After the GMs meetings yesterday a few stories popped up that Steve Tambellini was open to trading the first overall pick. I don’t see any REALISTIC scenario that would see him moving that pick, but here is what he said yesterday.

"I’ve had a few calls (from) people kicking the tires of how they can help me make the Oilers a better team. For me to move the No. 1 pick it would have to be obviously something exceptional. Because this is a huge building block again for us.

"These couple years here are exactly the time that we have to put pieces in place that are going to be part of the Oilers success for a long time. It would have to be something quite sweet."

By something sweet he means a massive overpayment. 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.

Since Tambellini’s comments many readers and listeners to my show have sent me questions and/or scenarios that they felt would make sense in dealing the first pick. In almost every case the return was far greater than what I think an opposing GM would offer up, but I respect your positive outlook.

Tambellini can’t move down one or two spots and expect anything significant. The Panthers won’t deal Erik Gudbranson and this year’s 3rd pick for the 1st. It won’t happen folks.

Some wondered if the Oilers should trade with Ottawa and get the 6th and 21st pick, thus ensuring the Oilers three picks in the top 21. I know it is a different regime right now, but having three picks in the top 21 in 2007 hasn’t worked out great for the Oilers.

History shows there is a big difference between the 1st pick and the 6th. Let’s quickly compare the last ten drafts:

YEAR                      1st                            6th
2010                 Taylor Hall                   Brett Connolly
2009                 John Tavares             Oliver Ekman-Larsson
2008                 Steven Stamkos         Nikita Filatov
2007                 Patrick Kane               Sam Gagner
2006                 Erik Johnson              Derick Brassard
2005                 Sidney Crosby            Gilbert Brule
2004                Alex Ovechkin              Al Montoya
2003                Marc-Andre Fleury       Milan Michalek
2002                Rick Nash                    Scottie Upshall
2001                Ilya Kovalchuk              Mikko Koivu

In most cases the difference in skill is drastic. I don’t see why Tambellini would give up the opportunity to draft a potential franchise player with the first pick. I don’t see Colorado giving up a lot to move up one spot, especially considering they are a division rival.

If you look back at teams that traded out of the first slot, I can’t find one that eventually won the deal. The Panthers ended up giving up more draft picks to move down to #3 in 2002, and the Thrashers completely botched it when they took Patrick Stefan in 1999. Based on the cap and the amount of money the first overall pick receives now, I’m not sure it is even fair to compare potential deals to ones that occurred in the 1980s and later.

I understand why Tambellini tells the media is he open to dealing the pick, so every team knows he is contemplating and maybe one of them will come in with an offer too good to pass up; but realistically I don’t see it happening. I also think the optics of moving the first overall pick wouldn’t sit well with Oilersnation right now.

You’ve spent the past five years watching your team miss the playoffs, and in a few cases be out of the race by January, so  moving a likely elite player at this point might not sit well with many of you.

I’m sure Tambellini will listen to all offers, but I fully expect the Oilers to still be picking first in 15 days.

I also expect them to announce a trade on draft day involving the 19th pick; I just don’t know how far they will be able to move up. From where I sit moving the 19th pick is a more realistic option, and it could involve a roster player. The question is which team is willing to move down?

Right now the Calgary Flames are desperate for more picks, and I suspect they might move down a few notches to secure a few more picks, but would the Flames and Oilers make a deal involving multiple picks? Pulling the wool over Darryl Sutter’s eyes to take Steve Staios is one thing, but would the Alberta rivals trade first rounders? I highly doubt it, considering I assume the Flames would want more picks rather than an NHL player, but that would make for some great debate on here and at www.Flamesnation.ca

Based on the conversations I’ve had to date, I’d expect Tambellini to try hard and move up from 19, but I highly doubty he will move the first pick.

If he does, I think he is making a big mistake.


I would like to thank all of you who donated for my MS Bike Tour and got into the draw for the Ultimate Sports Fan Package. We will be doing a reverse draw during the show today, and we will announce the winner at 5:25 p.m. We limited this to 75 entries of $100, and along with the auctions we did on air we have raised almost $11,000.00 to fight MS.

THANK YOU for you support.

Good luck to all who entered.

  • Vanguard

    Did anyone else catch the tibit regarding Hemskey and Columbus’s No. 8 pick?


    Oilers reference is near the bottom.

    If it’s Gilbert, I say go for it. Hemmer, I’m not so sure.

    If Tambo did trade away Gilbert, he’d better be active with other trades/free agency ’cause we’re running low on NHL d-men as it is.

    • Ender

      Interesting, but I’m hoping it’s just wind. If we’re talking about the 8th overall pick for either Hemsky or Gilbert, I’m not sure I would do that. Who are you getting at 8? Maybe Murphy, Strome, Baertschi, or Siemens? Those aren’t terrible picks, but they’d have a tough row to hoe to become Ales Hemsky at some point during their careers. Hack on Gibby for being ‘soft’ if you need to, but acknowledge that we have a ton of D-men in OKC who can’t play as well as he can and now there’s a proposal on the table to trade him for someone who likely can’t outplay Martin Marincin yet.

      There’d have to be some pretty significant sweetener in any potential deal with the Jackets before I’d entertain sending away Gibby or especially Hemsky for the 8th pick. That just doesn’t sound at all appetizing up front as it stands. We have no need to dump salary at this point, so trade discussions with anyone should start with bringing back a superior player to the one you’re sending away.

