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Trade Targets Part One: The Rebuilders

Now that the Oilers have a General Manager in place, I am ready to go all in on talking about some potential trades. There’s no doubt that Ken Holland needs to bring in some fresh faces and with the Oilers lack of cap space, the trade route appears to be a likely route. I think this summer could be a very busy one with the likes of Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene, Erik Karlsson, and Jeff Skinner all potentially becoming unrestricted free agents. On top of that, there is are a handful of organizations who are no doubt upset with how early their seasons ended.

I think a lot of teams will be looking to make some big changes and with a savvy GM running things, the Oilers could be in a spot to bring in some good players. I have made four groups of teams that I think will be particularly busy this summer, outlined who could be moved and if the Oilers are a fit. Today, I’m starting with a crop of teams that I believe are heading towards a rebuilding phase.

OTTAWA SENATORS

I think Ottawa could be busy this summer, but I’m not sure if there’s a trade target for the Oilers to look at. I think Cody Ceci will be moved out, but if the Oilers are going to get a defenseman, they need someone more established player. The only name that sort of grabs my interest is JG Pageau. He has one more season with a $3.1 million cap hit, which is pricey for a player who only played 39 games last season and only scored four goals. However, he’s scored 19, 12, and 14 goals in the past three seasons. The Senators are in a spot where they likely wouldn’t mind retaining money, so if the Oilers could get them to keep some of Pageau’s cap hit, I think he would be a decent third line centre.

DETROIT RED WINGS

The Red Wings have a bunch of young forwards that I would love for the Oilers to get their hands on (Andrea Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha) but with Steve Yzerman now running things, I doubt they’re going to move on from any of those players. They don’t really have any defenseman that fit the Oilers need either. Mike Green was a maybe, but he has a no-trade clause and he’s fairly pricey with a $5.375m cap hit. The Ken Holland connection is there, but I’m not sure if he’ll be able to pry loose any of the young forwards he drafted and developed.

LA KINGS

I’ll start this by saying that I doubt these two teams would make a significant deal because they’re both in the Pacific Division. I also understand that the labelling the Kings as a rebuilding team is a stretch, but I think they’re looking to get younger. I have always really liked Tyler Toffoli and there have been rumours about him over the last year. He scored at a 20 goal pace in four straight seasons before struggling this past season only scoring 13 goals in 82 games. He’s only 27, so he should still have some good hockey in him. I wonder what the price would be.

They also have Alec Martinez on the back-end, but after dealing off Jake Muzzin last year, I doubt they would deal Martinez. I also like Jack Campbell as a potential backup goalie option. He had a good season, shouldn’t cost very much, and the Kings have Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen for next season. 

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Like LA, I doubt two teams within the same division would make a move. Also, these two teams don’t appear to be a fit. Anaheim needs to unload some expensive contracts and ageing veterans, which is what the Oilers are trying to avoid. Silfverberg and Rakell are very intriguing, but there’s no way the Ducks move them.

On the backend, I don’t think they’ll be moving another defenseman after they dealt Brandon Montour during the season and that’s a player I would have liked the Oilers to get, but it obviously didn’t happen.

NEW YORK RANGERS

They just acquired Adam Fox for a pair of pics, but they still have five picks in the first three rounds. They are in rebuild mode. There have been rumours about Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s under contract for two more seasons at $6.65 million, but the only way that happens is if Lucic is going back the other way.

Up front, I like Pavel Buchnevich. He’s 24-years-old and currently an RFA and despite only playing 64 games, he scored 21 goals. He would look really good in the Oilers top six. I also really like Chris Kreider who has one more year at $4.65 million. Both of those guys will probably have high acquisition costs, but no one is safe on that Rangers roster.

Got a trade proposal to throw out there? Is there another rebuilding team that I missed? Let me know!

  • ChrisG

    I would add Pionk, Glendenning, Helm and Namestinkov to that list. They might not have the profile, but they’re also reasonable salaries (Might have to ask NYR to retain on Vlad).

