As per NHL tradition, the league’s one day fire sale is upon us and that means it’s time for another trade deadline live blog! For the first time in years, the Oilers don’t have their sign up featuring wholesale prices on an array slightly used goods, but will instead be looking for a few bargain bin deals of their own. Will Peter Chiarelli summon more cavalry beyond David Desharnais? Will he ship out the free agents? Was Davidson the only casualty? We wait.
Frankly, I’m really not sure what to expect this year. The Oilers have always been sellers throughout my blogging career and that usually meant clearing out UFAs and any other recyclables for picks and prayers, but this year is different. This year, the Oilers are in the midst of a playoff push and while I wouldn’t recommend that Chiarelli mortgage the future entirely it would be nice to see him add to the roster nevertheless. That said, I have to say that I was still surprised when news broke that Chiarelli had moved Brandon Davidson for David Desharnais.
With the Davidson deal done, I’m interested in finding out whether or not Chiarelli will hang on to his expiring contracts like Matt Hendricks in order to maintain depth down the stretch. Now that Desharnais is in the mix there won’t be a need to have Hendo taking draws on the fourth line. According to NHLNumbers, the Oilers have three UFAs that are set to come off the books this summer but I, personally, can’t see any of them – Hendricks, Russell, Gryba – moving. Maybe some of the RFAs get shipped out? Moving away from expiring contracts, will Peter Chiarelli be able to find a backup goalie? We’ll have to wait and see.
Chiarelli was busy last year, but it made more sense as the Oilers were long out of contention by this point. Amazing what can happen in twelve months, right? Let’s look back at what happened at last year’s deadline:
- Edmonton traded the rights to Philip Larsen to the Vancouver Canucks for a conditional 5th round pick in 2017.
- Backup goaltender Anders Nilsson was traded to the St. Louis Blues for minor league goalie Niklas Lundstrom and a 5th round pick.
- Teddy Purcell was traded to the Florida Panthers for a third round pick in 2016.
- Justin Schultz was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 3rd round pick in 2016.
- Two-year contract extension for defenseman Brandon Davidson for $1.425 million per year for two years.
- Two-year (one way) extension for goaltender Laurent Brossoit with a cap hit of $750K for Brossoit.
- The Oilers have claimed Adam Pardy and Adam Cracknell off of waivers from Winnipeg and Vancouver respectively. Both players are UFAs at the end of the year and are likely warm bodies until the summer.
- The Oilers acquire Pat Maroon from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a 4th Round Pick and Martin Gernat.
As we learned last year, the Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson type trades happen in the summer and not often at the deadline, but even so, that doesn’t mean there isn’t work still to be done. By the time the trade deadline day rolled around a year ago, Peter Chiarelli had already been busy moving out the clutter and has beens as well as taking the time to do some housekeeping.
If I’m being honest, I doubt the Oilers are going to be all that busy today and I worry about how off the rails this live blog is going to go. You guys totally care what I’m going to have for lunch today, right? Totally. While there are still bigger holes that likely highlight Peter Chiarelli’s trade to-do list you’d have to think that most of that heavy lifting will get done in the summer, if at all. Basically, what I’m saying is that I would be shocked by an Eberle trade today.
THE NATION TRADING POST
Is anything going to happen today? I’m probably going to be sitting here just staring at Twitter/TV, won’t I? Not that I’m complaining, watching the trade deadline for a living is awesome but that doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t get bored. I need Chiarelli to make something happen despite him saying that it will be a quiet day for no other reason than my amusement.
- Eric Gryba – expiring contract, but could also be re-signed as a third pairing option.
- Mark Fayne – Maybe? Anybody? Probably not, right? Right.
- Matt Hendricks – The wagon has a lot of miles on the ol’ frame and it shows at times. I, personally, don’t think Hendricks will move today but stranger things have happened.
- Benoit Pouliot – Sideburns probably won’t get traded but one can hope, right? That is, if you’re a card carrying member of the Trade Pouliot Fanclub.
- Griffin Reinhart – I know this one is a long shot but with Davidson gone Reinhart gets a bigger target on his back to be claimed in the expansion draft. Vegas will need youth on value deals and Reinhart’s next deal will be that once the high draft pick bonuses go away.
- Anton Lander – You’d have to think that Lander’s career with the Oilers is winding down and I wonder if Chairelli will see if he can get anything for him. It’s doubtful, but I’m reaching at this point.
