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WWYDW: Keeping Chiasson

For all the terrible signings and trades Peter Chiarelli made, he did manage to find one diamond in the rough this year. Alex Chiasson came into camp on a PTO, signed a league minimum deal, and has gone on to shatter his career-high in goals half-way through the season. According to Rob Tychkowski, Chiasson has expressed an interest to stay in Edmonton beyond this season.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. Should the Oilers keep Chiasson around? Or should they thank him for the great season, deal him for a pick, and let somebody else give him big dollars in free agency?

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Chiasson a been a perfect fit on this team. He’s big, skilled, and goes to the net. He was once a highly-touted prospect who was the centrepiece of the deal that sent Jason Spezza from Ottawa to Dallas. But, Chiasson is going to be 29 years old at the beginning of next season, he’s riding a whopping 24.6 shooting percentage, and he’s also Edmonton’s best rental asset to dangle at the trade deadline.

This is pretty much the Patrick Maroon situation all over again. Peter Chiarelli found himself a diamond in the rough who thrived in Edmonton’s top-six, shattering career-highs after joining the Oilers. Like Maroon, Chiasson is in his late-20s and is at that stage of his career in which his game could quickly start to decline.

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In 44 games with the Oilers, Chiasson has 17 goals and 25 points. Most of that production came during an incredible run in the first three months of the season. In the last month, Chiasson has just one goal over the course of 12 games. That said, while he isn’t scoring at that insane pace anymore, Chiasson is still certainly an effective middle-six winger who forechecks and backchecks effectively. Even if he isn’t scoring, he’s one of Edmonton’s only competent NHL wingers.

Chiasson is also probably Edmonton’s best rental asset come trade deadline time. Other impending free agents on the Oilers roster like Tobias Reider (RFA), Alex Petrovic, Kevin Gravel, and Cam Talbot (UFA) likely don’t have much value. Brian Boyle, a battle-tested 34-year-old bottom-six pivot having a very solid year in New Jersey, fetched the Devils a second-round pick today when he was sent to the Predators. I imagine Chiasson could get the same return.

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There’s also always the possibility of trading a player and signing them later in free agency. If that were to happen, I would be comfortable handing Chiasson a deal in the two years, $1.5-2.5 million range. I’d love to have him back, but you can’t do too long of a term for a guy entering his age 29 season having a career year. We said this with Patrick Maroon, but you have to be the team that finds the diamonds in the rough rather than the team that pays for them after they’ve been discovered.

What say you, Nation? Do you think Chiasson is a guy worth keeping around long-term? Or is he a flash-in-the-pan who should be cashed in at the deadline? If he signs, what type of deal would you look for?

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  • slats-west

    Trade NOW! Buy low sell high. He has value.

    But what I think the rest of GMs and the league understands is pretty much anyone can get 20G with McDavid (where are you now Patty Maroon?). But if you got a good winger or high draft pick 2nd or 3rd then do the deal.

  • Am I the only here who isn’t rushing to ship him away? How about Keith try to negotiate something with him first? We keep shipping away our UFAs who may or may not resign every year then don’t replace them. While it’s true he might be looking for lots of money from a contender and might burn out and that we should get what we could for him it’s also true that he might’ve actually bloomed late and could be that 20-25 goal guy we want in our top-6 and also might have interest in staying here. Are we just leaning on Yamamoto or Rattie to replace his spot next year? If we can’t work things out then we should move him at the deadline but it shouldn’t hurt to try to retain him

    • Arfguy

      I like Chiasson. I don’t think he will be nearly as productive next year, so I think you have to try and bring him back at a 1-year contract…maybe at $1 million. I know that’s much less than Kassian or Brodziak are making, so I would try and get rid of both Kassian and Brodziak. I like Kassian’s skating, but not for $1.9 million. Brodziak has been a complete disaster and at $2 million? He’s got to go. If there is a way to get rid of Ryan Spooner and Brandon Manning, that would save at least another $5 million. These are dead weights that need to go.

      Alex is someone I’d like to keep, as he has been pretty good on the power play. However, I think he will want too much money. Why take the chance?

  • OriginalPouzar

    At Cam says, he’s an effective middle six winger and I’d be fine bringing him back for the right contract but this is not the type of player that needs to be re-signed in February. Our interim GM should talk to the player and get a sense of what he’s willing to accept on an extension but if there is any sort of decent offer for him, make the deal and re-visit with the player in the off-season. We may “lose him” that way but that is not the end of the world.

    If he is to be re-signed in-season, I would not be happy with anything over 2 years or anything over $1.8M per year and, definitely, no trade protection.

  • Lazarus

    It’s Baaaaack!!!!
    That Edmonton favorite winter game..its Jersey Toss!!
    I love how players around the league see that and it becomes one more reason to not sign in Edmonton..ever

  • Spydyr

    Do him a solid and trade him to a contender it is not like the Oilers are going to need him in the playoffs. Before he goes let him know you are interested in signing him in the summer.

    If the price is right in the summer sign him.

    This is really not that difficult for a competent GM.

    • OldOilFan

      I agree.
      Situation is similar to Maroon’s a couple of years ago, i.e. even if they trade Chiasson in February, the Oil might get a second crack at him this summer. If he really wants to play here, then he won’t be asking for huge dollars. Bring him back on merit, however, not emotion. Limited dollars. Maybe $1M.

  • Jerri Kurli

    Unless he’s signing for a million per (which he won’t), trade him. It would be similar to a unicorn sighting to see the Oilers buy low and sell high.

  • Vanhellian

    Someone who is willing to stay in Edmonton? Why is it you guys are so willing to sell out on a guy who has shown more effort and guts than virtually anyone else on the roster? Of course you don’t pay a fortune for him but still… The key ingredient missing on this team is grit and effort. No one wants to play here and it seems pretty clear why. Keep him

  • nbandito

    Here’s an ‘out there’ strategy: Keep players that perform well and trade, or let go of players that don’t work out. The guy plays with passion and is an intelligent one to boot. We need wingers that can play next year more than we need a second round draft pick right now.

  • Ted

    I’m okay with Chaisson staying …. What I don’t get is giving First Shot Champ another start! So I guess if he goes 40 strong minutes we know to pull him to start the third!!! I’m sorry four goals on five shots does not warrant back to back starts! Hitchcock I’m finally seeing why Dallas let you go! … Also didn’t High glove short side request a trade after the last game! …. Four teams interested what are you waiting for Gretz!

  • Darcy yaceyko

    Man I’m looking at all these posts and never realized how many great GMs we have on this site. The search is over. Send in your resumes ASAP. I say we keep Alex he’s an asset. Just like the 80’s version of the team. You had guys like Lumley hunter just for a start and they were pieces they needed. No different here other than Alex has talent.

  • FlamesFan27

    Sell this year. And, most of all don’t sign him for anything more than 2 years @ $1.5M going forward. The Oilers don’t need another 3 x $4.5M contract for a guy that was hot early and is now tapering off.

      • FlamesFan27

        I agree about trying to sign him for next year on a cheap and short contract. But, couldn’t they do a handshake agreement, let him go to a contender and give him a chance to win, then sign him next year? The Oilers aren’t making the playoffs this year, so they get something back that way. The risk is that he likes the team he goes to more than the Oilers.