In thinking about the up coming deadline, and procrastinating on my school work, I came up with an idea today: I would create a typology of what the Oilers have to trade with in the draft using the trades that occurred this year. It is not so complete, but it makes a little sense and we have to get some blogs up on here (now and again). I was going to do it with a bunch of philosophy too: but I got kind of lazy.
Here is the outline: Forwards = Kant, Defense = Deleuze, Goalies = Pre-socratics. Maybe I will as it gets closer to the deadline or when some Oilers get traded?
Over this last year, there have been multiple trades that involve forwards that may help us establish value for some of the Oilers at the deadline. First, I am going to ignore the Michael Frolik trade since it does not make any sense: but I do like Derek’s work on why the Oilers should be buyers. I am not going to take that approach since I believe that Tambo is going to stick to his ‘seller’ mindset that has driven this franchise in to ruin over the last 14 months or so.
The category I would like to begin with is the spare parts: or for fourth line guys. Both the Eager and the Voros trades could come into this category. On one hand, San Jose only gave up a fifth round pick (in 2011) for an overly-aggressive fourth liner that can fight, check, and has some playoff experience, while, on the other hand, Burkie’s man-crush on ‘thugs’ made him over pay for Voros giving the Ducks a 7th round pick in 2012 (only if he re-signs). I think these trades could set the upper limit and the lower limit (the smallest possible compensation allowed by the current CBA).
So how in the Oilers line up would fit this bill, well I have a few names: SMac, JFJ, Fraser, & Red Ox. SMac would look like the closes thing to a Voros, and I can’t see a competent GM paying over a 7th rounder (if resigned for next year) for SMac at this point in the season: the hulking tower of a man is not going to get in that many minutes before being a healthy scratch in the playoff. SMac would need to be going to a non-playoff team looking to start piecing a line up together for next year. Fraser becomes a better fit for the Eager trade: both 4th line players who bring a skill or two, and have some playoff experience. Fraser is less dominate that Eager in aggression and physicality, but has more ability on the PK and defensive side to the game (not great ability but just more). He might go for a 5th or 6th round pick to a contender that misses out on their preferred target. JFJ and the Red Ox fall somewhere in the middle: they could be a contributor to the fourth line of a playoff team (or at least a decent 13th/14th depth man) . . . but they do not have playoff experience (which is always a premium) and have some obvious flaws in their games—puck skills and size, respectably. The most you might get is a late 6th, but most likely only a 7th round pick (without conditions). Remember Zorg cleared waivers so most teams most likely do not think our players are worth shit!
Players for Sale: Fraser (NHL team) and Red Ox (a team pushing for an AHL run . . . aka wait a few days and then waive Reddox since nobody will be able to use him in the playoffs they will not likely take him). Buyers: I don’t know but my guess would be: Rangers, Phillie, San Jose, Phoenix, Caroline, Calgary. All could use a upgrade in the bottom of there line up and have maybe the cap space to address this. They get to be picky since I doubt we see more then 3 forwards get trade for such low amounts, especially with a few waiver wires that occur at this time of year.
The next category is the ‘bust, or just needs a new home’ type of player. The only trade I see which is close to this is Montreal’s trade with the Ducks earlier in the season: in which Maxim Lapierre—a second round pick that never lived up to his expectations on the bleu rouge blanc—was trade for a fifth round pick in next years draft and Brett Festerling (an undrafted Dman with 80 games of NHL experience). In the past this has often been a former first rounder for another former first rounder type of trade.
The only player on this list, really, for me is Brule. Not Cogliano since the coaching staff seems to have a lot of faith in him and the fact the Oilers have always included him in block-busters that fail to get off the ground. So Brule is a former lottery (albeit low lottery pick at 5th overall), and has skill and physicality in his game. He could be used by a playoff bound team on the fourth line, which has the skating legs, checking ability, and offensive awareness (aka shot) to be able to step up for a few shifts / games on a higher line. If I were a playoff team, Brule would be a higher target for my fourth plus lines then old Blackhawks like Eager or Fraser.
The problem is his contract: 1.85 Million next season. He is not too expensive (that he only cost 0.5 million against the cap for the rest of this year) so it is a high risk, high reward gamble: Brule could turn out bad but he could also turn out good. The price for a ‘Brule’ type player is about often an exact equivalent: a former first rounder, who has great potential, little likely chance to live up to that potential, and serviceable in a good/excellent team’s fourth line and on a bad teams second or third line. Most likely it would either be a failed first or second rounder and maybe a low pick coming back.
