THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY (TRADE PRIMER 1)

draisaitl draft board

The Edmonton Oilers have three selections that will land inside the Top 35 overall in the 2015 draft: Their own first and second selections and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first rounder. It’s not certain if the team will add picks during the time leading up to the trade deadline but the more interesting question is this: Does Craig MacTavish make a deal on the draft floor that includes one or more of those precious 2015 picks?

THE LOTTERY PICK!

If the Oilers pick first or second, they will absolutely walk to the podium and select Connor McDavid (No. 1) or Jack Eichel (No. 2). After that? Well, it’s complicated. For me, any of Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome or Mitch Marner would be quality selections but what if MacT can cash that pick (say, 3, 4 or 5) for immediate help that addresses an area of weakness?

Would you trade the No. 3 overall selection in a deal for Sean Couturier? What about a package that includes the lottery pick for Robin Lehner and Mika Zibanejad? Lehner and Lazar? Or what about Arizona? Toronto? Carolina? It’s going to be a crazy summer based on some of the rumblings in NHL cities. I’m not saying the Oilers will trade the lottery pick but the idea of getting NHL-ready players age 20-23 has considerable appeal. It’s also true that Bob Green—the new recruitment guru—knows Lazar very well.

Chances are Edmonton makes the pick and I think it’ll come down to Hanifin or Strome. Marner? Small and despite being a center may well move to wing. Plus he looks a lot like Ales Hemsky based on viewings and I can’t see the Oilers drafting that kind of player in the MacT era. No sir. Up the middle, please and thanks.

THE PENGUINS PICK!

Let’s begin by agreeing that the Bob McKenzie list is the bible for the NHL’s entry draft. His mid-season look is here. We have evidence that Craig MacTavish was watching Jansen Harkins here. Is it reasonable to suggest Edmonton would be thrilled with the two-way center if he’s available with the Penguins pick?

Or do you package that pick at the draft? The No. 23 pick (if it lands there) added to a quality prospect (say Martin Marincin) could fetch a useful NHL player, no? Especially if said veteran is a little overpriced for what he brings?

dog goalie

THE SECOND ROUNDER

Don’t ask me how I know (this comes from years of watching the Oilers Oiler) but MacKenzie Blackwood might as well buy an Oilers jersey now. He’s a goalie, top-ranked and plays in the CHL. Edmonton has little in the cupboard and last season’s bets (the crazily named Zach Nagelvoort and Keven Bouchard) don’t look like home runs from here.

THE TOP THREE PICKS!

  1. D Noah Hanifin
  2. C Jansen Harkins
  3. G MacKenzie Blackwood

Or, maybe they make a big trade with the Senators (who always seem to be an attractive partner). Either way, the Oilers are well placed to impact the draft or acquire actual NHL players. The draft floor should be action central for the orange and blue.

good grief1

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

A year ago, the Oilers traded Nick Schultz to Columbus, Ales Hemsky to the Senators and Ilya Bryzgalov to the Minnesota Wild. The club also acquired Viktor Fasth from Anaheim around the same time. It looks like Edmonton will be active again this deadline and the focus appears to be on exits as opposed to entries. The Fasth addition should remind us opportunities for procurement may present themselves at the deadline this season but the big show will be at the draft.

Bold? Perhaps we should choose our words more carefully this time around.

  • WTF2

    Oil should trade trade hall for vasilevisky, drouin and radko gudas. Select mcdavid or eichel. Sign boychuk!! Deal ference for a bad salary that ends this year. (If possible). Trade scrivens for a third rd pickand fasth for a fifth rd pick. Sign petry to 3yr worth 4 mill per. Sign mike green and boom!!!! EASY FIX HAHA

  • Spoils

    I am not one for tanking. I’d love to get the McD, but i’d rather be chicago or la than pittsburgh with Crosby – meaning let’s make good moves and build a great team.

    the first step is deciding WHEN we want to be good. the thinking is to stack your assets to all peak at the same time.

    the way I see it that is tied to Nurse and Klefbom and Yak and Leon and the 2015 picks catching up to Hall Nuge and Ebs.

    so to me that means we probably shouldn’t draft a D.

    if you believe Schultz-Nurse-Klefbom (and hopefully Petry) are not good enough to win a cup, then you need to acquire D.

    my question is – what will it take to get a true #1D that will peak in that time frame?

    example trade Hall, our two first round picks in 2015 and our first pick in 2016… OK obviously not, but what would it take?