      • Seanr

        Exactly what the Oilers Don’t need, a bunch of 4,5,6 million dollar contracts of over the hill players.
        How about for once we do things the right way.
        1. To only players we should be looking to SIGN, or TRADE for would be a couple 20 + goal scorers to complement Mcdavid Nuge and Draisaitl. So they don’t have to play another season with pylons on their wings. PERIOD.
        2. Let’s see what we got on the farm, ship out the shit, brodziak, ju-jubes, Lucic, cave…. Just off the top of my head.
        I fully expect Benson to make the team in a top nine roll. Marody makes the club as a center, possibly one or two of Currie, Russel, Gamberdella slotting in in a fourth line roll. Hell even Ryan McCloud Has a shot of being the 3rd or 4th line center
        As far as the defence goes… DONT TOUCH IT! Why would you rush out and sign /trade for another defenceman or two when the team as 4 or 5 STUD prospects knocking on the door. If this team wants to move up in the standings the ONLY way it’s going to happen is if 2 or three of these kids can crack the roster this season this allowing Holland to move out a couple of large salarys commited to defence man, LARSON, SEKERA, RUSSEL.
        3. DONT TOUCH THE CORE!
        Mcdavid, Huge, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Nurse
        One this I miss as a fan, and we haven’t had in a long time, was a team that competed every night, I’d support a young roster that skated line the wind every game WIN or LOSE, before I ever bought tickets to watch a bunch of over paid washed up bums like we had this year.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          I don’t disagree with MOST of what you say, but the simple fact is the defense on this team simply isn’t skilled enough. They are out of position and are playing catch up most of the time.
          They don’t have the skill & confidence to play relaxed and with poise. They panic when in pressure situations. They need a greater sense of calm. We saw an instant up-tick when Klef came back, a bigger uptick when Sekera returned. But we need another calming veteran who knows where to be positionaly & settle everyone down. You are right, the prospects coming up are great, I just don’t want to throw them into the fire. They need a calm atmosphere, where they can learn positional play under strong defensive leadership. We don’t have that now..
          One or two vets (and they don’t have to be Doughty’s) is all that’s needed.
          As an aside, the goaltending will instantly improve…

          • ricardo2000

            Oh sure every team in the league is going to give up competent defence men.
            Get it straight: develop talent from the draft.
            And little pieces to the team at the trade deadline, if possible.
            Two: no player is going to move to Edmonton as long as the team is a tire fire.

          • Mcjesus97

            We still need that stud r dman on the power play. It has to get done send one of our I’d say Klefbom and a 1st for a d that has term left and that is young. Who I’m not sure. But McDavid needs a stud on the power play while he’s on the half point he loves to use his dmen.

      • The Whispererer

        If you are thinking of fines along the lines of what happens in MLB, that doesn’t exist in the NHL.
        There is a penalty for going over the Cap; the overage is carried forward at 100% against the team’s next year Cap limit.

      • All Ice

        First, classless way to ask. Second, I’m pretty sure teams have to be cap compliant for every game. If you’re not then you start docking players off the game sheet until you are. I believe this has happened before

  • Justino

    Granted this will take some waiving of NMC clauses but I’d trade Lucic and Benning for Bobby Ryan and Pageau. While the Ryan contract isnt great atleast it provides more points and experience for the RW position to allow JP and Yamo time to develop plus both teams desperately wanna get away from those players.

    • Rock11

      been saying this for some time now, without the extra pieces. Once we get past July 1 then the money owed to Lucic is way less than owed to Ryan. This is important to an owner as cheap as Melnyk. Ottawa would have to retain to make the cap hits match what they currently are. Edmonton gets the better player on a shorter contract that can be more easily bought out. Ottawa gets to use Lucic’s contract to get to the cap floor without spending the actual cash to do it. Seems win/win to me.