- Draft Picks – With the Oilers missing their 2nd rounder because of the now defunt fire/hire/dogcrap compensation rule, I can’t see them trading away their first or third round picks. After that? It’s possible.
- Right winger with some touch. Think Iginla, but nearly that old. Vanek? PA Parenteau?
- A backup goalie for Talbot. No offence to LB but going into this final stretch without an experienced backup is a dangerous game to play. Talbot has played a tonne and they’re going to have to give him a rest at some point
- Scoring defenceman. It’s a pipedream for deadline day (I think), but it’s a good dream.
- Clearing out contract space. If they’re not going to play Mark Fayne then they have to move him. Who knows when Pouliot is due to be back but the same goes for him as for Mark Fayne. Both guys could use a change of scenery.
RUMOUR HAS IT
My Source told me that there has been some good dialogue regarding Eberle with the Islanders. #Insider
— Mike Commodore (@commie22) February 27, 2017
Interested to see if Garth Snow goes big game hunting. Oilers say Eberle isn’t moving. Duchene is a good fit for Isles…1/2
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2017
EDM trying to move remaining cap hit for Andrew Ference ($3.25M), up at the end of this season. Would create flexibility.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 1, 2017
Oilers aren’t shutting it down just yet, still have a few irons in the fire, we’ll see what if anything develops.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 1, 2017
Sounding like Oilers are now done, barring any last minute surprise phone calls.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 1, 2017
I’ll be filling this section with random rumours from the MSM and hilarious tweets from Twitter “insiders” throughout the day. Take these with a grain of salt unless it comes from one of the usual suspects.
- 7:01am – Why did I wake up this early? WHY?! Nothing else is even going to happen, maybe probably.
- 7:20am – Shout out to Jay Baruchel for wearing a hoodie on the TSN Tradecentre panel. He’s doing the Gord’s work for the professionally underdressed.
- 7:46am – Jeff O’Neill said on TSN that he wouldn’t trade Auston Matthews for Connor McDavid. If that’s not hilarious Toronto media bias then I don’t know what it is.
- 8:02am – First big move of the day. TSN announces that they have reacquired Jay and Dan after they were let go by FS1.
- 8:17am – I don’t think TSN has even mentioned Edmonton yet. That makes me think it’s time for breakfast. I’m thinking eggs. Scrambled? Could work.
- 8:41am – To shower or not to shower?
- 9:09am – I’ve been watching TSN for two hours and I’m pretty sure this is the first Oilers mention of the day.
- 9:30am – You’d have to give Chiarelli a participation ribbon if he can find a way to move Ference’s cap hit for some extra relief.
- 9:52am – Looks like Thomas Vanek is going to Florida for a third rounder and Dylan McIlrath, as per Bob McKenzie. I would have liked to see Chiarelli spend a few beans to get Vanek but maybe that’s just me.
- 9:58am – Today, I’ve learned that Jeff O’Neill doesn’t like any player that isn’t a Toronto Maple Leaf.
- 10:22am – Alright, I’m leaving for the office. Tell Chiarelli not to do anything until I get there… as if that was a concern.
- 11:05am – I made it to the office. Nothing happened. Colour me unsurprised.
- 11:10am – Iginla to the Kings as they look to get as old as possible.
- 11:21am – Getting to be about that time where I start thinking about lunch. Should I grab something? Order something? Skip the lunch in an effort to keep things tight?
- 11:41am – “What is wrong with you?” Ray Ferraro to Jeff O’Neill when he said he wouldn’t trade Auston Matthews for Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby
- 11:48am – TRADE ALERT! The Oilers have reportedly traded Taylor Beck to the Rangers for Justin Fontaine.
- 12:05pm – Peter Chiarelli refuses to have Taylors or Tylers on his team, Pitlick aside.
- 12:19pm – Things are starting to happen and it’s making me delay going to get a sandwich. We’re at a stalemate here, people!
- 12:31pm – Taylor Hall was left off of the Team Canada projections again. Are we still supposed to be mad, or how does that work?
- 12:46pm – So hungry, but so little time until the buzzer. Screw it, I’m going for the sandwich!
- 12:52pm – Sandwich ordered. As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.
- 12:56pm – Flams traded for Curtis Lazar. I didn’t know they were allowed to have Oil Kings.
- 1:01pm – Buzzer sounds and the Oilers do nothing. I would have liked to see them get in on something like the PA Parenteau for a 6th but I guess Chiarelli is guarding those draft picks like the Caramilk secret.