ALMOST BEATEN TO THE PUNCH

The day Edmonton selected Taylor Hall, there was a lot of back and forth about "Taylor versus Tyler" from fans, the hockey industry and the media. What if Steve Tambellini had been able to get both? Would the price paid be too much?

We know that the Oilers were all over the Bruins in the days leading up to the draft, and we know from the newsreels that "Jordan Eberle" was apparently the asking price. In hindsight, I believe the Oilers brass made a good move in keeping Eberle, who would go on to post 2 fine seasons before the NHL shut down and is enjoying an enormous season in OKC this year.

Terry Jones wrote an article in June 2010 in which he listed the possibles available in trade for the #2 overall selection:

  • Jones: The Bruins are a team at a different stage, willing to move draft choices (they also pick 15th and 32nd and have Toronto’s first pick next year plus their own), while the Oilers have Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Sheldon Souray, Ethan Moreau, Andrew Cogliano and assorted others to offer.

Although Boston could have used Hemsky or Penner and I do believe Cogliano is going to have a solid NHL career, I think the Bruins were correct in passing on the opportunity if those players (along with picks) were offered up in exchang for the selection that was destined to turn into Tyler Seguin.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?

Lets blue sky here, using the names above and the things we know Edmonton had in their arsenal. I would value the following as being high calibre assets:

  • Oilers 2011 1st rd pick  (turned into the Nuge)
  • Oilers 2010 2nd rd pick (Tyler Pitlick)
  • Ales Hemsky
  • Dustin Penner
  • Andrew Cogliano

There was no way to know Edmonton would draft 1st overall in 2011, but allow me to suggest the hockey world believed at the 2010 draft that the Oilers would be in the 2011 lottery. Fair?

So, if the Oilers had offered their 2011 1st round entry draft selection and Ales Hemsky, would that have been enough? Would it have been fair value? If the Oilers have Taylor and Tyler instead of Hall, Nuge and Hemsky, are you happier today?

I don’t really think there was a deal available to the Oilers that would have secured the pick without a massive overpay. Boston was a strong cup contender summer 2010, and waiting a summer for their draft pick would have come at a high cost. Also, the Bruins could rightly have felt the Oilers might have been good enough with Taylor and Tyler to move that draft pick outside the top 5. Finally, although scouts often say a draft is "deep" or "poor" a year out, the specifics of the draft aren’t really known 12 months before it happens.

On the other hand, I’m not sure Oiler fans should feel that Seguin’s future is going to be better than that of Nugent-Hopkins. The Nuge is a wonderful young player, and the rookie seasons of Seguin and Nugent-Hopkins are interesting:

  • Seguin’s rookie season: 74, 11-11-22 1.445×5/60; 1.81 5×4/60
  • Nuge’s rookie season: 62, 18-34-52 1.985×5/60; 7.305×4/60

This isn’t fair, Seguin was a rookie amongst a veteran group with many players ahead of him, and the Nuge played a feature role once his feet hit the draft podium. However, for any rookie Nuge’s numbers are impressive, despite the sheltered minutes and despite the clear push on the powerplay.

I don’t think you can make a case (and please do if you can) that Tyler Seguin clearly has a better future than the Nuge. Different futures, very bright.

DID TAMBELLINI DO THE RIGHT THING?

Yes. From what we know, the Oilers could have acquired the Pitlick selection, but the pricetage included (at least) Jordan Eberle. As things have rolled out, Eberle has been an outstanding player and a big part of this team’s future.

Steve Tambellini has taken heat for free agent signings like Nikolai Khabibulin, an inability to address defense and other maladies that impact the team to this day, but not bagging the Seguin selection turned out well. Stopping at "Eberle" was the right decision.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The first glimpse is in black and white, and then time colors in the story and fills in the blanks. There are a lot of cliche’s about this, including "trust your scouts" and "the best trades are the ones you don’t make" which I believe apply to this situation. Edmonton still has Eberle and Hemsky, and they drafted an outstanding talent in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

In Stu We Trust.

