The Quiver


With it now seemingly obvious that the Oilers will attempt to rectify their lack of NHL centres via trade rather than free agency, it might be helpful to look at what assets the team has at its disposal. Exactly what can Edmonton afford to send the other way?

Process of Elimination

Draisaitl, Leon

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Under the right circumstances, anybody might be dealt. But with Leon Draisaitl freshly drafted, it seems unlikely that Edmonton’s going to go out and make a long-term fit at second line centre a priority; more likely the team is looking for a stop-gap who can hold the position for a couple of years.

Assuming that we’re looking for a stop-gap type player, we can eliminate a bunch of high-end options – the core players Craig MacTavish has identified previously, people like David Perron and Nail Yakupov, and of course all the recent free agent signings.

Who does that leave?

The Main Piece


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Jeff Petry’s name is a popular one in the rumour mill these days, and makes a lot of sense from a certain point of view. If the Oilers really believe in Justin Schultz as a top-four defenceman next year, and they believe that Mark Fayne can hold down the right side on the other top-four pairing, Petry suddenly seems a little on the redundant side. It’s not an assessment I agree with – in my view, Schultz hasn’t proven that he’s a top-four defender – but based on the organizations’ comments over the last few months it seems probable that they see Schultz that way.

Alternatively, one of Martin Marincin or Oscar Klefbom could be sent out, but that seems unlikely, even with Darnell Nurse in the system.

Other than Petry, there isn’t much the Oilers are likely to move. Andrew Ference is the team captain, Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks are already penciled into a role for next year and probably don’t have a ton of value on the open market, and Edmonton’s decision to give two unproven goalies an opportunity means they aren’t likely to trade either one (and even if they were, why wouldn’t their prospective trading partner just grab James Reimer from Toronto instead?).

The only real alternative is one of the Oilers high picks in the next few years – the team owns both its first and second round selections in 2015 and 2016. Of those four picks, the 2015 first round selection is one the team is probably loathe to deal, just in case things don’t come together this year.

The Sweetener


In addition to the main piece, the Oilers have some interesting kickers they could add to get a deal done.

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For teams looking for a nearly-NHL ready body, any of Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander, or Tyler Pitlick might be of interest. Arcobello is the least likely of the three to be on the move because even if the Oilers add another centre they still have one open position and Arcobello is a useful safety net for Leon Draisaitl there. Additionally, Arcobello’s versatility (he can play C or RW, both special teams and on either a scoring line or a defensive zone unit) makes him awfully handy as lineup spackle.

Second-tier prospects are also in abundance. Beyond the big-three defensive prospects, the Oilers have David Musil, Martin Gernat, Dillon Simpson and Brandon Davidson; all potentially have NHL upside and are a lot closer to active duty than a draft pick.

And there are always draft picks, too. The Oilers have a full slate of picks over the next two seasons, plus a spare seventh round pick in 2016 picked up in the Shawn Horcoff trade.

For a team looking to dump some salary, the Oilers are a nice option; they can send a decent draft pick back plus either a nearly-NHL ready player or a solid prospect the other way. For a team with a surplus of forwards looking to add on defence, Petry or Petry+ has to be an attractive option.


  • I’m beginning to think the Oilers threw Petry’s name out there because they think Nurse might be ready?

    I’m not buying they think Schultz might be ready to take Petry’s minute over, they have eye’s and analytics just like we do, Schultz numbers are terrible, so It doesn’t make sense that they are trying to move Petry without an option coming back….So what if that option were to come from within?

    It’s really coincides with typical Oiler way of thinking.

    I just can’t see them trading Petry now that they have somewhat established NHL defense?

    If they do, well, because Oilers.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Nurse looked like our best d-man last year in the pre season. he had a solid year and went from 185lbs to 205lbs and he still has the summer to put on another 10. i could see him playing next year but id prefer to wait.

      schultz wouldnt take over petrys role. theyre different players. if petry goes then we probably give his minutes to nikitin and fayne.

    • camdog

      Petry’s name is getting thrown out there because Petry want’s to get over paid like the Oiler other FA signings. I was wrong when I wrote I didn’t think the FA signings would affect his contract. I thought he had 2 years to UFA, but it’s only one. He’s in the same boat that Gags was in 2 years ago and we all know what happened, he got paid.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    The default center position now seems inevitable. I believe they will wait now until Draisaitl proves he’s not ready . If he is then I do not expect them to obtain another center . Landers and/or Arco will fill the fourth center . If they have to use both then a trade might be advisable , but i doubt it is going to happen until they see how Leon’s going to pan out . Khaira may be a longshot sleeper or Yakimov .

  • Craig1981

    For years going back to the 90’s this team had to trade actual NHL players for picks and prospects because we could no longer afford them, anyone else remember those days? Now it’s our time to trade picks and prospects for actual NHL players as the tide has finally turned. I don’t want to trade any roster players at least not right now, Petry is just coming into his own trading him would be a big mistake.

      • Craig1981

        hahaha. Truth of the matter, SOME fans might be good at ball parking contracts, but trades are so complex we have no idea.

        I mean the Smid trade, Luongo trade, BOTH Vanek trades, and even the Miller trade. If you would of suggested any of those you would of been trashed…….and rightfully so. So many internal components not just overall player rating, puck-handling, bodychecking, etc.

