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

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


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.

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.


  • KatzKidsJewFro

    What about a Center like Frans Nielson?? With Strome, Brock Nelson, Tavares, Grabovski, Bailey. Seems like the Isles have too many down the middle. Any thoughts on what that may cost?

  • Spoils

    I’m loving King Leon right now, but I did have my heart set on Ekblad. As much as depth at center is a need, long term #1D is the big hole. Our big BOLD trade assets should be saved for that.

    MacT has made this team a lot better. If the top line takes a step forward and Yak takes a step forward we could be playoff bound.

    But we will need Petry for that.

    The trade for #2C has to involve picks and prospects otherwise it is one step forward – one step back. Fill a hole make another. that’s not how you patch a boat.

    and yes – attack the cap desperate teams.

  • Alsker

    Have a feeling this won’t be put to rest until either A) Petry/Schulz demands are over the top or B) Training camp and we see if Lander/Yakimov/Dr.Drai have what it takes….not to mention cap strapped teams will be panicing. Personally Jultz + Arco/Lander would be a nice package for Berglund etc. type

  • ubermiguel

    If we’re penciling in rookies like Marincin in top pairing roles on the defence, why not play more experienced guys like marcobello or lander in the 2slot upfront?

  • The Soup Fascist

    With Chicago over the cap and Richards likely filling the 2c spot there is there any chance that Andrew Shaw is available? If so could you get him for 2015 2nd and Gernat or Musil?

    Shaw is a pain in the a$$ to play against. A small pain in the a$$, but a pain in the a$$ nonetheless. He has been effective in the Hawks top 6 at times but with Richards coming over, Kruger developing well and the Hawks anxious to give McNeill a shot could he be available?

    • Craig1981

      I don’t think Chi trades Shaw. He is one player they have at a bargain price at 2M. Sharp at 5.9M or any of their D-men (Oduyo, Leddy, or Hjalmarsson would be my guesses)

      They actually appear to be one of the few teams in trouble. Boston and Philly look bac, but they have Savard and Pronger they can put on LTIR for space.

  • headmetal

    Peter Mueller should get a call for sure! Perhaps even looking at David Steckel. Both can be had without giving up assets!

    Agree with some previous posts that we cannot break our D now that they look like a solid group unless we are improving on a position. Unless we are getting a center and Coburn from Philly I think we look at cheap 2 year options

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Mueller, yes. steckel…no way. steckel has played 40 games the last 2 seasons. he would be an alright 4th line C but not the 2C were looking for.

      his best season saw him put up 8 goals and 19 points.

  • headmetal

    Pitlick, Gernat & a 3rd in 2015/2016 to STL for Berglund would be another good trade. don’t know if they would do it cuz they would want to win this one after we won the Perron trade

    • Craig1981

      I imagine a sentence like this is how Burke got the Smid trade done with MacT…….”Do something BOLD Craig, Smid for our 4th best goalie, unless…….you’re chicken”

    • Zarny

      That’s not bold. The word you are looking for is dumb.

      Brock Nelson is a good young player. He’s a month older than Taylor Hall and has all of 26 PT in one 72 game season.

      You don’t Jordan Eberle for that.

        • Zarny

          I would view Cody Eakin the same as Baily, Nelson, Wilson etc.

          He’s a nice young player who perhaps will be a legit top 6 F one day. Today though, if he’s the 2C for the Oilers he’s playing further above his head than Sam Gagner or Justin Schultz last year.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Come on your going to trade a player like Eberle for an unproven C in Nelson? Bold doesn’t necessarily also have to mean dumb. Im so sick of the ‘bold’talk. That is MacT’s worst move as gm, using that word. Now narrow minded armchair gm’s focus on it non-stop. Its been over a year. It didn’t happen. Get over it. No bold. Just slow and steady. Which imo is just fine as long as the results are good long term.

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        yeah. mac-t made the mistake of hyping the team up as soon as he got here. he and eakins had unrealistic expectations and theyve even said that.

        but mac-t has been one of the best gms in the league IMO. we almost resemble a team that can compete for a playoff spot and hes only been at it for 2 years. hes given us so much. perron,fasth,scrivens,hendricks,gordon,pouliot,purcell,nikitin,fayne,ference and you can even throw justin schultz in because he convinced him to come here.

        he made a rookie gm mistake but he is the gm we need. in mac-t i trust.

        • KatzKidsJewFro

          I like that Mac-T is active and his been trying hard to improve the team. He has brought in NHL players but that does not necessarily mean that we have gotten better. Recall he did that last year and we moved from 24th to 28 worst team in the league. There are some nice signings but other teams in our conference have made nice signings as well. The goal is to close the gap, we did not do that last year under Mac-T and only time will tell if our signings will help to close the gap this year. I am cautiously optimistic given that teams like the wild, blues, and ducks all made bold signings that will make their teams even stronger, at least on paper. I think that Mac-T has learned and tried hard but to say he is one of the best after two years is a big stretch.

          • Dwayne Roloson 35

            our place in the standings dropped because of injuries at the beginning, a new system that was too much for our ahl team to handle and the collapse of dubnyk.

            to say we havent gotten better is bogus. the last half of the year saw us playing almost .500 hockey. do you remember the 4-15-2 record we had to start the season? we have without a doubt improved.

            the point of free agency isnt to close the gap on teams. last year we had an ahl caliber defence, goaltending and bottom 6. we now have a decent top 9 forwards, we have a decnt defence with established nhl players and a tandem of goalies who have done great for us so far and have had success on other teams.

            even with other teams getting better in the west, we will still be better than we were the last 8 years.

