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Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: Dealing a player with term?

Bob Stauffer put out an interesting and somewhat ambiguous tweet today about how he envisions Edmonton’s off-season playing out. Stauffer said he doesn’t expect the Oilers to deal their No. 10 overall pick or be in on pricey unrestricted free agents but they might look to deal one of their players locked into a long-term contract to shake up the roster.

To me, this screams Oscar Klefbom. When Stauffer talks about the Oilers trying to move a big contract you’d hope he’s talking about Milan Lucic or Kris Russell, but both of those contracts would be incredibly difficult to move. Klefbom is currently inked to a very team-friendly contract worth $4,167,000 annually for five more seasons. He certainly fits the bill of a “player with term” like Stauffer mentioned. We’ve also heard Klefbom’s name brought up in trade rumours multiple times in the past. Given the abudance of lefty defencemen the Oilers have, the reality of Darnell Nurse being a favourite within the organization and Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell owning no movement clauses, and Klefbom’s very good contract, all signs point to him being the one used in this kind of trade.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. If the Oilers are dealing Klefbom to bring back a player that brings a different “ingredient” to the lineup, who should they be looking for?

Stauffer is well connected within the organization so when he tweets something like this it’s almost inevitable that it’s going to happen. Last year Stauffer discussed an Eberle for Strome swap before it happened. He talked about dealing Taylor Hall for a defenceman before it happened too. One would assume that Peter Chiarelli is going to be gunning for a defenceman who can quarterback the power play. He said it was one of the team’s biggest needs heading into the off-season.

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Finding a power play quarterback isn’t the easiest thing to do. When teams find good defenders who can move the puck and produce offence they tend to hang onto them. I talked about John Carlson being a great fit on the Oilers, but, given how good he is and how many teams are in need of this kind of player, there’s no way it would work out.

Some names that make sense (a righty defenceman who produces offence) would be Justin Faulk (who has two years left on his deal at $4,833,333) and Tyson Barrie (who has two more years left at $5,500,000). A couple other names I feel are less likely but still fit the profile are Rasmus Ristolainen (who’s signed in Buffalo for four more years at $5,400,000) and Torey Krug (who’s signed for two more years at $5,250,000 but shoots left).

Like I said, it isn’t easy to find this kind of player. Looking at the league’s top defencemen by power play points last season, many are mainstays within their organization. Guys like Victor Hedman and Brent Burns aren’t going anywhere because the ability to bring offence to the table from the blueline is so valuable. Oscar Klefbom is a good player on a great deal so he should be able to net a very good return, but given the lack of fits out there, it’s worrying that Chiarelli might be getting himself into an overpay situation again as we’ve seen in the past.

What say you, Nation? Would the Oilers be dumb to deal Klefbom? Who would they need to get in return to make it worthwhile? Or is Stauffer hinting about somebody else? 

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  • Hockey123

    “Chiarelli might be getting himself into an overpay situation again as we’ve seen in the past.”

    Well thats what he does the best. Everyone loves Chiarelli in the league. Surprised that he is not trading Oilers #10 pick for a 2nd rounder.

  • 24% body fat

    if it is klefbom for 2 years of Faulk he has to go. He obviously has no concept of value. In a cap world it is about value. Even if you consider Faulk better than Klefbom, Klefbom has more value due to age contract and term.

    I hate this GM

    • The Rookie

      You can’t overpay any UFA. No cap space. And cap space isn’t going to get better by trading away our best D man, who happens to have the best value contract.

      • OilerForLife

        I agree, trading Klefbom would be a bad decision. I believe Klefbom will be vastly improved and with better coaching still has the potential to continue develop. I hope they would only trade him if it was a deal to good to pass on.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          ^^^^^ Exactly. Not to mention a bit of loyalty to players also goes along way to boost the chemistry of the team. Klef played as hard as he could while injured last year. If he wants out, then fine, trade him.
          But, it only makes sense to offer a healthy Klefbom, with fresh coaching staff a chance to shine & make us all proud again to be fans of the OIlers. I’m excited for the changes this upcoming season.
          As far as trades, please let our existing team show last year was an anomaly. Unless of course they want out, then good-bye…

  • 24% body fat

    There is no fit here. To make the deal fair to the oilers the other teams need to throw in more, to make it fair to the other teams they will want more. No win/win. Of course Chia will be the one to get fleeced.