      • Craig1981

        And even with contracts when I suggested he resigns at Montreal for about 18M over 3 I got trashed/proped at 5 to 1 for the trashes. People have no idea as a group

  • camdog

    The talk about moving Petry does make sense. A pattern has developed with Mact. Peckham, Smid,DD Omark, Hemsky, Smyth, Horcoff, Gagner. I think it’s clear that anybody that was around when Kevin Lowe was GM needs to be purged. The correlation has as much if not more merit than any of the advanced stats.

    I doubt that Petry or even Eberle are here this time next year. It will be a very “bold” move by Mact, book it!

  • ralph_u

    Wouldn’t someone like Mike Richards or a targeting a team that is cap tight and we are really looking for a stop gap so the ask shouldn’t be as much if the other team is dumping salary.

  • ralph_u

    As much as there is an obvious hole down the middle, I’m not prepared to move a defender like Petry for a stop-gap option. There will be opportunities throughout the summer as teams get into cap trouble or through the arbitration process. I still believe the Oilers need to add another centre but Mactavish has time on his side at the moment.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    We need a #2C long term solution.

    Once Leon is ready we can run a team with 3 quality centers.

    If someone gets hurt the team still stays competitive.

    Can’t start Draisaitl as the #2c, he will get dominated by the other #2cs in the division- Keslar, Spezza, Carter, Marleau, etc…

  • Zarny

    I keep thinking of the infomercial lady with the white hair and buzzcut screaming Stop the Insanity!

    Sam Gagner was traded less than a week ago, and some talk as if it’s a given Draisaitl is a 2C in 0 to 2 or 3 years. Like Yak? Or Huberdeau? Gudbranson? Draisaitl has played in NA all of 2 years. What could possibly go wrong?

    A stop gap is planning for the best case scenario. That strategy is why the Oilers finished 28th last year. Smid was supposed to be a top 4 D. Petry was supposed to be 1-2 D. Dubnyk was supposed to be a bona fide starter. Gags was supposed to be a 2C.

    Berglund, any C from NYI not named Tavares, Wilson etc are not legit top 6 F and would be playing above their heads just like Petry, Schultz and half the Oilers’ roster last year. Why on earth would we expect different results?

    The Oilers need a legit 2C. Admittedly there are not a lot of options available but there are some that could be: Ryan O’Reilly, Brad Marchand, Sean Couturier.

    I agree with the comment about not trading Petry. To get the name you want perhaps that is inevitable but as much as I like Fayne there are no guarantees. Schultz has only played 122 NHL games and has a lot of upside but again no guarantees. Injuries are also a reality.

    Klefbom, Marincin and Nurse all play the left side but only 2 can play in the top 4. Ideally you wait a year to package one of Klefbom or Marincin but the Oilers don’t have the luxury of ideal. If not, the 2015 or 2016 1st round pick should be used to get what the Oilers need…a legit 2C.

  • 2004Z06

    Why is everyone so averse to trading the 2015 1st round pick here? My god people if we are in the bottom 5 again this year giving up that pick is the least of our worries!

    I don’t expect playoffs this year, but I do expect to not be in the bottom 5.

  • Zarny

    Petry led our team with hits last year I believe, is big and can skate with decent 1st pass. Better to have depth in defence and trade a 2nd rounder and prospect to a cap struggling team for a 2C that is close to being a UFA (value will decrease in marketplace) to gap until Leon is ready. If Petry is your 2nd line D and Justin your 3rd with easier minutes they may flourish. We actually finally develop a D and now want to move him, I don’t agree.

  • Jaxon

    Islanders are short on RW and deep at C and D prospects with a young backup goalie and tonnes of cap room. I say send Hendricks, Fasth and one of Musil, Simpson, Oesterle, Gernat or Davidson to the Islanders for G Chad Johnson, any one of centers Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen, Josh Bailey, Ryan Strome or Anders Lee, and any one of right Ds Ryan Pulock, Ville Pokka or Scott Mayfield. That would get you a decent center while Draisaitl and Yakimov mature, a decent backup and a good young RD prospect and it would save up to 2.587M in cap space to help make other moves as needed. Sign RW Setoguchi at around 1.5M and maybe C/RW Peter Mueller at around 1.2M and you now have a bunch of options for C and you’ve filled 3/4R as well. They can compete for the 2c/3c/4c/4r positions. If it’s Bailey or Nielsen they’d be good options for 2C/3C if it’s Nelson or Strome or Lee they might be able to cover a 3C/4C but they would save about 1M in cap space. Would be happy to part with 2nd and 3rd round picks for multiple years to make it happen.

    • Zarny

      “Islanders are short on RW and deep at C and D prospects with a young backup goalie and tonnes of cap room.” ….

      If you haven’t noticed, so are the Oilers. They don’t have a RW to move.

      • Jaxon

        Oops, that shoukd say LW. That’s why I suggested sending expensive 4th line LW Hendricks away and sign Setoguchi on RW, and TJ Galiardi on LW. Galiardi has played center so he gives you another option there. They could be signed quite cheap, I think.

    • Jaxon

      Isles are not trading top prospects for Petry , other prospects or draft picks. This isn’t NHL14. Isles young centers like Nelson, Strome and Lee will just be moved to the wing for playing time.