  • billylikestodrinksoda

    The comparison 1-6 is interesting. It sure makes a deal with Ottawa look unfavorable. Though my belief is that a Sean Courtier or Dougie Hamilton at 6 would not have the kind of optics that a Crosby-Brule does.I think the RNH consesus is valid. Yet does not it behoove ST to look at all the options. Should a deal involving Ottawa be proposed I would not be surprised to see the 6th,21st and Chicago’s 2cd pick that Ottawa aquired being what is in play. I like Coutier or Hamilton as much as I like RNH. I also like McNeil who is rated 14th. He would definitely be a player I would trade up to get.At 21st we would have a pick that could be parlayed into something more substantial. Like a deal where Gilbert goes to Columbus for thier 8.I just believe that giving SMB more picks is something we should consider.

  • Ender

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    Keep #1 and jettison anyone who suggests trading it.

    You forgot to write “I will not be entertaining counter arguments. Any posts the the contrary are invalid.” You should do that going forward; it’s a real timesaver. Just ask RT.

    • paul wodehouse

      Boy, that opens up a wound. I failed my driver’s test at 16yo, when I had to park on the side of the road on a hill, I parked right in front of and blocking a residential driveway. Worst day of my life..lol.

      Keep the #1 unless it is something that would blow the socks off the best GM in hockey, whoever that is.

    • EddieGladstone

      Wouldnt make sense from Colorado’s standpoint. They are already quite deep down the middle so i doubt they would select RNH if they had the #1 pick. Im sure they realize that it is highly unlikely the Oil select anyone other than RNH with the first overall pick, so that #2 slot is essentially a first overall pick for them.

      • EddieGladstone

        Agreed, though I wonder how desperate Colorado is to make a splash. However, unless they suddenly hire Doug Maclean you’re probably right.

        I wonder what incentive there really is to move up in a draft where there’s little consensus in terms of player rankings.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Coming from the guy who improved this hockey club by bringing in the likes of Kotalik,O’Sullivan and Khabibulin, can we really trust him to not muff this one as well?

    I’m hoping he’s doing this just to start some dialogue about other assets that might turn into something closer to the draft, hope there’s not another brain fart moment in the near future.

  • Pronger's Wife

    Oiler would be dumb to trade the pick . Look at Columbus Blue Jacket they drafted in top 8 in last 10 years. where are they??? they are still picking 8th this year.One extra pick don’t make you contender…..an elite player does. Draft RNH.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      This is bang on. In the NFL, late first round picks and 2nd rounders are almost a certain to make the pro roster. Not even close in the NHL. Pick the best player, and fill in extra bodies aroung him.

  • Pronger's Wife

    I don’t think you trade this pick unless you had an Eric “Bigmarket” Lindros as the undisputed first overall pick.

    The fact that RNH has said that he would love to go to the Oilers is also something that should not be overlooked either. Look at Erixon in Calgary…

  • Jason Gregor

    I dunno…considering that everything you read says that it is not a huge stretch from 1 to 5 and that any of those guys are solid, potential franchise guys, I could see Tambo trading down a couple spots. Passing on RNH and ending up with, say, Landeskog and an extra 2nd and 5th rounder, is nuthin to sneeze at.

    • VMR

      Dont think it’s enough to make the move. Unless their scouts really think Landeskog (or some other player) is the BPA a 2nd and a 5th isnt enough to make me jump. It’d take two first rounders and I agree with Gregor the Senators picks arent enough and I really doubt the Av’s give up 2 and 11.

    • Ender

      You’re right, but everything that Tambo sees, so do the other GM’s.

      Looking at it from an Oilers perspective, your proposal looks a little light but ok. Let’s view it as the rival GM that would be our trade partner, though; he’s already set to pick Landeskog (who as you point out is a very strong player) and he already owns those two picks you want. What’s his incentive to throw away the picks? To take RNH – the guy you’re suggesting isn’t much better than the Landeskog he already has?

      Gregor’s on the money with this one. There won’t be a deal for the first pick. Tambi would take a good one if it came along, but it won’t. The GM’s picking 2nd to 5th are thanking their lucky stars that they get an outside shot this year at potentially outguessing everyone and ending up with the best player in the draft class.

  • When I started seeing all the articles on TSN and Sportsnet with Headlines suggesting the Oil were considering moving the pick, I almost had an aneurism.

    Then it turned out they were just trying to be sensational. If you look at what Tambellini actually said, he basicly says that people are calling and trying to sell him magic beans and that he wont be moving #1 unless someone overpays.

    Thank God.

    And thanks for pointing out the difference between a #1 vs a #6 in the last decade the way you did. I dont want Filatov when Stamkos is available.

  • Ender

    Last summer was about ST dumping some salaries and some guys who might have been disruptive in the dressing room. (Addition by subtraction). This summer, I hope that he continues to use his math skills to make some additions by addition and I believe that to start attracting flies, he needs some honey (ie: some high end talent guys). Thus, I agree with you Gregor, in that I can’t see any scenario where he’s going to trade a #1 for a mixed bag of spare parts.

    • billylikestodrinksoda

      Yeah he did and every year the GM holding the first pick is asked that question. What’s he gonna say? “No, under no circumstances will I trade the pick.” the media is just asking questions it has to ask and Steve is answering them how he should be. Who knows. Maybe some meathead will offer something legit but odds are he’s taking RNH with the pick on June 24