A quiet trade deadline for the Oilers? (Update: Oilers make a small trade)

According to the guy who is arguably the most plugged-in member of the Edmonton media, the Edmonton Oilers very well might do nothing on the trade front tomorrow.

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Stauffer’s Take

630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer made the comments on Twitter this morning.

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What it means

The Oilers are in a difficult position: in the playoff hunt, but on the outside looking in right now. Not long ago, the speculation was that the team would be wise to move its pending unrestricted free agents; Stauffer’s comments suggest that the only players likely to be moved are ones the Oilers have decided they can replace internally.

Ryan Jones fits the bill because the Oilers have Teemu Hartikainen waiting in the minors. With a logjam on the wings, the only forwards the Oilers could demote without risking waivers were Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi, and Paajarvi’s strong play eliminated him from consideration. Hartikainen and Jones fill similar niches, and it’s probably fair to wonder whether the Oilers plans for next season include Jones.

Theo Peckham fits the bill because he hasn’t played much at all. With Mark Fistric on the roster, and Peckham’s difficulties out of training camp getting ice-time has been a real challenge – when Peckham’s played he has actually been pretty good, but there’s little reason to believe he’s a superior player to Fistric (who also hasn’t played all that much lately, thanks to Ryan Whitney). Peckham’s the team’s fifth-best left-side defenceman, so the question is less whether the Oilers are interested in moving him and more whether there’s another team out there interested in acquiring him.

It’s a cautious approach for the team, one that avoids sacrificing long-term assets for the sake of a playoff push that still has less than a 50% chance of working out. It also avoids gaining long-term assets at the price of pending free agents – like Whitney and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin – who are seen as useful in the here-and-now.

Update: A minor trade

The Oilers have made a small deal, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

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Dane Byers was originally signed in the summer to a two-way deal, but has been disappointing in Oklahoma – he plays physical hockey but his scoring touch has completely evaporated. Stafford is also on a two-way deal that expires this year, but adds a competent right-side defenceman with some offence to the system (something the Barons have missed since the loss of Brett Clark).

The NHL ramifications of the deal are pretty much non-existent, but this should make the Barons a better team.

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  • A-Mc

    In my opinion, there is 1 trade the Oilers HAVE TO make…

    They need to move Belanger out for.. atleast a bag of pucks.

    Oilers FACTS: With Belanger playing, the team plays poorly and loses. With Belanger on IR, the Team wins more often and plays with more drive and conviction.

    Belanger has to go.

  • book¡e

    “the guy who is arguably the most plugged-in member of the Edmonton media”

    Also known as the guy who has gotten pretty much everything wrong regarding the Oilers over the past two years.

    People think the Oilers ‘feed’ Bob stuff because he works for him, but in my recall, his stats of Right vs Wrong predictions is poorer than maggie the monkey. I don’t think management ever talk to Bob Stauffer.

      • book¡e

        Stauffer gets some things right and others completly wrong as do you or I. He gets fed some information and some misinformation I suspect. I am certain that the Oilers use him to get messages out when they want.

        I have no problems at all with using him as a source as you did here to start a conversation, but some bloggers/posters take everything he says as if it has already happened. If Bob MacKenzie makes a call, I am more inclined to believe it is accurate than if Bob Staffer does.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    had they not been playing so well, i would expect that at least Whitney would have been shipped out, perhaps Jones and outside chance of Hemsky, but with the Oil playing well and within a point or two of a playoff spot, the need to make a major trade, at least at this moment, isn’t as great as it was.

  • northof51

    Well, I would be the absolute LEAST plugged in to the Oilers braintrust… and that would be my exact predictiosn as well… Tambellini does next to nothing… because doing nothing means that you didn’t make a mistake. Which I believe he is afraid of…. the media and fans revolt. Then just stand in front iof the cameras after it is all over and say “There were no deals that made us better”.

    • northof51

      HAHAHA!! so true, Mean Gene tried to get an answer out of him last night during one of the intermissions and the guy kept saying the same thing over and over again. I guess that’s all the pull cord in his back was programmed for.

  • Muji

    “The NHL ramifications of the deal are pretty much non-existent, but this should make the Barons a better team.”

    Fancy speak for: “A minor league deal.”