Players for Sale: Brule, Cogliano (for a Defenseman?). Buyers: Tampa, Montreal, Carolina, Atlanta, Detroit, Anaheim, Phoenix, Blackhawks, Calgary (not with us), and Columbus. All for different reasons but they could all use a player like Brule or Cogliano right now. Lots of teams could use this type of player . . . including Edmonton.
Then there is the solid veteran 3rd liner, on a playoff team, type of trades, which include the vets that are normally entering their UFA playing on the bottom feeders of the league. Obvious that is not the exactly the case for Kelly that took a trip to B-town for a second rounder, but Jamie Langenbrunner’s jaunt back to Dallas for 3rd or 2nd pick in this next two years: please see here for the complications. The Oilers have nobody up front that fits this bill (this is one of two reasons we are worst in the fuck’n league). Maybe Ryan Jones, but he is not get you a 2nd round pick maybe a fourth or a prospect . . . maybe.
Players for Sale: Jones? Buyers: Everyone in the playoff run except Nashville & Washington maybe?
Last you have the upper limit, as of right now: the Versteeg or Fisher Deals. Now I like the Fisher deal better on both sides . . . Fisher is a better player then Versteeg (while quite different) . . . and I like the return better too. I know Burkie gets that 3rd pick right now—and he using it for lube in his giant ego-stroke at trade dead line—and the one Murray gets is still a might get. But it has the chance to go up to a second round pick if the very deep Nashville team wins in the playoffs. I also like future picks since Ottawa gets the second next year and they can decide whether to draft a player or use it as trade bait in the second year of the rebuild.
The Oilers that fit this bill are Hemsky and Penner. I really don’t want to talk about them today so I am just going to suggest that these deals are the starting point for Hemsky or Penner . . . both I consider better players with playoff jewelry or experience.
Players for Sale: the above two mentioned players. Buyers: The City of Angels, the Apex of Country Music, The Quebecois, Steel Town USA, and maybe where CNN is located: just to name a few.
The three major defensemen trades I would like to focus on are: Mara, Beauchemin, & Wisniewski. Mara is obviously the least, with the Ducks only getting their own 5th round pick back (which they gave up in Lapierre trade). This does not look good for Vandermeer’s trade value right now. Montreal obviously winning the Lapierre trade since they got two pseudo-NHL defenders to shore up the bottom of the NHL and top of the AHL roster on the blue. Their luck has been terrible with injuries (their top two defenders in my opinion); they have relied on their depth at this position while continuing to add. Wisniewski for the compensatory 2nder rounder they have on a failure to sign an old first round and another conditional 5th rounder next year. Vandermeer is not this good but maybe Smid is? Beauchemin looks like a logical hockey trade: a top defender (this time with years on his contract, weird!) for a NHL player, prospect and random draft choice + matching salaries/ish. I don’t see the Oilers Brass trading Gilbert for such a small amount (or maybe I hate Lupul). We don’t have any other players that fit this bill.
And it doesn’t matter anyway; GMs get crazy for Dmen at the Deadline. The prize is more rhizomatic then structural. Who knew that Staois could get you a third rounder?* Why is Pronger always trade for a handful of assets? There seems to be a free flowing set of relationships been these trades: less structured value, which is often more context specific (who the trading partners are, their needs, the players involved themselves, etc…). There are always the vets that go for picks at the deadline but what those picks are is a mystery to me. If forwards are like the old family-tree method of biology, then defensemen are more like cladistic in contemporary biological science.
Players for sale: Everyone but Gilbert and Petry. Buyers: every team trying to make the playoffs, there is a player here to fit anyone’s budget (Smid could go for a second, vis-à-vis Grebeshkov logic; Vandermeer must be available for a 3rd or 4th, if you wait long enough you might be able to get him for a 5th; what would Peckham cost you to be a 6th /7th defender on a decent team? Some picks and prospects?)
Lastly, the Islanders have made a couple goalie trades . . . not surprising since they have an old back-up goalie (with out NHL management experience) and a little man—crazier than any goalie—in charge of the team. Look, I didn’t even need to mention their 15-year contract to a broken 1B tandem goalie. So Rollie for D prospect Ty Wishart and Al Montoya for a 6th round pick. I think even Tambo could of got a lot higher pick out of the Island for either Gerber or JDD . . . I am assuming that he wants OKC to win or at least try.
Players for Sale: No one.
* If we are thinking about Derek’s suggestion to be a buyer not a seller at the Deadline, which does not look to be a bad idea . . . I like his logic. Then wouldn’t it be along that line to add the Flames pick into market? Not for a pure rental, but their might be a 3rd line centre with a couple years on his contract available? Maybe here is wishing!