Extracting maximum value for Ryan Whitney

There’s news out of Boston regarding the possibility of a Ryan Whitney trade, and it suggests that the Edmonton Oilers aren’t looking to just off-load the pending unrestricted free agent for whatever they can get. They’re looking for maximum return.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Here’s the key paragraph from Boston beat writer Joe Haggerty’s latest blog:

Ryan Whitney: The Bruins are looking for a defenseman and there’s little doubt the Massachusetts native would love to play for the Black and Gold. The Bruins have made phone calls about Whitney and it seemed like things might have been progressing on that front Wednesday when the Iginla deal looked imminent. But now it’s cooled off a little as the Bruins regroup and go for Plan B. The Edmonton Oilers are said to be looking for a Douglas Murray-type return (two second round picks) or a goaltender (Niklas Svedberg) in exchange for Whitney, and neither of those is going to happen. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see a Jordan Caron-for-Ryan Whitney still happen if the Bruins need to get an offensive defenseman.

Lowetide wrote about Caron and Svedberg earlier; Svedberg is enjoying an excellent rookie season in the AHL after some strong work in Sweden and would be a legitimate backup for Edmonton. It’s understandable both why the Oilers would be interested and why the Bruins would be unwilling to make that deal. Caron has first-round draft pedigree but results in both the AHL and NHL haven’t been particularly overwhelming to date.

The return on Murray was steep and not likely to be duplicated in a Whitney deal, but with the trade deadline still days away the Oilers have time to try and negotiate the best return possible. The steep ask is wise, and while it will doubtless need to drop to get a deal done that can wait. Barring injury, the value of veteran defencemen doesn’t decrease as the deadline gets closer.

The Bigger Trade

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

After describing Hockey Buzz as “highly entertaining”, Haggerty promptly dismisses the notion that Milan Lucic is in play at all, let alone for the site’s rumoured package of Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Whitney and a draft pick. It’s well known the Bruins are hoping to add a winger for the playoffs; Haggerty suggests that a trade could expand to include Paajarvi or Hemsky, but makes it clear that Lucic is not going the other way. Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald also added another Edmonton name to the list – Ryan Smyth – as a possible trade target for the Bruins. We might speculate that Ryan Jones, another pending unrestricted free agent, is a possibility as well if the Bruins really are interested in Smyth.

Is a bigger trade possible? Yes. The Bruins are in a position where they have a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup, so if the Oilers wish to move a winger Boston is a logical partner. Hemsky played (successfully) with David Krejci during the lockout, which might make him more appealing, while with Nail Yakupov in the system the Oilers might not be averse to moving him. Paajarvi seems less plausible as a trade candidate, simply because he’s a good fit for the Oilers’ age cluster, while Smyth and Jones could obviously be dealt.

On the other hand, Oilers Nation’s Jason Gregor suggested that the Bruins and Oilers weren’t really discussing a forward as part of a deal:

With Jarome Iginla landing in Pittsburgh, not Boston like it was reported last night, you wonder if the Oilers/Bruins trade talks will continue. Two sources told me that nothing was imminent, but that some minor "tire-kicking" had gone on between the Oilers and Bruins. Ryan Whitney’s name was involved, and then Boston reporter Joe Haggerty tweeted that he heard a forward was also involved. He mentioned Ales Hemsky in one tweet and then Magnus Paajarvi in another. A source from Edmonton suggested there has been no talk regarding a forward.

As common as big trades at the deadline are in rumour, they’re more difficult to execute in reality. The most likely outcome is probably the simple move that happens a lot at the deadline: Ryan Whitney to Boston for a draft pick or a prospect.

Recently around the Nation Network

  • outdoorzguy

    If it is truly about maximizing return and the Bruins are the team interested, the player they should be chasing is Alexander Khokhlachev. We already know the Bruins are willing to part ways with the Russian. Although small, he could provide something completely necessary to the Oilers success next year… part of a package deal for a Legitimate #1 or #2 defenseman. With the cap going down next year GM’s will be looking for a guy like Khokhlachev in return not players drafted in the second round of this springs entry draft.

  • What is wrong with people? Why would Boston ever give up a roster player if they are making a push for the cup ? They were offering a pick and prospects for Iginla.

    If you want a roster player the oilers should be dealing with Philly or Florida IMO.

