Baggedmilk’s 3 Thoughts – Buyouts, Trading for Picks & the Draft Party


Last week, I smashed my face on my desk until I could put together 3 thoughts to talk about. I don’t know how Elliotte Friedman (huge pickup for Sportsnet by the way) manages 30 thoughts every week, the guy must do nothing but ponder life’s mysteries. Either Friedman is constantly in a state of wonder or my brain is an empty warehouse that echoes with every pin drop.  (You don’t need to answer that). Either way, this week I wonder about buyout windows, trading NHL players for picks, and the Draft Party. Let the arguments begin!



One of the more interesting parts of the summer is the NHL’s buyout window.  Right now, teams have the opportunity to pay out a chunk a player’s remaining contract to get rid of them.  It’s basically a get out of jail free card.  It’s a good deal for GMs that may have signed a guy to a long term deal that really isn’t working out. Personally, I don’t think the buyout window is long enough. I think teams should be allowed to buy out players at any point during the year. I like the idea of seeing teams buy guys out if the player gets into a cold stretch. I also like the idea of my team being able to sign said bought out player without giving up assets apart from money. At the very least, it would definitely make cap management more difficult. 

Having a season-long buyout window would really put pressure on the players to perform, AND it would create continuous interest from fans about how players from other teams are doing. If teams were able to pay out 2/3 of a guy’s contract at any point in the season, there would be so much more drama in the NHL, which in turn is more fun for fans. Hypothetically… wouldn’t it be cool if a guy like Mike Richards got bought out mid season and the Oilers got an opportunity improve their roster without making a trade? Not only would the player movement be interesting, it would also be cool to watch how teams would manage their cash and bid on the in season free agents.

It seems like trades are infrequent during the season, so it would be interesting to have another way for teams to acquire players through the year. How great would it have been if the Leafs had the option of buying out David Clarkson at Christmas? It would be hilarious! The NHLPA would never let this kind of tomfoolery happen to their players though. It would be a nightmare of uncertainty for the players as any struggle could end up in a pink slip. But wouldn’t it be great for the fans? Dare to dream.



Yesterday, on Oilers Now, MacT told Bob Stauffer that the Oilers aren’t in a position to trade NHL players for draft picks. To me, that was encouraging to hear. For years the Oilers have liquidated actual players for magic beans and it wasn’t getting us anywhere except the podium on draft day. To me, this meant that the Oilers won’t be trading a guy like Gagner just to replenish the missing in the 2nd and 3rd round. IF a guy like Gagner is traded, it’ll be as part of a package or for an actual NHL human being!

If you need reminding, the Oilers won’t have a 2nd Round Pick (Perron trade) or a 3rd Round Pick (Scrivens trade) this year, so day 2 of the draft could be a quiet one for the Oilers. I think the players we got in return for the picks are waaaaay better than anything we would have taken in those rounds. If you were to trade Perron and Scrivens right now, you would likely get more in return than a 2nd or a 3rd round draft choice. They were good deals for a team that needs players and really doesn’t need more bullets in the gun.

I’m also curious about what you guys think… do you care that the Oilers don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round pick in this year’s draft?  



On Friday, June 27th, we’re throwing a party to celebrate the torturous hilarity that is being an Oilers fan. We honestly hope that this is the last time we have to ask the fine folks at the Pint to let us take over the bar and celebrate another season of failure. Celebrating a miserable season for the 300th consecutive year is annoying, and feels like a kick to the junk – we get that. Regardless, this is the spot we’re in. The Oilers sucked again, and now it’s time to reap the rewards. 

Even though we may have said we’re not going to watch it this year, we all know that the draft will be on our TVs anyway. The least we can do is stop lying to ourselves and watch the draft for a good cause. This year, we’ve lined up two great charities with the goal of raising as much money as possible. Tickets are $20 and all party proceeds will be split between the Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and the Inner City Children’s Program. It means is you’ll be partying for charity! I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.

As if partying for charity isn’t cool enough, each ticket will also get you a Draft Party t-shirt (pyramid logo above), a $20 gift certificate from the Pint, and a $10 gift certificate from Oodle Noodle. You spend $20 to help out two charities, and you get $50 worth of stuff in return… even the dumbest of accountants can tell you that’s a good deal. As an added bonus, we’ve recruited Chelsey Smith to attend the party and help us create awareness for our two charities!

If you have to scrounge through couches to scrape together the money – do it. If you have to sell your belongings and internal organs – that’s excessive but we appreciate your dedication! Whatever it takes, just be there. Tickets are available online or at the door on the day of the event. Did I mention we’ll have $4 Nation Draught available?

  • Young Oil

    I think that for this particular year, trading the picks for players worked really well, but we shouldn’t make a habit of it. Elite teams like Chicago and LA have a steady stream of internally developed draft picks coming into the lineup, which is vital to the team because almost all of them are quality players on value contracts, and it also creates competition in the lineup.

    • ubermiguel

      Exactly my thoughts. It does put more pressure on pro scouting to find the gems in the rough in the ECHL and Euro leagues to fill those empty development spots.

  • Great article BM, I really like the idea of a buyout at anytime during the season, it would make the NHL a little more like the NFL where players are sooo disposable and players would have to prove themselves daily.

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the Oilers finally have a Billionaire owner willing to spend and now there’s a Salary Cap?

    I’d gladly take Perron and Scrivens over a 2nd and 3rd this year. Until changes are made to the Oilers Scouting Dept, I don’t trust them past the 1st round at all.