  • FanBoy

    Haula and Eakin for 2020 2nd Rounder, 2019 3rd Rounder, Graham McPhee – Vegas needs to clear some cap
    Pysyk for Russell, low end prospect like Niemalienen
    OTT 2020 7th rounder for Manning, Larkin, Norell
    Eriksson for Lucic, Skyler Brindamour

    Draisaitl/McDavid/Kassian
    Haula/RNH/Puljujarvi
    Eriksson/Eakin/Chiasson
    Gambardella/Khaira/Gagner

    Klefbom/Larsson
    Nurse/Pysyk
    Sekera/Benning

    Koskinen – Elliott

    Extras: Brodziak/Cave/Persson

    • TKB2677

      I don’t understand the point of trading for Eriksson especially for the Oilers?

      Eriksson production wise isn’t any better.
      Eriksson makes the same money cap hit wise but has 1 less year. So you aren’t getting savings.
      He gets hurt a lot.
      He’s going to be 34 in July. Lucic will be 31 in June. 3 years for a hockey player is a lot.
      When Lucic doesn’t score, he is a big body that can hit, intimidate and has a presence on the ice as a cooler. I get that isn’t worth a hell of a lot salary wise and I am not justifying his existence on the team but it’s something. If Eriksson doesn’t score, he gives you nothing.

      If you are going to trade Lucic and get zero cap relief, there is no point and you definitely shouldn’t have to throw in an additional asset to get Eriksson.

      • Rock11

        Don’t underestimate the one less year part. That could be huge. Eriksson can also kill a penalty which is something the Oilers really need. all that plus there is something to be said for change of scenery for a player. Maybe Eriksson has a 20 goal year left in him. Better chance for him than Lucic.
        Also maybe injury is a good thing. A debilitating skin rash caused by his equipment as an example.

    • TKB2677

      It will never happen but I would love to see that after a certain age, contracts aren’t guaranteed or you are allowed to buy out a contract with no cap penalty for anyone over 30. The buy out could be you have to pay ALL of any signing bonuses plus 2/3 of their salary. These UFA’s are being paid for what they did in the past and their goal once they close in on 30 is to sign that one last long term, homerun deal. Then they coast. Yes the game has gotten faster and more skilled. So that plays into part of Lucic’s “decline” but no one is going to tell me he’s giving it 100%. By his own admission, he’s not even training properly like almost ALL NHLers do now. Most NHLers work with skills coaches every year and they are skating and working on their game starting in June. Lucic doesn’t work with a skills coach and in his year end interview, he admitted he doesn’t skate until later in the offseason and “maybe he needs to consider skating earlier”. Are you kidding me!! I looked at Lucic’s contract. If the league went to what I suggest – pay out all the signing bonus and 2/3 of his salary. Lucic is owed 19 mill for the rest of his contract. Of that 19 mill, 11.5 is signing bonus. If you paid him the signing bonus plus 2/3 of his salary, he’d get paid 16.5 mill of the 19 he’s owed. So he’d lose 2.5 mill. That’s it. I bet Lucic would take that in a heart beat. Then he could go sign with someone else for 2.5-3 mill per year like he should be making.

      • El Connor mcdaddy

        (you may see the same comment twice because my computer is not showing me my original comment posted but even so, this guy’s comment is so asinine that you need to hear this twice anyway) “I bet Lucic would take that in a heart beat.” Yeah of course he would, everyone loves losing 2.5 million dollars of their salary, while not getting to play hockey. That’s the Canadian dream. If you think for a second that Lucic “isn’t trying” You’re an idiot. just because he isn’t Skating in May doesn’t mean he isn’t training. You should not be rewarded for opting out of a terrible contract that you signed, however many years ago. That’s what separates good GM’s from Bad GM’s. If you want to avoid paying bad players too much money for too long after they turn 30, DON’T SIGN THEM FOR WAY MORE THEN THEY ARE WORTH FOR TOO LONG. You know what I would like to see happen that probably won’t? GM’s only signing ELITE free agents to long term expensive contracts, not just throwing ridiculous contracts at the first free agent available. There is no “get out of jail free” card in the NHL buddy. Welcome to the real world, where actions have consequences.

      • The Whispererer

        The buyout already is 100% of bonuses plus 2/3 of salary.

        Your proposal for no cap penalty would return the NHL to a period where the rich teams have a substantial advantage over the poorer ones.

