Edmonton Oilers are a “secondary market” when it comes to trades

Craig MacTavish10

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish held a media availability on Tuesday, fielding questions about the trade deadline, the team’s goaltending and its coaches. The whole thing is well worth watching, but particularly telling was MacTavish’s comments on where he saw the team’s rental players: as fallback options for other NHL teams.

The Full Availability

Secondary Targets

MacTavish made it clear during the press conference that a lot of the guys the Oilers are looking to move aren’t going to be at the top of the list for teams looking to add help:

I think a lot of our guys are going to be secondary market players. Everybody’s going to be looking for the high profile guys, the real high-end guys. We maybe have one or two of those guys but outside of that I think we’re a secondary market and that’s when we’ll try and get some interest and try and get some activity in the market.

In a follow-up appearance on Oilers Now, MacTavish was asked by host Bob Stauffer whether he expected to see people like Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson dealt, and that question allowed MacTavish to expand on the reasons why Edmonton players might not be at the top of other teams’ lists:

I think so because there are a number of teams that when you’re looking to add players are looking to add the player that can help you the most. Clearly the higher level guys are the guys garnering the most attention.

Hemsky et al.


It’s a sensible take. Given the choice between Thomas Vanek and Ales Hemsky, every team in the league is going to prefer Vanek. Vanek will cost more, but for teams with a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup that’s not going to be a serious stumbling block. Moulson isn’t head and shoulders above Hemsky; he’s a little bigger and has scored a little more this year but Hemsky has more history in critical situations and has played tougher minutes this year.

Somebody’s going to get Vanek. Moulson’s likely on the block, but not necessarily going to be dealt, given that he’s made it clear he’d be open to staying in Buffalo. But if both are available, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that Hemsky won’t be moved until teams know they’re out of the running for both Vanek and Moulson.

As for the other guys the Oilers are doubtless looking to trade – people like Nick Schultz and perhaps Ryan Jones – the situation is the same, except more so. 

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  • Rick Stroppel


    He actually said a few things of substance and most of it made sense.

    Interesting that they are looking to get this year’s 2 and 3 draft picks back. Also looking for prospects. I agree with that. Why trade for a bunch of second tier veterans who will only elevate the team from 29th overall to 19th overall, or something like that? MacTavish may have thought at the beginning of the year that the team was only two or three “pieces” from being a contender, now I think he realizes the foundation is lacking. The only way to fix it is good young players.

    Re Goaltending: Scrivens will get a good look. Six games is not a big enough sample to make a long term commitment.

    PS : Forget about a “blockbuster” trade.

  • Thumby

    Would the oilers consider trying to trade somebody like Eberle for Victor Hedman. The lightning are quite weak on the right side especially since Martin St Louis is getting old. What does the nation think it would take to get Hedman or if the oilers should even try?

    • Word to the Bird

      Hedman doesn’t really excite me in the same way that other top defensemen do, maybe it’s because he isn’t a household name, but maybe because he isn’t as good as the players that most of us are interested in. Also, why would Stevie-Y do that?

      • ghostofberanek

        I’m not sure Stevie would do it either but I keep hearing we need to trade for a top 1 or 2 d-man and if Eberle won’t get us that that leaves us with three main options. Offer somebody better like Nuge or Hall for a top d-man (most fans seem dead set against that) / try to package together a few players with a guy like Eberle to sweeten the deal/ or stay the course and try to draft and develop our own D. If people think we can go after a Nash witch would be extremely hard we could certainly go after a hedman. You statement why would stevie do that kind of proves to me that he is a very valuable player and worth going after. Ultimately I am not stuck on hedman at all but I keep hearing the same names and ideas floating around and wonder why guys like hedman are not also discussed.

        • Word to the Bird

          The only reason Weber always gets brought up is because Nashville has shallow pockets and the defense is pretty good even without him. In the case of Tampa Bay, their defense is carried by Brewer and Hedman. Brewer is getting up there in age and Hedman is just starting to realize his potential, so it just doesn’t make sense.

          • Word to the Bird

            I see what you are saying. I personally would not trade a Hedman if i had him for an Eberle so I guess my question would be what would a guy like Hedman who is a legitimate asset to go after actually cost the oilers…. And if we are not willing to pay that kind of price then I guess we need to have patience and develop within.