    A roster that had Hall, McDavid, Nuge, Draisaitl, and just Drafted Puljijarvi should not have needed a major shake up. But he did it and messed it up big time. So we are going to trust him to do it again.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Of course, Klefbom has not been traded yet, so hold your water. Also, the Hall finale in 2016 proved to be an awesome 29th place finish. The year after your favorite tweaker was dealt saw our first playoff action in a decade. The shake up was warranted and successful, even if only for 1 year. I trust a career hockey man who has GMed a cup winning team marginally more than an anonymous poster on a fan website… so if a trade is imminent, BRING IT ON.

      • btrain

        I appreciate the enthusiasm but not learning from past mistakes has haunted this organization for the last decade. Trading Hall was a massive mistake even if it resulted in short lived success. Good teams do not generally sacrifice the future, for hopes of immediate success. Hall proved how much more valuable he is than Lucic last season by almost singlehandedly dragging his team into the playoffs. Hall will continue to be the far superior player for the duration of Lucic’s career/contract with the Oilers. I say Lucic, because, having him already on a verbal agreement allowed Chia to pull the trigger on the Larsson deal.
        I would sacrifice last years playoff push in a heart beat if it meant consistent success for years to come and not a flash in the pan. If it meant we didn’t get a RHD we needed, then you wait instead of shipping off one of the most dynamic left wingers in the game as he hits his prime years.

  • Gravis82

    The only player I would trade Klefbom for is Krug. Based on 2016/17 seasons, Krug is the only player on the list that is better than Klefbom.

    Klefbom was injured last season, so it would be reasonable to assume he will return to form next year.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Peter Chiarelli has had a smart, quiet, low risk, high reward offseason thus far. He will have all that go down the drain if he trades Oscar Klefbom…

  • Jaysdude

    I don’t think they’re looking to trade Klefbom, not after bringing in Yawney to work with their young defensemen. Not sure what this is all about, but I suspect something else. Maybe Lucic is tired of the negativity and wants out. That would be nice…

  • he shoots he scars

    In the NHL, trading a player to ‘shake up the roster’ might only work near the trade deadline. The players know it’s a business and they’re very collegial nowadays, the team wouldn’t be shaken.Lots of turnover of roster since the start of the 2015-16 season. The coaching staff has been ‘shaken up’, that should reinvigorate many players, and the results viewed before considering moving a Klefbom,who is top half of your roster, in his prime years, and on an advantageous contract. Chiarelli can’t trade his way to improvement unless he wins a few bottom half roster trades, as he did with Marroon.

  • lee

    Krug is 5’9″ how do you think he will do against the huge centers in the west.
    Last I checked the Oilers don’t get a lot of P.P time so to trade away a big guy on a great contract in the hopes that a tiny d man who only excels on the P.P will make you better, I don’t see it. In a season that Boston tore up the league Krug ended up at 0 for a plus minus. McAvoy who was a Boston rookie ended up plus 20.
    There is a reason that Boston is looking to move Krug and that goes for Faulk, who if he is so great why is Carolina shopping him.

    Some teams like Nashville, Columbus and Tampa trade and get better other teams like Buffalo and the Oilers trade and get worse.

    The team just brought in new coaches to help the defense, why don’t we see what they can do before we get involved in another disaster trade created by Peter C

  • 2centz

    The Oilers overpaid for Griffin Reinhart when they were over stocked with LHD,I guarantee you it’s for Tory Krug,which will solve nothing and cause more of a cluster Frank on the left side,and they will put Russell on the right,thinking that this time,it just might work. Guaranteed,becauseoilers.

    The Previous regime to Chiarelli (wait,they’re literally all still here) Loooved Krug,and Pistol Pete is the one that brought him in. Krug is one of the only people that all the voices and personalities in the Oilers head would agree on.

    This is how the old regime and Pistol Pete fix things,by creating another mess or problem.

    The ONLY reason that Pete and Todd weren’t fired,is because word would spread quickly about just how Franked it is here,and we’d be behind the Hurricanes in finding replacements.

    • 24% body fat

      there is nothing wrong with krug, the problem is giving up a good Dman locked up for “FIVE” more years on a friendly cap hit is just plain stupid.

  • Carbonrod

    Id love to have Dumba or Ristolainen or any number of offensive RD men but I don’t think we can win any trade like that right now. The asks for players like that would be outrageous. A player like Faulk is more attainable, but I wouldn’t do a 1 for 1 for Klef, there would have to be a 2nd rounder or a prospect come our way.

    We have Klef, Nurse and Larsson as our young D core but below them things are messed up. I’d be happy to have the Sekera of two seasons ago on the team but as of now he’s a $5.5 million pylon, and Russel has his uses, but he’s not a player I want as a 2nd line RD man, or for $4 million. Benning will never be a solid 2nd liner, in my opinion and belongs on the third line, but at least he’s not making 4-5 million to play there.

