purcell capture

As we edge toward the NHL trade deadline, Oilers fans await the return for two free agents—Justin Schultz and Teddy Purcell. Since the past informs the future, will the Oilers be able to peddle more than two players at the deadline?


If you talk to most Oilers fans, the expected return for Justin Schultz is an old brown shoe and a package of Lipton Cup-of-Soup. Although Peter Chiarelli will not hit a home run on the exchange, there is a chance to procure a reasonable return based on two factors:

  • Edmonton can retain salary. Since Schultz is a pure rental (despite being an RFA, there is no chance a team will qualify him at his current salary), the young defender will not be a severe strain on the cap. A team looking for a mobile defender who can help in the offensive zone need only worry about the roster spot and the actual cap cost remaining to season’s end. That makes Schultz something of a bargain.
  • The Jeff Petry factor. Edmonton has been very hard on careers over the last decade (ask Robert Nilsson, Patrick O’Sullivan and Sheldon Souray), but Petry’s 12 months after being traded may give GMs the idea that it is the Oilers, not the player.

What can Oilers fans expect for Schultz? I will guess a pick outside the top 100 overall, something similar to the Martin Marincin return last summer.


Teddy Purcell is posting a strong season in his walk year, and should fetch a more substantial return. If you look at Purcell’s offensive performance at 5×5, that has value for any team looking to venture deep into the postseason:


Source: War On Ice

Purcell ranks No. 76 among NHL forwards with 400 or more minutes in 5×5/60, and that is a very nice number. Let’s not overestimate him—he is a complementary offensive player with speed issues—but there is every chance the Oilers can get a good draft pick or prospect for him. I will guess Edmonton gets a pick inside the top 75 overall for Purcell (assuming he continues to play on a skill line and remains productive until the deadline).


I admit that getting the value right on Mark Fayne is near impossible. This is a player who was on waivers earlier in the season, and he has two more years on his deal at a significant cap number ($3.625M, free agent 2018 summer). Source: NHLNumbers.


There are all kinds of measures we can use to show possession. I am old fashioned and prefer Corsi for 5×5 percentage. As you can see, Mark Fayne performs well in this discipline and frankly has for the entire season. Fayne is not a balls-out defenseman who can bring you out of your seat, but he can defend and that has great value in the playoffs.

If the Oilers were willing to retain? I think we could see a return inside the top 60 overall from a team looking for an actual NHL defenseman. Note: I would not trade Fayne. He is a player I rate and would like to see as part of the solution.


I imagine Peter Chiarelli would take calls on others, and if a real defensive option comes available we could see a blockbuster along the lines of Johansen-for-Jones. Difficult to anticipate that happening at the deadline, although we will keep an eye out.

    • Lowetide

      We will see. Oilers can make him available for very little cap (retain, plus the season is almost done, so the hit is not big) and the ask won’t be massive. With so many teams still in the race, he could surprise.

      • Spydyr

        We can only hope.

        If the other team asks for the Oilers to retain salary-they must be in a play-offs or play-off push, without much cap available. I can’t believe that a team that has a chance at a play-offs would look at Schultz and be like “that’s the guy we need”, they’d have to be suicidal.

        • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

          Yup. He will flat out cost you games in the playoffs. No intelligent GM takes this player.

          Considering all the effort in acquiring Schultz and now the added years and time trying to develop(albeit flawed) him. This player has been the greatest waste of time and effort by this organization.

          The inability to assess the player for what he is. And then play to his strengths. Is a sorry example of how not to develop. this sink or swim crap needs to stop. We are looking at it with Nurse in my opinion. They need to get help now. And push him down where his current level is at.

    • Spydyr

      We all want the big trade but recent history has showed that blockbusters happen in the summer around the draft not on deadline day anymore. Teams are a little more honest about their chances and don’t sell the farm anymore on deadline day.

  • Spydyr

    “A team looking for a mobile defender who can help in the offensive zone”

    3 goals 6 assist 9 points

    At the moment he is 117th is defencman scoring .

    Why do you continue to promote Schultz as a offensive defencman?

    He simply is not.

    • Lowetide

      31 points a year ago says hello. Schultz has ONE major asset imo, and that is his creativity inside the offensive zone. He has no shot at all, and that lessens the value, but he can make plays and is creative in the 0-zone.

        • Lowetide

          Injuries, confidence, all kinds of factors. As I mentioned in the article, a team that sees Schultz struggling for the Oilers may not view it as fatal. It was certainly not with Jeff Petry, who performed very well last spring.

          • Lowetide

            That shouldn’t keep us from having a good conversation, we are both rational people (although that may change around 8:25 tonight, for me). 🙂

            I think Schultz is a guy who has the skills but may have some confidence or aptitude issues. People learn in different ways, and a new coach—and leaving a place where failure lives—could mean a new NHL life for Schultz.

