The Sum Total of the David Perron Trade

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It’s always interesting to compare the acquisition cost to the departure price when a team acquires a player and then a relatively short time later sends him out of town. The Edmonton Oilers did it with David Perron; did the team come out ahead?

The Acquisition Cost

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  • July 10, 2013: Edmonton Oilers trade forward Magnus Paajarvi and a 2014 second round draft pick to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for David Perron.

This trade was generally well-received in Edmonton, though at the time the focus was more on the upgrade from Paajarvi to Perron than on that second round draft pick. As it turns out, the chief currency that the Oilers paid was the draft pick, as Paajarvi’s career has sputtered and he recently cleared waivers; he has negligible NHL value at this point in time despite being big and fast and a pretty reasonable player.

The second round pick turned out to be No. 33 overall, as the Oilers sputtered through a disappointing campaign, and Ivan Barbashev fell to the Blues. It’s a little baffling that Barbashev lasted as long as he did; Russian or not he’s a two-way centre who has spent the last few years destroying the QMJHL. Red Line Report had Barbashev ranked 15th overall; they loved his emotion, physical play and responsible two-way game and compared him stylistically to Alex Steen.

The Interim

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  • David Perron played 116 games for the Oilers, scoring 33 goals and adding 43 assists for a total of 76 points over a season and a half.

Perron was an awfully nice player for Edmonton. The scoring was all that could be expected; he had a career year in his first season with the Oilers and then faded a little in his second campaign, but he was comfortably a top-six forward. His defensive play really wasn’t all that it could have been, particularly given that he was coming from a Ken Hitchcock-coached team, but he did have some nice chemistry with Nail Yakupov at points.

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Not especially big or especially fast, Perron nevertheless played with a junkyard dog mentality that is often lacking in Edmonton. He hit, he yapped and he did nasty things with his stick and pretty much whenever he thought the referee wasn’t watching.

In short, he was a really solid second line forward.

The Departure Price

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  • January 2, 2015: Edmonton Oilers trade forward David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 first round draft pick.

I liked the original Perron deal from an Edmonton perspective because the Oilers got the best player in the trade and improved the team in the present at the cost of the future and I dislike this second deal for precisely the same reasons.

However, there’s a certain amount of sense to it and from an asset management perspective it’s hard to argue, simply because Perron only has one year left on his contract after this one and then he’s a free agent; if the team didn’t have plans to re-sign him the time to deal him was now while he was more than just a rental player.

Moreover, when we compare the deals it’s hard not to be happy with Edmonton’s haul.

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Rob Klinkhammer makes half as much money as Magnus Paajarvi, and like Paajarvi he’s big and fast and has decent possession numbers; he’s not as good of a playmaker but he’s also more physical. Both guys could play for my team but taking contracts and the physical dimension into account I’d rather have Klinkhammer.

Similarly, I’d rather have the 2015 first round pick than Barbashev, and I like Barbashev a lot. We’re probably talking somewhere in the range of 10 slots better (Pittsburgh will probably end up drafting in the 20-25 range; Barbashev was taken 33rd overall) and in a deeper draft, and that’s worth the fact that Barbashev is one year ahead of whichever player gets taken with the 2015 pick.

The disparity in the deals is more remarkable when we consider the gap in Perron’s value. When Edmonton acquired Perron he had just turned 25 and had three years left on a deal with a reasonable $3.8 million cap hit and an escalating salary. When the Oilers dealt Perron he was a few months shy of his 27th birthday and had a year and a half left on that same contract (his actual salary jumps to $4.5 million next year).

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Craig MacTavish’s tenure as general manager has not gone well, but this chain of moves is an exception to that trend. The Oilers managed to get a year and a half of solid play out of Perron and did it while actually improving other areas of the team.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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  • Hemmercules

    I didn’t like trading Perron away but I have a feeling he requested outta here a while ago. The Oilers too often ditch valuable players for picks and prospects and this deal seems like more of that. Cant really judge the trade unless they hold onto Klink and land a good prospect with that pick. Its going to be great someday when players actually want to play for the Oilers rather than just get stuck there.

  • camdog

    Maybe the. PIT 1st rnd pick can be the base to bring seabrook to the Oil. CHI in serious cap issues. Next season and Seabrook has 1 year left. Better player than Boychuck (2 late 2nd rnd picks). May work.

    • camdog

      We can dream at least. I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I think the chances of this management group pulling the trigger on such a deal would be unlikely, coupled with the fact that there are multiple teams in this league who are also foaming at the mouth to acquire such a defenseman. And there’s also the (high) chance that Seabrook wouldn’t allow being traded to Edmonton.

