Category Archives: Trades

Will Peter Chiarelli Make Bold Moves?

The Edmonton Oilers have given full control of the Oilers to Peter Chiarelli, naming him President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. Chiarelli is going to take a few weeks to assess the team and players to see exactly where his positions of strength and weakness are before making any moves, but he will make moves. Given his track record of making big trades in Boston I think we can expect a big trade or two this summer.

The Weaknesses

The weaknesses on the Oilers are pretty obvious, they need a starting goalie and they need a couple of top pairing defensemen if they want a shot at making the playoffs next season. They may have an opportunity to get a piece or two via free agency but typically that requires an overpayment and I’m not sure thats a good idea in Edmonton so I expect Chiarelli to make a couple of trades to fill these areas.

The Strengths

The Oilers have a lot of young skilled forwards that other teams would covet very highly. Its been a topic of hot debate amongst Oilers fan and the media whether or not the Oilers should trade one of the young stars to bring in a missing piece and I think now is the time.

Connor McDavid is on his way to Edmonton and he will really change the complexion of the top 6, for the first time is recent memory the Oilers will have some depth at C but it really isn’t a position that they should be trading from. They have McDavid, Nuge, Lander, Drai and Gordon which is a fine depth chart imo but there isn’t enough depth there to make a trade and still expect to be successful.

On the wing however they do have a position of strength to deal from, any one of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov could on the move. Its much easier to fill in holes on the wing than it is at Center or Defense which is why I think there is a good chance that Chiarelli will move one of those players.

Another area of strength the team has is on the farm club, there are a few young defensemen in the system who look to have a pretty good shot at a successful NHL career who could be bundled with other players or picks to bring in a top end player.

The Extra Pieces

If Chiarelli can manage to bring in a couple of top pairing or even top 4 defensemen there will be a couple of guys he may be trying to dump, mainly Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ferrence and Justin Shultz. The Nikitin trade and signing is one of the black marks on MacT’s resume, he is clearly not capable of playing top 4 minutes on an NHL team but MacT paid him like one and marketed him as one as well. If Chiarelli can move the contract or even buy out Nikitin it will go a long way to helping the Oilers manage the salary cap.

When Andrew Ferrence became a UFA in Boston Chiarelli was in no hurry to sign him so he came to Edmonton to collect a handsome salary and be named captain of the team. I expect Chiarelli will be able to move Ferrence either in the summer or at some point during the season.

The other name I have here is future Norris candidate Justin Shultz. Shultz has not progressed since joining the Oilers and it can be argued that he has actually regressed. At this point he’s at best a 3rd pairing defensemen but he’s getting paid like a top 4 and Chiarelli will either see his issues and move him for a more useful piece or see his potential and put him in a position that he can learn the game and succeed.

The Vision

It was clear from watching the press conference of Chiarelli’s hiring that he feels the Oilers need to be a ‘heavier’ team, he talked about teams that play heavy and win battles but are not necessarily really big players. He communicated very well that they need to work much harder on and off the ice and need to find the right mix of players to bring speed and size. Would trading a player like Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov for a top 4 defensemen and replacing them with a player more similar to Benoit Pouliot who can play a heavy game and still compliment his highly skilled linemates be a step in the right direction?

Hold on Oilers fans, we may be in for a summer full of debate, excitement and (hopefully not) regret. I expect to see a much different Oilers team in training camp than we’ve seen to finish the 2014/15 season.

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Holy Shit, What Just Happened

The Edmonton Oilers have traded 24yr old center Sam Gagner to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 28yr old winger Teddy Purcell. Gagner never seemed to improve in Edmonton from his rookie season way back in the 07/08 season where had a career high 49 points as an 18yr old. He’s never been able to get to the next level offensively or play the strong 2-way game that the Oilers desperately need and this past season the majority of the fan base in Edmonton turned on the young center, and apparently so has Craig Mactavish. In Gagner’s 7 seasons with the Oilers he has played under 5 different head coaches which I’m sure had a substantial impact on his development, I’m eager to see how he performs in a more structured situation in Arizona.

Thats right Arizona! Soon after the trade to Tampa, the lightning traded Gagner and BJ Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 6th rd draft pick. The Lightning also retained 1/3 of Gagners salary in the deal. This is the new NHL where GM’s are willing to trade good players on bad contracts for very little return so that they can make cap room for UFA hunting.

This new NHL is very interesting for a team like the Oilers who have about $20M in cap space available before signing Jeff Petry and Justin Shultz, they’re is a great position to make deal similar to what the Coyotes did to acquire Gagner and Crombeen. Take the Boston Bruins for example who have under 6M in cap space to resign RFA’s Tory Krug and Matt Bartkowski and replace the offense of Jerome Iginla, they would love to rid themselves of Chris Kelly’s $3M cap hit. Does a trade sending Chris Kelly and Jonny Boychuk (3.367M cap hit) to the Oilers in exchange for a pick and prospect make sense for both sides? Boston would clear up 6.3M in cap space while the Oilers would add a good top 4 right handed defenseman and a 4th line center to a team that desperately needs these types of players. Of course Boychuk and Kelly would need to waive no trade clauses to make the deal happen but this is the type of deal MacT needs to be looking for to improve the team.

Oilers Get Their Man

The Oilers signed defenceman Nikita Nikitin this morning to a 2yr contract at 4.5M per year. The dollars are a tad high for a guy who played 3rd pairing minutes last year in Columbus but the Oilers had to pay for that short term. I’m sure Nikitin was probably looking for a 4-6 year term in the 3.5M to 4M range but the Oilers were looking to add a bridge player to give Nurse 2 more seasons to develop before making the jump to the NHL.

The Good

Nikitin looks like a good candidate to play along side Justin Shultz which should make a solid 2nd pairing playing some sheltered minutes. He’s a real NHL defenceman with experience who has shown success in the past playing against tough competition and he’s only 28yrs old. He really does fill a hole on the team and will push Nurse back to Jr this year.

The Bad

A pretty big overpayment at 4.5M per season and even though the Oilers do have the cap room to sign the deal I worry about how this contract will affect the negotiations with Petry and Shultz or another UFA defenceman (Stralman).

On the bright side Nikitin should slot in on the 2nd pairing and only makes $900k more than the Oilers were paying Nick Shultz last season.

Edmonton Oilers Trade Ladislav Smid and Sign UFA Ilya Bryzgalov

Craig Mactavish and the Edmonton Oilers made a couple of moves on friday in an attempt to improve the team. First the Oilers traded stay at home Defensmen Ladi Smid and AHL goalie Olivier Roy to the Calgary Flames for goalie prospect Laurent Brossoit and C Roman Horak. Mactavish followed up the trade with the UFA signing of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a 1yr 1.75M contract. Continue reading