        • Spoils

          I couldn’t agree with you more. Not only has he had to deal with a bad reputation league wide, which was no fault of his, he was hamstrung by bad players, bad contracts, and an unbalanced mix of roster players and prospects. Thx Tambo. Lowes biggest mistake was not firing him sooner.

          MacT haters don’t get me wrong Im not saying he can do no wrong, he has made mistakes, he will make more, but so does every GM in the league. No one bats a 1000 with every contract in dollar and term, with every draft pick, outright win every trade they make, develop every prospect poorly. You win some and you lose some, Im confident Mact will win much more than he loses.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      hall-nuge-ebs looked like one of the best lines in the nhl at the end of last year. they dominated the ducks and sharks winning the advanced stats battle against them. theres no reason to split that up. we have ebs locked to a long term deal. why trade for a 2nd line C who may end up leaving in 2 years?

  • Craig1981

    Its get a center or watch Ana/LA and others school us for all their worth. Arco down the middle as our 2cd line center will assuredly mean another top 5 pick in next years draft.

    Options are limited. MacT may do well to do nothing and leave it as is.

    The defence will in almost all likelihood solidify the goal against. Goaltending is more solid?

    Is leaving LD in PA the plan? Probably not.

    If its me GMing selling my soul to the devil for a player who may or may not push this team forward is deceptively easy. In the short term is appears as the right thing to do. But holy moly if you finish bottom 5 and win the lottery you may have given up a player of franchise proportions.

    Chris VandeVelde is out there.As a short term option I would look at him.

  • DougWeightProblem

    Its time to play a bit of high risk poker, boys. That 2015 1st round pick has got to go (ya,ya..what about connor mcdavid or that other american kid!). We’ve had so many top 10 picks through out the years and this whole perpetual rebuild thing has to come to a hault. Its time to put on the big boy pants and make a trade. We have a lot of great second teir defenseman in the system and im sure we could spare one in a trade for a defenecman or center.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      I believe the reality you are going into the season with being really thin down the middle. There is no sensible ufa options for second line center.

      I believe a trade may work itself out once you get into the season. I think the Islanders are a good trading partner. You have to believe NY is running Tavaras, Neilson, Grabbo with the fourth slot being filled with one of the other 4 centers.

      New York needs defence and they don’t want prospects. Their loaded with them. I think the Oilers gotta find a way to get Nelson. Sure he has a small body of work, but his underlying numbers look good, and his size is excellent.

      The way I see it is we may have to move a core piece to get the balance we need.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Its actually not the time to risk it all. teams like detroit,la,chicago and pittsburgh are competitive every year because of drafting and developing. sure we have some good D prospects but we have almost no forward prospects. the time to trade picks and prospects is when we are contending and looking to add some players to go on a playoff run.

      drafting and developing is what makes dynasties. trading prospects and picks for nhl players is how you make an alright team for 2-3 years.

      i want a dynasty.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          im so glad we have someone to point out spelling mistakes. youre doing the world a great justice. no one would be able to understand what i was saying.

          i would rather misspell a word than come up with a sentence like “you might want sentence right first”

      • Really? So that Legwand trade Detroit made was ggreeeeeaaattt. I agree with you in developing, but you can’t be 100% conservative, some risk needs to be involved. You can’t tell me all those dynasty teams made 1st round pick trades. HECK! Look at the Dustin Penner trade LA made to the oilers lol and they got a couple cups under their belt.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          yeah they traded prospects and picks because of their organizations crazy depth. how long did detroit have legwand? how long did la have penner?

          those are rental players. something we shouldnt be going after because we’re not a contender and have almost no prospects to trade.

  • OilPain

    If you are looking for a jack of all trades, wasn’t Lander more well rounded in OKC and Arco the much better offensive talent? Who do you, Mr. Willis, think has more long-term potential for the eventual 3c spot behind Draisaitl? You’ve seen them play and studied the fact sheets more than I.

    • Given age and AHL performance, there’s a lot to recommend Lander, who was an exceptional No. 1 centre in OKC and a nice jack of all trades player.

      The trouble is that we don’t know if Lander’s ever going to figure out how to translate those skills to the NHL. Arcobello’s already shown that he can.

      Lander probably has better long-term upside but Arcobello’s more of a sure thing and of the two the only one you can count on to play NHL minutes competently right this minute.

      • ubermiguel

        I have seen no evidence Lander will ever be able to play at the NHL level. Sure, he’s great in the AHL, but he’s also got 94 ineffective NHL games under his belt already. At what point do we stop calling him a prospect and start calling him a career AHLer?

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    I would like to see marcobello given a chance again. hes done everything to deserve it and i’m sure he was motivated to train this off season to get an nhl caliber shot. mac-t did tell him to buy a house in edmonton last year.

    Id prefer us to wait on trading Petry. hes been our best d-man improving the advanced stats of everyone hes played with. he might be poised for a breakout year as he hits game #300 soon plus he’ll have some real NHL D-partners as opposed to his usual AHL partners. If marcobello doesnt workout then we could trade petry and by that time he may have increased his value.

    We wont be winning the cup next need to rush.

  • Craig1981

    You forgot about the forward prospects like, Chase, Roy, Moroz, or Khaira.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind them finding someone with a high cap hit that a team will dump for a mid pick.

  • DougWeightProblem

    The question then becomes who is the target? I’d rather see them keep Petry and go for a less sexy stop gap than trade him for say Berglund – I think you end up wanting a mulligan on that one.

    Can we please try and ice an NHL D for one year. D get hurt during the year – it’s a when not if and there isn’t the depth to lose Petry unless there’s a 2C and RHD coming back which is a much bigger trade.