    If there is a way to move Russel for anything, I’d take it. Sekera I hope can bounce back next year, if for no other reason than to increase his trade value. Our 3rd liners make $4 and $5.5million right now and it really limits our options. 3rd line LD players are a dime a dozen and shouldn’t cost us much, we may even have 1 or 2 in the system who will be ready to fill that role in a year once Russel and/or Sekera’s contracts are moved.

  • What-a-Mike

    If I was GM now of the Oilers, and such a trade was needed for this year, I would first go to Lucic, Sekera, Russell and see who might waive their NMC deals. If none wish to, then I would have an important serious talk with McC and Yawney to see what they say about who they wish to keep and work with and who do they expect to come up from Bakersfield very soon and perform well enough (Bear, Lagesson, Lowe, etc.). Then I would last look at the full health of Kl;efbom from this surgery and what all Team doctors figure because the kid does miss quite a bit of games the past years. A healthy Klefbom for the next set of years is worth the contract and worth keeping against such players as Krug or Faulk, etc. But to me, the only guy I could logically move right now is Kassian because his contract is high for a mainly 4th liner role, and his type role is with abundance of cheaper just as good players in the league. So…. final Answer???? …. I’m saying do not trade 10th over-all and only…. Deal one or two of Lucic, Russell, Sekera, and No trading of Klefbom. Also, Move Kassian up to 3rd line if he is willing and can play mainly like he did in the playoffs. Stick just to little side deals for now this year Peter!!!!! At least you’re doing ok with these.

  • Serious Gord

    To trade Klefbom after the lousy year he had very likely be trading him at a very low value. Unless tmc and others have seen something in his game that we don’t that makes them think he’s not going to get much better, to trade him now would be a very high risk, potentially disastrous move. This would be especially so if it’s for Faulk who’s numbers make him look better than he is IMO.

    • OilerForLife

      100% agree I’d rather they keep the value contract, because staying under the cap will be a problem moving forward. I’m sure he’ll bounce back, and help right the ship.

  • percy

    I don’t believe we need to be trading our young def core for more young def. What we need imo is a seasoned vet def as in a chara, Keith etc. This team has relied to much on the coaching staff when they should have been acquiring seasoned vets to help develop these players. Imo that’s the reason we have this mess to deal with.

  • Thedrr

    Just looked at Lucics contract +bonuses. If looch accepted a trade the actual cash owed to Lucic after July first is 23.5 mill over 5 seasons. Lets say oilers retain a mill. That works out to 3.6 mill in actual cash for a 6 mill cap hit. Is Looch worth that to a cap floor team? 3.6 mill a year

    • 2centz

      I can see MacTavish and Chiarelli reading this and thinking,why didn’t we think of that… however,would Looch approve a trade to a cap floor team. He seems destined for Seattle imo

    • crabman

      @Thedrr,

      That is interesting and I would have to think that would make moving him easier not only to a team trying to reach the cap floor but also to a team that runs with an internal capthat don’t ever plan on spending to the cap anyway. It might be easier to get lucic to accept a trade to a more competitive team with an internal cap.
      I have a question about his cap hit though. If he is traded after getting his $3.5M signing bonus this year how is the cap hit devided out? If the Oilers also retain $1M/year in salary is that all we are on the hook for this year or would the $3.5M signing bonus count against our cap as well?

    • nbandito

      That would require Chia swallowing his pride and admitting that he made a mistake that costs the oilers group 1 million a year. I can’t see him making move this this summer.

    • 2centz

      Because Mac.T and company are too scared of being shamed by the fans again. – Bob,put the cheeseburger down and pump this rumour,so we can feel out the reaction,before we do it.

      Katz is worried we’ll all show up in shirtless coveralls and push his wife’s house down the hill.

      • camdog

        When the Oilers are making a trade it’s to get rid of a player, when other teams make a trade it’s to trade for a player. There is a difference and that is one of the reasons they have been losing trades since 2006.

  • Carbonrod

    I would love it if the Oilers would stop trading players after one sub par year. If you look back at good players they always go up and down. Sometimes 60 point players have years where they only score 42, most goalies have a bad year etc.

    Klef has a good contract, and should have a good year next year – he has his injuries taken care of, works hard, and a long off season to train and improve. He is not a part of the problem.

    I always loved Lucic as a player and I was happy he came to them Oilers. Before 2016-2017 everybody said the Oilers were too easy to push around, they were small. 2016-2017 when we were winning, nobody was saying heavy hockey was dead, but the league changed so fast and it showed this year. If we can move his contract I guess we have to, to keep up, but I hope he can bounce back next year. He was on pace for 59 points before he slumped and he suffered from some of the worst puck luck I’ve seen. If he can get high to the high 40’s it isn’t so bad. If he is still here during expansion, I could see him waiving his nmc, it would at least allow us to protect one more of our younger players.

