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Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Would the Oilers really trade Oscar Klefbom?

There has been chatter recently that the Oilers are shopping Oscar Klefbom. Let me take a deep breath — I own his jersey.

Ahem. While it’s a down year for him, can the Oilers win a trade moving the Swede?

A look back

When the Oilers plucked him at 19th overall back at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, he got lost in the shuffle. The Oilers had taken Nuge first overall, and Oscar was playing in Sweden. He wasn’t getting the same amount of hype after the draft as other Swedish defenders like Adam Larsson and Jonas Brodin or North American defenders like Dougie Hamilton, but a great showing at the World Juniors in 2012 massively raised his profile.

Before moving to North America, Oscar spent another couple seasons Farjestads BK Karlstad, his last ending early due to shoulder surgery. But the 2013-14 season was an exciting time for the Oilers. The next Paul Coffey, Justin Schultz, was coming off of his rookie campaign, and Oscar was coming to North America. After paying his dues in the minors, Klefbom was called up, marketed as another coming of Charlie Huddy who could fit as a perfect complement to Schultz.

Taking a risk

After just 77 NHL games, Chia awarded Oscar Klefbom a seven-year, $29.169-million contract. Not very many people were barking at the Oilers General Manager at the time, because Klefbom was projecting upwards, and this contract could be very economical for the Oilers.

By the end of last years playoffs, the Oilers brass was laughing with the contract they had given the Swede. During the 2016-2017 regular season, Oscar’s confidence had risen. He took the most shots of his young career, 201. They say when you shoot good things happen, and that proved true, as he had 38 points (12G, 26A). That swagger carried over to the postseason, where he added another five points (2G,3A) in 12 games played.

Odd man out

Mar 23, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) takes a shot on goal in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Oilers defeated the Avalanche 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from a few bright spots, Klefbom has looked arguably horrid since the preseason. From there, things have continued to go downhill for Klef which is a complete 180 from where he was at last season.

I could write out all of the bad that has happened this year with him on the ice, but I’m sure all of you fine Nation citizens are well aware of what has gone on with him as well. Unless you just woke up from a coma or crawled out from under a rock, in which case just Google Klefbom’s name. There are plenty of stories.

The Oilers have needs and a surplus, Oscar is a surplus. When you have a handful of left-shooting defencemen, and you’re having the season that Klefbom is, it doesn’t sound good for our boy Oscar. He’s a bargaining chip for sure, but moving him will cause a riot within our fan base in the next year or so. Not to mention, selling low again would not likely yield much in return which creates yet another problem.

I mentioned Justin Schultz’s name earlier in this article. He was literally booed on the ice and when he was moved people were happy. Then he went to the Penguins and became the player that the Oilers had hoped he would be in our uniform. Oscar is the opposite. Yes, fans are upset with him having a down year. But moving him could be a big mistake. I predict he will rebound, and if he does it one another team’s blue line, fans will be angry we moved him. I just don’t see us winning a trade moving him, do you? If so, let me know below!

  • 0W-20

    It would be a win if Klefbom was moved for a bona fide #1 RD like Karlsson. OTT pinches pennies and might be intrigued if cost-controlled (and cheap) Klefbom plus a couple sweeteners is the offer.

    • kitsilanokyle

      you’re out to lunch if you think Klef could bring back EK. That package would include multiple sweeteners: most likely a First Rounder, a Roster player and a prospect.

      A 1-for-1 is all we could afford: that would like 77 going for a fast, mid 20s, scoring winger .. which we SHOULD do.

      • jultz=2cups!😂😂

        You’re clearly out to lunch. Bob Nicholson said yesterday that they are looking for a top pairing dman. A scoring winger is the teams biggest need…..😂😂😂. Classic oilersnation not actually watching the oilers. 😂😂😂

  • Derian Hatcher

    On one hand I am hoping he’s playing hurt ( I don’t want him to be hurt like wishing him bad things ) but . It would help explain how much he his play has dropped from last year. Come on Klef – bounce back big man

  • Gaz

    Klefbom isn’t surplus – this would appear to be “Chia-think”. He remains a value contract for a player having a poor season. If a team’s management believes that a player’s down season is the new norm, then yes – trade. This team, by virtue of their laughable drafting, development and trading record – has shown little/no ability to project players with any consistency.