            A pick outside No. 100 overall (so, a fourth-round pick) doesn’t seem too much of a risk. Edmonton sent on of those away for Jerred Smithson.

          • Spydyr

            I’m sure you are right some team will throw a pick the Oilers way for him. It is just to bad they tried to highlight him by playing him so
            much IMO it actually decreased his value.

            The entire Oilers defence is playing two spots higher than they should be.The team so badly needs two top paring defenceman or at the least a stud defencman and second pairing guy.

          • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

            On one side, 25-year old RHD who has scored 31, 33 and 27 points.

            Plays for a team that manages player development very poorly. Has not had the opportunity to play beside a quality veteran D in his career.

            His $AAV is too high, but his contract expires after this season. Its basically a 22 game try-out, and half his salary could be paid by someone else.

            On the other, a 4/5/6 round pick is highly unlikely to ever play 200 games.

            It’s a low-risk, buy-low trade. If it pans out, you can pick up a dman with close to 300 GP. If it doesn’t, you just traded a late pick that wasn’t likely to turn into a player.

            I’m not a Schultz fan, btw. If he could be signed for $1m, and play 15-18 minutes, he’s an adequate depth player. It’s only the Oilers that thought they could turn him into a top-pairing RHD then got angry when he didn’t become one.

      • Morgo_82

        Sorry Lowetide but this reasoning is like trying to paint $hit, no matter what colour you make it, it’s still $hit underneath.

        Schultz’s value is border-lining on negative. They need to take what they can get for him and move on, it’s the best / only option.

        • Lowetide

          No need to be sorry, you didn’t do anything wrong. In estimating value for a player like Schultz, it is important to factor in level of interest. In a recent article for ESPN, Pierre Lebrun wrote the following:

          Schultz has lost his confidence; his development wasn’t handled well the past few years in Edmonton and a change of scenery will benefit everyone involved. I think he still has the chance to be a good defenseman, so for another team this is an interesting gamble.

          I think that is exactly right. A gamble, but the market is not flush with available talent and I bet there are teams who think they can unlock him.

          • Morgo_82

            I just said sorry to show that I wasn’t being combative (can’t tell context via text), no worries there.

            Honestly, I hope there’s a team out there that thinks they can ‘fix’ him, Chiarelli should take that deal and run like Hell. If not walk away during the summer, he’s not worth 2.5 million never mind 4.

      • Morgo_82

        True Dat!

        You need to be real creative to give away the puck the way he does! Creativity at its peak indeed!

        Chia will need to be as creative if not more to get anything for Schultzy…. Nobody else notices that when he is injured or scratched the oilers are better?

    • Spydyr

      Maybe u care to quote Hamonic’s stats here?
      49gp 4g 9a 13p -1.

      Yet Hamonic’s is the answer to everyone’s prayers. Just a little perspective…

      There’s an expression commenters need to remember. The grass is always greener.

      • Spydyr

        My answer for the defence is a player better than Hamonic not that I would not take him for the right price.The team needs a top defenceman that can eat up the minutes and play against the best the other teams have to offer..

      • TheYarish

        Harmonic stay at home defensemen but mobile and can chip in offense , Schultz not good defensively is less than mediocre offensively as seen by fact a defense first d man has more points than ” doughty2.0″ lol

    • Spydyr

      Maybe u care to quote Hamonic’s stats here?
      49gp 4g 9a 13p -1.

      Yet Hamonic’s is the answer to everyone’s prayers. Just a little perspective…

      There’s an expression commenters need to remember. The grass is always greener.

  • Spydyr

    I’m hoping a team such as St.Louis that has plenty of defensive assets but needs offensive help takes one of the Oilers small skilled forwards for defensive help here.

      • Spydyr

        Yak for sure, Nuge but only if you are getting back a top defencman his age or younger.I would even trade Hall if the defencman coming back was all world and in the age group.

        IMO they need help that bad on the back-end.

        • hitchikerforajax

          Schultz again, causes a Winnipeg goal, by pinching, when he shouldn’t of pinched. Why TF, does the Oiler brass, continue to play this guy???? It confuses me, that a player (d-man), who doesn’t defend, doesn’t score & does little else, to help the team, but yet, continues to play? I guess, that is why, the Oilers struggle. They play Yakapov(forward), who doesn’t score, can’t defend, but yet, continues to be played. Unless, the Oilers are spotlighting these guys(I just peed my pants, laughing at that last statement) “spotlighting”. What a fuc@@n joke. With, a game plan like that, just maybe, the Oilers can draft, new management, instead of no. 1’s who can’t play hockey (sans McDavid)!!

  • Lowetide

    As Shultz is a rental (nobody is going to re-qualify him) teams only interest is what he can do now. So his 6 points this year is of more relevant than what he did last year etc.