  • camdog

    How come you never talked about the selection of Pajaarvi to begin with? I look at the trade as a tenth overall pick and a second turning into a late 1st round and klinkhammer.

    anothe 1 step forward 2 steps back with this organization

  • camdog

    If you think MacT is a good GM then your looking for anything good he has done or potential for.

    If you think MacT is a bad GM you are looking for the bad and anything good is an exception and not the rule.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Paajarvi has the tenacity of female gopher. Klinkhammer is 100 times the player Paajarvi wishes he was.

    I wasn’t happy with trading Perron away, but Klinkhammer has made it much more bearable. We’ll see what the Oilers will be able to nab with that pick this summer as well.

  • Hemmercules

    Feel much more confident with Bob Greene at the helm.The Smid trade could turn out to be very very good.LB is looking lights out in OKC.Maybe with a solid scouting staff we get get a hidden gem or two.Two years ago it wasnt time to be bold.Now I think it is time to get very bold.Just sayin

    • Tikkanese

      The Smid trade always looked good. I don’t know why people complained so much.

      #1 Smid was overpaid. It was a sneaky salary dump.

      #2 Smid is now a 6/7 and is sometimes healthy scratched. Definately overpaid.

      #3 Roy was a bust before he even turned pro. He choked hard at the World Jrs and was never the same after that

  • Derzie

    Another chapter of selling “hope” to the faithful in the form of prospects and draft picks. MacTavish and his bosses are a disaster of a management group. To say otherwise is for reasons other than honest reality. The Oilers did not win this trade in any way. They have a mucker and another promissory note that a hockey player may or may not arrive in 3-5 years. Probably never to be as good as the one they had in the first place. A good GM would have made the player want to play here by defining a culture and doing GM things. Not work hard to ship him to a place he does want to be.

  • Meh. If Pittsburgh wins the Cup and Klinkhammer walks, it’s the 30th overall pick for Paajarvi and the 33rd overall pick a year earlier. I think it’s too soon to judge.

    But even from an asset management point of view, I think there’s value in keeping Perron if he gets this team closer to the playoffs next year – even if they lost him for nothing. Progress has value too, given the market and the Oilers’ situation. This pick won’t help any time soon unless it’s traded for a roster player, and there’s no guarantee there.

    Some teams are desperate to win, and the Oilers should be one at this point. If not for the fans, then at least for MacTavish to save his job. I don’t think Perron is the difference between making the playoffs and not making them, but he definitely adds things the Oilers lack and will now have to try to replace.

    And Frankly, if Perron was traded because he was mentally checked-out, that’s on management for icing a team with painfully obvious holes.

  • Hemmercules

    Losing Perron obviously hurt the Oilers here and now but by the sounds of it he didn’t want to be here and we obtained a 1st RND pick plus Klinkhammer. Tough to swallow as that’s not what the Oilers need today however since his departure I haven’t noticed the Oilers skip a beat without Perron in the lineup. Just my observation since his absence. Thanks Todd Nelson!

    • RMGS

      Has it really hurt the Oilers now? Record & chemistry looks pretty decent since Perron left town. Perron’s got some points since joining Sid’s line but look at the +/- & Pitt’s record since Perron has joined them? Just sayin’!

      • pkam

        Technically yes, it has hurt the Oilers for the here and now. Perron is a much superior player skill wise then Klinkhammer is and PIT 1st RND pick isn’t going to join the Oilers for however many seasons. But as I previously stated, the Oilers haven’t skipped a beat without Perron which is fortunate and you can probably/most likely thank good coaching for the Oilers turn for the better. I have no other explanation aside from Nelson’s touch with the current group.

        • Tikkanese

          I do. The “trade” of Leon for Roy. The insertion of the super hot Pouliot into the lineup. The goaltending going from horrendous to average. At least two of those things have nothing to do with Nelson.

          • pkam

            We didn’t trade Leon for Roy, that would be a terrible trade. MacT has received enough trashes whether they are justified or not, and he certainly doesn’t need help for more.

          • Tikkanese

            Wow, does everything need to be explained to you? Of course we didn’t trade Leon for Roy… Wow. The “quotes” around “trade” meant Roy replaced Leon in the lineup.

  • I would worry about the lack of a pest on the roster now, but with guys like Nurse and chase developing, and the fact the Oilers will hopefully keep Hendricks and Pouliot, I’m a bit less concerned.

