Trade Deadline Primer 2.0

It is easy to identify baseball scouts in spring training. Look for the old guys with the sun dried grille and (sometimes) a Juggs gun. Hockey scouts are less obvious, certainly not readily available to the public and most certainly difficult to grade. How does a pro scout build a resume?

The Oilers pro scout Morey Gare (Danny’s brother) has been in that position since fall 2001. In that time, the Oilers pro scouts would have viewed future acquisitions from Mike York through Corey Potter and miles and miles of players in between. As I understand it–and I have no inside knowledge–the role of a pro scout is to have a strong opinion on a specific player should the need arise.


The AHL is a strong training ground for NHL defensemen. It serves as the place NHL teams send struggling players, youngsters who show they are not quite ready for prime time and where "minor league veterans" dream of becoming the next Corey Potter.

I believe this is the place where very good value is available for less than 100 cents on the dollar. The NHL team willing to give a shot to the long buried AHL defender is going to get max effort and complete attention from the new hire.

I believe there are men playing defense in the AHL today who are as qualified or more qualified than some multi-millionaires in the big leagues. Of the 11 men who have been employed on defense by the Oilers this season, 11 of them played defense in the AHL at one time or another.


The St. Louis Blues have a strong, sturdy defender in Ian Cole. He is the kind of player NHL teams hold on to, but there may be an opportunity for a team like Edmonton to pry him loose at the deadline over the summer. Cole’s scouting report (6.01, 225 defender who can play a shutdown role but is limited offensively) addresses the club’s need for a more consistent defensive defender who can also play a very physical game. A left side of Whitney, Smid and Cole gives Edmonton less chaos and more stability.

A few reasons Cole might be available:

  • A new coach in Ken Hitchcock may see things a little differently the previous admin. One of the first moves St. Louis made when Hitch joined them was trading for Kris Russell. Although not similar in style to Cole, Russell is LH and does take up a slot on the left side of the blueline in St. Louis.
  • Some of the other kids are beginning to emerge. This is highly speculative on my part but Cade Fairchild looks like he might be a player. If the Blues add him to the already impressive group of youngsters that includes Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Russell there should be more than enough depth to offload Ian Cole.
  • In December, when the Blues were on a big time roll, Cole was scratched 7 games in a row.


I know this: the cost would be painful. However, as I see it the Oilers don’t have a lot of choice. Edmonton’s forwards are lapping the defenders and even a lottery blue is going to take some time to be a real help. A player like Ian Cole:

  • is a plug and play
  • might be available
  • St. Louis may be in the mood to add at the deadline
  • Edmonton could trade a "replacement" for Cole as well as the heart of the deal since they are clearly not heading to the post-season.


There are young defensemen out there who are not yet playing vital roles on NHL teams. The Oilers might be wise to make a list of all of the "Ian Cole’s" working in the AHL and start knocking on doors.

Someone valuable might shake loose.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    poor old Buscemi…he ended up in a wood chipper a bit later. And I love those McDonalds like paper napkins that were sticking to the blood in his gashed face. Classic Coen bros.

    • oilbaron

      haha I hear ya! I would be down to my toes as my fingers would be gone from all the classics they’ve made or been a part of.

      And I got into collecting movie Press Kits in the last few years and one of my prized kits is the one for Fargo. It came with a nice folder from the Studio, a special VHS screening copy, glossy black and white headshot actor photos, a synopsis of the movie and the kicker in the kit is a red plastic ice scraper with Fargo embossed on it!

      p.s – You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Amateurs.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I still think Peckham is going to be part of a package trade, especially if the Oilers bring back Sutton as the 6-7 dman(Sutton is better suited for that role), I agree that the Oilers are in dire need of defensive depth, but Peckham seems to be sitting alot more than he should be imo.

    The Oilers need a dman that can take the spot in the top 2 when injuries to Whitney/Gilbert occur, not the bottom 2.