    If PC can get a 4th rounder for him, he’s done well.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Peter C has had a year to evaluate all the personel, I cant decide if I am more interested in seeing the player moves he is going to make or the Management /scouting,office personnel moves he will make .THAT will be intriguing to watch.

  • Serious Gord

    There has been talk lately about how our first line has gone cold (4-29-16). Looks like they are going to try and split up Hall and Drai for tonights game. That won’t last long, as those 2 guys work extremely well together and a large factor was also the play of Purcell on that line. They need an intelligent hockey player to play with those 2 which Purcell is, not another speedy guy. Once the focus of opposing teams shutdown lines centres on McDavids line you will see this line come back to life. Purcell needs to be retained at some king of value contract under 3 mil for 3 years instead of endless auditions and a extra draft pick.

  • Morgo_82

    I’m so glad the Oilers did not give Petry that contract (6yrs/5.5m). They made the right move with him. Montreal can have him & his 16 pts & inconsistent play.

      • camdog

        I am always amazed that Oiler fans continue to compare Petry to left d -man the ignorance and inability to realize that Gryba, Fayne and Shultz are the competition and not Sekera simply amazes me….

        • Lowetide

          He’s comparing them because Sekera essentially replaced Petry on the roster when they signed him. Also, they have identical contracts; 6yrs/33M, 5.5M/yr. And, I for one am glad we didn’t shell out that money for Petry because I agree that Sekera is a much better defenceman. And after the Oilers finally dump Schultz and trade for Hamonic, people like you might not feel the need to post such condescending remarks.

  • Oil City Roller

    I’m just sour that we are in the same position at the trade deadline that we are in every year. Looking to unload a mix of hot garbage and mediocre players for some magic beans that have about a 5% chance of playing even a few NHL games five years from now. There will be blockbuster trades at the deadline this year just like there is almost every year. And just like every other year the Oilers won’t be a part of them.

    On deadline day we are always told we have to wait until the summer. Then in the summer we are told there were no trades because they need to evaluate what they’ve got. Then in the regular season we are told you have to wait until closer to the deadline. And the wheel just keeps spinning.

    • TheYarish

      Me too!
      I wish there was a way to be contenders slightly as to get real trades. I bet the oilers would love to make a trade for a top D but nobody in the playoffs or in the hunt will give those away.
      Best thing that can happen is for Nashville to struggle with scoring and they decide to offload Josi or Webber for one of our forwards.

      If that happens, Edmonton better does it. Would be a world of difference to walk into the summer with one of the missing pieces already in place and would expedite the rebuild

  • Spydyr

    Let’s trade as many non-core players as possible and see what the summer brings?

    I’m beyond hoping that a 20 game run is possible so a pragmatic approach should include more than a couple of players. Let’s try and trade LK, NY, and any other player that can get us a decent draft pick!

    Right now my Stanley Cup is Connor McDavid.

    • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

      What’s the core then?

      My core as I see it:

      Hall – RNH – Draisaitl – Klefbom – McDavid – Nurse

      With Davidson being a very nice value contract for a decent player but not necessarily a core player and I wouldn’t hesitate to trade Nurse if the return is Hamonic.

      I would like to see the Oilers take a run at Chris Kreider this summer if the cap does go down 4 million, I’m wondering if Yakupov + a prospect gets it done as the NYR have to shed big salary regardless, and CK is a RFA and his age fits the cluster.

      The Oilers Non-core roster lacks these major roster pieces

      TWO top pairing defensemen
      A third line center
      Two gorillas with some attitude and skill on the wing

      Until the Oilers address these issues they won’t go North.

      • TheYarish

        You are hoping for a lot…………I would be very happy with the addition of a calm, cool offensive defenceman that can play in all situations.

        Add to this one large, mean, brutish, forward that can make plays, and protect guys like Hall, RNH, McDavid, Ebs……..say a Lucic?

        Your core should include Eberle………your wanting to trade Nurse for Hamonic ignores the fact that Hamonic has probably peaked and Nurse still has not reached his prime. Although I like Hamonic quite frankly moving him for Nurse is what gets GM’s fired!

    • Spydyr

      Nice, If your going to bring him up let him play no use sitting him on the bench. I just hope the team defence of the Oilers does not ruin him like so many other goalies during the last decade.

  • Lowetide

    Figuring out this Oiler defence is difficult. Part of the problem is that many players over the years have not lived up to their expected or previous performances for other teams. Maybe they see the list of first round picks and decide they can coast a little. I do know that for the young players the long schedule, the travel and the fan focus compared to a junior team must be overwhelming. Nurse is worn out. It wore Schultz out his first full year. Another reason to keep them on the farm until they are ready. The American College players like Schultz and Petry have their confidence shaken when they see that they now live in a different universe where body checking is part of the deal.

  • Lowetide

    …..”I am old fashioned and prefer Corsi for 5×5 percentage.”

    That’s funny. That’s the first time ever that the words “old fashioned” has been used with the term Corsi.