    That said, the current management has totally boxed themselves in from a cap perspective (weird how seemingly nothing was learned from the mess he made in Boston), so the unfortunate reality is that Klefbom becomes a trading piece because he is one of few tradeable players that appeals to other teams, particularly given his excellent price point.

    Now, when the Oilers trade him and the underwhelming return is announced – please, everyone, do not point to Edmonton fans overvaluing their players and the rest of the league is the sanity-check (leave that to the biggest troller in the media, Spector) – the underwhelming return will more likely be a result of the counterparty knowing that Chiarelli has boxed himself in, and needs a lifeline…and what do intelligent insiders like Friedman say about GMs throwing lifelines? They’re more like boat anchors.

    The potential loss of valuable, young players is going to be a direct result of the salary cap mismanagement that has taken place under Chiarelli’s watch, and should be a fireable offense.

  • RJ

    The real question isn’t could they trade him, it’s can the Oilers win that trade?

    I don’t think they can with their current management. They’re the kind of traders that think getting three quarters is better than a toonie.

    • Gaz

      You can’t win a trade when the counterparty knows, going into the discussion – that you kinda sorta need to trade this player to get yourself out of your cap mess.

      • RJ

        That’s what good GMs, and even mediocre GMs do.

        Look at the return Duchene brought the Avalanche. An abundance of prospects and picks for a player that made it clear he wanted out. If he’d been an Oiler, Oilers media would have gone full-court press to explain the Oilers would have to accept a terrible return.

        Instead, Salic waited until he got exactly what he wanted.

        • Gaz

          Very different scenarios. With Duchene, Sakic had time on his side and a carrot to dangle in front of Duchene – play well, you’ll be attractive, I’ll trade you and get back what I want.

          A salary cap crunch does not afford a manager the luxury of time, and every other GM knows it…unless you’re lucky enough to have Milbury as one of the other GMs in the league. I’m becoming increasingly confident that Chiarelli is going to be viewed in a similar light as Magic Mike in a few years time, so on that logic, we’ve got the Milbury.

  • Gary

    1990-91′ … 80 points
    1991-92′ … 82 points
    1992-93′ … 60 points
    1993-94′ … 64 points
    1994-95′ … 38 points (48 games)
    1995-96′ … 68 points
    1996-97′ … 81 points
    1997-98′ … 80 points
    1998-99′ … 78 points
    1999-00′ … 88 points
    2000-01′ … 93 points
    2001-02′ … 92 points
    2002-03′ … 92 points
    2003-04′ … 89 points
    2004-05′ … Oiler season cancelled (thank goodness)
    2005-06′ … 95 points
    2006-07′ … 71 points
    2007-08′ … 88 points
    2008-09′ … 85 points
    2009-10′ … 62 points
    2010-11′ … 62 points
    2011-12′ … 74 points
    2012-13′ … 45 points (48 games)
    2013-14′ … 67 points
    2014-15′ … 62 points (certainly low enough to nab McD)
    2015-16′ … 70 points
    2016-17 … 103 points
    2017-18′ … hapless Oil on pace for 76 points

      • TruthHurts98

        Because fans blindly cheer for their team which they always think is the best. Facts be damned. Maybe they are trying to trash away the bad seasons? Back to another DOD. Any trade PC makes he’ll lose.