    I will miss Perron’s ability to put it in the net after circling out from the half wall and shooting at what seems like and impossible angle.

    With any luck one of Pitlick, Ilro, or Chase can work their way up to the third line and play with some skill and jam.

    It would also be nice to see the physicality return to Yak’s game. We’ve all seen it from time to time, I for one would like to see more of it.

    • SSB1963

      “I will miss Perron’s ability to put it in the net after circling out from the half wall and shooting at what seems like and impossible angle.”

      That was last years Perron, this year he was just average and as hasn’t really been missed since his departure from an offensive point of view.

      • camdog

        Playing on a 3rd line with no NHL centre, after hip surgery will do that to a guy.

        Mact spent big dollars on Pouliot this summer, maybe this was part of the plan. The thought of Pouliot locked in and wanting to be here and a 1st for Perron just made me a feel a lot better about the trade, then I did 10 minutes ago…

  • bwar

    To me the thing that makes this trade(s) look bad is that, at least for the moment, it appears that St. Louis got a quality player with the second round pick and we don’t know what Edmonton will get for Pittsburghs 1st.

    St. Louis has so much forward depth that Paajarvi never really had a chance of making the team. It doesn’t mean he won’t have an NHL career but for right now he’s not going to crack the Blues roster. I was quite surprised no one snagged him off waivers because he still looks like a guy with some potential in my eyes.

    We still don’t know who Edmonton is going to use the Pittsburgh pick on or if they even end up keeping it. Might be a good year to package our 2nd and pittsburgh 1st together in order to try and jump up the draft board. Might even be worth while trading the 2016 first to see if you can cash in on the deep daft this year. Our prospect pool would look a lot better if we added two of McDavid, Eichel, Hanafin, Werenski, Crouse, Zacha, Strome and Marner.

  • RMGS

    Let me get this straight:

    So, from an “asset management perspective” it was a good idea to trade a player with solid 2nd line boxcars and “a junkyard dog mentality that is often lacking in Edmonton” for a 4th liner and a TBD magic bean because MacTavish had no plans to re-sign Perron?

    Sorry for asking the obvious, but why did MacTavish have no plans to re-sign a player type the team so clearly lacks? I thought it was all about “get good players, keep good players.”

    • RMGS

      With Yakupov playing in the top 4 wingers slot. Yak being RFA at end of year & probably ending up with a contract similar to Perron’s might have something to do with it. Perron 3.8m & Purcell 4.5m are expensive 3rd liners. I imagine there expecting (& rightly so) that Pakarinen will earn a spot on the roster later this year or beginning of next.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Yak had done absolutely nothing to deserve the kind of money Perron is making. If that is his asking price good luck finding that contract from any NHL team.

        Love the Guy but he has a lot to prove and is currently scoring at forth liners pace. I am sure he will be offered a one or two year bridge deal around Two Million Per. Anything more is too risky IMO.

        • Hemmercules

          And than he will laugh in your face at a 2 mill contract and pack up and head to the khl, cementing his place as yet another BUSTED Oilers failed draft pick. (Which he is)

  • camdog

    Way to soon to judge this trade. It may get packaged in a trade that brings back a NO. 1 goalie or top D. I suspect Perron wanted out so I think that was as good as they could do.

    1st Round draft picks are gold currency these days with the cap and this year even more so because of the deep draft. Pouliot has more than picked up for the loss of Perron so there’s that.

  • camdog

    Perron was a selfish player and I for one never cared for him and the team has improved with Colonel Klink plus another first rounder in a deep draft. Pittsburgh did well getting Perron and he will play better now that he is happy but for the Oilers that first rounder could be huge.

  • TKB2677

    Perron’s play, his comments to the media, his demeanor on the bench and his reaction to him scoring that shoot out winner right before he was trade(zero reaction at all) said everything you need to know about a guy that clearly wanted out, most likely asked for a trade, clearly wasn’t even close to giving his best effort and clearly looked like a guy that had checked out and couldn’t give a crap about the team.

    Now I understand that losing sucks, losing as much as the Oilers have done sucks even more, but sulking and playing like garbage because you are checked out or feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help the team or help them win more. In fact it makes things worse and you end up losing more. So I don’t have a problem with them getting rid of Perron. I was a fan of his but the last thing the Oilers need is another guy who doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t give a crap and plays like garbage because of it.

