Photo Credit: © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers can’t lose another big trade

It’s that time of year. The Montreal Canadiens made a trade late last Friday sending Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes for Max Domi. On the surface, they’re similar players. They both average 0.61 points per game and spent most of their time in the NHL on the wing. Galchenyuk is a better goalscorer, while Domi is more of a playmaker.

Domi has more years of control left, but it still feels like the Canadiens gave up the player with the higher ceiling in a trade for the third consecutive summer. Add in Galchenyuk likely playing centre in Arizona and the trade has potential to go very poorly for Montreal.

Domi isn’t a bad player, but ‘playmaking winger’ wasn’t high on the list of priorities for Marc Bergevin this offseason. They’ve traded P.K. Subban, Mikhail Sergachev, and Alex Galchenyuk in the past three years, but none addressed their issues at centre.

The Edmonton Oilers have been right there with the Canadiens in terms of downgrading talent. If you want to buy-low on skilled young players, call Montreal or Edmonton in June. Montreal traded P.K. Subban for Shea Weber the same day the Oilers traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. The Oilers dealt Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome a week after the Canadiens parted with Sergachev.

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Now the Canadiens have traded Galchenyuk for Domi, and while it may not be as egregious as the Subban or Sergachev trades, it’s imperative the Oilers aren’t in the same conversation as Montreal for the third summer in a row.

Report: Edmonton to be NHL hub city
Mar 5, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic (27) keeps the puck from Arizona Coyotes defensemen Jason Demers (55) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

There’s rumours about Oscar Klefbom, Cam Talbot, and Milan Lucic, although the Oilers could win a trade by simply ridding themselves of Lucic’s albatross contract.

You can’t build a team by giving up the better player in a significant trade every summer.

The Oilers need to improve thier roster. They lack scoring wingers to round out Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl’s lines. They need a better option on the right side of their top-four defence than Kris Russell or Matt Benning.

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The draft is on Friday. There will be a flurry of moves between now and Friday night. Patience isn’t what fans want, but it might be necessary if management wants to build a long-term contender around McDavid.

Can Peter Chiarelli resist losing another trade to try and fill a need? That’s been his game plan since arriving in Edmonton. Although, if there isn’t significant improvement Chiarelli is almost certainly gone. He hasn’t been able to make many significant moves without losing the trade or adding a tough contract via free agency.

Chiarelli needs to improve the Oilers without sacrificing assets for short-term success. Problem is the Oilers seriously lack trade chips and their cap situation is just okay with Ryan Strome, Darnell Nurse, and Matt Benning requiring new contracts.

The Oilers have been on the wrong side of too many notable deals made in June. Montreal made another curious one last Friday. Edmonton has to break the cycle.

  • Rusty

    Nobody is disagreeing with you. After seeing the mastery Doug wilson pulled off this morning in dumping a bad contract for hoffman AND flipping him for picks, and freeing up room for a run at kovalchuk and tavares…it sure would be nice to see something like that here in Edmonton.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Please explain to me how trading Talbot is a “win”. If no goalie is coming back (at least one that isn’t starter ready) how does trading Talbot = trade win for Edmonton?

    • LAKID

      Because there are plenty of back up goalies earning way less and quality free agent goalies on the market. Talbot will not be returning after his contract is up anyway, dump him.

        • Himynameistaylor

          Dude’s been on this “trade Talbot” kick for months now, but I don’t think he understands how physically draining the position is. 150+ games over two years will tire you out mentally and physically. Talbots stats were “poor” last year because of that, and how horrible the PK was. He only finished 4th in Vezina voting a year ago, and still has enough left in the tank to perform well granted he can shave 10-15 starts off his GP.

          LAKID is just silly, needs to give his head a shake and stop typing nonsense.

    • E-Mac

      It’s a contract year so I expect Talbot to rebound. That being said, I would at least explore the possibility of sending Talbot to NYI and then acquiring Grubauer from WAS. I would assume WAS would rather trade Grubauer to the West.

      • oilerjed

        Isn’t Grubaur exactly what Talbot was the year the Oilers picked him up? Why would we give up on one guy just to get another one goalie just as unproven at #1

  • Edmonton Eulers

    If we trade Talbot, then who’s going to play goalie? Or do we then give up further assets to acquire a replacement?

