Friedman/Garrioch: Oilers could be looking to move Hendricks, Pouliot

During last night’s Sportsnet headlines, Elliotte Friedman made note that the Edmonton Oilers could be looking to move on from Matt Hendricks. In an article posted yesterday evening for the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch made mention the Oilers could be looking to move Pouliot. What gives?

Matt Hendricks, healthy scratch again tonight. I think Edmonton is looking to move him. I wonder if Minnesota, where Hendricks is from could be a potential fit. – Friedman

Now in his third year with the Edmonton Oilers, Matt Hendricks has been an large figure for the team. He was originally acquired from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Devan Dubnyk on Jan. 15, 2014 and in the 177 games he has played in for the Edmonton Oilers, he has scored only 32 points. 

A fourth liner, Hendricks has been a great leader for the young Oilers and has been a very well liked player. He is the true example of what you want from a veteran leader, despite the fact that he has never really been a point producer. 

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However, his analytics have shown a very different side. In nearly every major analytic category at 5v5 or in all situations, Matt Hendricks ranks either at the bottom, or second worst. Even just in watching him, it is apparent that he is starting to slow down as a player. 

At 35 years old, Hendricks is on his last legs in the NHL. Not many players are able to play into their mid-thirties, and with one year at $1.8m left on his deal he is certainly nearing the end of his NHL career.

The Oilers have held talks with a few teams about winger Benoit Pouliot, who has two years left at $4 million per season. Edmonton isn’t actively shopping Pouliot but it’s believed GM Peter Chiarelli is trying to see if there’s any interest. – Garrioch

Pouliot has been a bit of an enigmatic figure during his time in Edmonton. The Oilers signed him to a five-year, $4m deal on July 1, 2014. Since then, he has come to Edmonton and been a possesion driver as well as a solid secondary scoring option scoring 75 points in 136 games. 

However, he has also been a streaky player for the Oilers and doesn’t seem to be in favour of the new management team and coaching staff. This season, he has had some mighty struggles that found him spending time in the press box watching from above. 

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What do you think the Oilers should do?

The latest from Laing:

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Pouliot has been doing his best Yakupov impression this season, but slower, with less focus and no sense of purpose. He should be gone before they serve the Pannetone, as my Italian soccer friends would say.

    Hendricks is a player who will do anything to help his team win. Sadly, the next thing he may have to do to help them win is leave it.

    What a drag it is getting old. But it’s better than the alternative.

  • Prometheus

    I think it is sensible to move Hendricks at some point this season (a 5th rounder is better than nothing letting him walk). With Pouliot… I like him, but he’s having a slow year. That being said, is it selling low? ‘Cause I’ve had enough of that.

  • I’m sure it makes sense to move Pouliot, but like Perron, he’s a guy I wish I saw in the playoffs on the Oilers. Both seem to elevate their game in the PO and provide depth at a critical time.

    Pouliot had some great shifts last night, and some where he was invisible, it seems. It’s a contrast to Nuge where Nugent-Hopkins plays hard every shift but isn’t rewarded with points.

    • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Pouliot had some great shifts last night, and some where he was invisible, it seems.

      Pouliot may be worth Henderson’s time for his next two part exorcism.

      I posted a version of this on the game summary, but it bears repeating here in the context of Pouliot’s cost to the top six:

      Apparently folks from Morinville to Beamont, Texas blamed Ebs for the 2nd Ducks goal last night but it bears a 2nd viewing to focus on Pouliot’s contribution.

      The play starts with Perry getting the non-call interference, as Perry comes from behind Sekera to knock his stick out of his hand and tag up at the line to prevent an offside. So we start at a disadvantage: a D without a stick and Perry heading into open space. At this point it should be played like a PK, with Sekera getting out of Benning’s way and Pouliot picking up Perry or at least noticing he’s about to be overtaken by Getzlaf.

      Two things happen next that are kind of important:

      1. The puck is thrown over to the open wing that Perry’s moving into and Pouliot is also moving into, but Perry actually skates at this point while Pouliot switches to glide mode, to the point that Getzlaf eventually passes Pou to be in position to take a pass from Perry. Yes, amazingly, Pouliot glides the entire length of the ice from the red line, while Getzlaf had started the play with his pass to Fowler from in front of his own net. Essentially, Pou gives up on Perry even though Sekera has no stick and then lets Getzlaf slide past him to gain position for a pass from Perry and a shot on net from 7 feet out.

      2. At the same time, after giving up his twig, Sekera makes his second mistake of chasing Perry into the corner, and then behind the net, like he’d be able to prevent a pass without his stick.