    • book¡e

      The Oilers do not have anyone to step in and play at Whitney’s level for the rest of the season.

      They would look at the cost of keeping Whitney for the rest of the season to be equal to the value of the draft pick foregone by not trading him.

      • 106 and 106

        “On the roster, two other bottom-pair players, Corey Potter and Theo Peckham, will likely play just as well as a Whitney-Fistric pairing. Potter can likely fill in for Whitney as a puck-mover, while Peckham brings much of what Fistric has in the physical department. Potter had some success on the power play in 2011-12, so I don’t see losing Whitney there as being a killer.Both Whitney and Fistric can be replaced internally and adequately. I’m OK with the Oilers moving either of the two.” – JWillis (Cult of Hockey)

        I know, I know. Potter can’t fill in and Whitney seems like he’s playing better but his Corsi is the absolute lowest by an insane amount – this guy leaks chances like a sieve and we probably would be better defensively without him (right now).

    • The Soup Fascist

      I am. After paying for season tickets since 2004, mostly for crappy to ho hum – and expensive – regular season games …. I want some payback.

      There is nothing like playoff games in the old rink – as much as I can remember that long ago anyway. I am not saying sell out the future to take a run – especially one with long odds, but please don’t scuttle the ship for a 2nd round (likely LATE second round pick).

      Am I being impatient? – probably. Do they have a good shot at the playoffs? – meh, last 5 games of the season look tough. But they are closer than they have been in a long time and a round or so of playoffs would help this team more than a late second rounder, IMO.

  • northof51

    We should at least trade someone for 2014 picks. We can then use those picks next year to help us load up when we should be in a better position to actually make some noise.

    • OilersBrass

      This is a good idea, i’d like to see the Oilers trades some draft picks and players at the 2014 draft for a high first round pick so they could pick up Jake Virtanen.
      He’s just the type of player they need, big, skilled, physical left winger and he’s only 16.
      I’ve watched him in a couple games and he’s made huge hits WHILE carrying the puck up the ice.

  • OilersBrass

    That Derrick Roy trade would have been magic for us.

    By my count, that makes St. Louis and Vancouver tougher teams to beat in order to get that last spot.

    Not to mention Clowe didn’t dress so you know he’s headed somewhere. Maybe he’s coming here and we could put him on a line with Belangier to become the ultimate overpaid offensive black hole line.

  • Truth

    Unless the Oilers trade for a Chris Pronger circa 2006 they aren’t winning the cup this year. Do whatever is necessary to make the team better for next year and the following years. If that means gaining an asset now for an asset that you are going to lose in the off-season for nothing, then do it.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Boy- Tambo went way out on a limb for that one. Probably
    had to get Katz to call this dude as well. Did you call Gretz as
    well Tambo ? Must have spent weeks agonizing over this
    you poor excuse for a G.M.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Yeah oilers looking good last night. lets keep on rolling. maybe on wednesday we can get 2 goalies pulled. ha ha poor calgary theyre going to tank the rest of the season. nice to see dallas giving up too. Lets go Oilers!!!

  • WinterNightSky

    It’s a small deal, but it’s a good one. We get OKC some help that they need and clear up a contract one year sooner. This is the kind of deal that shows good management, and no one’s ever accused Tambellini of being a poor AHL general manager.

  • Bucknuck

    They would never get it done at this deadline, but in the offseason I wonder what the Oil could/would trade that could fetch them Anisimov (CLB). He big, fast, wins faceoffs, and he’s just plain awesome.

  • book¡e

    The Rangers get Clowe for two 2cds and a 3rd.They will be have no picks in the first 3 rounds this draft. For a guy who is a UFA>And has scored no goals?This season!.

    Listening to Gregor and Rishaug is so frustrating.Gregor goes on how we need to get better and we need to get legitimate NHL players.Then he and Rishaug go all apocalyptyic on us. If we trade Whitney and Jones it will send the wrong message in the dressing room if we don’t bring in players and only trade for picks.

    Bunch of hooey. If I get 2 2cd rounders for Whitney I am taking it and saying thank you very much. Who am I going to replace him with.I don’t know.Whoever replaced his ass everytime he was the IR in the past 2 years. Give me a break. Whitney shows a little promise and goodness grief we can’t trade him because it might make Hall etal feel a little let down. Cripes what are we trying to build here.