    See you at draft party, I finally get to use my foam finger! (I’ve had the dam thing for 3 years and still haven’t broken it in)

  • If I were a player without scruples, I would try to get bought out every week. At the end of the year I would have 10 simultaneous paychecks of several million each. Highest paid for the worst performance! *fistpump*

    • If you got bought out for poor performance, do you really think a GM is going to sign you to a similar deal and term? You’d be lucky to resign for the league min. The stigma of a buyout after buyout would follow you all the way to the KHL or Europe.

      I would assume that an “anytime buyout” would not pay 2/3’s of your contract but more like 1/4 or 1/8 or even better like the NFL, your contract is not guaranteed and your just cut.

  • It is important for cap management to have a steady flow of prospects. Not having the draft picks certainly hurts.

    That being said we got 2 effective NHL regulars with those draft picks and the likelihood of that happening from the picks themselves is slim.

    I like having the extra bullets in the chamber at the draft and more prospects to watch develop. If they are unable to get more out of Gagner I would be happy with a low 1st round pick for him.

  • A-Mc

    bm: In point #1 you suggest the NHLPA wouldn’t allow buyouts all year long but if i were a member of the NHLPA i would argue the exact opposite.

    I see it like this:

    1. Being bought out means you’re getting a sum of money FOR NOT PLAYING. You’re being paid to do nothing, and that’s always good. Being bought out means the player can gain employment elsewhere and cash 2 cheques every 2 weeks. I think this would equal MORE MONIES for the players and that should be favorable to the NHLPA.

    2. Being bought out immediately means you don’t have to suffer through the painful period of slipping into irrelevance. Its a dangerous thing for players to slip out of sight as their teams bury them in the minors OR up in the press box. From a player perspective, they can keep their visibility if a team buys them out by signing with another team immediately after (Even if its for a reduced $$ figure).

    For these 2 reasons alone i think the NHLPA should be OK with year long buy outs.

    As a fan i would love this because as you say: it would be fantastic drama! In Oil Country, the only thing we have is the potential for dramatics because winning certainly isn’t a part of the picture. Anything that brings more potential for a player to get picked up for $$ alone is a great move IMO.

    • You’ve made some wise points here, sir! I think the NHLPA would be against it mostly for players with families. They wouldn’t want to have players uproot their family midseason.

      Aside from that, I think you’re right on

      • J.R.

        @A-Mc and Baggedmilk

        What? Really?

        I think the opposite is true of both those points.

        1) Try and find one player who wants to get paid for not playing. Nobody feels (or looks to me) like a winner sitting on the couch watching hockey and collecting a paycheck.

        2) This doesn’t delay a player’s march into obscurity… absolutely jet propels them into it. What teams (other than ours, sadly) just waits to pick up other teams throw aways? Any time you get cut it could be your last shot in the NHL.

  • I’m also curious about what you guys think… Do you care that the Oilers don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round pick in this year’s draft?

    Only thing I care about is us having something to cheer about past November. Screw the picks and prospects and “waiting five years to see how things pan out”. Get me some g*d d*mn NHL hockey players for the love of all that’s holy! Get them now.

  • CMG30

    I have no problem with the Oilers not having a 2nd and 3rd this year. The whole point of draft picks is to eventually turn them into NHL players. These picks turned into Perron and Scrivens, both appear to be highly useful players. More deals like this please!

  • tomger

    triple pain windows are more for sound dampening than keeping out the elements if you have a busy road near buy than go for it otherwise its not worth it

    ps. im a carpenter that does a lot of renos and ground up builds and i must say in the years i’ve been reading this site i have always had time for a Quicksilver ballet post

  • Positive Ray of Sunshine

    I care that they don’t have a #1D, 2D, 3D, 2C Third Line, Power Play, Team Toughness, Goalie Coach, Decent Rexall DJ… and so forth. If we still had those picks, a Goalie and 2LW would still be on this list as well.

    • camdog

      I still consider RNH a second line centre. That means I would add a 1st and 3 rd line centre to the list.

      Anybody ever notice that the other teams big forwards don’t have trouble keeping up with our forward group? You can be smaller than the other team and still push the play, if you have more speed.

      • Well if you consider RNH a second line centre then you are dumb, in their first three years Toews was a 0.86 ppg player, Kopitar 0.864, RNH 0.725, Perry 0.591, Thornton 0.522, and Sedin 0.430 but yes RNH is not a first line centre.

        • camdog

          I don’t know if you watch hockey or just look at the stats, but the reality is that RNH got owned by every one of those players you mentioned above.

          In 2-3 years RNH is going to be a gem, but the reality is RNH gets dominated by those centres you mentioned. The reality is for the next 2-3 years the Oilers sure could use somebody other than RNH going head to head with Kopitar, Toews, Getzlaf and Thorton.

          • Travis Dakin

            Yeah I tend to watch a few games as one of the proud tier one fans. I love the response about stats, those stats regardless say he is a number one centre. But to address why he gets “owned” (one of the great clichés in hockey) BECAUSE HE IS IN HIS THIRD YEAR what the hell do you expect – tell me how good was Sedin ? or Thornton ? or Perry ? (hell Perry was 24 before he played his third year in the NHL) were in their third years ? They sure were not the “dominating”, if you want to go further look at Anze Kopitar and his plus minus in the first three years he was in the NHL, those sure were not dominating numbers(Oh sorry I forgot I am just looking at stats again, I do not know anything about hockey, just a stats guy).