        • jultz=2cups!😂😂

          Lol!!! What a novel concept. Actually cheering for your favourite team….. you make it sound like it’s a bad thing. Classic oilersnation. 😂😂😂. Whining and complaining is how you guys think fans should act. 😂😂

          • Derian Hatcher

            Cause you are the poster child for positivity, respect and decency? Always putting yourself out there as the oilers fan of the year while slagging other comments. I believe you have more to offer than that Bradley, as you are obviously a passionate fan. That doesn’t mean others who may have different options or thoughts are not as passionate about the team. Otherwise they wouldn’t visit this site. Turn over a new leaf Brad

          • The Future Never Comes

            This guy is equivalent to the person walking around the party leaving those stinky farts that are there but no one obviously likes to smell. Your that fart. I am 28 and have been watching since I was 8, that’s 20 years invested you chump. That’s watching teams with Vandevelde and O’mark slotted on the top line over the Superbowl. That’s watching Corey potter going against an L.A team that cannot get the puck out of their zone for 60 minutes and being shutout 6-0 on L.A’s off night. I’ve stomached this garbage for the past 12 years (with last year as the exception) believing in hope of a future. They have been gift wrapped #1 picks like it’s their job. Actually it’s been the only thing they do right. They have McD, arguably best player in the world and they are still wandering the desert. So shut the hell up if some of us have a little bit of common sense to critique a sh*t show of a franchise for being the worst ran franchise in the past decade. Go grab a clue and some common sense you one sighted baboon with horse blinders on.

    • Serious Gord

      Thanks for the data. I was just wondering yesterday whether it may indeed be that case that the oil have the worst 25 year record of any team – they must be in the running for that dubious honour.

  • Gary

    We are (Oilers) losers through and through. We cant kick a can down the alley without it kicking back. True loser organization. Sold every one of my season tickets for about 40% on the dollar, feels as good as selling my Lund boat, glad they’re gone and I don’t have to watch that trash team anymore.

    • jultz=2cups!😂😂

      Wow. What a whiner. People like you make me sick to my stomach. I don’t live in Edmonton so I can’t go to any games and here you are whining and complaining that an nhl team is treating you badly. What with their brand new billion dollar arena. They were sure out to get you Gary!! What an entitled, whiny pos!! This is classic oilersnation at its finest! 👎👎

    • RJ

      NMCs and NTCs mean the player can’t be moved unless the player agrees. Kind of like when the Canucks wanted to move Luongo, and multiple teams were interested but he would only accept a trade to Florida. That gave Florida a lot of leverage to get a quality goalie for a reduced amount.

      If you could get one or more of those three players to accept a trade, they’d still have a huge say in their destination. And like Luongo, the Oilers most likely get a poor return (and probably retain salary).

      You could move Benning, but he wasn’t good enough to crack the Bruins roster, and the way he’s playing now, probably doesn’t crack the NHL roster of any team Chia doesn’t manage.

  • SailorD81

    The Oilers have been terrible at drafting and developing actual NHL level talent for years, now one comes a long who ticks a lot of boxes for the Oilers and on a decent contract and people want to trade him? Yes, he’s not having as good a year as last year, it’s believed by many that he was dealing with an injury. It’s just funny how quickly the tune can change with some of the fans here, last year he was untouchable and now what? He’s the + when trades are talked about?

    • BringitbacklikeSlats

      When people speak to how good Klefbom played last year what they should mention is that he played well down the stretch and in the playoffs. BUT he had a terrible first half. Very reminiscent of his play this year, but probably not quite as bad.
      How anyone can say he’s been a value contract this season I’m not sure. I bet if you asked most NHL scouts he’s got a ceiling of a an effective 3rd D but more likely a 4 guy that you use in the offensive zone. The trouble they’d tell you, is that he doesn’t consistently think the game very well despite a very good toolbox to work with. At his worst (this year) he’s arguably a 3 Rd pairing D and especially one on a contending team.
      So the hard bet is whether or not he becomes a smarter player or whether that simply will never be something he never does well. To be honest, I don’t know the answer myself, but. Either do I completely trust his ability to say healthy.
      Given the circumstances, I’d absolutely move him if it’s for the right return… but it had better pay off.

      • Big Nuggets

        Saying that Klefbom had a terrible first half to last season implies that his second half was exceptional. Klef is a keeper, I dont think this season changes that. Trading him would be dumb, especially in favour of keeping Russell. If the Russell contract means we have to trade Klef then Chia is the dumbest GM I’ve ever seen. This situation was completely foreseeable.

