The trade for Ben Scrivens looks like a quality move by Oilers GM Craig MacTavish. However, Oiler fans have gone from "well, maybe Scrivens will be okay" to "why didn’t they sign him right away!?!?!" and Oiler management is being cast as incompetent in a whole new way. The Oilers have something of value for young Srivens—beyond money. That one thing is probably the key to signing him, and doing it in due time.


The Oilers can offer Ben Scrivens work, and plenty of it. Now, he might not get 50+ shots a night, but he’ll be busy until these young players mature and begin pushing back against good NHL teams (all of the good NHL teams are in the Pacific Division—I’m kidding but only a little).

Edmonton could go to Scrivens during the Olympic break and offer a lucrative contract that goes beyond his resume. If they extended a two or three-year offer with dollars between $2M and $3M a season, I can’t imagine the young man turning it down. There’s some real security in that contract for Scrivens.

It’s still a risky contract for the Oilers, as Scrivens doesn’t have a lot of experience and the club just went through a disaster in goal early this season. What if Scrivens is unable to repeat his season in 2014-15? Once bitten, twice shy is a cliche for a reason.


If he signs a one year deal, wins the #1 job and kills it, you’re paying a lot of money for additional free agent seasons. Then again, if the Oilers have another poor season that may not be MacTavish’s problem. Among decisions to be made in the next six months, starting goaltender is pretty damn big.


A good General Manager looks to solve the problem longer term, so a multi-year deal is likely the better plan. A two-year deal—and a veteran backup with plenty of experience—may be the route to take. However, I believe MacTavish would be wise to wait until the rest of this season rolls out, and for the Oilers to play Ben Scrivens in 15 (or so) games after the Olympics. His price may go up, but the Oilers have to be sure on this one.


I believe Craig MacTavish was on his way to signing a Jonas Hiller in the offseason before Scrivens happened. The Oilers may still sign a veteran starter, but the opportunity to solve a massive problem with a player in his prime is very attractive. The asset cost was low, the dollar investment (money and term) should still be reasonable.

Edmonton and Scrivens may be a very good match. The carrot is the money married to the opportunity. Ben Scrivens will probably be as interested in a multi-year deal and the #1 job in the spring as he is now, and the Oilers will get a longer look before committing to another masked man before they are completely convinced he can succeed as a starting goalie.

  • Serious Gord

    Does Tbay go into the playoffs with Lindback as their backup?

    The Rangers are one Lundquist injury away from disaster.

    Washington? Even with no team defense they have Neuvirth as a backup. How badly do they want veteran backup going into the stretch run.

    IB is a viable option for many of these teams. He has played really well.Been sane.A good teammate.Solid.It adds up to IB being traded at the deadline.

    Scrivens has been all that and a bag of chips.To the haters. Bite me. Scrivens has earned the respect of his teammates. Most off all he has earned their confidence.

    When DD was in net you could not say that. It was obvious at times how they felt.

    Scrivens has stepped and grapped the bull by the horns and is screaming at the top of his lungs that he wants the number 1 job.

    Hometown boy who was given an opportunity to play on ice that he dreamed about as a kid. Could you write a better story.

    Sign him at 2×2.4 and be happy that your team has a guy that they have faith in.

    remember the Labarbera Hissy fit earlier this year. Nuff said.

    • Serious Gord

      I for one do not hate Scrivens. It is that five games is far too small a sample size. There is BOLD. And there is panic and recklessness.

      And if he refused your measly offer of 2×2.4, would you turn your back on him? Were I him I wouldn’t sign for that.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    L.T. wrote

    If they extended a two or three-year offer with dollars between $2M and $3M a season, I can’t imagine the young man turning it down.

    LoL, a UFA with one of the best save% signing for 2Mil. All those that beleive this will happen say yea.


    We definitely have to archive this article and see what he actually signs for. I’m doubtful 3yrs at $3mil will get it done.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    See him play in the starter’s role from here to the end. See what he’s worth, then pay him accordingly WHATEVER that amount is.

    1. If he’s a great starter pay him as such

    2. He may falter but play well in the tandem role

    3. I he falters, but plays well with fewer starts – as a backup then that will be obvious to everyone else as well, and you will only need pay him as such. You’ll sign him easily IF he wants to play here.

    4. I don’t see him failing in all roles but if he did you’d b glad you waited.

    Couple things I’d like to touch on.

    You NEED to find out IF he’s interested in staying and playing here in the long haul, in all sincerity if the dollars are right for both parties. If he says no, then I think you have to trade him, for sure. You cannot lose that asset.

    But if he says he IS interested I believe the opposite is true. This is a smart guy that doesn’t like uprooting his family. I don’t think scuttling him out of town would make him want to sign here afterwards. If that happens you will have lost sight of the number one goal here: to secure a top-flight goalie, for not only the present but the future too. No trade will make that worthwhile. We have seen – for a long time now, what poor goaltending will get you.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Lots of talk on asset management. We spent a 3rd round draft pick ( i don’t think we have ever had a 3rd rounder make a significant contribution ) so we really gave up nothing.

    After 5 games is he worth much more than a 3rd round pick.

    I know it is a Scrivens thread, but the much more interesting asset management is the other goalie.

    Boston, SJ, PItt, and Chicago all have legit chances to WIN the cup. Each team has an established started, but might benefit from a UFA with lots of NHL experience as an upgrade. Each team has lots of non roster players that would be interesting to the Oilers

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    I know it’s a small sample size, but we’ve just been reminded of the value of having a top goaltender. From the comments here, though, I get the feeling that MacTavish is going to get trashed no matter what he does. Really guys, he made a helluva move in bringing in Scrivens and at least setting up his next shot.

    But, if you were Scrivens, why wouldn’t you go to free agency? There’s no way he can lose. Tough one…

  • Serious Gord

    I don’t think the Oilers can wait. They have the wife situation to consider. Happy wife, happy life and all. With the Islanders and possibly Penguins and Panthers in need of goaltending next year and all probably higher on his wife’s happy list, the Oilers likely need to start the process ahead of the deadline to determine if he is even willing to sign with the Oilers.