The “Wow Factor” Trade

Yesterday, Bob Stauffer announced on Oilers Now that he expects the Edmonton Oilers to make a “wow factor move” in player personnel once the lockout ended (he further predicts the lockout will be over by early December). In other words, according to Stauffer, a big trade is brewing.

Is it?

Consider the Source

Stauffer, unsurprisingly, takes a fair amount of flack. He is employed by the Oilers. He has been an unapologetic advocate of Daryl Katz, both when Katz was wildly popular with Oilers fans, and now when his demands as part of a new arena deal have turned that relationship sour. Stauffer’s stuck by Katz, and he’s paid by Katz, and that combination is a tough one to manage while staying on the good side of fans.

But that doesn’t matter. What matters is Stauffer’s record for getting things right.

In that regard, Stauffer’s batting average is higher than any other member of the Edmonton media. When he makes this sort of statement, he’s generally correct. He virtually announced the Dane Byers acquisition this summer on Twitter. More than that, he was the one voice in the media that consistently said Ralph Krueger was in the mix for the head coaching job back when everyone assumed it was going to Brent Sutter.

Stauffer doesn’t have the same level of distance from the team as other prominent media voices. That’s bad in that it makes it awfully difficult to be independent. It’s good in that he generally has a better idea of what’s going on than others.

The Quote

Here’s the exchange of interest on the show:

Stauffer: “I believe the Edmonton Oilers will make a move that makes people say ‘wow’ upon the CBA being completed, between then and the start of the season.”

Reid Wilkins: “This is a player personnel move?”

Stauffer: “Yeah. Believe that’s going to occur.”

And then a little later on, Stauffer added this:

“I believe there will be a wow factor move coming. And it’ll make for some entertaining discussion, let’s just say that.”

What does it mean?

Honestly, it’s fairly difficult to handicap what Stauffer’s comments might refer to. The obvious position of strength the Oilers have is at wing. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky are established NHL’ers. The Oilers’ brain trust has been down in Oklahoma watching strong starts from Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi. Over in Russia, Nail Yakupov has been lighting things up.

A serious move probably would involve one of the names we’ve seen in the rumour mill before. On wing, that’s Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky, both of whom likely have significant trade value. Another player we might mention is Sam Gagner – though it’s hard to imagine the Oilers would move him without bringing a center back.

The holes? Defence is the most obvious; despite the rise of Justin Schultz in the minors (his strong performance early is a significant positive for the Oilers, suggesting he’ll hit the ground running in the majors) the high-end talent on the group is relatively weak.

Center or goal are the other obvious areas that might be addressed. In net, Nikolai Khabibulin was at last report still on injured reserve, and he’s basically playing out the string at this point anyway. Devan Dubnyk’s a solid candidate for 1A work, but could be upgraded. Up the middle, trade rumours have haunted Sam Gagner for some time now, and his one year deal this summer suggests the Oilers really haven’t decided that he’s part of the core they’re trying to build.

But it’s speculation at this point. All we have is Stauffer’s belief that a big trade is coming.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • vetinari

    A “wow factor” deal could also end up being a stupid one as well… that being said, Tambi’s butt has GOT to be in the hot seat right now after finishes of 30, 30 and 29 and I can see him cash in some of the kids on the farm for assistance, but really, can we obtain an upgrade in goal, an upgrade on defence for our top 4, and an upgrade at centre all at the same time?

    Fixing any one problem to the exclusion of the others likely means a spirited run at a playoff spot to be followed by an early exit in the opening round of the playoffs (if we’re lucky) or a 9th to 12th place finish in the West (if we’re unlucky).

  • T__Bone88

    certainly hope this “wow” trade is progressive. as much i think Luongo is an upgrade over Dubnyk that term would be regressive.

    we need D. big forwards like getzlaf and ryan would be great but not exactly our glaring hole right now.

    there is no way dithers is capable of filling more than one hole poorly at a time.

  • Luongo’s name has been floated out there and that would certainly be a “WOW” trade… but I just can’t see it happening. I can’t see Vancouver moving him to Edmonton and I can’t see Luongo moving his NTC to come to Edmonton over Toronto or Florida. If in the new CBA the team that signed a player to a long-term deal is responsible for that contract if that player retires, I wouldn’t be opposed to Luongo in an Oilers uniform though.

    I’d be okay with a Horcoff buyout, and think that may even be a wise move. I just don’t really see that happening, either.

    The thing is, I don’t even really feel the Oilers need a “WOW” trade. In my opinion, they need one more Top-4 defenseman, and potentially a larger Top-2 centre (Gagner would be moved to acquire this). If I’m GM, I’m on the phone every day with Columbus discussing what a package of Fedor Tyutin and Brandon Dubinsky would cost. While I’m not anxious to move either, Gagner and Paajarvi would be on the table for this package. Is that a “WOW” deal? I’m not sure.