  • Sox and Oil

    Reider is smallish and took a step backward this year, numbers declined considerably over last year, with a worrying injury history. I see it as an attempt to address the size issue. Teams never trade Lucic-type players – you have to grow your own, and as they aren’t easy to draft, I think you have to have quantity and hope for the best.

  • DieHard

    I liked Reider as a prospect but Oilers have finally had it with small/skilled. They have enough in the system and on the team. Where would he fit? no where. Kessy may not fit either but would be better on 4th line than Reider or so it seems. Who the hell knows.

  • justDOit

    Extracting maximum value “from” Ryan Whitney, NOT “for” Ryan should have been our priority for the last two years, as our system changed quickly in that timeframe we failed to maintain a cohesive team perspective and created a disconnect with some very key very important players on our roster. Ryan Whitney was one and there are others who mysteriously came around recently, the Oilers owe a tab on both of them to the NHS.

    We ran Whitts into the ground ourselves through poor communication and a resultant disconnect with Ryan the Player not Ryan the Person, and we have recently bailed ourselves out of that bad dynamic we created. Ryan Whitney is only going to get better playing for Ralph within this system now , it may seem ironic but if you assess accountability for the disconnect to the communications platform where it belongs everything makes perfect sense and falls into place.

    Maximum value from Ryan Whitney as his tangible value to our system stands TODAY is very much different than it was even two months ago. There is even a tangible documentable technical change in Ryans onice performance that correllates to this new understanding the coaches and he evolved into that put them on the exact same page finally. If I were a Coach and had internal recognition of this fact I would be very nervous about losing Ryan because I would be fully aware of his having turned the corner.

    I hammered on the Oilers misuse of Whitneys skillset for over two years, I tried very hard to show everyone how it was system inconsistancy and changes tht were making Ryans game not fit and his performance suffer.
    I got desperate enough to suggest a trade but only because it was the only way to stop the bleeding, it was only recently that the wound was cauterised shut. I accept my share of the responsibility for loudly critiqueing Ryans game but there is a codicile in that I also directed my focus on the catalyst of the problems accurately, on the systems communication platform.

    He fits here and is on board 100%,I actually think if we somehow keep him he will be very valuable next year, his skillset is perfect for us if we manage it properly and keep constantly putting a responsible degree of resources and energy into keeping the communication clear and concise whenever adjustments are required. The primary fact that needs to be given consideration is that the OILERS are responsible for the communication breakdowns we are seeing consistantly NOT the Players, if we can have at least that much integrity and tell that small sliver of a seed of Truth we might have some chance to dig ourselves out of the deep dark pit we so industriously dug ourelves into.

    No Milan please.

    MPS has demonstratably evolved into MORE than the PowerForward we were aiming to have him be, he is a defensive specialst at the NHL level already and is flexing NHL level skills all round. He is a homegrown Oilers PowerForward and carries all of the distinctive Oilers historical attributes in Spades, he is Fast, Offensive, Defensive, he is willing to do as asked by the coaches even if its out of his comfort zone so he will bleed, he is Honest and ACCOUNTABLE to a leadership degree about his own personal performances and requirements to improve and adjust and is motivated to change ASAP.and he has a lot of Pride that drives him hard every night, MPS is a proto-typical Oilers.

    And no we cannot trade him yet, in fact I have said since his Rookie year that he is a core player as much as or more than some of his higher rated peers, his speed and size and intangibles make him very valuable to our specific system and culture here in Edmmonton, I would classify him as untouchable because there is no way you will replace his size and influence and also his skillset, guys like he is evolving into quickly are harder to get than 1st line Centers in the NHL. I predict a strong leadership role here alongside Gagner if the team plays this right, those two will definately be passing the Stanley Cup to each other one day.

    Our needs are very defined and limited and we are in a position where we havent seen the ceilings of our kids yet so we cant be jumpy and make moves to early, for example right now today I would say we are severely lacking in the FO dept, and if we wanted to win now I would make sacrifices to bring in a top guy to provide that role, however NUGE is looking like a monster on the odd nght which means he is focusing and will soon get even better and not stop evolving until he is above average. Taylor Hall has evolved into a player who can smartly work into the middle without getting killed by a big hit, he has evolved, many guys are evolving so fast that we HAVE to wait just one more year before we get crazy and go all-in. Like it or not at the end of next season we will have a clearer picture of the core group and next years trade deadline will be historic in our Franchises history I believe, becaue we will be ready to pull the pin and go all-in to win.

