the trades that do occur generally surprise everyone.

    Case in point, nobody saw the Whitney deal happening, and despite months of Kovalchuk speculation he ended up in New Jersey, one of the most unlikeliest of destinations.

    For all we know we see us trade Shawn Horcoff to the Leafs for Mikael Grabovski and a pair of socks.

  • Aitch

    We can only hope Vandemeer is healthy enough to trade at the deadline.

    In a perfect world, we’d be the ones packaging up prospects to get vets for the long haul. But we’re not good enough yet to load up. If Tambo can pull off another Whitney-esque deal, I’ll be one happy camper.

    • toprightcorner

      I agree. If Hemmer and Penner will sign 3+ year contracts, then I say keep them both. A young, rebuilding team need some veteran scoring to take the pressure off the young’ns. Thats why the NYI/FLA never get better becasue they keep trading away veteran scoring and their draft picks, as bad as they have been, are not given a year or two of sheltered growth. Not including Hemmer and Penner, their scorers would all be 21 or younger (not including Horcs as a scorer). Too young, too much pressure.

      If one of those two are not interested in sticking with the Tambo plan, then I like the Pens as a trade partner. They need a scoring winger more than any other team in the league and they have an abundance of good d-man. No way they let go of Letang or Goligoski, but I like Orpik. He’s the big, tough and nasty shut-down D-man that the Oil desperatly need. He is a top 4 on any team accept maybe PHI, VAN and PIT. Get at least a second rounder as well and we would be doing Pit a favour releiving them of 3.75 M in salary for someone who is currnelty number 5 in there Defensive core. Pit may be so desperate to get a scoring winger that Tambo could potentially get a 1st rounder instead (considering PIT’s 1st rounder is basically an early 2nd rounder anyway). Maybe throw in Vandermeer for Defensive insurance or Brule/Cogs.

      Penner and Vandermeer for Orpik and a 1st rounder would be great for both teams. Or Hemsky and Brule for Orpik, Asham and 1st rounder. (Asham makes the salary balance out and gives us more size and grit for the 3rd line)

      That trade would go a long way in helping the Oil.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Props to the NYI/FLA comparison. There is a reason that neither team can improve despite so many high 1st round pics.

        Negative props to trading Hemsky or Penner. I don’t believe it has to be done. If anything, try to dump some of the dead weight for sock tape. JFJ, Vandermeer, Struds, SMac,(maybe)Smid and one of Brule, Cogs, Reddox, Gags has to go. Too many small skilled forwards.

        I’m hoping it’s Brule that gets dealt. Poor follow up to a decent season.

  • Lowetide

    Stone: Well they did move Lubo last deadline so it isn’t out of the question. Bob Stauffer has been talking about adding another first rounder for awhile now, so maybe the club deals Penner or Hemsky for a player and a first rounder.

    Shane: Good point. An NHL team needing goalie insurance might find Gerber to be an inexpensive fit. Interesting.

  • I wonder if there would be a market for Khabby or Deslauriers or Gerber. We have extra goalies we could maybe swap for a pick or throw in on a package deal. Does the Gs in OKC have to go through re-entry?

  • Stone Hands McOsta

    The Oilers historically are big movers at the deadline. I think we see one of Penner or Hemmer leave this spring. Nothing but a FIST round pick + prospect would do it for me.