        • BringitbacklikeSlats

          You do understand the benefit of Russell being that he plays RHD right?
          If Klefbom was able to do that as well then your argument would have merit

  • abmule

    Klef is becoming the new Jultz, used in the right situation they are very affective offensive defensemen. Ridden like a mule for 20+ minutes they stink, they cant help it, it’s not how they are made.
    Enough already with all the old brass patting themselves as the greatest team to lace up, that title in my lifetime could go to the habs of the 70’s, islanders of the 70/80’s, the oilers of the 80’s, the wings, avalanche and penguins etc etc.
    The oil have had new owners, new managers, new coaches, new players and a new arena……….sort of running out of excuses.

    • BingBong

      I agree with this. It’s sounding like Jultz all over again.
      Give Klefbom 2nd pair minutes, some PP time, and he likely succeeds.
      Play him 25 minutes a night vs. top 6 players with PK time and he struggles.
      He is what he is: a non-physical 2nd pairing defenseman. Why trade him now when his value is at it’s lowest?

    • BringitbacklikeSlats

      It’s not them patting themselves.

      The NHL conducted a poll, and they were voted by 3Million people as the greatest team ever.
      It’s too bad for the guys on that team that came into town from around the world to a City at a real low in hockey success. But it shouldn’t take away from those guys… especially the unsung ones. Pouzar, Maclellend, Donny Jackson. Those guys were fantastic.

  • Gravis82

    NO. Trade no one, this is how we got in this mess. If we dont have the players to compete, well then we just have to wait until we draft them. Oh, and hire a new GM. Play the long game

  • oilredemption

    First of all this team is a complete tire fire on and off the ice. No direction at all. In my eyes clearing house is the only way…
    Step 1) maroon and Dillon Simpson for jack studnick (ironically oilers draft pick for chia) and Boston 2nd round.

    Step 2) letestu for a 3rd, Strome for a 2nd/3rd. Benning for 4th. Kassian for a 4th.
    Step 3) trade klefbom, cagguila, Caleb jones + Boston 2nd for a hoffman and pageau (ottawa eats 50% of pageau salary)
    Step 4) actually draft good prospects and develop them with picks remaining.
    Step 5) sign nurse to a bridge 3.5 X2, Mike green 5.5 x 3 and grabner at 3×3, paajarvi 800k × 2, pak at 677k x 1, auvitu 700k x 1, Davidson 900k X2, rattie 700k x 1

    1st line: Hoffman McDavid Grabner
    20.69million
    2nd line: Drai Nuge Poolparty
    15.425million
    3rd line: lucic Pageau Yamamoto
    8.525 million
    4th line: Paajarvi Khaira Pak
    1.358 million

    Extra forward: rattie at 700k + pouliot buyout at 1.33

    Total for forwards: 48.028 million

    1st pair: nurse Larson
    2nd pair: sekera green
    3rd pair: Davidson Russell
    Auvitu as the extra
    Combined defense salary: 24.267

    Goalies: talbot Montoya = 5.22 million
    All combined without bonus’= 77.515 milion.
    This solves pk and pp woes but allows no wiggle room in the cap not that they were going to have any anyways

    • LAKID

      Come on how did that work out. Karlsson will never be the same after his foot injury and you can see he doesn’t skate the same and is struggling and is older, he is done, is that you Pete?

  • oilerjed

    Klefbom is a young Dman just about to hit 300 games and under contract for another 5 years at cost that will only get better as it ages. He may not be the #1LD that we had hoped for in the beginning but we don’t need him to be that now that Nurse looks like he may be able to fill that spot.
    If Im Chia, I sign Nurse to 2 year Bridge unless he can be signed for less then 4mil over multiple years. Nurse-Klef-XXX for the next 5 Years is a pretty good set of Dmen. Now find the RD and a couple of complimentary wingers and this team is a solid playoff team.
    Remember in 2015/16 when they took a big step back, injuries and some not so good performances masked a team that was actually really good. This year we have players having especially bad years and no scoring on the wings. Masking a team that is much closer then it seems.

  • CMG30

    I’m sure oiler brass is itching to move Klef. Doubt they even care about value. Likely looking for someones over the hill cast off to fill out the bottom 3 with a good old boy.