      Every Oiler on the ice froze for a tenth of a second watching Sekera double down on his mistake (including Eberle). Pouliot was already frozen from the red line in, and because of Getzlaf’s new position on Pouliot he’s able to attempt a shot on net–not a pass, a shot on net.

      Benning had been trying to catch Perry to make up for Sekera’s second mistake but with the back pass to Getzlaf he stops chasing Perry behind the net, just long enough to deflect Getzlaf’s unintended shot-pass right on Rakell’s stick.

      Eberle collapsed too deep on the play, no question, but had the ref called the interference, had Pouliot taken just one single stride (just one), or had Benning or Sekera made a better call on coverage (or RNH), we don’t get to a point where Eberle misses Rakell. Or maybe we do.

      TLDR: about 6 mistakes were made in preparation for Eberle’s ultimate mistake. My own personal, I’d have preferred Pouliot took a single god damn stride either toward Perry or Getzlaf when he had the chance, given that Sekera had no stick at that time and Pouliot had a line on Perry and had position on Getzlaf. He did neither. But he glides like the wind.

      • Seriously Bored

        I asked the question as to how ebs was left alone to cover both dman and the forward driving around the net. Problem is he didnt cover any of them.

        Massive defensive breakdown topped off by a poor play by ebs but we cant run a system that ends up with the RW covering one half of the defensive zone.

        • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          The only Oiler who was close to covering anyone was Sekera on Perry and he didn’t even have a stick.

          I read Benning’s and RNH’s response to Sekera’s play as “I’ll take Perry, you don’t even have a stick,” even though they were both 3 steps behind Perry. So effectively they were frozen out by Sekera in his effort to make amends.

          I read Ebs’ choice to collapse too far in as simply following the logic that Benning and RNH were going after Perry below the net and no one was covering the front of the net.

          Getzlaf’s effective shot-pass (deflected by Benning) was a low-high, high speed play that was right on the tape. Flukey as hell, but right on the tape.

          Ebs got caught in no man’s land between the unguarded front of the net and the wing/point that he should have been covering if anybody else was covering anyone else. They weren’t and he wasn’t.

          And then there’s Pouliot: the one guy who actually had position and a) could have caught or engaged Perry with his stick and b) could have checked Getzlaf but instead chose to ride him into port like a he was a tug boat.

          I can understand all of the breakdowns that occurred except for Pou’s, particularly on Getzlaf and the ref’s non-call on interference. FFS, Perry came up to Sekera from behind and knocked his stick out of his hands while he was still offside and Sekera was nowhere near the puck.

      • Silver Streak

        excellent analysis…..many players mistakes involved in that goal…..I counted 4 times that Perry swatted our gloves and sticks with his hand resulting in our guys being out of the play while collecting their sticks…..simple, innocent looking stuff, not even sure what you would call that if a ref found his whistle.

      • Spydyr

        That’s a lot of writing to say Eberle was stuck in no mans land covering no one out of position and watching his man score the tying goal.

        That is the bottom line on that play.

        • Seriously Bored

          So who was covering the other two ducks? If eberle leaves the front of the net to cover that one player there is still two easy plays for great scoring opportunities.

          Pretty soon anytime someone scores with eberle on the ice the spider will be here to remind us that was his man. If the rest of the team had picked up their “man” he could have been in his position.

          • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

            His analysis is like the haters who blame the goalie for letting the opposition score on a breakaway after the five other guys on the ice make mistakes to let the breakaway happen.

            When it comes to seeing what happens during a play he’s got the hockey memory of a Commodore 64.

            But, hey, it’s not unexpected. Haters gonna hate.

  • RyanCoke

    Everyone should be open for discussion. No need to move just to move but be open to it. I would trade anyone not name connor mcdavid for the right price.

    • Prometheus

      Basically, yeah, if it’s a ‘fair’ trade, go for it. Though trading Pou + Hendricks without getting a ‘depth’ forward back would probably result in JJ/Lander/Beck being called up. Pouliot is still very good depth.

      • Gravis82

        Lander just got a Hat trick in the AHL! He’ll be back soon enough.

        Unfortunately for him, he lives in this weird zone between the NHL and AHL (i.e. airplane). Little to good for AHL, good enough for NHL 4th line but never quite good at any one thing to prevent a GM from thinking…”hmmm, perhaps we could use an upgrade there, even though its seems to be going fine”

  • Keep neither. Poo is a skating turnover machine. For 6’5 his ability to win battles and protect the puck is Eberle-esque. Not scoring, not playing defence, see ya later.

