Would the Edmonton Oilers be a better team right now with Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene and Dustin Penner than with the players they got for them? The Los Angeles Kings, for the time being at least, most certainly are.

Hindsight being what it is and armchair GMs being what they are, I’m guessing a few Oilers fans watching the Kings roll into the Western Conference final against the Phoenix Coyotes have taken note of the roles Stoll, Greene and Penner have played in the post-season. Wouldn’t they come in handy around here right about now?

Well, maybe. Maybe not. But it’s certainly a fair question to ponder with the benefit of hindsight. Whether you liked what the Oilers got in the trades that sent that trio out of town at the time, second-guessing really is the life-blood of websites like this one, no?

Stoll and Greene, both 28, were dealt to the Kings June 29, 2008 for Lubomir Visnovsky. On March 30, 2010, the Oilers traded Visnovsky to Anaheim for Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round pick that turned into Brandon Davidson.

Last February, the Oilers dealt the enigmatic Penner to the Kings for former first-rounder Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 they used to take Swede Oscar Klefbom 19th overall and a conditional draft pick this June.

So, Stoll, Greene and Penner for Whitney and his wonky ankle, Teubert and his broken face and three maybes named Klefbom, Davidson and TBA. Did the Oilers blow it?


The answer, of course, is we don’t know who got the better of the deal in the long-term because we don’t know if Whitney can overcome his ankle issues and return to the form he showed at the start of the 2010-11 season. Likewise, we can’t say for certain what the Oilers have in Teubert, Davidson and the promising Klefbom.

What we can say with some certainty is the trades have worked out just fine for the Kings in the here and now as Stoll, Greene and Penner are all playing significant roles for Los Angeles in the playoffs.

If the Oilers had kept Stoll would they have had to sign Eric Belanger to get the third-line centre who could win face-offs they coveted? Probably not, but while we’re second-guessing, let’s not forget Stoll, who won draws at a 55 per cent clip this season, was coming off some serious concussion issues when he was traded.

Greene, who logged an average of 16:40 in ice time a night as a stay-at-home anchor with the Kings, remains a ham-and-egger, but he plays the kind of mean-as-hell homebody role the Oilers have since tried Jason Strudwick, Jim Vandermeer, Theo Peckham and Andy Sutton, to name just four, in since he left for Tinseltown.

Penner? He had a brutal regular season while struggling with some personal off-ice issues, managing just 7-10-17 in 65 games, but he’s pushed aside the pancakes and been money in the playoffs with seven points in nine games after looking like he was destined for clean-up duty with the El Cid Lounge. I can live without the crazy swings in Penner’s play – I wasn’t unhappy to see him traded – but, mercy, the man can play when he feels like it.

A centre who can win face-offs. A big winger who can score. A stay-at-home defenseman who punishes opposing forwards. If only the Oilers had three guys like that . . .

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • We have a management regime and an Oiler Nation that loves wimpy finesse forwards, more Omark, more Gagner, more Paajarvi! There is no room on this team for faceoff winners, size or truculence, and I can expect a few articles downplaying the importance of each to come out this summer, just like last summer.

    • RexLibris

      One could twist their mind enough to argue that Khabibulin is largely responsible for the Oilers drafting consecutive first overall picks and being in the lottery to win the third first overall pick.

      So it could be said that Khabibulin was the lynchpin for this entire rebuild. Had we had better goaltending we might not have been bad enough to draft Nugent-Hopkins and whomever is selected this June.

      Maybe Tambellini should pitch Khabibulin on the trade market that way: “guaranteed lottery pick with this player in your lineup”.

      I feel bad for this guy having to play out his career in such an ignominious fashion. He likely never gets another NHL contract and his Stanley Cup will be forgotten by many with his four years here being most people’s lasting memory of him as a player.

  • Jasmine: Resist the urge to label anybody to criticizes the team an “Edmonton hater.” The Oilers have missed the playoffs for six straight seasons, including the last three times by a $5 cab ride.

    Defend the team at all costs if you must — it’s your right — but please leave behind the ready-made buzzwords as part of the argument. There is a quota on the words “bashed” and “bashing” here and you have reached it. This isn’t HF.

  • RPG

    Surprisingly there is no discussion here about salary. You have to compare the current players roles and results AND project the ‘picks’ future roles and results, AND include the salaries being paid in the present. LA is paying many millions more at the moment for their pieces than what we are paying for our pieces. Salary always has to be part of the discussion. You can never really evaluate in the present anyway, because we have no idea what Tuebert, Klefbom and Davidson will turn out like. We do have a pretty good idea what Stoll, Greene and Vis will be like at that point. OLD.

  • Rocknrolla

    Tracy ‏ @TreenasOil

    Oilers are trying to acquire another top 5 pick and are willing to move prospects Musil and Klefbom ….A P G

    does anyone know who this person is, and if the As Per Garfield stuff has been accurate…Thats a pretty big rumor, and my one friend says she has usually been right!

