We’re less than 100 hours from the trade deadline and for Edmonton Oilers fans it looks like the number of deals we’ll see is one: Jeff Petry. Is there any other deal available (beyond Petry) that makes sense? Yes. Boyd Gordon.
Look, I know. I understand he’s an excellent center for this team and it’s an area that needs additions not subtractions. I get it. That isn’t really the point here. The point is:
- Boyd Gordon is a UFA in 2016 summer.
- Edmonton will not be competitive next season based on their earlier trade of David Perron and their impending Jeff Petry transaction.
- Keeping Boyd Gordon under these circumstances is not ideal.
- Oilers have no one to replace him. True, Edmonton’s centers (Nuge, Roy, Lander when healthy) are not good options to replace Gordon. I’d guess Matt Hendricks would take on the role for the rest of this season.
- Why would the Oilers do this? Trading Gordon assumes the return value is substantial. I’m not saying he should be dealt for a third-round pick but if a team is offering a legit young goalie or defenseman or center? I’d have a look—winning hockey games this season is no longer an issue and next season is clearly not a year Edmonton plans to push for a playoff spot. Craig’s on it, but not for 2015-16.
- Who plays Gordon’s minutes next year? Craig MacTavish has shown an ability to find these checking players. Gordon, Matt Hendricks and Rob Klinkhammer are three examples but he was solid at this area as a coach, too. Dealing Gordon and getting MacT on the job replacing him makes sense if you can address a specific need elsewhere.
- What kind of return are we talking about? Substantial. Edmonton has Gordon for another year (UFA 2016) but if they could acquire a player under control for several years who is also able to step in and help next season?
- So, not a draft pick? No, a plug-and-play type player.
- Is that player available? Probably not but there are teams who would love to employ Gordon in the playoffs I’m sure.
- What Would That Player Look Like? Well, let’s use Vancouver (calm down, we’re just chatting) as an example. They were reportedly after Gordon in free agency before he came to Edmonton. The Canucks have some nice things—I’ll name goalie Jacob Markstrom but there are others—who may be of interest to Edmonton.
- Do You Think It Could Happen? Yes, but it’s unlikely. The Oilers have already given up David Perron and are about to trade Jeff Petry, both moves having a major impact on next season. They won’t risk stripping the current roster more. The funny thing is this: Once they traded Perron, and certainly once Petry is dealt, the Boyd Gordon contract is kind of dead in the water. He’s going to play miles from the playoffs, a perfectly good hockey player who will have to wait until next trade deadline to play important games in spring.