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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – What would be a successful Trade Deadline for the Oilers?

Good morning, Nation! It’s Trade Deadline day and we’re here to start your day with a little bit of trade talk, strategies going into the deadline, and everything else you’ve always wanted from a Mailbag. With the Oilers being sellers this year, our panel was asked what would be a successful day for the Oilers and we also get into some of the best and worst trades over the past 10 years. As always, I need you guys to make this feature work so if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask you can email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or DM on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk. Until then, happy deadline day, people.

Nov 24, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon (19) against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

1) Tracey asks – With this Mailbag being posted on Trade Deadline day, I’d like to ask what would be a successful day for the Oilers, in your opinion?

Jason Gregor:

Receiving a 20 or 21-year-old decent prospect for Maroon and maybe even a mid round pick. Bonus if they get mid round pick for Cammalleri. And it would be a really good day if Chiarelli can find a 2018 equivalent to Maroon at the deadline in 2016. An NHL winger who has shown glimpses he can play, but hasn’t found any consistency. It will be difficult, but if he lands one that will be a big bonus. Aberg for Letestu is a decent trade. It is better that getting a fourth round draft pick that, in best case scenario, helps you in five years.

Robin Brownlee:

A prospect who projects as a top-nine winger or a right shot D-man who can play in the top six for Maroon.

Cam Lewis:

I don’t think many problems with this team can be fixed over the trade deadline. There aren’t really good players to be given away and there aren’t prospects to acquire good players in return. Really, all that would make this successful is getting good value out of Patrick Maroon.

Chris the Intern:

I personally would just like to see Peter Chiarelli NOT implode the team. Letestu’s been moved and Maroon is next. I’ll give him a pass for the Letestu trade, but I’m still pretty nervous about what kind of return we’ll get for Maroon. I’ll also deem the deadline a success if Chia can land Erik Karlsson, and NOT trade Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

Baggedmilk:

I’m really curious to see if Chiarelli can actually get a warm body back for any of the guys he has available. Can Pat Maroon land a prospect? Are there bigger plans in play here? In the very least, I’d like to see all of the UFAs get moved for some kind of a return.

2) Henry asks – With today being trade deadline day I’d like to know which has been the best Oilers trade and the worst Oilers trade in the past 10 years? Thanks in advance.

Jason Gregor:

The worst was the Griffin Reinhart trade. The organization’s scouts felt he would be better than any player available at #16 as well as the second round pick. It was terrible. Reinhart wasn’t even a top-pairing AHL D-man at the time. To give up two high picks for a player who isn’t even in the NHL is easily the worst.

Best trade since 2008 — I’d say Cam Talbot. They got a starting goalie and the 209th pick in exchange for pick #57, #79 and #184. Talbot was a key reason the Oilers made the playoffs last year and I expect he will be more consistent next season. Lately he has started to play like the goalie you’d expect.

Robin Brownlee:

I think getting Patrick Maroon from Anaheim for Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick in 2016, plus having the Ducks retain salary, is the best deadline deal in the last decade. I’ll always believe the Oilers botched things when they traded Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra and a pick in February of 2007 when the sides couldn’t reach a deal on a new contract.

Cam Lewis:

The Reinhart trade was indefensibly bad from moment one. Even the biggest homer can’t justify that. Dealing those assets for a player so clearly on bust trajectory pushed the organization into a position where dealing Taylor Hall was imperative. The Hall for Larsson deal isn’t quite so bad because Larsson is a decent player whereas Reinhart was like trading for a toilet. I think the ramifications of that Reinhart trade are still being felt. Having two top-60 picks in such a deep draft really should have netted the Oilers that coveted top defenceman. It didn’t, then they were behind the eight ball, everyone knew it, and they had to give up their best non-McDavid asset to get something close to it. The best? Probably the Cam Talbot deal. That said, I worry this was more of a favour from old pal Glen Sather than an act of genius from the guy with the keys.

Chris the Intern:

I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast last Friday so going back ten years will be rather tough for me. In the most recent years, the Taylor Hall and Griffin Reinhart trades come to mind as our worst moves. The best? Maybe acquiring Cam Talbot? Landing a near-Vezina winning goaltender for draft picks is a win in my books!

Baggedmilk:

Three-way tie for worst: Hall for Larsson one for one. I like Larsson but that return wasn’t enough. Strome for Eberle was a horrible salary dump trade considering Chiarelli did nothing with the savings. Lastly, the Reinhart trade was just a horrible use of assets are even worse pro-scouting.

Best trade could be the Talbot trade or the Dustin Penner trade that ended up netting them Oscar Klefbom. I’m a big Klefbom guy and think that this down year would be the worst time to move him, but we’ll see what happens.

3) Dangerpay asks – Considering how bad the Oilers have been at drafting which is the better gamble: a full season of an NHL player on an expiring contract or a second or later round pick?

Jason Gregor:

Depends on the age of the player. If he is 27, then no. If he is 22 or 23, then for sure the player. The odds a second round pick pants out for any team is much lower than acquiring an already-proven NHL player.