    Right now we can still be fleeced out of our young players we are currently undervalueing by proxy, for example a player who can play with all of our top picks and fit in has wayyyy more value to us than we are recognising and other teams see this and are trying to pick our pockets thinking we are drunk with talent and skillsets. This is a a dynamic reality right now and we need to be ultra cautious.

    When I hear any talk at all about trading MPS or Yakupov I just shudder because it is so dynamiclly possible considering the teams overt lack of Intuaive Dynamic Analysis of their assets and the system suitability attatched to them which happens to be the true tangible value we have been failing to define with players for decades. Pendergrast wasnt the problem, organisational culture and weakness were the problems.

    The goddam statistical analyst morons we see selling themselves all over the place are destroying the game of hockey from the inside out, if you want any proof of this listen to the Penguins ownership and managment group talk about how much they allow this type of analysis to influence their decision makeing, ha ha,ZERO, thats the degree they rely on that type of data in those areas of operations. This is why they are such a sucess story and we are a sinking ship. If we use the NHS we already have our own Crosby in Sam Gagner because Sam understands how to see the game the NHS way and has proven he can execute it perfectly and you see the Penguins happen to endorse many NHS core values, in fact on an organisational level they are the team that is most NHS like in their presentation. The Blues execute the closest tangible onice representation of the NHS but the Penguins dynamiclly manage their entire organisation the same way the NHS is designed to function in its entirity, same way “Wayne Gretzkys Brain” thinks,ha ha ha.

    Lucic would ruin Hall, he would become a mini-monster behind a guy like that,ha ha ha, and at the end of the day come playoff time we would be weaker not stronger for it, so even if we had him we would have to tightly manage his influences so we could present a solid playoff balanced presentation. A player like that would help us pick off playoff points all year long effectively and be worth the squeeze but because we have such deep talent and skillsets we will be ripping points away from teams on the scoreboard not squeezing them out on the ice, we dont require a player of that magnitude here and now. In fact I believe that by next year we will see so much development and evolution from our kids that we could just slam the door shut and make no trades off the roster this year and still dominate next year, our biggest issues have been organisational and system and system consistancy related, those things simply take time or resources to solve, but as far as the roster goes we have been so mismanaged in my opinion until recently in an Intuative Dynamic sense that
    there is no way we can properly value our assets from a true system-suitability perspective. We are extremely vulnerable to losing critical pieces right now that of all of the rebuilding years I would shut the door on trades that didnt involve older vets, period.

    • That’s a 1,500 word comment. Go get a blog. If you persist in this, I’m going to start deleting everything after 300 words that you post.

      I hate to do stuff like that, but we’ve had so many complaints about your inability to make simple points succinctly that I really don’t have a choice any more. Cut it back.

      Now, to two of your points:

      – Whitney’s improvement is a mirage; in terms of scoring chances his numbers are the same now as they ever were. But he’s on a nice run of pucks going into the net.

      – Those PIT comments were in direct reference to the Doug Murray trade alone. Last week, PIT presented a paper at an analytics conference detailing the way analytics helped them decide to trade for James Neal. So you’re pretty much 100% wrong there. Few NHL teams have embraced stats as publicly as PIT.

      • Spydyr

        I find his posts easier to skip then DSF.He just takes over some of the comment sections.It is much simpler scrolling past one post then 52 with DSF’s name in it somewhere.

      • New Age……here’s 3 things you could do to keep your priviledges on Oilers Nation.

        1) Write your 1500 word essays in private….but then just take the first sentence from each paragraph and post that.

        2) Write 1500 words, but then just pick your favorite two paragraphs and post those.

        3) Watch a movie called “A River Runs Through It” wherein the Minister/Father tells his son to write an essay on a certain topic. When the son is finished, the father says to him “good” now go write the same story in half the pages. He continues the process until the kid has distilled the story down to it’s simplest most consice form. Give a GO Man!!

        • The privilage hahaha. You mean the pain,ha haha.