        • cityofchampions

          That was going to be my point. Right now that would benefit Oilers as Katz has money to burn, but we were on the other side of that when we lost players like Weight because we couldn’t afford them. I like the NHL hard cap as it makes a level playing field and its management and drafting that separates poor teams from good ones, not money. I don’t like MLB where its always the same 6 rich teams competing for the World Series.

        • cityofchampions

          That was going to be my point. Right now that would benefit Oilers as Katz has money to burn, but we were on the other side of that when we lost players like Weight because we couldn’t afford them. I like the NHL hard cap as it makes a level playing field and its management and drafting that separates poor teams from good ones, not money. I don’t like MLB where its always the same 6 rich teams competing for the World Series.

  • El Connor mcdaddy

    This Eriksson for Lucic idea is stupid. Eriksson will not score any more points than Lucic and he is not as good of a leader as Lucic, and he is not nearly as big. If you’re going to have an expensive third liner he might as well be able to lead and be big. And this “Eriksson has one year less on his 6 million dollar deal” argument is also non-sense. Eriksson is turning 34 this year, Lucic is turning 31, Lucic is poo i get it. But Eriksson is older, smellier poo. That cant score or bring ANY effective skill to the table. I keep Lucic over Eriksson any day.

    • Rock11

      Evidence that Lucic is a leader please. I know that was the verbal when he signed. But the last half of the season 2 years ago he was a pouty, disinterested, unengaged floater.

      • El Connor mcdaddy

        I’m sure Lucic is a valuable leader inside the dressing room. And Connor and Leon have both stated on social media and in interviews that Lucic is an important part of the team. Nobody on Vancouver has said anything about Loui Eriksson.

  • TKB2677

    When I team signs a free agent, they agree upon a salary and years of service, in exchange the player is in principle promising to deliver certain things over the duration of the deal. In reality, the team doesn’t expect a player of Lucic’s age to put up the same numbers he did in his late 20’s when he is in his mid 30’s but they would expect him to be in the range. Lucic was a 20 goal, 50+ pt player over his career. I am sure the team was expecting towards the end of the contract to be getting low teens in goals and 30 pts. Not 6 goals and 20 in year 3. When I look at Lucic’s contract, there is no way to prove it but you have to wonder if he and his agent when they are talking about the contract and his play over the duration, knowingly make this deal with the mindset that he will probably coast for most of it and as the gets longer into it, coast more and more each year. Lucic next year makes 3 mill bonus, 3 mill base. THen 3 mill bonus, 1 mill base, then 2.5 mill bonus, 2.5 mill base, then 3 mill bonus, 1 mill base. He gets his bonus on July 1. So as his signing bonus stays pretty much the same but his base gets lower and lower each year, how much incentive does Lucic have to throw his body around like he has to do to be remotely effective when he makes 1 mill of base salary?

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I think it’d be a good gamble to give Puljujarvi one or two more years.
      I really do think that hip thing was holding him back. I would sure hate to trade him in the off-season and have him turn out to be similar to Laine, the guy he was compared to at the draft… At least a season.

      • Moneyball

        Don’t worry there is no chance of puljujarvi breaking out. A total lack of commitment to improvement and a large sense of entitlement. Not the kind of player you really want.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          It’s hard to commit to improve when your friggin hip keeps popping out?
          Not sure where you get this “sense of entitlement” from?
          I see an eager kid that loves hockey, and hasn’t been given the proper direction & time to improve. Geeze you’re sure hard on your team?

          • Moneyball

            Do you remember when jP sucked all season last year. Went into the offseason and when asked about going to Bakersfield he said that his place is in the nhl. Maybe but you have to prove it. #entitlement

    • tedtalks

      PJ was drafted too high. The big kids always do well in the minors then come to the NHL where everyone is big, and they struggle.
      Not sure the value, but not 4th overall.