    I think it likely includes moving a first overall pick – ideally 2016.

  • Spoils

    Would Nashville trade Seth Jones for Hall and the oilers’ first pick in 2016?

    would that be a trade worth doing?

    Hall is an asset that could help them win a cup this year. Seth Jones could make our D pretty incredible in 2 years time. The 2016 pick probably won’t be making a major impact as we come into our peak year.

    is Hall’s risk of injury something the Oilers should consider

    • Spoils

      I don’t think Nashville would be interested in that deal at all. Jones was a top five pick a few years ago – so they be trading a top five pick with two years of pro development for a chance at that same top five pick in 2016.

      • pkam

        Spoils was suggesting Hall + 2016 1st rounder for Jones which, in my opinion, is a lopsided trade favoring the Preds.

        And you don’t think Nashville would be interested? So what do you think should we add to that package? How about RNH and Eberle too?

        Unbelievable.

  • Spoils

    I agree that supplementing the players a team acquires via the draft with timely trades is the way to achieve success in the NHL.

    What you must consider is when does the team make the trades. If they make trades to ‘build’ a team success is unlikely. If they make the trades as the finishing touches to a solid team in order to get to the next level, the likelihood of success is far greater.

    At this juncture the Oilers are not close to being a contender so they should retain their draft picks and acquire quality assets. Once they begin to contend then by all means make careful trades to fill a specific need.

    Trading picks for players at this time is beyond foolish unless an opposing GM loses his mind.

  • Aitch

    Watching that Kings goal (over and over) again I can’t help but feel that we were hard on Brad Hunt for that play. Why? Well, what’s the difference in that play and the super-awesome play that Eberle did in San Jose the other night? Toffoli used a toe-drag to walk around a rookie NHLer, except he never really got around him. Hunt pushed him off to the boards at least. Yet, Eberle makes the same move (but even better) to Patrick Marleau and then fakes out Brent Burns afterwards. If Hunt’s play was so bad, why aren’t we making fun of Marleau for letting Ebs walk around hm? Marleau, an All-Star and Olympian should be able to defend that sort of play better than a raw NHL rookie, shouldn’t he?

    (Let’s face it, if the goalie makes the save, no one remembers the play.)

  • Zarny

    @pkam

    I’m curious why you would sign Petry to 6 yrs 30M now but not in 4 months? Given that there is no practical difference.

    My comments were solely about negotiations last year. Petry won’t sign for 2 yrs 7M now or this summer. That ship has sailed. You need a discounted RFA year for that kind of deal.

    As of July 1 last summer though I don’t think Petry or his agent would or should have been confident about a long term deal @ 4.5M this summer. He simply wasn’t very good last year or for that matter the year before.

    If Petry was a UFA last year his agent may have asked for Stralman’s deal (5 yr @ 25M) but realistically I think his agent would have expected 5 yr @ 20M or 4M per.

    And I don’t even think that 4M would have been guaranteed given Petry plays on one of the worst teams in the league, has poor stats and zero playoff experience.

    And that was Edmonton’s leverage last year…uncertainty. The only way Petry gets Stralman’s deal this summer was if he played better this year which he has but it wasn’t a guarantee.

    He could have gotten hurt or simply not improved and could just as easily been staring at an offer for 3.5-4M per year this summer as 4.5M. And I think every GM not named MacT would have laughed Petry and his agent out of the building @ 5M last July.

    That uncertainty is why Petry could have been signed for 2 years instead of 1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 4-4.5M guaranteed for next year is worth more than maybe signing for that a year later.

    And if Petry wanted to dig his heels in for 1 yr I would have let him sit at home and watch his value and opportunity to cash in this summer slip away.

    I like Petry enough that I think the Oilers should sign him if they could. But I think people need to be realistic about what he really is. On most teams, especially playoff teams, he’s a 3-5 D. Even with his improved play this year I suspect Stralman’s deal is the best he can hope for this summer and it won’t be with Detroit or a top contender. They aren’t going to pay Petry north of 5M to be a 2nd or 3rd pairing guy.