  • camdog

    Trading 27 year old veterans for draft picks is a great move when your team has just started a rebuild. The true measure of the Petry and Perron draft picks will be determined by whom Mact trades those draft picks for. I would be shocked if those picks don’t get moved. I don’t think the Oilers think of this period of time as the start of a new rebuild, however I could be wrong.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Our Oilers are 3 years away from being relevant again anyways. These competitive type role players are always in demand at the conclusion of the 82 game pre-season. There hasn’t been hockey that matters played here in almost a decade now, so there’s really no need to force them to stay here. Specially since they ended up here, after signing elsewhere to begin with.

    Keep snapping up those tickets though, thinking you’re actually watching a competitive NHL hockey team. Those who are left behind still deserve to make millions as well.

    I for one, appreciate this management groups above and beyond the call of duty effort to maintain this excellence.

  • Hemmercules

    Not that I would give the Oilers management the same level of credit as the fictionalized tale of Billy Bean, but sometimes good players need to be traded away to make the team that was intended.

    Before Perron leaving, the Oilers had all these wingers, but not enough spots to put them with quality skilled centres. Inevitably, one or two wingers had to try and baby sit one or two centres.

    With Perron gone, there does not seem the need to put Yak on his off wing, or move Perron down to try and create the mythical third scoring line.

    With Lander’s line chipping in here and there, Pouliot on a hot streak, the Gordon line back to doing what they do best, this seems to be the most identifiable version of the team in years.

    It has been a long time, but it seems everyone is beginning to understand their role, and where that role lines up in the team.

    At least on forwards.

    It would be a huge blow to trade our only skilled Vet centre, as he seems to be bringing along Yak in ways an Arcobello, or Draisaitl, or even a spot on the top line never could. I’m sure it was noce to have options with all the talent on the wing, but by my eye it looks like the departure of Perron, Drai, and Arco has simplified the build of the forwards, and that is leading to success throughout the lines.

  • SSB1963

    This trade will hinge on what we do with that 1st round pick. Whether we trade it or use it, we need to come away with a few assets from this deal. I like Klinkhammer but, realistically, he’s a fourth liner.

    My problem is that I don’t believe we always gave Perron the best opportunity to succeed during his time here. When there was an opening on the top line other players like Pitlick got that opportunity. It seemed like he was perpetually babysitting on the 3rd line. Playing on the 3rd line on a brutal team, I can see why he wasn’t happy.

    Bottom line, he wasn’t happy and moving him when we did was better than waiting for the inevitable a year from now.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I have a tough time buying this point:

    “if the team didn’t have plans to re-sign him the time to deal him was now while he was more than just a rental player”

    I would assume that based on his play and gritty nature the Oilers would have loved to sign him. I think that they had talked to his agent and got a pretty clear idea that Perron wouldn’t want to sign with the Oilers after next year, not the other way around.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If a late first round pick turns into a gritty 2nd line winger who scores 25 goals/yr, that would be considered a pretty successful pick, right?

    So, doesn’t that mean we traded Perron right now for Perron in 7 years if all goes well? That doesn’t make sense to me.

  • SSB1963

    Say what you will about this trade, but if the oilers do indeed use the pick at the draft, it would come at no surprise of the player they draft does not develop into an nhl player. The only chance the oil have of winning this trade is to package the pick with something else to get a brent seabrook type player. The scouting staff is simply unable to draft and develop quality players outside of the top 10, so thry would pretty mcuh be giving up perron for another chance to show their “skill” at the draft.

  • SSB1963

    How can anyone be happy that we are trading quality NHL players for picks in year 5 of the rebuild. Or I guess now referred to as infinibuild. What a disgrace. Also given the Oils drafting record this trade will likely end up being Perron for Alex Plante(ish). This management has absolutely no concept of how to build a team. And to those who say that We had to trade him because Perron wanted out, of course he did, that is because management has turned this team into a shjt show and they are to blame for good players not wanting any part of this embarassing rebuild.

  • Harry2

    How about the fact that thy seem to ve intent on recycling actual players for maybes? Year in and year out.

    Mac needs to nut up and make a big trade for a #1 dman and a goalie. The sooner the better

  • TKB2677

    JW , I have a great deal of respect for your judgements and analyses.
    But I fulsomelh y disagree with you on the Perron trade.
    It is another indictment of MacTavish.
    Trading a real NHL player for a pick , even a first round pick, is never going to get the OIlers into being genuinely competitive.
    Oilers needs players who can play now, not ones that may never play.
    The value of a 4th line player could have been addressed separately.
    When MacTavish sends away Petry again for nothing in a few days , can anyone argue he should remain in charge?