  • TKB2677

    Just got further confirmation that some Oilers fans are utterly irrational and delusional. I am currently in a twitter debate with a guy who actually believes that career NHL goon, Ryan Reeves who has a career high 9 goals and 20 pts is a better hockey player than Lucic. Lucic has 5 – 20 goal season, 1 season where he had 30, 7 seasons where he scored more than 17 goals 7 times. 2 years ago he had 23 goals, 50 pts. Now for the record, I am not a Lucic fan, I think Lucic’s contract is horrible and I pray that the Oilers can somehow get rid of him. But as I said in my argument, if Ryan Reeves can get just under 3 mill to be nothing more than a goon, if the money was close to Reeves money, I think the Oilers could find teams to take Lucic easily. Further to that, if I had to place a bet on who will score more points next season, I would take Lucic 100 times out of a 100.

    • who

      He’s right. Reaves is better than Lucic right now. Better skater, better hands, and probably a better fighter.
      Lucic has had the better career, but he’s done.
      Don’t understand why you can’t see this?

      • TKB2677

        Because I am not a fool. Reeves is a goon. That is all he has ever been. That is all he will ever be. I don’t like Lucic and wish dearly he wasn’t an Oiler but I am not foolish enough to think that Reeves is a better player. He’s not. All you have to do is look over both their careers to figure that out. Lucic makes too much money, no one debates that. He’s being paid top 6 money and he’s not a top 6 player anymore. But anyone who actually thinks a career goon in Reeves is a better player than Lucic is letting their anger towards the Oilers and anger towards Lucic blind reality. If Lucic is making 2.5 – 3 mill like he should be, he’d have a job on every single team in the league. No one who knows hockey can say that Reeves will have a job on every team. Not a chance.

        • who

          Sorry, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
          If what you say is true, than the Oilers would be able to trade Lucic to any team in the league, just by retaining half his salary.
          Do you honestly think that could happen?
          Lucic has had a very good career, but Reaves had the better year last year. And Lucic is sinking fast.

          • TKB2677

            Elliott Friedman was on Stauffer’s show TODAY and said there were teams sniffing around Lucic earlier in the year but apparently the Oilers ask was too high. Basically Chia being an idiot because Lucic was his boy, he was his big splashy signing and wanted to save some face. Teams still value what Lucic does, they just don’t value it for 6 mill. If the Oilers retain money and potentially give up some kind of an asset, they can trade him.

            I honestly can’t believe I am arguing for Lucic. That’s how ridiculous this argument is.

          • TKB2677

            What makes it more ridiculous is you are basing your entire argument one 1 season. Reeves had 9 goals and 20 points this past season, all career highs. I would be SHOCKED if he duplicated that. If someone asked me who will score more points next year, I would take Lucic 100 times out of 100.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          I gotta side with Who on this one… As “goony-gogoo” as Reaves is, he does have enough skill to gain the O-zone and create space. I think Milan will also get their. His salary aside, he needs to change his game a bit. And practice his puck handling this off-season.
          He has the potential to be a more effective player than Reaves. But Reaves has been ever so valuable to Vegas, especially in the post-season & when they are in tough in reg. season games.
          Almost in a Tie Domi sort of way in his Jet days more. He could gain the O-Zone and had great hands around the net, yet those that didn’t watch him game in, game out thought he was JUST a goon, cause he could do that really well too… Get Milan to practice his puck-handling & he’ll be the far better player. But until then, not so much.
          Reaves is also a fan favourite in Vegas, can’t say that about Milan unfortunately. Sell tickets, pay salary.

        • RJ

          There’s an aspect of player evaluation that just focuses on performance. But cap hits are a part of the game.

          Reaves with half the cap hit, and one season left, is preferable than Lucic at $6m for 4 years. Sorry to break your heart.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Don’t go near that guy, we want players where hockey is first.
      He’s perfect in T.O…. Even better on a Pacific Division contender in my mind… He’d be awesome in LA or Anaheim… No?

      • IRONman

        Lucic can go. His spot can go to rookies. Nuge is more valuable as an Oiler. 25 goal scores are hard to get. The defence has to move out players. Sekera or Klefbom. Need room for young guys and cap. Keep Nurse and Larsson. Injures make Sekera and Klefbom targets.

