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Number 1 D-man. What's it going to take?

All talk about the Edmonton Oilers
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:26 am
What’s it going to take?

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No doubt about it, the Edmonton Oilers blue-line has been thin for quite some time now, many fans agree that this is an issue that management must address and soon. How long has it been, two, three, four, five seasons? In 2006 the Oilers iced a defensive group oozing with experience and battle scars. This defensive group was anchored with Jason Smith, Chris Pronger, Steve Staios and young Marc-Andre Bergeron with a few other D-men rounding out the back end. A respectful defensive group, I’d say.


The season following the cup run of ’06 the Oilers defence changed, along with the rest of the team, and as fans of the Edmonton Oilers we all know the bumpy ride it’s been. Since the lockout we’ve witnessed a few “block-buster” type deals go down and I wish to examine some of the notable deals involving the “big name” defensemen.

August 3rd 2005 – Chris Pronger


To the Edmonton Oilers:
Chris Pronger (D)

Edmonton receives an elite calibre defenseman in Chris Pronger, a number one defensemen with grit, nastiness, offensive capabilities and the ability to log a ton of minutes. What is going the other way?

To the St. Louis Blues:
Eric Brewer (D)
Jeff Woywitka (D)
Doug Lynch (D)

Eric Brewer
Larry Pleau may have sugar coated Brewer a little bit but he was a promising young d-man that had some upside, with a ceiling of becoming a top pairing guy. (Please correct me if I’m wrong).

"Eric Brewer (26) has been a premier defenseman in the National Hockey League for the past several seasons and we are very excited about the talents he brings to the Blues," said Pleau. "We are also adding two skilled younger defensemen who are clearly up-and-coming players at this level. We're looking forward to having all three of these players in our lineup together one day in the future." – Larry Pleau St. Louis Blues Senior Vice President & General Manager

Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch
These were two bubbling defensive prospects in the system that showed promise at the time of the trade.

At the time Blues seemed press financially, so sending salary heavy Chris Pronger to Edmonton for young, promising Eric Brewer and futures, a deal was made.

January 31st 2010 – Dion Phaneuf



To the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Dion Phaneuf (D) ($6.5 Mil Cap hit until 2013/14)
Dredrik Sjostrom (LW/RW) ($750k Cap hit until 2010/11
Keith Aulie (D) (Prospect)

I think Burke sums up the trade pretty good. Phaneuf was obviously the big name in this trade but also getting prospect Keith Aulie was pretty important too.

"It takes some offence out of our lineup and that's the next question ... who replaces that offence we lost today, but it puts a major weapon on the blueline and makes us much more difficult to play." – Brian Burke

To the Calgary Flames:
Matt Stajan (C) (UFA)
Niklas Hagman (LW/RW) ($3 Mil Cap hit until 2011/12)
Jamal Mayers (F) (UFA)
Ian White (D) (RFA)

To get a good grasp on what was coming to Calgary I think reading Kent Wilson’s post at MatchsticksandGasoline gives us good insight from the Flames perspective.

http://www.matchsticksandgasoline.com/2 ... e-analysis (Analysis on players all from MatchsticksandGasoline)

Stajan
“Stajan seems to get similar press to Daymond Langkow: good secondary center, but not a legit first line guy. The 27 year old is on pace for a career season this year (61 points) and he's only crested 50 points once. That said, he's right in the meaty curve of his development arc, has managed more than 2 points per 60 minutes at ES this year (despite a rancid on-ice SH% and PDO) and leads the Maple Leafs in terms of PP efficiency with 4.37 PPP/60. Those are all favorable signs for a club desperate for more scoring.”

Hagman
“Toronto's leading goal scorer is fast and relatively capable at both ends of the ice. Hagman is the second most efficient producer of points at ES for TOR this year behind Alexei Ponikarovsky (who I would have liked, but whatchagonnado?). Hagman is 30 and signed long-term for $3M/ season. I laughed at the Leafs when they signed Hagman after his 27 goal outburst in Dallas, but he's been a legit top 6 forward during his time in Toronto.

Like Stajan, his level of competition was middling.”

White
“This player might actually be the jewel of the deal from a Calgary perspective. White is to the Maple Leafs what Giordano is to the Flames. A big time scorer in junior, the only defender facing tougher minutes than White this season was Francios Beauchemin.“

Mayers
“No need to include his stats. Mayers is a physical 4th line option. He's probably no better than Nystrom, Sjostrom, Prust, etc. and was probably a salary throw-in. He drops the gloves on occassion and you don't want him caught on the ice against good players.”

To me, this deal seemed like a “shake-up” for the Flames with the opportunity of adding some potential offense but more importantly being more flexible with the cap. Although Burke paid with offense and roster d-man, he never sent a “big name”, top line/number one pairing guy the other way to get Phaneuf a warrior and potential stud d-man patrolling the blue for years to come (personally I'm not a fan of the ogre).

