Report: Oilers hunting for defence

Over on TSN, Darren Dreger appeared on Leafs Lunch to talk about an array of topics but eventually landed on the Oilers and their pursuit of a defenceman. Let’s break it down.

I don’t know what the hell is going on anymore. We’re 20 games into the season and there are already rumours swirling about the Oilers looking for a defenceman. Giving the fact that we went through an entire summer without adding anyone to the blueline and thinking that was a good idea makes the idea of trading assets to get some help all the more frustrating. BUT here we are, so what did Dreger say?

“Edmonton for certain is looking for a defenseman.”

Yeah, I got that. I mean, I wish that would have been something they handled in the summer but that’s another story. Tell us what’s going on here, guy.

“A lot of people swirling around the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Murray. We seem to want to talk about Ryan Murray almost on an annual basis now, from a trade perspective.”

Ryan Murray? Actually, I almost forgot that he even existed. The guy has only played one full season since being drafted (2012) so the fact that CBJ would want to get rid of him isn’t exactly surprising. Anyway, what about Ryan Murray?

“No question the Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche had multiple conversations about Duchene because that’s what Columbus is looking for. Columbus is looking for a centerman and it’s believed that Ryan Murray would have been part of that deal.”

No wonder Colorado didn’t want to move Duchene to the Blue Jackets if Murray was one of the biggest pieces of the return. Do they really think that Murray is worth a guy of Duchene’s calibre? Give me a break.

“But things have changed a little bit. So let’s go back to the draft in Chicago. I know Columbus was willing to consider a top pick for Ryan Murray.”

Ahhhh okay… a draft pick for Murray makes sense to me. I mean, yes he’s a decent player but he can’t ever seem to stay healthy and that’s a big concern if you’re going to give up assets to get him. Maybe it would be a gamble worth taking if he was a free agent but that’s about it. What I still don’t understand is what this has to do with Edmonton?

“Now (Columbus) wants player-for-player, and they’re in the market for a centre. Is it Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out of Edmonton? Who might it be?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa… stop the clock. NUGE for Murray? Is this guy for real? There’s no way Chiarelli would be down to make that trade, right? Not with the way RNH is playing this year. No. NO! Bad insider. Bad.

“Right now Nuge is playing great hockey for the Oilers, so I don’t think they’re interested in parting with him.”

Oh, thank Gord. I’m glad that people are seeing that maybe, just maybe having 24-year-old Nugent-Hopkins on the upswing in his career is a good thing for the organization. If Chiarelli moved Nuge for a guy that’s not even likely to play every night it would probably throw me into a meltdown.

“My sense is that the asking price, if it’s Ryan Murray or for most defenseman that the Oilers have some interest in, is still too high.”

This last part makes me nervous. If Hall for Larsson was the “price you pay” then what is it going to look like when Chia goes fishing for another top-four guy in November? Is he going to steal from Peter to pay Paul again? Do we even have enough assets to package together that would be worth it to another team?

Frankly, big trades don’t happen all that often this early in the season so I’m sure this is all much ado about nothing but even talking about it is enough to make me nervous. What about you guys?

    • ThatDaveCh

      Do you expect Nuge to go for anything other than peanuts? All the other GMs in the league are well aware that we’re going to be moving an asset with a cap hit, and try as we might it won’t be either Lucic or Russell. We’re going to be forced to sell low, just like we did with Hall and Ebs.

  • WhoreableGuy

    Damn, who could have thought that that the Oilers could use a defenseman and some scoring depth on the wings.

    Everyone but Chiarelli. What a disastrous off season.

  • lee

    I think firing the GM would be more productive. Bring in a GM who knows what value means. Amy fool can give the farm away, Tampa seem to be the masters of this, who ever is the assistant GM there, go get him.

  • CMG30

    If PC makes another trade for pennies on the dollar because ‘sometimes you have to lose a trade to win’ or ‘that’s the price you have to pay’… I quit.

  • Hrkac Circus

    This D-man talk makes no sense to me, unless Chia’s looking for a stop gap who’s on an expiring contract. Long term they’re committed to the team they’ve got.

    Russell, Larsson, Klef, and Sekera are all locked up through 20/21. Then you’ve got Nurse and Benning who are RFAs and Mantha, Bear, and Jones all on their way up from the AHL.

    Trading Nuge for a defenseman would have to be a long term top 4 guy, which would lock us into 5 long term defenseman contracts over $4M/yr before signing Nurse and Benning.

    You’d have to trade multiple D-men from a position of weakness just to not lose the young guys for nothing.

      • Hrkac Circus

        Even if you do, say next yrs 1st and Caleb Jones, isn’t our D too expensive really soon? Murray is an RFA this summary (as is Nurse and Benning). Say you sign Nurse and Murray for $4M each and Benning for $2.5M and all for 3+ years.

        This gives you….
        Sekera – $5.5M
        Klef – $4.2M
        Larsson – $4.2M
        Russell – $4M
        Murray – $4M
        Nurse – $4M
        Benning – $2.5M

        Even if you move Benning you can’t have an $8M 3rd pair, especially with Bear and Mantha still in the system coming up. You’d have to deal someone.

  • Space Pants

    This kind of talk is scary, especially since there will be someone being shipped out. If it’s a one for one for Murray I would expect it to be one of our RFA defencemen, and I would sure hope it’s not Nurse. We finally got to have a few nice things and are now watching them be slowly dismantled.

    #BecauseOilers – We didn’t draft the right guy, so lets try and get him now since he’s kind of a bust.