        • IRONman

          Lucic out and retain 3 million free up 3 million for D or winger for Nuge. Plus benson or McLeod can score more than Lucic. Kassian can protect McDavid and score. Lucic is too slow.

  • ROILYDoGG$

    Regardless of how good Russel or Lucic have been or how bad some of the contacts are they are useful players to some teams that need depth. That being said Lucic does bring hit ( was top10 in the league) leadership and bet presents. He will be useful in the playoffs once we get arrive.
    Russel is the man out for me as we have too many lefties and his role can be filled by up and comers like jones.

    Keep Lucic in the 3-4 line role. Dump Russel for a pic or swap with Ott fo Pageau and throw in a pic for sweetener if needed.
    Brodziak and manning need to me traded for anything we can and fill the rest with our rookies.
    We would then have money for 1 free agent like Anders Lee or something to add to the 2nd line.

    Leon MCd Kassian
    Lee Nuge Chassion
    Lucic. Cave. Gagne.
    Jjk Marody Currie

    Klef. Lars
    Nurse Benning
    Sekera Jones

    • cityofchampions

      I agree that Russell is the odd man out on the defence, but I think the best way out of cap hell is to get rid of both Russell and Lucic. I do think Lucic can be traded if we keep half the salary and maybe throw in a 3rd rounder, and we can use the other half plus savings on Russell to get a top 6 winger. Dump whatever bottom six salaries we can and replace with AHL call-ups and cheap veterans.

    • cityofchampions

      I agree that Russell is the odd man out on the defence, but I think the best way out of cap hell is to get rid of both Russell and Lucic. I do think Lucic can be traded if we keep half the salary and maybe throw in a 3rd rounder, and we can use the other half plus savings on Russell to get a top 6 winger. Dump whatever bottom six salaries we can and replace with AHL call-ups and cheap veterans.

  • madjam

    Not sure we have to trade for any of these players who’s contracts appear to be ended and just pick them up with best offer . R. Lehner 1.5 M or C.Pickhart 800.000 , M.Mrazek 1.5M for goal . Forwards not to over the hill : B.Pirri 650,00 , T.Ennis 650.00 , T.Brouwer 850,00 , Tanev, B. 1.150M, M.Ferland 1.150M, D. Smith Pelley 1.00M, P.Maroon 1.75M, J.Donstoi 1.9M . Defence J.Benn 1.00M , Engelland 1.5M , Reinhart 850,000 . Some reasonable , cheap and supportive contracts in there .

  • hagar

    The best and probably only chance we have is for Ken to move a bunch of guys that arent working for us, for guys that arent working for other teams.
    If a gm could build a gm’ing video game, you would get the most points for exchanging what isnt working on a certain tier, for things that will on the same teir.
    You see it all the time on teams that light up all a sudden… just need to find the castaways like perron that will work for us.
    PC made GM’ing look super hard, but a good gm can do wonders with little.

    Fingers crossed

    • hagar

      Well.. PC/the brain trust made it look hard. We will know autonomy within 3 months when we see it. Complete lack of stupid moves everyone knows are stupid, will be the first sign it’s real.

  • Ben918

    I think the Oilers will need to make some deals but before that they will need to part with some guys to open cap space. They will also need to look at improving by trading terrible contracts. Now it is always tough to speculate on a potential trade when you don’t get the chance to talk to actual GMs about it. I know that LA is not happy with Quick and would love to move his huge contract. Problem is that last season he was terrible. Crazy bad. Still he was better than anyone the Oilers put in goal. Kosk is a big guy with a smaller cap hit. It would save the kings money on a 3 year deal to bring Kosk in and as a backup would have less impact than he does with the Oilers. This could give them cap space to help add some key players to their team. Quick may be terrible but he is a veteran and a good gamble for the Oilers. His worse days are also better than Kosk’s best and in terms of improving our goaltending, his pay increase would be cheaper than trying to bring someone in while keeping Kosks contract. This is just one example of they type of deals they will need to look at.