    We’ll see though. Should never underestimate NHL GMs to do something dumb.

    • pkam

      Why I would sign him to 5M now and not this off season? 3 reasons.

      1st, he has been better this year than last year.

      2nd, the cap is a bit higher than this off season.

      3rd, It is all UFA years now while there was one RFA year this off season. So 5M over 5 years this off season means we paid an extra 2M for the RFA year even if I thought he worth 5M as an UFA, which I didn’t at that time.

      We don’t know what he and his agent believe. But let’s say they believe Petry can get the same contract Stralman signed. Why didn’t he go to a cup contender but the Oilers for that amount of money?

      And why would he want to sign an extra year with the Oilers? Oilers had all the benefits and he got all the risks. If he regress this year, all he has to do is sign a one year deal at lower salary and look for a rebound.

      I believe there was a gentleman agreement so Petry and his agent didn’t file for arbitration. If MacT played hard ball later, will it hurt the relationship? And Petry can still try to get an offersheet of 3M for a year. I think there will be teams interested to give up a 2nd rounder for his service and a chance to re-sign him. Isn’t a player will be UFA at 28 no matter what? So worst case, go to Europe for a year and he will be UFA anyway. Right?

      It sure hurts the player, but it hurts the team even more, right? Remember O’Rielly?

  • Zarny

    @pkam

    I think we have a misunderstanding.

    By “this offseason” do you mean last summer? To me, this offseason is July 2015. July 2014 is last offseason.

    I’m not suggesting that if Petry was a UFA last year he would have resigned with Edmonton. Last offseason, this offseason…he’s gone if he hits the open market.

    Petry was an RFA and was only going to get RFA money to play hockey in 2014-15. That turned out to be 3.075M.

    To sign Petry to a 2yr contract last offseason (July 2014) the Oilers would have had to buy his upcoming 1st year as a UFA.

    In July 2014 I don’t think Petry’s agent would have been certain they would get more than 4M/yr as a UFA in July 2015. His play last year simply didn’t warrant it.

    So if the Oilers had offered Petry a 2 yr contract – 3.075M for this season and 4M to 4.5M for 2015-16 I think he would have signed it. Guaranteed money next season is better than maybe cashing in if he plays better.

    There was risk on Petry’s part with signing a 1 yr contract. As you said, if he regressed or was seriously injured 10 games into this 2014-15 season he would have to sign a cheaper 1 yr contract and look to rebound.

    In a scenario where he signs for 2 yrs last July he’s guaranteed 4-4.5M in 2015-16 and is in the exact same position for 2016-17 as your scenario where he signs another 1 yr contract looking to rebound. The only risk for Petry would have been if he drastically out-performed the 2nd year of his extension which I think was highly unlikely.

    There was probably more risk for the Oilers that Petry would end up being overpaid in a 2nd year like what happened with Gagner. The extra year of term would have been worth it imo because they’d get a lot more for him if they wanted to trade him.

    Regardless, it doesn’t matter now. It was a dumb move but what’s done is done.

    • pkam

      English is not my first language. I remember once I used ‘this’ to reference a time in the future and was told I was wrong. Like today is a Saturday, if I say ‘this Friday’, it means yesterday, not a week from yesterday. So I am confused now you say this off season means the one that is coming, not the one just passed.

      Back to Petry, I agree that is is a dumb move if Petry will sign for 2 years at 7M. But I think it will be a super dumb move for Petry to sign 2 years at 7M and think MacT have absolute no chance.

      If I am Petry, if I don’t think I can get more than 4M in UFA, why didn’t I sign long term with the Oilers at 4M. If I can sign a long term at 4M with the Oilers, why do I want to sign a one year contract with the Oilers?

      All this speculation of regression or injury in the 1st year can happen in the 2nd year too. So the risk is there that Petry will have to sign a one year contract at reduced salary to rebound. If I am Petry, I would rather take it earlier than later.

      Even if Petry sign a one years contract at a lower rate, he will be better with a better team that play him 2nd pairing minutes because his stats will be better for the negotiation of the following year. With Oilers, he will continue to play the tough minutes and ends up with terrible stats again.

      So a one year contract give all the benefit to the team and nothing to the player, unless it is overpay.