ST Looking for A Good Home for #1 Overall

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.


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.


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 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!

We’re also on twitter @ItsNationRadio and you can catch the show on the Al Gore here.

  • Trading a #1 pick should net 3 players/picks minimum and won’t happen within the Western Confernece, so let’s not get crazy.

    If the Winnipeg Whatevers want Edmonton’s pick, I’d ask for Kane/Enstrom, #7, and the Whatevers 1st in 2012.

    The Islanders #5 pick is what I target. They’ve shown the ability to make as dumb, or dumber decisions than the Oilers. Tallon/Lamoriello aren’t inept enough to do it with #3 or #4…

    Gagner, Gilbert, #31, & 2012’s 2nd might get Edmonton #5 this year. Reunite JT & Sam, they might just go for it!

  • paul wodehouse

    I usually like to hear both sides of good debate/trade possibilities but…Trading # 1 to for # 7 and Bogosian is a horrible idea. This player publicly vented last year (remind anybody of someone) by all accounts regressed last year, was usurped in the line up by another player, was a healthy scratch for a lot of games and like J.Chambers said had a week plus/minus, and he may not be even a top 4 D-Man right now. We got a better prospect from L.A.

    However, I do not see Hemsky re-signing here, unless Hemsky signs an extension in the next week I think its incumbent on the Oilers to look for a deal with the BJ’s….Ha! I said BJ. Try and flip that pick plus 18th to NJ for that pick, take salary back (Rolston has retired) Then If Larson is gone by the time you get to pick you can start thinking about taking another center and possible moving Gagner for a that D-Man possible Gudbranson.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Not if your going to flip that 8th to move up into the top five, wouldn’t that be a little problematic?

      Go hard after that 8th now, then on draft day look to deal with the #4 and #5 club.

        • DieHard

          Not really, I’ve said that Hemsky alone might get you the the pick, most likely another prospect such as Chorney could be involved.

          NJ has all kinds of issue worth exploring, such as having to part with next years 1st round draft pick,now if jersey has two first rounds next year i believe they get to choose which pick the league takes. Also NJ is in a world of hurt from the cap, plus Rolstons contract remains on the books even though he retired.( I think) So a deal with NJ is not out of the question. I think ST has to go hard after a situation like this, whether he can pull it off is the another story.

          • Chris.

            I didn’t mean trading for the 4th is fantasy. I meant complex deals involving multiple trades with multiple organizatins is blogger fantasy. I mean: how often since the lockout have you seen a team trade for the 8th and then flip the 8th for a fourth?

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Maybe you’re right Chris, it’s definately alot of work involved here, you’re right, why even bother to try to better our standing in this league. Let’s just tuck tail, do nothing and take our boobie prize next yr. We’ll desperately cling to those hopes of barely making the playoffs in 5 yrs. Thinking like this has served us well the last five years. This is accurate we know, cause the seats are still full everynight. They better not get off their asses and ruin this gig they have going here.

            You’re right Chris….why even try.

          • Chris.

            Don’t be an ass; my take is vey clear. I think Tambellini should wait and make deals on the draft floor. Tambellini and MacGregor need to know who is still available before dealing away quality roster players for picks. IMO, it’s too big a gamble to trade for eighth tomorrow and just hope a player you really like is still on the board, or that further deals can actually be made draft day.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            …and my take is murky and impossible, right, never ever been done before.

            There’s nothing wrong with my approach. The only thing that matters is who holds what picks leading into this draft. Why not do the Hemsky to Columbus deal in the week leading up to the draft. If they hold the 1st,8th and the 19th as the clubs head to Minnesota, it’ll be a helluva lot easier to move up from 8th to 4th, than it is from the 19th. I can understand your need to belittle this kind of effort being made, but the Oilers have big picture problems, much more than the bare minimum needs to be accomplished to put things back on track. These are extraordinary times for Oilers fans, the least we should expect is that an extraordinary effort be made to wipe the dung off the Oiler crest and our faces. Blogger fantasy my ass, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

          • Action Jackson

            Why so serious?

            I can’t resist. This draft is not life or death of the Oilers. The key to being a successful franchise going forward will be patience. The best asset we have is Stu. It may be a better idea to drop back from 19 and gain more picks for him to do his thing with rather than move up. No reason to sell the farm to move up unless that is what Stu thinks we need to do.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Disagree AJ.

            The Oilers only hope to regain respectabilty again is through the draft. Without the luxury of having these kids handcuffed here for 7 yrs, they might as well fold this franchise.

            There is plenty of urgency going into this draft. The Oilers have 2 perhaps 3 young players that may eventually be part of a successful group. They need to add to this group sooner rather than later. I believe there’s an opportunity to add 2 perhaps 3 more kids to this group this summer. With an 84% fail rate of draft picks inside of that said 7 yrs, there is very much an urgency to beg borrow and steal our way into that top 5 and greatly reduce our chances of selecting a player who falls into that 84% category.

