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.

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

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

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Gotta trade Whitney, IMO, and if you can get a 2nd it’s a win.

    Does the trade hurt the OIL for the rest of the season? Maybe a little. His outlet pass can be very helpful, but I wonder how much his absence would effect the team.

    I’d guess not by much.

    Plus, I think Teddy Peckham needs to play the rest of the way. Need to find out whether to cut bait or not on him.

    Hemsky is the most interesting possible trade. I think he garners a 1st. Maybe more. If he goes the asset he brings back may help now, in the future or as part of a trade.

    If Hemsky is traded the return had better be good.

    The next few days should be fun.

    On a negative note: College UFA DeKesyer signs with DET. No dice on that one.

    Yale product Laganiere’s team wins today, so we’ll have to wait for the big winger to sign with an NHL team.

  • Bucknuck

    Looking at the standings and seeing the Oilers just three points back of the playoff spot makes me wonder why the Oil aren’t trying to be buyers instead of worrying about UFA’s, maybe they should be worrying about holes in the lineup and trying to fill them. You know… like Ray Shero?

    I would like the Oiler’s playoff chances better if they moved some draft picks and prospects and got real players back for the stretch drive. They should be talking to Philadelphia and Florida, Not Boston.

    I’m so tired of the losing mentality. The Oil-change could start this week…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    JW would Calgary be willing to trade with the Oilers for Jay Bowmeester? Is it possible? I think that the time would b rip to to kick som tirs and see what pric you would need to pay.

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Lowebellini vs. Chiarelli in a battle of wits = certain catastrophic failure. Might as well jump into a piranha tank wearing a meat suit and hope for the best.

    Keep Whitney.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wait and try to fleece that first rounder out of the Bruins. Whitney, and perhaps Omark can be Chiarellis butler for a year, or something along those lines. Why even bother with a 3rd or 4th rd pick that is accompanied with a near 93% fail rate.

    In Whitneys case it’s almost worth it to just let him walk at the end of the season and allocate the capspace elsewhere next yr. With his time ending here the way it is, Tambo sure looks like he was rolled in that Visnovky deal. Whitney was damaged goods from close to day 1.

  • 106 and 106

    The Bruins, are chasing Lord Stanley, dont expect them to give up roster players. You might be able to make a trade in the summer with them , if they need to shake some Cap. If would not resign Whitney, so you might as well get something for him its a second rounder etc.

    Bruins couldnt or wouldn’t cut a deal for a Iginla, so it tells you they are throwing around
    to much to make a deal. Besides, Whitney in all fairness, isnt going to get you much no matter where you pitch your lure.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Why would Boston trade sequin for yakupov and players. Yakupov won’t be good for a couple years. They go backwards in that trade. Boston wants to win now. They will trade prospects and draft picks for any of our players.

  • vetinari

    I’m surprised that the Oilers aren’t dangling their cap room as an incentive for teams to trade with them. For example, they could offer Whitney AND keep most of his salary/cap for the balance of the year under their cap room. Surely, this would be valuable to a team like Boston to load up on players. C’mon, Tambi, use some creativity and think outside of the box to make something happen for a change.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      If needed to be done fine, but the only team that can’t afford Whitney’s cap hit are the Canucks.

      If they start doing that with players like Hemsky. (@Racki)

      The Oilers need the cap room this summer. The RFA market will heat up a bit, because of the number of team that will struggle even with the 2 compliance buyouts to make the salary cap. The buyout have to be done in June prior to Free Agency.

      Even the Bruins, they have $6.1M of cap space to sign 3 Forwards & 2 Goalies.

      At NHL minimum that leaves $3.8M to sign Rask.

      That presumes that they let Caron go. If they want to sign Caron, then they don’t currently have money to sign Rask.

      Even if the Bruins were to fix up this situation, there are teams like the Rangers, with Stepan, Hagelin, & McDonagh to resign with only $11M to do it.

      Or the Blues who have Pietrangelo, Russell, Cole & Shattenkirk to resign, and an ownership group that doesn’t like to spend money.

      That is just 3 teams, and there are several out there.

      With patience, we can get a stud RFA NHL ready player in the summer, if we hold on to our cap room.

      Not to mention in the UFA market, a guy like Horton is not going to be resigned by the Bruins – they don’t have the space for him.

      • This is a great point. Best post on this string.

        This is a good example of one of the many things GM’s look at that the average guy posting here doesn’t typically have a clue about.

        I guess that makes Curcro above average …….which is surprising with a name like Curcro. ( I wonder how Don Cherry would pronounce that ) 🙂

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    reality check time….the Oilers aren’t getting Lucic or Horton, and neither would stay long term, IMO, so i don’t want them here! the Bruins are being extremely stingy in my point of view if they aren’t willing to give up more than Jordan Caron and/or picks and second rate prospects. lord, despite his great AHL record and the fact the Bruins have Subban in the system as their potential future #1 goalie, the Oilers can’t even squeeze goalie Svedberg out of the Bruins! i say maybe the Bruins aren’t the best trading partners for the Oilers right now?

  • 106 and 106

    It’ll be hard to pry pieces away from a team looking to go into June and compete with Pittsburgh – The pens gave up picks and prospects, not NHL players.

    I see your last sentence as being most true, unless Hemmer is involved. Then it’s a player + prospect.

    • I would think he would be extremely hard to get if he were available (which I doubt he is.. he’s probably not untouchable, but close enough to it, like Lucic would be). I’m not sure what the asking cost would be, but I can say that Hemsky + our 1st definitely would not do it.

      If we were willing to give up Yakupov, then the Bruins might talk to us, but I’d imagine that they’d feel they need more out of that deal too.

      Let’s put it in context we can understand.. would you trade Taylor Hall for Artem Anisimov and Columbus’ first round pick? I would hope not.

      I like the thought of trying hard for a young skilled center though. But it will cost us for sure, and it will cost a young skilled player too.

  • Do we think Whitney will be back next year? If so, I guess shipping him away for a pick or some longshot prospect isn’t a good idea. If we think he’s gone anyways, then I’d say get what we can for him, and if that’s all we can get… pull the trigger. We’re not going to win the cup or anything this year, and it’s doubtful we’ll make the playoffs. I don’t see Ryan Whitney being a huge factor in our attempt to make the playoffs either. I am pretty sure Whitney’s value is low though on the trade market, so I don’t see this ending too well.

    I honestly would have to wonder why Whitney would want to re-sign with us. Judging by a tweet of his yesterday (?) he obviously is aware fans want him traded, so would you want to come back to this? I don’t think so.. but I don’t know what’s going on in his head.

    All the message board / blog commenters will remind us that we screwed up trading Whitney, but if we don’t, I feel like we’ll lose him for nothing. Kinda damned if we do, damned if we don’t.