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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – NHL Trade Deadline Expectations

Happy deadline day, everybody, and welcome to a brand new Monday Mailbag. As always, I’ve taken the questions from the past week, sent them to our writers, and copied and pasted their words of wisdom right here on the ol’ Internet for your education and enjoyment. Today, we’re looking at trade deadline predictions, the series sweep over the Senators, GOAT talk, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got one, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

1) Blake asks – Monday is trade deadline day and since the mailbag comes out first thing in the morning, what is everyone expecting from the NHL’s annual trading day?

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Robin Brownlee:

I’m not expecting a lot of movement of significant names. With 11 trades made in April as of 5 p.m. Sunday, I expect it’ll be relatively quiet today. The biggest question was what would happen with Taylor Hall, who is headed to Boston. I wonder if we see Calgary try to move players they don’t see fitting in moving forward. It’s going to be money-in for money out more than ever right now and that limits possibilities.

Jason Gregor:

I’d guess about 12-13 trades. I’m curious to see what Colorado does.

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Cam Lewis:

I don’t see Ken Holland making a big move after having a pretty big trade deadline last season. He’ll likely use the fourth-round pick to get a depth player, probably Luke Glendenning, right before the deadline.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I expect the Oilers to trade a fourth-round pick for the best player it can get them. Whether it’s a centre or a winger, I don’t know. Holland won’t totally stand still, but I can’t see him going all in.

Zach Laing:

Edmonton opted out on the bidding for Taylor Hall, who went for a criminally low amount to the Boston Bruins. He was my No. 1 trade target for Edmonton. I could see Edmonton making a depth move, but at this point, that’s not going to move the needle for the Oilers. They need to add an impact top-six scorer.

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Baggedmilk:

I’m thinking it’s going to be a quiet day around here despite wishing they could pull off a big move.

2) Taylor asks – Some Oilers fans think the team should go all-in to try and win now whereas others feel like it’s not the time just yet. Where does everyone stand on going all-in or keeping the powder dry?

Robin Brownlee:

I don’t see Ken Holland making a big move — that’s an off-season kind of trade. I wonder if he might be looking at a tweak move for a centre to strengthen the team in the circle today. He might be willing to move one of his young defencemen to land an established winger with some term left on his contract because he’s working with some depth for the first time in a long time, but that’s better done during the off-season. I don’t think we’re looking at rentals.

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Jason Gregor:

Not many left wingers available now. I could see Holland adding a D-man with size.

Cam Lewis:

This year makes some sense to go in, I think. You have Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as expiring contracts, Kailer Yamamoto and Darnell Nurse need new soon, and Mike Smith is having a better season than anyone could have imagined. I’m also not sure how much a first-round pick really matters this year given how difficult it has been to scout prospects.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I think if you stay quiet this deadline, there’s a chance to really go all in this summer and at next year’s deadline. They can give themselves a lot of money to play with, Oscar Klefbom could be back, and they could have all their picks. There’s a chance they really load up for a run next season, when fans should be back in the arena.

Zach Laing:

In a season where it’s harder than ever in terms of the draft with some juniors league not playing, Edmonton should be using that 2021 1st round pick to acquire someone to help. The Oilers have around $3.3-million in space to work with today and if it’s not now, they need to make a big move this offseason.

Baggedmilk:

I just don’t think they have the picks/prospects available to trade to truly go all-in. For me, going “all-in” this year would mean picking up a 2LW, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Mar 13, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto (56) in the first period at Rogers Arena.

3) Brent asks – Looks like the Oilers are in for another extended break due to COVID and I’m wondering what you think they can do to stay sharper than the last time?

Robin Brownlee:

This week is a time to rest and heal. Sunday and today off, then get back at it. This isn’t the time of the season to change routines.

Jason Gregor:

Yes, as they will be at home and have two days off first then a few days of practices. Better situation being at home, plus they have known this break was coming for over 10 days so better chance to be prepared for it.

Cam Lewis:

Rest up. Drink plenty of water. They might come out flat in their first game back after a long-ish break but the rest will be better for them long-term.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

This break is far better than the last one because they can see their families, sleep in their own beds, and practice at their own facilities. This is actually a chance to rest and recover whereas the last break was just one big long waiting game.

Zach Laing: 

They need to get some serious rest. Hopefully they all enjoyed the Masters, and many will surely be keeping an eye on trade deadline stuff today.

Baggedmilk:

I think there are some guys that are banged up so I imagine it will be nice to have a few days off to try and heal the body a little bit. The biggest difference is what Tyler said, though, that the break is happening when they’re at home and not on the road.

Mar 12, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) carries the puck around Ottawa Senators defensemen Josh Brown (3) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

4) Andrea asks – What did you learn from the nine-game series sweep over the Ottawa Senators?

Robin Brownlee:

Nothing really. Certain teams don’t match-up well with others for many reasons. Ottawa has been relatively good against the rest of the North Division. There was a time, as one example, from 2007 on when the Oilers couldn’t beat Minnesota for love or money. The futility spanned several years.

Jason Gregor:

Some teams matchup better than others. Senators don’t have experience to slow down McDavid or Draisaitl.

Cam Lewis:

Just how much better Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are than inexperienced and replacement-level players.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

That the Oilers can put the pedal to the floor and beat up on weaker opponents, something they’ve struggled with over the past few years. Also that when you put Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl up against a team of inexperienced players and some replacement-level guys, they can absolutely dominate.

Zach Laing: 

That the Oilers are the only team to win nine games in a season against a team.

Baggedmilk:

The takeaway is that they got 18 of 18 points and no one else in the division was able to do that. Nothing more, nothing less.

5) TurtleJP asks — I’ve been thinking about Crosby and Ovechkin and their career accomplishments and looking to at Greatest Of All Time lists, and it got me wondering, who’s the GOAT non-Canadian? Ovechkin, Lidstrom, Federov, Hull, Forsberg, Jagr… Someone else?

Robin Brownlee:

Tough to argue against two-time Stanley Cup winner Jaromir Jagr, a five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, who is still more than 600 points ahead of Ovechkin, or Dom Hasek, tied for the lead in career save percentage (.922) and a two-time Stanley Cup and Hart Trophy winner.

Jason Gregor:

Nik Lidstrom. He was incredible for many years and likely underrated for how good he was.

Cam Lewis:

I would go with Nik Lidstrom. You can argue he’s the best defenceman of all time, behind Bobby Orr. This is a tough one because you can certainly make a claim for Jagr, who’s second in league scoring, or Hasek, who I believe is the best goalie ever.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Jagr, Ovechkin, and Lidstrom all deserve love for different reasons.

Zach Laing: 

Jagr, then Ovechkin.

Baggedmilk:

I loved watching Jagr play when he was at his best. The dude had hands, size, a shot, wheels, and was absolutely unstoppable. Jaromir Jagr is my final answer.

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