  • oilbaron

    i have to disagree. i think edmonton is in need of an offensive defenceman who can actually handle the puck and make a good first pass. We already have steady defensive defenceman in the minors that do the exact same job as Cole.
    Gilbert: moves the puck well,
    Whitney: always hurt,
    Barker: cant skate,
    Smid: defensive,
    Potter: soon to be scratched,
    Petry: future 2-3 d-man but needs more time,
    Sutton: Defensive,
    Peckham: defensive

  • oilbaron

    Trade Gagner for the best possible deal. He is clearly playing over his head and is in a contract year. He will demand 4.5-5.0 range this next year and is he really worth that based on his size. I don’t think so but Oilers management will hang onto him and pay him. Big mistake.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Absolutely- This would take some Management savy and a manager that will get out and look and watch these sorts of potential targets and not waste time up in mahogany roll perched high above rexal watching his 3rd straight toilet bowl team. There has to be d-men out there that can help this sorry cause and we don’t need to spend millions on these high profile players. We need to get bigger up front as well or we will be talking about or sorry luck with injuries- I’m getting tired of the excuses. When boys and smurfs play men they will get hurt. Falling in love with smurfs because of point totals is wrong as well. Teams win championships not individual play !

    • Oilers89

      I can partially agree with what you say, but if by smurfs putting up points, you mean Gagner, then I just have to put it this way, if we trade players like Gagner because they are small then we are left with RNH (when he is healthy) and Horcoff/Belanger. Sometimes having small players is better than having big players who can’t play on a top two line. Now if you are saying get a big skilled guy like Grigorenko, then yes someone like that could be a replacement, it’s finding big players that can play as good as a smurf that is the problem.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I’ve got 3 brand spanking new $20.00 bills in my pocket that i’ll trade you for your pocket worn $100.00 bill?

      Trade down? Hell no. Liquidate and get yourself another premium pick and cover both bases.

      • Romanus

        You keep writing this, but please explain how? What Oiler right now could be traded for a lottery pick? There isn’t a GM anywhere, anytime, dumb enough to do that, unless you are talking about trading Hall Eberle or RNH.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Who said it had to be accomplished in one trade? There aren’t rules against doing what’s needed in two or even three moves to get yourself up into a spot like that. There’s alot of quantity hockey players available on this roster that can be liquidated if need be.

        • Terran

          He seems to think that you can trade 3-4 so-so players for one lottery pick. So therefore, it’s a piece of cake to trade every single player on the roster except 4, 14 and 93 and get picks 1-5 this year. Of course, then we’re fielding a team of 8 first round picks with a combined total of 5(!) years experience, plus whatever AHL players we move up from OK. Yeah, that’s a great plan!

          Too many NHL ’12 players on this board lately…

      • Time Travelling Sean

        Dumba/Reinhart could be taken 3rd-5th overall, its a depth draft, and what could we trade to Columbus, Carolina, Anaheim to get their pick? :S

        Columbus can trade Nash/Carter, what do we got?

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Dumba/Reinhart will still be available in that 5-7 range, but the Oilers would sell their mothers soul to geta shot at Ryan Murray. They can’t take Murray in that first or second spot. Yakupov and Grigorenko will most likely be the best 2 players available next June. Edmonton can’t walk away feeling they left something on the table letting one of those two slip through their fingers.

          Hemsky’s leaving town for a mid to late first rounder. Take that selection, add a player or two to it and move up a few spots. 90% of this roster is up for grabs. Sign 5 or 6 guys July 1st like they did last yr and fill a hole or two if need be. 28,58,24,91,40,23,10,20 etc etc etc, all there for the taking if it gets the Oilers what they need most.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            any team with a half awake pro scout watching the
            oil lately wouldn’t trade a first rounder for Hemmer. He’s got absolutely nothing going on right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the oil stand pat at the deadline.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Let me ask you this then, who could have anything going on a hockey club like this? The kids are a solid group on their own, there’s so little left outside of this group.

            Put Hemsky on a club heading into the playoffs and you’ll see a different player i’m sure. He won’t need any antidepressants where he’s going. He’s not being traded along with his linemates. He going to become part of a winning culture, not the one currently dominating here.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Maybe, but he’s hardly showcasing himself by mailing it in. He’s going into unrestricted free agency for Pete’s sake. Not exactly playing for the payoff. And a winning culture sure doesn’t tolerate a guy quitting on his team. Which is why I will be shocked if he’s moved for value.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Yes we need D but if you have top two you take one of the Russians, funny stat from the game today since Dec 1st Gagner Ebs, Hall have 39 goals the rest of the TEAM has 35…lets take a forward so we can get some more scoring. Now after those two the forward take a hit so then take a D and if we get a 1st at the deadline lets hope Frk is still there and he can pick up his game.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I loved the idea that was floated a few weeks ago though, and here’s my version:

    Edm: P.K. Subban & Mtl’s 1st in ’12

    Mtl: Gagner & Edm’s 1st in ’12

    Pretty close right now as to which team’s pick will be higher. Doubt the Habs do that deal though.