    In any case, this is how I currently see the Oilers:

    Eberle / Nugent-Hopkins / Yakupov
    Hall / ___________ / Hemsky
    Smyth / Horcoff / Jones
    Hartikainen / VandeVelde / Eager

    Petry / Smid
    J. Schultz / _______
    N. Schultz / Whitney

    Dubnyk
    Khabibulin

    Fill those two gaps, and I’m comfortable heading into next season, whenever that is.

    • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

      What do you mean?? Don’t you want to be chanting LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUU every time he stops the puck on a dump-in??

      *Praying the sarcasm isn’t reality*

  • BigBurgers

    I think Stauffer’s track record on calling transactions is probably the best regarding the Oilers so if he says something like that then we shouldn’t discount it. That said, there are no guarantees. Take it as is and hope the lockout ends sooner than later so we can find out if he’s right or not…let the speculation begin…my guess is Luongo and I hope we don’t overpay to do it.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Will wrote:

    Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

    For the love of god! The man’s name is GAGNER!

    Not GANGER! Not GAGNE! Not GANGNAM!

    Surely we have enough time during the lockout to do a spellcheck!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Hmmm, if true I wonder what it could be. I also see the Ducks being a target. It seems like Ryan is done there, but he’d be going somewhere else and bringing back much needed assets. But with such a prolific scoring winger leaving, as well as the absence of Selanee, the Ducks will need some scoring on their wings. I can’t really see defense coming back this way for the simple fact of how valuable any and all defenseman were at the trade deadline.

    Though I would absolutely hate to lose Nail before seeing him in an Oilers jersey, if Nail and Ganger went to the Ducks to bring back Getzlaf, I would do that deal.

    A top line of Getzlaf Hall and Hemsky would be pretty deadly. That way, Nuge and Ebs could have the easy second line minutes and continue to chew up the league. There’s so many options to put on the left side of that line, all it would take is to find the best fit for the job (Smyth, Magnus, Harti, etc.) This also gives us a formidable third shut down line, especially if Magnus becomes that utility player like he’s shown to do. The forth line is still a bit of a mess, but having a guy with one of the best face off win percentages in the league helps at least maintain puck possession.

    Our defense is clearly being built through draft and development. And with so many potential young stars, especially with Schultz exceeding expectations, it seems like our defense will get there in a year or two.

    If anyone has another viable trade idea, please post as these pipe dream line combos are always fun to talk about with no hockey on.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    people need to take a step back and think for a second.

    1)does anyone really think Dithers Tambellini has the stones to pull off a trade that would amount to a “wow” type deal?

    2)consider the source and the timing. floating it out to get the fans talking about something else and deflect some of the heat off of batman?

    3)i could go for a killer donair

  • The NHL season is over.

    Bob is making up rumours for his shows material.

    Sam, Magnus and a 1st………………………………….

    Hemsky is a lot more valueable to the Oilers and a lot more threatening to opponents than Gagner is. Oilers still need Hemsky, Gagner still needs time.

  • T__Bone88

    A trade that might make sense is getting Getzlaf out of Anaheim. This is only dependant upon if they (Anaheim) believe they can not resign him. Only a few teams have the players or is willing to depart with the required players needed and Edmonton might be one of those teams.

  • Certainly helps explain all the extra scouts in OKC. They arent there just to watch Nuge and Eberle. Those 2nd tier of players in OKC must be up for grabs.

    Just dont mess with the big 5 of Yak, Hall, Ebs, Nuge, and Schultz.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      Maybe,

      But I think they realize that the only way Harti is going to perform better is if they keep him with players like Nuge and Ebs. Him staying on the farm without top end offensive talent does nothing for him. I think they may view MPS and Hemsky as expendable because they need some more physical players, if not they are just swapping similar pieces and nothing changes, THEY NEED CHANGE.

      It wouldn’t be too big of a surprise if something like this happens.

      Bulin and Sutton announce that they are retiring due to injuries.

      Hemsky, MPS, and Gagner are all included in one more trades that see a sure thing starting goaltender and a sure thing top 2 centerman. I wouldn’t be surprised if a 5/6/7 defenseman came back in that trade as well. Potter and Peckham are ? this season and they need a Vet back there.

    • Giant Squid Overlord

      Agreed.

      Leave the big 5 alone, plus be sure that this trade doesn’t get us a player with a huge cap hit that jeopardizes the big 5 from fitting in under the cap down the road.