    Anyone have insight on her…let me know…

  • Rocknrolla

    if they had all those guys still they may not have tanked quite as bad. then might not have hall and the nuge. so they would probably be in the same situation as the flames

  • Has your “friend” actually added up the number of rumours this person has put out there compared to what actually happened — or, more accurately, didn’t?

    If you are really interested about the accuracy or lack of same about this person and sidekick Garfield, then take a look at her tweets and separate the hits from the misses.

    • RexLibris

      There were also “rumours” about the Islanders trying to acquire the Oilers’ first overall pick, as though it were a ticket sticking out of Tambellini’s pocket to be nicked by the quickest hands.

      Funny how a rumour used to be something that a person overheard and often had a nugget of truth to it, now it’s something that somebody thinks to themselves and then blogs or tweets.

      I heard a “rumour” that lumberjacks like to skip, jump and press wild flowers.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I was all for the Penner deal at the time but now it appears that the return may not be more than a 3rd pairing D(I don’t see Teubert being a NHL regular). So, in retrospect, we didn`t give up much and we didn`t get much. If I was GM I could do better. I once traded a Murray Hall card for a Bobby Orr by convincing the kid that he was the 3rd brother of Bobby Hull, they just misspelled his name.

  • “I once traded a Murray Hall card for a Bobby Orr by convincing the kid that he was the 3rd brother of Bobby Hull, they just misspelled his name.”

    Brilliant. I never thought to try the same scam because any Murray Hall card I ever owned ended up in the spokes of my bike wheels pretty quickly.

    Remember when kids used to play “knockdowns” or “tops” with cards instead of putting them in sleeves and binders to make sure they stayed mint?

  • Aitch

    If this was a team on the cusp of greatness for the past years, then yes, they’d all look good in Oilers silks again. But, I’d argue the Oilers might be worse off. All of those players are good support players. With them, maybe we don’t end up in 29th and 30th for three straight seasons. So, we continue the Flames/Leafs method of team-building; stay in contention and hope to catch lightning in a bottle once in awhile.

    Hindsight is useless, except as a learning experience. Eric Belanger sucked this season, but put me back at July 1st, 2011 and I’d sign him over and over again as would the Oilers brass, I imagine. So, even then, I’m not sure anything was learned.

    • Bucknuck

      I would bet real money that Belanger will come back this year and play a lot better. There is nowhere to go but up, and he DID help with faceoffs, even if he couldn’t buy a goal. I hope they don’t trade him right now as they won’t get much and he should have lots of gas left in the tank.

      All the changes in the world won’t matter a stitch if they play a substandard goaltender. Tambellini’s loyalty to Khabibulin sickens me, since I know it will cost the Oil games they can’t afford to lose if they want to enter the post season.

  • RexLibris

    Love Matt Greene. With Stoll and Penner, they always seem to leave you wanting. Stoll has the makings of a very good two-way 2nd line centre, but plays at the 3rd line centre level. Penner, I can sum up in one word. Pancakes!

  • RexLibris

    Hindsight ? What they did wrong was not having enough forsight to see where new NHL was going . They minimized that size would be so important . Their return on their trades had negative effects for years as we can see – perhaps in time they might prove fruitfull ? It’s been a long time since we got anything immediate or otherwise in a trade that has panned out . We overspent and got little value for doing so . Obviously , even overpaying is not bringing us adequate talent , etc.. To strapped financially to equip team with proper base ? Seems like it .

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Like it or not, a second top five pick is what this team has needed going on 3 yrs now. A second top 5 allows you to take a chance on a defenceman.

  • Oilers Coffey

    Stoll leaving still leaves me a tad angry, he was a heart and soul guy. He still is, theres more value to a guy like Stoll than the pts, he wins faceoffs, kills penalties, smart, sticks up for his mates, makes guys around him want to play better. (Look at Richards and Carter, he’s got em under his wing, and they are flourishing)
    Concussion problems being what they were, I see some people being tentative about resigning him at the time. Its a valid point yes, but people were very quick to trade him.
    I seriously have my questions about the Oilers pro scouting, what is it they do. They wear alot of the yoke on the trades and the quality of the players the Oilers are bringing in. Trading for guys that clearly do not want to be in Edmonton.
    Why do the pro scouts still have jobs? They have failed over and over, and over again. Time for some real evaluation.

  • smiliegirl15


    One could twist their mind enough to argue that Khabibulin is largely responsible for the Oilers drafting consecutive first overall picks and being in the lottery to win the third first overall pick.

    If you recall, Roloson stood on his head those following seasons and was the reason we didn’t finish in the basement. The biggest difference between MacT’s team his last two seasons and Pat Quinn’s team was Roloson.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    What I would love to see is pompus Jerks as fans who give no credit for anything and will not let go of anything in the past.
    The DVD idea was a good one since we got screwed over by Peca and Pronger “labeling Edmonton a bad place to play.”
    The whole article was in hindsight was the trades of Stoll, Greene and Penner. I liked the first trades but I was one of the few Penner fans and thought while yes it was a good trade you will always miss a big man with hands. Penner proved here that he could take control of a game when pissed off but other wise was pretty passive.