The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly in the market to acquire a right-handed centre ahead of the NHL’s April 5 trade deadline, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported Thursday, but none of the three suggested seem to be good fits for the club.
The Oilers, according to Seravalli, are showing interest in Luke Glendening, Brandon Sutter and Derek Ryan.
Here’s what Seravalli had to say:
Well James, it might not be splashy but I think the Edmonton Oilers have their eye on a very specific piece and a very specific price. That’s a right-shot centre who can take faceoffs and win them on the penalty kill where they’ve struggled this year just 42 percent shorthanded. That could help their penalty kill. So who fits that bill? Well how about Luke Glendening, who is not coming back to the Detroit Red Wings. He’s a guy that leads the league in faceoff percentage this season, can also kill penalties and has a cheap cap hit. There’s two other guys that don’t require a seven-day quarantine and that’s Vancouver’s Brandon Sutter and Calgary’s Derek Ryan, although they have higher cap hit, more cap gymnastics there. The price? Well, the Oilers have traded their second, third and fifth round picks, so they would like to do all of that for a fourth round pick if they can. We’ll see what kind of magic Ken Holland has up his sleeve.
This year the Oilers have, as it stands today, the 11th best FO% in the NHL at 51.3. But Seravalli is right — the Oilers have struggled winning draws on the penalty kill. Edmonton’s top penalty kill forwards, Gaetan Haas, Devin Shore, Jujhar Khaira and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all below the 50% mark on the season there.
Leon Draisaitl, however, has spent some time taking draws on the PK winning 55% of them, but the Oilers would prefer to not have their superstar spending time on the PK if he doesn’t have to be. Edmonton has struggled to kill penalties this year and are in the bottom-third in the category successfully killing just 76 percent of penalties this year, good enough for 22nd in the league. It sure isn’t easy to kill penalties when you’re starting without the puck most of the time.
Advertisement
Ad
First, let’s take a look at what each of Glendening, Sutter and Ryan would bring to the table.
Glendening, 31, has scored three goals and nine points in 31 games this year with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s won a career high 64.2 percent of his faceoff in all situations, but only 50 percent of his draws on the penalty kill. At 5×5, he provides offence at an 11 percent rate worse than league average and defence at a one percent rate worse than league average. On the penalty kill, it doesn’t get much better. Glendening provides penalty kill value at a five percent rate worse than league average. With him on the ice on the PK, Detroit allows 21 percent more expected goals against per hour than league average and with him off the ice on the penalty kill, the Red Wings allow 17 percent less expected goals against per hour than league average. His penalty kill value has him in the worst percentile over the last three years.
Advertisement
Ad
Glendening is a UFA at the end of this season and makes just $1.8-million. But none of his numbers suggest that he would be anything better than what the Oilers already have and truthfully, spending a fourth round pick on him would be a wasted asset.
Sutter, 32, has scored six goals and eight points in 35 games this year with the Canucks winning a career high 55.5 percent of his faceoffs in all situations, and that climbs to 59 percent on the penalty kill. At 5×5, he provides offence at a one percent rate below league average and defence at a two percent rate above league average. On the PK, he provides league average value. With him on the PK, the Canucks allow 16 percent more expected goals against per hour than league average, but that number doesn’t change with him off the ice. His penalty kill value has him in the 58th percentile over the last three years.
Advertisement
Ad
Sutter, like Glendening, is a UFA at the end of the season but has a cap hit of $4.375-million. While Sutter is a slightly better player than Glendening, I don’t see much value here in adding him either.
Lastly, Ryan, 34, has scored two goals and six points in 21 games this year winning 54 percent of his faceoffs in all situations, but only 42 percent on the penalty kill. At 5×5, he provides offence at a three percent rate higher than league average and defence at a six percent rate higher than league average. With Ryan on the ice on the penalty kill, the Flames allow one percent more expected goals per hour than league average and with him off the ice, Calgary allows five percent less expected goals against per hour than league average. His penalty kill value has him in the 61st percentile over the last three years.
Advertisement
Ad
Ryan is owed $3.125-million against the cap this year, but has already been placed on waivers twice this year — most recently on March 2nd. Of the three, Ryan is the only one who drives play at 5×5, but has a very high 104.4 PDO. Glendening and Sutter both get caved there.
All in all, this doesn’t really make much sense to me. While Sutter is likely the most appealing of the three, he’d also be the toughest to make fit when accounting for the salary cap. With the Oilers hard pressed to make the money work and likely in need of other areas that would provide more value to the team, trading for any of these three would be a mistake in my eyes.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]
Advertisement
Ad