  • BendingCorners

    Goofy rumor. Bring in another D and spend a few games working him into the lineup in the right role. Makes no sense at this point, since the team is starting to play better and really just needs some puck luck (which so far has all been bad luck) and needs Talbot to play like he did last year. Then they can continue to sort things out and make a play off run. Changing the personnel now might derail the recovery.
    Once (and if) the season is lost , there will be no rush to make a trade and plenty of time to showcase whichever assets PC wants to move.
    This rumor sounds like just another Dreger Doh.

  • The Rookie

    It would almost have to be a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1. (Somewhere Lowetide just got the shivers) leave the fwds alone. Nurse+this years first for??? Or Lucic+Bear but it would mean a team just starting their rebuild….Vegas? Arizona?

  • TruthHurts98

    These rumors are bs in my opinion. The team needs scoring help more than anything, PC did nothing this summer except sign Russell to a very horrible contract. Afraid he’s going to make another stupid trade.

  • Consultant

    Scary, scary times. Word that Chia is going to try to do something, has Oiler fans in panic and other GM’s and their fans salivating. What does this say about our GM?? Deny all we want, we all know the truth. Our GM has a habit of getting fleeced.
    Anything is possible now. Let’s just hope Santa GM doesn’t “throw in” Nurse.

  • Oilerfromthestart

    As each day passes with Chiarelli in charge I grow more uneasy about how much more damage he will do to our team. He came onboard a team that needed bottom 6 fixing and a debt dman or 2 and has us at a place where we still have the same issues but now with added issues in our top 6. I dread he has put us years behind where we were when he took over.

  • Ty Guy

    HA! rumours….of course the Leafs are getting Weber and OEL now…if there is a trade out there its always the Leafs. Tavares, Stamkos, Doughty…i give it a week before we read that Price is on the move to Toronto.

  • Clayton

    Settle down everyone…it isn’t like Chia is about to make a bad trade and trade a player for far less than he is worth. Oh wait…crap…we’re screwed.

  • Svart kaffe

    I supported Larsson for Hall. I understood Eberle for Strome.

    But Nuge for Murray would be horrible. I would lose it. Granted, I don’t know much about Murray and should be quiet, but RNH is great, his value is high now and Chiarelli REALLY needs to win his next major trade.

  • WillyWonka

    My prediction as noted in another thread:
    Olver Ekman Larson for Draisaitle.
    Makes sense on tons of levels. I know your all gonna lose your ship but this not only gives you a true #1 D but a(more) legit top 4. OEL brings you points, changes the defense, and gets rid of the stupidly rich contract. RNH and McLottery make a solid 1-2 punch. Aside from the knee jerk reaction what about this makes the team worse? Plus everyone believes there are locker room issue related to the black eye… 2 problems solved

    • Soccer Steve

      Arizona GM on record (a few times I think) saying OEL is not getting traded. Gretzky was traded, I get it, but this seems highly unlikely. And his contract ends at the end of next year. We have Leon for 8.

    • flamesburn89

      I understand the impetus, but trading Draisaitl leaves the Oilers with almost no one to score. I would think ARI would have to give EDM some decent scoring forward back (maybe Duclair) and allow EDM to negotiate an extension with OEL before the deal went through. If I was an Oiler fan I’d rather keep Draisaitl.

    • Samesame

      Oel is certainly worth leon in pure value. More actually. But we absolutely cannot hinder our offence anymore ! It’s crazy to even suggest. We can’t deal nuge either

      Picks or prospects fine. But not anymore from our forward core.

      Sekera, bear/jones, 1st


  • OilersGM

    I don’t even want Murray at this point Savard on the other hand I have time for, right shot D maybe Strome + for Savard makes sense because Jackets are looking for a centre.

  • Vanoil

    Russel for Murray???? I would throw in a Center prospect, but we don’t have any other than Khaira, and seeing as he is the only depth we have at that position, I wouldn’t go down that road.

  • Bp123

    Glad to hear that after paying an enormous price of Taylor Hall, the 16OA and 33OA picks in a strong draft year, and giving Russell a Top4 Dman-sized contract we’re still looking for more help.

  • Rama Lama

    Talk of this potential sends shivers down my spine……….last year PC told us we would have to give up our only “driver of the play”, that being Hall in order to land Adam Larsen…….yea Hall a top 10 player in the NHL!

    Now the suggestion that we need Ryan Murray at a time we cannot generate any offence, is by any measure……..pure fake analysis.

    I’m starting to think this emperor has no clothes.

  • oilerjed

    With TSN controlling most of the Canadian NHL radio markets through Team radio stations these “speculations” are getting far too much airplay. It’s happening on 1260 and Vancouver’s 1040. Anything that any of the TSN talking heads tweet out is being discussed on their radio stations. Talk about manufacturing news cycles….. It’s unfortunate that this radio monopoly is lowering the standards of sports journalism to the lowest I have seen it in my 40+ years. The newspapers are following suit, filling pages with any drivel that is put out there while using cohort writers as the references to plug pages with poorly thought out speculation/rumors.

    Baggedmilk, is ON also part of the TSN umbrella? If not why do you pay so much heed to these nonsense rumors?

  • J.R.

    Why do we always have to go after some guy with health issues or low performance? We don’t need to roll the dice on another reclamation project at the cost of anything like a first round pick.

    He has only played a single full season in 5 years.

    The way the season is going we’ll be losing a lottery pick…