          How many posters here have had the Oilers coaches quoting them from their online posts within 24hrs verbatim at practices to the team and on national TV to the fans? I have , and it is irrevocable proof of the positive contributions and impact we can have from these sites as fans.Be happy some of us get through the many obstacles intentionally put between the team and the media sources out there.

          Wake the hell up because contrary to how you feel about yourselves many of you have a lot of important insights to offer the team and they DO read blogs and internet sites, take yourselves a little more seriously. Have some self-respect , contribute to the team efforts to make the playoffs via Cinderella Run or please just relax.

          Oilers coaching staff have no problem with the posts I make based on their real and tangible use of them as documented, long posts are for those Oilers people who tune in AND all of us here on the blog or Forum. I have already managed to extend my sphere of influence tangibly beyond cyberspace utilising long not abbreviated posts so i am just going with what works. I lose nothing by abbreviating my posts and all you gain is a few seconds of scroll-time and cyber-control, but the Oilers lose a resource that is documented at a time they need it most. 300 word is fne with me.

    • justDOit

      Props for your ability to type – if it wasn’t for all the spelling errors, I would think you were using a dictation app. Too bad that an auto-edit app doesn’t exist yet.

      Good luck to you and your friends in your endeavors to reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare.

  • justDOit

    Props to post #54.
    Seriously, I cannot go through that long of a post. I just skip it outright. I week enjoy reading everyone’s posts but those long ones are ridiculous. Much like this one.

  • DieHard

    I am glad that the Oilers are trying to get the most for Whitney. I don’t feel like we need to move him so unless we get a sweetheart deal, I am totally content if he still an Oiler after the deadline.

  • honestly in my opinion and i’m not an oilers fan i think they should trade yakupov to ottawa for bishop and weircoch. whitney should atleast get a chance to find his place in the system the dynamic of the team has changed so much and if he doesnt well send him to san jose for clowe gets the oilers the size they need.

  • So if what Curcro suggests is true, wouldn’t many teams start that process (of pairing down their overburdened salary) at the deadline? Why would they wait until the summer? Does this mean a VERY active trade deadline day?

  • If what Tambo is looking for is more prospects and picks, then fine, deal with Boston.

    But I think the bigger question is… ‘is it time to be buyers yet?’

    Are the Oilers going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline? If we mortgage our top pick too early than the returning player in that deal may not be around for the real years of contendership, but if we wait too long, the value of that pick in a trade may be too low.

    If the oilers want top return on their first rounder, this will likely be the last year for a while that they can get it. So is that pick more valuable to us in a trade or not? And yes, if we are buyers, our first rounder and klefbom are the only pieces that can really bring back real value. The other prospects and picks will only help with depth.

    I think the market has been set in our favour more so than ever before. Seeing that the 30th overall pick can get you Iginla means that the 10th overall pick should be able to get you even more. I doubt we will ever get this much value for our pick. This makes it the perfect year to deal our first round pick. We aren’t drafting top 5, our pick is still high enough that it will be coveted, and the market is as high as its ever been for top draft picks. How much will teams like Philly, Florida, and Buffalo be willing to give up to get another pick in the top 10-13?

    The two prospects that represent what the oilers need most that are in our draft range are Mantha and Nurse:

    Mantha LW is 6’3″ 200lbs and has 50 goals in 67 games in the QMJHL. But he’s an older prospect and that always skews the numbers.

    Darnell Nurse D 6’5 200 lbs 41 pts in 67 games and 116 PIMS. His ranking is low,and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes 7-8th.

    I think a package involving either Klefbom or our first round pick could get us one of the following:

    Hartnell from Phi, Fleischman from Florida, Vanek/Pominville/Ehrhoff from Buf.

    If Tambi somehow knows he can get Nurse or Mantha, fine, don’t do a deal involving our first round pick. But to me, the other prospects in that range are just more of what we already have. And we have it to the gills.

    If the oilers start to fall in the standings than the decision is easy… but what if we are 9th or 8th on deadline day?

    Then what?

    Assuming we tambellini only wants to deal with the east, what is more valuable to the oilers?

    One of Hartnell, Vanek, Pominville, Ehrhoff, or Fleischman?

    Or Klefbom and/or 2013 top 9-13 pick?

    My guess is tambellini would be too scared to do a deal of that magnitude even if we were in 8th.

    Remember, buffalo is having a fire sale http://www.youtube.c…h?v=I40HfH1UiXo