Trade Rumors Heating Up

This is Chris Phillips. He’s rumored to be heading to the Edmonton Oilers. It is one of many rumors out in the ether that could impact the town team.

Mike Brophy and John Shannon were on Sportsnet last night and suggested one of the current rumors has Dustin Penner heading to Ottawa in a deal for Chris Phillips. Phillips is a UFA, so one imagines that this would be for a signed Phillips, or that it might be part of a bigger deal (perhaps involving a third team).

Chris Phillips? He’s making $3.5M and is in fact a free agent at the end of the season. He’s a western kid, so the club might feel they could sign him and Phillips certainly has the reputation for being an effective shutdown player. He would have spent a lot of time mentoring young Sens blue, so that would be good news for kids like Jeff Petry.

Question: Is Phillips a good NHL defenseman at this stage of his career? Here’s what we know:

  • Phillips plays the toughest opposition Ottawa faces and it isn’t close. Source (Desjardins) ishere.
  • Phillips is doing it with mid-level help from the Ottawa roster, which means with very little help at all. The 10-11 Senators are not the 77 Habs.
  • Phillips is a team worst -26 on a team that is currently -48 on the season (at evens). If the club played three pairings evenly at equal strength, his expected minus would be -16. He is playing tougher opponents (as noted above) so the plus minus numbers–while ugly–makes him somewhat innocent (with an explanation).

Other rumors have the Preds hot for Hemsky (Matheson has it here) and the Penguins may come calling with the news that Evgeny Malkin’s season is likely over.

My own hope is that the club keeps both Penner and Hemsky. However, I can also see the wisdom in acquiring a veteran, signed defenseman to add to the current group of Whitney and Gibert. Those three men could anchor the blue and help along Peckham and Petry. Ladislav Smid’s future may be covered in the Matty article I linked to above.

I’ve been saying for awhile that this deadline is going to be interesting. Steve Tambellini is open for business at the trade deadline and then in summer, and those appear to be his only windows. With that kind of restriction, he needs to be very aggressive.

Dustin Penner to Ottawa for a signed Chris Phillips qualifies as very aggressive.

  • Dan the Man

    Agreed that Penner for Phillips straight up isn’t enough, how about Penner for Phillips and a 2nd rounder?

    The Oilers need to acquire more picks for Magnificent Stu to work his magic.

  • OilFan

    From Capgeek, Spezza is $7M cap hit until the end of the 2014-15 season. 27yo (28 in June). Get him in his “prime” but would he fit? Says he has a no trade clause…hmmm.

  • m_kennedy13

    i would do the Hemsky trade in a heartbeat.he is going to have concussion related problems for the rest of his career.
    Just say no to trading Penner.Penner is a keeper and should be resigned

  • OilFan

    Did Chicago, Pittsburgh, or Washington need any old experienced Defencemen to Mentor their younger players to be successfull..I dont think so.

    Still, I can see the Logic, but no way Penner for Phillips straight up, maybe something like Penner+Smid for Phillips and this and next years 2nd round picks, or how about Penner+Smid+Cogliano for Spezza+Phillips straight up.

    • Dutchscooter

      Problem with Ottawa is that no one in management is probably going to have a job after April. So does Eugene Melnyk let Murray fire sale the place, then fire his butt??

  • Matheson says in his article:
    “I’d ask for a first-round draft pick and Wayne Simmonds,

    For Hemsky.

    I like Simmonds as much as the next guy, but Hemsky for Simmonds and a magic bean would be worse than the Pronger trade and Smyth trade combined.

  • SumOil

    One of the things hurting Phillips is a terrible on ice Sv percentage which explains his +\-. That said, penned is very important to this team. So trading a fwd in his prime fr a d man past it, doesn’t make sense. Given his performance in ott, I doubt that there will be many suitors for him in the ufa market.

    Hem sky to preds makes sense, perhaps we can get one of their young d like Franson

    • O.C.

      I’ve read that 5 times and now I’m convinced you really are Esa Tikkanen.

      This might be a classic case of the best trade you make is the one you don’t make. To win a trade, history shows you have to get the better player back.

      So far I’m not impressed with anything other than a young D prospect drafted in 07 to 09 range.

      Any talk about an old vet makes no sense – other than perhaps Smyth (yes – seriously) – to give LA cap room.

  • m_kennedy13

    Penner for Phillips with nothing else significant from Ottawa would make me jump off a bridge.

    I hope both Hemsky and Penner stay. Both could be big pieces of this team when we start making runs at the cup. I sure would love to see something like this in the future.

    Hall – ??? – Eberle

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky

    MPS – Gagner – Omark

    Also I believe it was LeBrun over at ESPN who said that a GM told him Hemsky and Penner were in play, but ST was asking for way too much. We could afford an overpayment for one of those two.

  • OilFan

    FIST!!! ( denied ) Not sure if I like the idea of trading our leading scorer ? Phillips isn’t bad but can the Oilers afford to lose that much scoring to add a dman that isn’t a offensive guy ? Phillips is probably over rated when you look at his career stats