  • Romanus

    I say we trade Hemsky and first rounder in 2012 to Nashville for Weber if he can be signed. It would clear cap space and give us a defender we badly need.
    Morey Gare is a fellow Nelsonite. I hope he doesn’t smoke too much Kootenay bud when scouting.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Average salary:
    30G-30A to 39G-39A forward is 5.5M
    Eberle, Halls future salary.

    25G-45A players are 5.7M RNH Salary.

    15-19G 35-50A forwards are in the 3.5M range.
    Brownlee # is bang on.

    Some want to retain Hemsky.
    Ignoring Hemsky’s: rookie and 22 game season’s:
    he has 6.7 seasons of performance.
    Hemsky: 67GM 16G 39A 55P per season average.
    Last 1.7 years: 52GM 11G 27A.

    Dion phanuef was the 2nd worst dman in the league for GA his last 1.5 yr in Calgary. He went to toronto. He is playing better in TORonto. but when calgary traded him, he was the 2nd worst dman.

    Those that say we need to keep Hemsky. he will be better somwhere else but he is a 52GM 11G 27A player currently. We need to trade him.

    • D-Man

      I don’t get the ‘trade Hemsky’ logic… He’s struggling now – I get that, but considering he’s struggling – what would you expect to get as a return?? Who do we have in our system who could replace his career .9 points/game??

      Hemsky is a legitimate top 6 forward… If you can get a top four defensemen for him – fine, that fills another major need… But we forget that the teams that we’re selling to won’t be sending top four d-man our way… Then that means more draft picks, extending the rebuild for at least another year…

      See if Hemmer will sign a two year, $9.0 million contract… If not – trade him for the max you can get.. We as fans then need to understand afterwards how valuable he was to this organization…

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Isn’t trading for a guy like Cole the type of move you make when rounding out your defence?

    With the Oilers you are probably three players away from that.

    Even if you get a guy that is ready to play an NHL role, he probably isn’t going to be especially trustworthy for a good year or so and that doesn’t fit the Oilers need much better than a top end draft pick.

    The type of guys the Oilers need right now aren’t the ones that a bottom seeded team is going to pick up at the deadline but they could probably dig one up at the draft or approaching July 1. At that point the question becomes if they should be spending any bullets at the deadline for tweeners and depth at all.

    Wouldn’t it be better to hang on to the excess until you find out what it will take to land the more proven quantity? If you have something expendable left over at that point then you can go after the depth or projects.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Draft dmen production: Rankings from Mackenzie to 45. button avg below 45.
    desjardins says these dmens point totals at age 22 will be:

    50 point Dmen:
    Reilly RK #8 6’0″ 190 LB 51P NHLE

    45Point Dmen
    Dumba #5 6’0″ 185lb 46P NHLE
    Ceci #12 6’3″ 205LB 46P NHLE

    40P Dmen
    Finn #29 6’0″ 185LB 40P NHLE
    Severson #32 6’2″ 200LB 40P NHLE
    Thrower #45 6’0″ 185LB 40P NHLE

    35P Dmen
    Koekkoek #15 6’2″ 185LB 35P NHLE
    Pouliot #17 6’0″ 181LB 35P NHLE

    30P Dmen
    Murray #3 6’0″ 200lb 34P NHLE
    Rhinehart #9 6’4″ 200lb 32P NHLE
    Matta #14 6’2″ 200lb 32P NHLE
    Sissons #30 6’1″ 32P NHLE
    Bystrom #41 6’1″ 187lb 32P NHLE
    Pelech #50 6’2″ 210lb 32P NHLE

    6’1″+ 40p+ dmen are available at #12 and #32
    6’1″+ 30p+ dmen are available at #9, #14, #15,#30, #41 and #50.

    We are best to take a large center in the top of the draft and get Offensive dmen in the bottom 1st or upper second round.

  • Dipstick

    D-men are at a premium at the deadline. Most contenders want to stock up. They become cheaper after the season. The Oil should be sellers at the deadline and buy low in the summer. Draft picks are currency that can be converted to players later.

  • D-Man

    Yes, Hemsky was a .9 points a game but he is not this year. He has proven that he can not work with the young players that we have here. We always stated that Hemsky would perform better when he gets players with skill, well he has Hall, RNH, Eberle and Gagner and still he is not producing. I don`t care if he has a career year next year with another team. Time to turn the page. Let the kids take over.