  • cityofchampions

    I would trade Klef for Risto straight up…2 young guys on good contracts but Risto is a RH dman who runs the power play. Top 4 of Nurse, Risto, Sekara and Larsson finally balances our defence. Put Benning, Russell where they belong on the third pairing, with Bear pushing for a spot.

    • Carbonrod

      @cityofchampions

      I like this idea a bit too, because it fills a clear need and our chances of replacing a LH D are better than finding a righty. No way they do it though without another Chia overpay. Ristolainen is the only RH d on buffalo worth anything. Dahlin/Ristolainen running their powerplay will be scary.

  • Lyxdeslic

    Im surprised with the lack of love for Ristolainen. A 6’4 right handed D-man who has 3 consecutive 40+ point seasons despite playing on a very lousy team. For the past 2 seasons Risto also ranks top 10 in hits in the entire league. He has accomplished all of this despite being only 23 years old.
    Does he need to be better in his own end? Absolutely. But he is still young and growing and literally checks off every single box the Oilers are looking for. You don’t have to love the idea of trading Klefbom for him (or rationalize why Buffalo would trade this kind of player) but we should recognize he’s a perfect fit for our team.

  • Bills Bills

    Moving Klefbom is just a bad idea unless you are getting a true top pairing guy. We have not seen his top end and he is already on a value contract. Keep him

  • TKB2677

    I listened to the radio mouth piece of the team yesterday, Stauffer, talk about Klefbom and listened to him sing the praises of Klefbom. He talked about the contract and how it’s a huge asset. He talked about how liked Klefbom is in the room, how he’s part of the culture and how he is a guy you would want to move forward with.

    What I have learned from listening to Stauffer is this. He doesn’t call himself an “Oilers insider” because he’s not. Insiders report rumors, Stauffer reports what he is given to him by the team. When he talks about a player, he’s reporting what the team thinks of that player. When he goes on and on about the players and he only talks about the players skills and what he does on the ice, the team has told him to pump up the players value. When he goes on and on about off ice stuff like how well liked he is, how he’s part of the culture, how respected he is in the room, he’s telling you that the team doesn’t want to get rid of him. He did it a lot with Nuge earlier in the year. He briefly talked about Nuge’s skills but over and over again he talked about Nuge’s character, his drive, how well liked he is, how he’s willing to do anything to help the team. Then what happens, Nuge becomes untouchable and the GM comes out and says it. We hadn’t heard ANYTHING about Klefbom for months when he went in to surgery. All of a sudden a rumor comes out. So for the last few weeks, Stauffer has talked about his previous season, how good it was, how he took a step, how the PP was hurt because of Klefbom’s shoulder, how valuable he is, how he will bounce back. Then he goes into detail about Klefbom THE GUY. He’s loved and respected by the team, part of the culture, he’s part of “the group”, a guy you want to move forward with. He goes on and on about how having Swedish dmen is great. You hear very little about his actual game, never anything about his flaws and tons about how great a teammate he is. Before Eberle was traded, Stauffer talked a TON about his game. Talked a ton about how he disappeared in the playoffs, how he avoided contact that cost the team goals in the playoffs. He talked about how he looked slow and the game speeding up. How he didn’t score and how he was part of what he called the “16 mill line” (Nuge, Eberle, Pouliot) who didn’t score much and they needed them to score. So you heard a ton about Eberle’s hockey game, not a ton about Eberle the guy when it comes to the team dynamic. A month later, Eberle gets dumped.

    I am not saying Klefbom couldn’t get traded but I do not see a scenario where some of the super negative guys in here think he is dumped for next to nothing. I am not trying to come off as a Chia lover because I am not. He’s made some BAD mistakes but what I have learned is if he likes you, he will do what it takes to pay to keep you or go get you. If he doesn’t like you, you are dead to him and he will get rid of you for nothing if need be. That’s not exactly the greatest way to be as a GM. The Eberle trade wasn’t great. Player wise, I don’t think you are getting a player who’s much better than Strome because Strome isn’t that bad but it should not have been straight up. They should have been able to get a secondary asset for Eberle but because Eberle wasn’t a Chia guy, he probably didn’t fight hard enough to get it. So if a Klefbom trade actually happens, I think they will get good value for him because the organization values him.

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    “$4,167,000 annually for five more seasons”…

    Are we really talking about trading away a 23y/o, 20+min/game D-man on one of the best contracts imaginable? Just no.