Robin Brownlee:

Depends who the player is. Pretty big range in your question. Generally speaking, I’d take an established player over an unknown (draft pick) lower than the second round.

Cam Lewis:

I mean, that really comes down to the player, but a second-round pick is certainly worthwhile if you have a system that can develop talent. Do the Oilers? Maybe this organization is best served acquiring slightly more developed talent.

Chris the Intern:

I would be leaning towards taking the player. Of course it depends who the player is, but it’s tough to have faith in the draft process right now.

Baggedmilk:

I wrote about how bad the Oilers have been with their picks after the first round so I’d be tempted to take the player to be honest. That said, there are a lot of variables here. Age, contract status, gritensity — lots of angles to look at.

Jan 6, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic (27) during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Oilers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4) He shoots he scars asks – In the offseason, would you rather Lucic trim down the weight a little or improve his skating maneuverability (tight turns, first step, etc). Can he improve his skating at this point?

Jason Gregor:

I’d rather he worked on his passing. That has been his biggest challenge this season. He plans on coming in at 225 pounds. Being a bit lighter will help him. I don’t think his skating is as bad as many suggest. But being a bit lighter should make him a tad quicker. He has to make better plays with the puck. That is a bigger issue than footspeed for me.

Robin Brownlee:

If Lucic gets leaner and lighter his skating will improve on its own. He’s in shape now. Just needs to be 220 or so instead of 230-plus.

Cam Lewis:

He should get on the diet LeBron James did before the 2015-16 season. He was able to get back and make that block in Game 7 because of it.

Chris the Intern:

Honestly, when I heard that Lucic was interested in and devoted to losing weight, I got a little excited about it. I’d be willing to give him a second (or third) chance if he lost 15 pounds for next season. I think his skating will improve a little bit while he loses the weight as well.

Baggedmilk:

Let’s be honest, Lucic is only going to get slower and it doesn’t matter how much weight he loses and I feel like we’re going to be having these kinds of mailbag questions often until he gets shipped out. We all knew that Lucic’s contract would become an anchor for this team but I don’t know how many of us would have expected it to happen this fast. Frankly, I bet he’s one of the first guys that a new GM will look to get rid of regardless of return.

5) Blaine asks – I know the NHL players aren’t at the Olympics and that sucks but I’m still enjoying it anyway. What is your favourite non-hockey sport to watch?

Jason Gregor:

Ski Cross. It is awesome. But I do like all the skiing/snowboard events like halfpipe, big air, moguls. And short track speed skating. It’s like Nascar on ice.

Robin Brownlee:

If you’re talking Olympic sport, I enjoy the half-pipe stuff. Lots of talented athletes gravitating to that.

Cam Lewis:

Good Tweets.

Chris the Intern:

I’m a big ski cross guy. BUT this year they debut’d the BIG AIR comp and I was absolutely ecstatic about it. That’s my fav for sure.

Baggedmilk:

I love the Olympics so I’m all over it. My list: Biathlon is hilarious and I love it. Skiing and shooting — why not? I love the snowboard events, big air and border cross especially. I love speed skating. Moguls are badass. Ski jump is too. Basically, what I’m saying is that I love the Olympics. You get it.

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  • Spydyr

    Montoya has played six games now. Move him and recover the fifth round pick. Keeping him and giving up a fourth for him makes no sense. Then get another goalie before next season to push Talbot. Something I have been suggesting since the day he arrived in Edmonton.

  • Big Nuggets

    Lucic needs to hit up Adam Oates for some skills coaching, as well as trim down 10 pounds. Let Oates break down his game and figure out what skills he needs to work on. passing obviously being one of them.

  • Glencontrolurstik

    “What would be a successful trade deadline for the Oilers?”
    Don’t trade Nuge, that’d be successful.
    He’s also a player you build around.

  • Svart kaffe

    I’m not sold on this talk about lack of speed, it’s not like there’s a speed skating competition out there. It’s the decision making that’s lacking and as a consequence of being hesitant and playing without confidence they appear slow.

    Lucic as well, but it’s his puck-handling that really needs work. Amazing that a guy who’s been around so long and have had such success still can’t either receive or make a pass.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Baggedmilk, your awesome! I agree with your view 100%
    Let’s be honest, Lucic is only going to get slower and it doesn’t matter how much weight he loses and I feel like we’re going to be having these kinds of mailbag questions often until he gets shipped out. We all knew that Lucic’s contract would become an anchor for this team but I don’t know how many of us would have expected it to happen this fast. Frankly, I bet he’s one of the first guys that a new GM will look to get rid of regardless of return.

  • nijames

    I like the fact that some of these guys think Lucic will get faster, he has always been a below average NHL skater but could get by when the league liked big strong slow players that intimidated. That game is gone now and we are paying Lucic for 5 more years of old school hockey. If you can justify $6 million a year for a 4th line player giving you 8 or 9 minutes a game then he is just o.k. Contract is the anchor on the Titanic