    That’s the issue with the Oilers. They’re quick at identifying who they want to get rid of, but they don’t look at who’s going to replace them. Just last summer they traded Eberle, and had nobody to replace him on the wing. Now this summer there’s talk of getting rid of Lucic, and now Talbot. Who’s going to replace them? Lucic’s contract sucks, but at the end of the day, he’s an NHL player who can contribute to the lineup.

    Trading a player without a replacement just creates more holes in the lineup. At this point that’s not something the Oilers can really afford.

  • OriginalPouzar

    To me, I have a core 6 of McDavid, Drai, Nuge, Larsson, Klefbom and Nurse. I expect Puljijarivi to join that group over the next year or two.

    Of course, noone is untradeable except for McDavid, however, I am of the opinion that noone from that core group is traded unless its a clear win for the team. For example, if we can trade Klefbom plus the 2nd rounder plus Lagesson (for example) for Parayko then you do it but that type of trade is not reasonable.

    Yes, I know, there is the hope for immediate improvement and only so many assets to work with, however, Chiarelli needs to show some patience – if the trade is not a clear win, stand pat and play around the edges and continue to keep trying to dispose of some of the bloated cap (Lucic, Russell, even Sekera).

    Make the pick at 10 and lets continue developing.

  • Rob...

    What are the odds that Phoenix signs Yakupov to a ~1m single year contract to see if they can revive the chemistry Galchenyuk had with him in the OHL? Potentially cheap gamble.

    • Dapper Dan 3099

      because with Hoffman, you would also get his crazy girlfriend who would ruin the chemistry on the team, are you not aware what happened in Ottawa?

          • Dapper Dan 3099

            give me a break, just because someone denies something you’re telling me there is nothing to that….or like they would admit any involvement to begin with… im sure hoffmans gf’s name wasn’t plucked out of a hat at random for being involved

          • Derian Hatcher

            What I find interesting is that in the normally conservative, don’t-rock-the-boat world of hockey is that some hockey wives have written on social media confirming the ugly and disgusting posts were the work of Hoffman’s fiance. Past acquaintances have also chimed in that these posts are consistent with past behavior of Hoffman’s fiance.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    With the success of Vegas and the rumoured forthcoming Seattle expansion team I wonder if more players waive their NMCs for the 2020 expansion draft than they did for Vegas.

    Gregor stated on his show yesterday that in the aftermath of the 2011 Bruins Cup and things said to his family Lucic would never consider playing for the Canucks. Would Seattle be a strong substitute? If he plays okay for two more years the biggest headache with Lucic is his NMC for expansion draft purposes. If that’s not an issue I don’t see the problem sticking it out with him and seeing him bounce back.

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    Regarding Talbot, chia is only seeing what he’s worth on the market incase they have to trade him this year, and that only happens IF a) they have another bad season and will miss the playoffs b) he plays poor again (I actually think Talbot will bounce back from last year), or he says “I want out”

    • GK1980

      I would not extend Talbot, this his year to prove he is a number one. Last year didn’t help. If this team misses the playoffs again, Talbot and Todd are both gone. That’s a guarantee and Chia will have a ton of work to do next summer, he too will have one more chance I’m sure. Maybe not.


    Marc Bergevin Is awesome at filling no area or need in his organization… I wonder if he would take Strome for his 1st round pic ?
    Chia pick up the phone and say Berg, I got you’re 1st line centre for you and I’m not gonna rape you like you tried to do for Subban. Get it done hahaha

  • Shane

    To me Oscar Klefbom looks like Zach Bogosian. Big, toolsy, often hurt, high pedigree, questionable hockey smarts. If I can trade him for Ristolainen, Trouba, Parayko, Dobson or Krug I would do it before he’s solidified as a second pairing defenceman.

      • Shane

        Just personal observation but I think he fits the Oilers better. Right side, more durable, better passer, better on the powerplay. I think our stay at home defence ( Nurse, Larsson, Russell) can cover for him on the other side a bit.

  • Arfguy

    I think if they can somehow get rid of Milan Lucic’s contract, that would be a big win. I am hoping that moving Lucic is the only thing Chiarelli pulls off this off-season and lets the chip falls where they may.

    I do believe Talbot and Klefbom will bounce back in a big way. I also think that Sekera will be better.