            Get that group of 4 or 5 kids together now and throw them into the deep end of the pool. Some may drown (become support players) but i’m sure we’ll find 3 perhaps 4 solid players out of that group of 5. Let them grow together and become something others may want to be a part of. The clock is ticking, we only have six yrs (or less) left before it smashes into a thousand pieces here.

          • paul wodehouse

            … got passion?

            i’m proppin’ the crap outta ur stuff Q >>>you sir are hot as a pistol this late afternoon…a brand new take on panic, without all the itching and chafing…

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Someone’s gotta have all the fun PG, might as well be me.

            Just feel the situation really is this bad right now. Buy into the panic presented here and lets error on the side of caution……can i buy you a cold beverage this fine day PG?

          • paul wodehouse

            …i stepped away from my computer to do something and didn’t came back, it’s Sunday now!

            i have a deal with God where if i don’t consume alcohol and i don’t end up doing really stupid stuff,? he let’s me live a relatively happy life…so if there’s a cold beverage without spirits included in your kind invitation, i’m most definitely in…

            walked by the new Pint off Whyte yesterday & saw a cool bit of signage out front…

            HANGOVER BRUNCH $10.00
            Sat&Sun 11am-4pm

            …sounds tasty

            i’d be parched and hungry by noon…i’ll be at the bar…i’m 6’3″ 250…ponytail, arctic blonde van dyke… seeya there? your friend PG

          • Quicksilver ballet

            That is a very fine and popular plan i might add PG. I also share in this same program as well,15 yrs and counting.

            Enjoy this gloriuos day, he has made.

          • paul wodehouse

            …i’m one day at a time for these last ten years July 24…sorry we didn’t connect at the Pint off Whyte…y’didn’t miss much Q…the brunch was ‘meh’…

            …the servers were delicious…

          • Wax Man Riley

            Hemsky’s injury will put him well into August by the time he can skate. he really won’t be efective for the first 20 games or so. Using Omark on the PP is a better choice anyways for the Oilers. Hemsky can say what he wants but on July 1st he would have to show that he want sto stay by signing a 3 year deal at about the same money he gets now. He dosen’t have a leg to stand on literally in any negotiation. His recent injuries have devalued him as a player and thus his marketability. You may think that Hemsky to Columbus is enough to get the *th pick but realistically it would probably be Hemsky, Gilbert and the 19th for the 8th, Filatov and a 2rd pick next year.The Oilers window of opportunity to win the cup will be in 14-15. They will need to ensure that they have enough cap space moving forward. Hemsky has topped out and Gilbert is at most a 3-4 dman. at 4 million per player? Hemsky’s role is diminishing and would continue to doso on a team that has the likes of RNH,Hall, Eberle, MP,Omark,Pitlick,Hamilton and so forth. He’ll be pushed out sooner than later. The time is right now that we should move him to Columbus. A team that needs to win right now. If you move Hemsky now Omark will then need to step up his game. Can he do it? We’ll see.he talks the talk and when given a chance to play with other skill player he has shown he can walk the walk. This draft has so many permutations its sick. So many teams in the hunt. Its Tambos time to step his game up and play lets make a deal.

          • I agree that all of this is just conjecture and wishful thinking, not denying that. However, if you can move up to 8th, then putting a deal to move 4 spots up is attainable. depending on what assets you are willing to move. Hemsky-Gagner-are valuable assets. Hemsky wont re-sign here. Theres a number of prospects to work with as well-Corney, Petry,VV,Marincin Omark, How about the 18th pick as well.
            This by no means is as huge of a deal to move from 8th to 4th if you think of it as individual trades. NJ is ripe for the picking, no options huge cap and no space, plus the pick they have to give up next year.

  • Action Jackson

    Don’t trade the first! Let the magnificent bastard have his pick of the litter. I love the trade talk, but realistically patience will pay off more than a dirty deal.

  • John Chambers

    I dunno, LT. Adding a big D-man with a bad +/- is not an attractive return for giving up on a franchise #1 C.

    I believe I read a rumour that NJ might be having a hard time getting Parise committed to a contract. I was naval-gazing and dreampt up a deal that included our #1 + Hemsky for Parise and NJ’s #4. I might even throw in our #31 and take back Rolston.

    I can live with the Oil trading down to #3, 4, or 5. You can at least fetch Huberdeau, Couturier, or Strome there. But passing up Nugent for Dougie Hamilton is a severe drop off.

  • Bogosian and the 7th for the 1st sounds intriguing, you get a plug and play partner for Whitney right off the bat and still get a pretty good prospect at 7. The D would mostly be taken care of, (probably need one more), but the center play would still be terrible.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Hemsky and the 31st to Columbus for their 8th, then flip the 8th with another roster player/prospect to get us into that 4-5 spot. Doesn’t get any better than netting Hopkins and Couturier. Not sure which one would be the beauty and which one would be the beast yet. We’d still have the 19th as well, maybe there’s an opportunity to move up on that selection and grab Hamilton or Seimens.