    You want one thing without giving up another.Jones for Teemu is perfectly reasonable. So trade Jones for value.

    How about Brayden Shenn for Hemsky? Or Jones and picks for a guy like OTT.

    As far as I am concerned we have essentialy one time during the season when we can evaluate our team and do something substantial to change it. Its tommorow. Deadline day awaits and we need to take a hard look at where we want to be not only 3 weeks from now but 2,3,4 years from now. If those picks Gregor and Rishaug pishaw now and think that it won’t matter 3-4 years from now I can only say that is how we got here in the first place. We need to ensure we our stocking and developing players for now and for the future. The Red Wings model works.The Oilers model has not for years. Its gotten better under Tambo. But it will only continue to improve if we make descisions that continue to move this team forward.
    There is no crying in hockey. I won’t shed a tear for a guy like Whitney if he finds himself elsewhere tommorow. And I am certain he won’t shed a tear if he finds himself on a Cup contending team either.Funny how that works.

  • 106 and 106

    There is only one guarantee……….that Tamby the only GM in the NHL that can’t make a real hockey deal, will not be able to make a deal.

    I’m tired of listening to this clown talk about how agressive the Oilers will be at each and every traded deadline, only to be told that he has now decided to wait until the summer to make a deal.

    What a bunch of Horsesh-t! And to all those media types that keep believing him……shame on you!

    Tamby is a sleep walker/talker! The guy is brain dead.

  • The math says that the Edmonton Oilers will become a BETTER team by trading Ryan Whitney. Addition by subtraction. To get NO value in return for an already diminished asset because “everything will fall apart if we get rid of our worst d-man and besides we don’t want to ruin the whopping 25% chance we make the playoffs” is INSANE.

    If this team falls apart because it lacks 1 d-man who can’t turn and bleeds chances against but CAN make a good breakout pass….. then we don’t belong in the playoffs in the first place.

    Get something for the asset. Sweet Cripes.

  • Maggie the Monkey

    If Whitney is really so bad, then Tambo wouldn’t get much for trading him anyway. I’m tired of the posts that totally trash a player but then harp on how badly we need to trade him for early round draft picks. Unless you’re assuming that other GM’s are as incompetent as Tambo…

    And by the way, if we don’t trade Peckham, then I won’t blame management because I don’t think anyone wants him anyway. I bet he’d clear waivers.

    Why is there more talk of selling anyway? Teams don’t usually go from bottom dwellers to Cup contenders in one year. There needs to be at least a few transition years where this team makes the playoffs and learns how to win, and that means buying some cheap rentals and getting knocked out in the early rounds. So could we please stop the infini-build talk? Save it for a New York Islanders forum.

  • Pharmboy

    Letting Whitney go for nothing does free up cap space and a contract, replace with Webber (for Hemsky, Jones, 1st and 2nd round picks) – they can have Belanger too if they are feeling charitable…. Dreamland is such a sweet place.

  • Pharmboy

    @ Johnathan Willis

    My question for you is simple. Is there any way to qualtify the value playoff games have on developing players?

    There’s two, unreasearched schools of thought here I think:

    1) None.

    2) A huge amount.

    The Oilers camp are clearly in school 2. During the 2006 SCR they brought all of their *ahem* prospects up to stay with the big club for their development. They also speak about the value and importance of “meaningful games”.

    Keeping Whitney and Jones may not be great for the team except if they cannot be replaced by NHL caliber players. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, are you ultimately losing out on the unquantified value of “meaningful games”?

    Just my question.

  • Pharmboy

    I am thinking that we will be quiet before the deadline, which is fine by me. Having said that, who saw the Gilbert deal coming last season? Sometimes a good hockey deal comes out of nowhere and addresses weak spots on two teams. With the races so tight in both conferences, maybe a swap with an Eastern conference team can be made.

    I wouldn’t mind moving Jones and getting Teemu back up here. I would have a harder time moving Whitney because I don’t see an immediate replacement for him from within.

    Move Khabby if you can too. The only worry is perhaps the possibility of a Dubnyk injury but otherwise, this is Dubnyk’s show for the rest of the season if you ask me.