  • JSR

    I’m in the same corner as Wanye on this one……Eberle doesn’t get traded! I don’t know if I’ve seen hands and smarts like that in a long time………

      • Toro

        Obviously they wouldnt do that deal now but during that draft they might have, A former 6th overall pick who’s already played how many years and is still really young and has his best years still coming , a former 10th overall pick from the draft year before Seguins , and a 31st overall 2nd round pick, to get 2nd overall , doesn’t sound too far fetched too me. There was lots of talk that Seguin was overrated anyway , look at his rookie campaign pretty sure Paajarvi almost put up as many goals in his rookie then Seguin had points.

        • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

          you dont think one of the other 28 teams would offer more than a pile of maybe for a top 2 pick that usually turns into a quality player?

          tell you what, go toss that proposal up on a bruins fan site and see what the response is. if the response is positive i will apologize profusely.

          deal?

  • Buke

    There is no doubt that Eberle is a better more rounded player than either Seguin, Hall, and RNH……………this might be Stu’s greatest pick ever.

    He is that good! Thank goodness the Oilers did not trade away these players! I have no doubt that if Tamby were given the total regins, he would have traded them all for no name players.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Some GM’s dream of success, while others wake and work hard at it.

    Much can be said about the most recent entry draft as well, where the Oilers, again tried to land that second selection to go with the first (the Oilers announcing that Murray was their guy in an effort to lessen the BlueJackets desire to keep that second selection).

    Taylor and Tyler in 2010 vs Murray and Galchenyuk in 2012. Plan never materialized so the Oilers were forced into the one selection only, and that was the BPA in Nail Yakupov. Either deal could make or break a club for the next decade.

    Mike Milbury’s downfall was his timing of his big picture transactions like LT mentions here. Big ideals, but Mike just put his faith in the wrong kids unfortunately.

  • I would have thrown Hemsky, Penner, and 2011 second rounder plus 2012 second rounder and anyone else not named Eberle.

    No way you given up a first for anybody in the Oilers situation, I think we can all look at what happened to the Maple Leafs and say it’s not worth it.

    However, drafting Seguin then RNH the Oilers would be extremely strong down the middle especially since the Oilers did draft Yakupov who essentially will score the same as Hall if not better.

    Hindsight it’s a b!tch.

    • Oilers89

      The thing is I have heard on multiple occasions that Seguin has played basically exclusively on the wing in the NHL. If true he is no more of a centre than Hall.

    • Word to the Bird

      ….and scored one goal. Nice shooting percentage. Meanwhile Jordan Eberle went 4 for 4 the night before in a 5 point effort, to tie him for the AHL scoring lead with his teammate and amazing new OILER Justin Schulz. And in the same game as Zuckers amazing adventure, a guy named Taylor Hall had three points to give him 23points in 18 games, more then the Amazing Zucker in 4 less games. Just to balance off the reporting.

  • Word to the Bird

    Also keep in mind that comparable to hall, nuge is a much more useful player than seguin, since seguin is practically the same playing style as hall whereas nuge is more of a playmaker

  • Pilgor09

    Anyone figuring Seguin was better or that it was close must know that it was gonna cost the Oilers #1 PLUS. or Eberle PLUS. or just both. Best trade the Oilers never made.

  • I would trade Eberle for Seguin in a heartbeat. I like Eberle fine, but Hall/Seguin beats Hall/Eberle every day.

    Top six could look like:

    Hall/Seguin/Hemsky – tough minute beaters

    Anybody/RNH/Yakupov – easy minute crushers

  • Pilgor09

    What a tough call to say if they did it wrong. I think they made the right choice at the time, as all they had to go on was scouting reports. If some sort of package involving Gagner was on the table then that should have been something Oilers should have pursued. Only because I think Seguin’s ceiling is higher than Gagners, and it would be awesome to have Nuge, Hall, Ebs, Yak, Schultz, and Seguin, all on one team.

    However, even though they did it right at the draft, the Oilers should address team need through a trade if they want to be a perennial contender.