    Hopefully the Carter to Columbus deal can wait till after the draft, this could screw everything up if it happens before. Have to think that 8th would go in that deal.

  • DieHard

    Hey hey, big fan of the nation, really respect what you guys do in keeping Oilers hockey alive through the summer.
    Especially as I’m currently living in small town B.C working in an area where cable is sparse, so I have to watch these final games at the local pub, and as a die hard Oilers fan it is absolutely unbearable talking or watching hockey here, as everybody is a blind, ignorant Canucks fan. It’s worse than you can imagine. They’re angry, they get mad when Boston Enters the zone or makes a hit without a penalty called, and they get pissed off every single time Vancouver gets a penalty or whistled for icing/offside. They don’t even understand the rules. They must lose.
    But here’s what I’m wondering. I’m sort of on team Larsson here but I don’t Really care either way as they both fill a hole that’s pretty damn gaping on this squad right now (unless Gags can emerge as a #1, which I wouldn’t count out yet. Remember the Sedins were only getting 30-40 points in their first 4 years, and Danny Briere took 5 years to start putting up points in the big leagues, for example)
    But I’ll stop with the B.S and ask the question.
    If RNH were in last years draft, whereabouts might he have been selected? Top 3? Top 5? How about Larsson?

  • justDOit

    I’d have to agree with Garett – passing up on an impact center would be fuellish.

    And it would be even worse to give that #1 to a team that’s going to be in our division soon. The ‘Peg team might be really weak at center, but not as weak as the Oilers.

  • OilFan

    I think that your right in saying that Columbus is in dire need of something. Its not the number 1 pick I imagine that they are seeking. They need help now. They need to stop the financial bleeding sooner than later. They need to win now. Not 3 years from now. A trade for Hemsky and Gilbert would seem more likely. They need someone to take some of the load off of Nash and they need someone to get the puck up to Nash and company. Getting Hemsky with one year left is perfect. If he is successful in Columbus. Great. If not? It won’t matter because Howson will be gone and it won’t matter. Gilbert gives them a puck moving dman that they need. Howson and Columbus don’t have the luxury of drafting and developing a dman like Gilbert. They need one now. The likely scenario is Hemsky and Gilbert to Columbus for the 8th, a high end prospect and a boatload of future draft picks.

    Winnipeg? Intersting. But the deal would definitely have to involve Bogosian. Thats the deal maker for me. If Columbus comes calling for Gilbert it would be a perfect scenario. Gilbert out and Bogosian in. I like that alot. With the 7th pick I would then be looking to ensure I get either Ryan Strome or Sean Coutier. Worst case I would want Dougie Hamilton.
    Having the 7th and 8th and 19th picks would be great. It would take alot of work on Tambo’s part but I think we could live with a Strome or Coutier long with a Hamilton and McNeil(19th or better). Adding Bogosian would be great. Gilbert for me is 3-4 dman and Bogosian is a solid 2 dman.

    Draft day is going to be interesting. See you at the Palace Casino.

  • How often do franchise centermen come along? I say we must draft RNH unless the plan is for Hall to play center. Then pull the trigger I’d the deal is great. Otherwise we draft RNH.

    • Action Jackson

      Even if hall is going to play center, that shouldn’t sway the decision. Name 1 sucessful team of the recent bunch that has 1 good center and not 2. At this point RNH is a must , regardess of the plan for hall

    • Lowetide

      I agree. I don’t believe the Oilers will pass on RNH. A quick look through Oilers history tells us what it’s like to have and have not a #1 C who can beat down the tough opposition and outscore them.

  • I wonder who will be announcing the pick for Winnipeg? And with what name? “With the 7th overall pick the Winnipeg ………….? Only two weeks away. Maybe there trying to work out a deal with the league to get the rights to the Jets again?

  • Oilfan14

    LT, will you post a list somewhere of how many ended up entering your contest and their respective lists. I imagine there are all kind of permutations for the names but I’d be surprised if no one gets it right and I’d be even more surprised if there were not more than one the same sequence, not necessarily how the draft actually plays out.

    LT, love you show, I have to listen to it during lunch hours at work though through the pod casts as I am busy with the family usually. not today, I’ll be able to listen live as I’m home alone staining window trim! Gotta keep the family away from smelly oil based chemicals…

    That game last night….sucked. Even though I do not want Vancouver to win it looks like they might. ugh.


    • As did Copper & Blue.

      Don’t believe the WHL-kid hype. RNH isn’t a slam-dunk and “vision” is hard to quantify when there are so many other question marks.

      BTW – in this week’s NY Times a Western Conference source was quoted that Larsson would be a Norris candidate within 5 years.