    Love Hendricks, but his time is up. Get what you can and replace him from within.

  • Glass

    I wouldn’t be opposed to getting a late pick for Hendricks. Better than letting him walk.

    Brandon Davidson, Paigan, and Bear were late picks that appear to be looking good, to name a few.

    lol editted.

  • Joy S. Lee

    You asked…

    If it’s me, I’m dealing Pouliot and Hendricks, but you can throw in a few other names…

    …Eberle, Letestu, Dillon Simpson, Oesterle and LaLeggia (there’s enough systemic depth on D to handle it), Fayne (if there’s a deal to be made there), along with a few other veterans in the system. It would be nice if the Oilers could muster a Center and Right Winger with value or potential out of all of it, but draft picks would work, too. Whatever they can get. They have to keep the momentum moving on building the supporting cast of the future, and this season is the right and perfect time to do it.

        • fran huckzky

          Picks are of little use if you have injuries on the big team. Draft picks have value if you are a bottom feeder,which we have been, but you need depth if you think you are a playoff team.

          • I am Batman

            I think you are right, I thought about it as getting picks to offload in deadline but we still have no idea what might be available.

            You are right, we need depth, my bad

  • Just when they appear to making the playoffs, they will have to trade a player with heart and soul — an intangible quality every team needs at its core.

    I believe, however, that Maroon, Kassian, and Lucic will carry that torch. It’s a must that they do.

    • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Okay, sounds good.

      But walk me through this part: you trade the highest scoring RW on the Oilers (and in the entire Pacific Division) to replace him with . . . ? Who?

      Is Pouliot moving over to the right side on Nuge’s line or is Hendricks?

  • I am Batman

    Puljujarvi, Slepyshev, Kassian, Hendricks, Nuge to the wing , a waiver wire pick up or my sister.

    Yes, I’d be trading the softest and laziest hockey player in the universe, in a heartbeat.

    Oh, sorry, i forgot that Eberle reminds you of Glenn Anderson, did not mean to offend

  • Semenko27

    I agree poor Hendy is getting a bit slow and might be better off somewhere else. Pouliot is a maddening player, especially with his contract. The guy is 6’5 and plays like he is 5’6. If we could put Hendy’s heart in Pouliot’s body we might have a half decent player.

  • 4000miaway

    Depends entirely on the return. Giving anyone away for free doesn’t make a lot of sense if isn’t just to make cap room.

    Hendricks might be worth a late draft pick for someone looking to make a deep run and need some extra experience and leadership and is probably expendable for us. Pouliot might fetch more but we probably need him to make it to the playoffs ourselves.

  • Spydyr

    As much as I like Matt he has been passed by younger, faster, cheaper, players like Slepyshev and Pitlick .Don’t forget Pakarinen will also be back some time . As for Pouliot if you can find someone to give you a descent return for him I would try to trade him for a right winger

  • BabyNugeMonitor

    Keep both.

    It’s kinda nice to have too many NHL players instead of not enough for a change.

    Only sell if somebody makes a godfather offer for either one. GM from a position of indifference, instead of need.

  • S cottV

    S___ happens and I would agree that there were a series of coulda done betters – before the death knell presented itself on the 2nd GA.

    Game in the balance, a series of coulda done betters and you would expect a veteran AC to stabilize the situation and maybe save the day.

    Watch the replay. Pretend you are Eberle. You see 2 duck forwards in front of you. There are 3 – so where is the other guy? You quickly swivel your head and say to yourself – holy f the 3rd is behind me and going to the net uncovered. He ain’t technically my guy but is a lot more dangerous than my point guy, so maybe I ought to cover him.

    I would have been somewhat impressed if Eberle had even identified the threat too late – to maybe be confused as to who to cover.

    But – totally unaware? In that situation – is more of the same crap that in one way or another – has to go away for the team to ever be a serious contender.

    We easily could have lost that game on that play. Totally Eberle’s fault? No – but I think the weakest of a series of weak links.

  • CMG30

    Getting something for Hendricks helps the team in the future. Keeping him won’t help the team much longer…

    As for Poo: If the coach is not going to play him, you need to move him.

  • @S_2_H

    Keep Hendricks, they won’t get much more than a late round pick for him anyways, and he’s a great depth/character guy to have around come playoff time, plus he kills penalties and can take a face-off.

    In regards to Pouliot – I don’t care what they get for him, just trade him so I don’t have to see him take another terrible offensive zone penalty ever again.