January 19th 2011 – Erik Johnson



To the Colorado Avalanche:
Erik Johnson (D)
Jay McClement (F)
Conditional 1st Round Pick 2011 or 2012

To the St. Louis Blues:
Chris Stewart (F)
Kevin Shattenkirk (D)
Conditional 2nd Round Pick 2011 or 2012-01-19

"We're very excited to acquire a young emerging power forward in Chris Stewart and a top young NHL defenceman in Kevin Shattenkirk.

These are two solid young players who will help us now as we continue to grow and improve our team." – Doug Armstrong St. Louis Blues GM

This deal in my eyes was a good ol' hockey trade. Focusing more on the players in transaction rather than the cap. Erik Johnson traded to the Avalanche, a number one pick who may have not been reaching expectations of his draft pedigree in St. Louis. In my opinion he was a solid addition to the Avalanche blue line, even if it will take him some more time to develop I think the Avalanche added a key piece to their blue-line and future. I also believe that the Avalanche paid quite a hefty price in this trade, sending young offensive d-man Shattenkirk (22) (7G 19A 46GP at the time) and young powerforward Stewart (23) (13G 17A 36GP) but time will tell.

So what’s it going to take?


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With Shea Weber going through arbitration this summer signing the one year deal worth $7.5 Million, rumours and arm chair proposals have been running rampant ever since. Will Shea Weber actually sign in Nashville? With the long term deal Pekka Rinne signed earlier this season, management has shown that they have money and are willing to spend it on their players but are their players willing to stay? Shea Weber may be an RFA but as the deadline and off-season approach Ryan Suter contract negotiations still remain a mystery.

Seeing a few of the trades above what do you think it would take to acquire Ryan Suter or even Shea Weber? As is right now what do you think it would take before the deadline? How about after the deadline and in the off-season, knowing that one of or either of the guys are not willing to sign in Nashville? There are a lot of scenarios to to think of but looking at the trades above the deal seems possible without using our big three in RNH, Hall or Eberle. Our 2012 1st Round Pick would be a pretty substantial addition to any trade proposal but do you think we can get a trade done for a defenseman without it? I think the possibility is there.

Our blue line is young, thin and suffering growing pains. Drafting a defenseman is a possibility but with that usually comes a lot of time in development. We could potentially speed up the process of the rebuild solidifying our blue-line and acquiring that number one d-man. So what's it going to take?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:03 am
A solid breakdown of some major deals.

But maybe the question should be: What are we willing to give up?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:50 am
Good stuff Zack...

Also posted on the blog:
http://puttingonthefoil.com/2012/01/wha ... zackman35/
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:09 am
Here's my take on things, as posted on the blog... and I guess my post addresses NorwegainOiler's question



Thanks for yet another quality guest post, Zack.

The thing is, usually (except when Mad Mike is involved) a GM is making a trade to get something out of it, obviously. BUT it’s not always a good player they’re trying to get out of it. Some teams just want to dump off salary. You have your habitual losers like the Islanders that are frequently drafting great players and then shipping them off elsewhere because they don’t want to pay top dollar. The same happens to a lot of the small market teams. It’s all about knowing when you have a team behind the eight ball, and offering them something that will help fix their financial situation while giving them a glimmer of hope for the future.

So for me, I think we can target the Predators and not have to break apart our big 3 at all to get Weber.

Assets I would use in any trade for a big name D-man:
Linus Omark, Ales Hemsky, Tyler Pitlick, Ryan Martindale, Curtis Hamilton, Ryan Whitney, Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante, Colten Teubert, Eric Belanger, Cam Barker, our first rounder in 2012 (would completely lower any other pieces we’d have to package with it), our 2013 1st rounder, any other picks.

Really, we have a lot to work with here. BTW, before anyone thinks I’m crazy, I didn’t mean packaging all those guys for one guy like Weber. I mean, that’s the better pieces we could draw from (plus more, for the right price).

There are lots of players who could be on the table. I think our fans can commonly undervalue our worth here as much as some people overvalue it. We have a fairly deep farm system… just many of our players won’t be ready for 2-3 years. We don’t have the patience for it, but there are other teams out there that have made a name for themselves for being the rest of the NHL’s development teams.

We can definitely make a trade for Weber, or Suter, or other big name guys. I have no doubt about that. Suter is also holding out in Nashville because he wants to see what the Predators will do to improve the team there (to show commitment from GM) before signing. The team may not be willing to do that.

It’s all about taking advantage of a team at the right time
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:56 pm
Thanks for all of the positive feed back guys, always appreciated! And Racki makes a good point with taking advantage of a team at the right time. It can make a big difference if you make an offer on a team at the deadline as opposed to in the offseason, again it all depends on the situation.

To go after a big name d-men I think the Oilers have the right pieces without giving up too much, kind of similar to the Pronger package. I think more likely than not it would take a well established player, still somewhat young with a little more potential to grow. Depending on the need of the team, a young guy with potential but hasn't quite reached it yet and then a prospect or pick.

What would Edmonton have to offer?
I) Smid or Gilbert (Would cornerstone the deal from are end - the established player with a little room to grow)
II) Petry or Gagner or Hartikainen (Young player with potential, still quite a lot of space to grow)
III) Mid level prospect (Marincin, Pitlick etc.) or 2012 2nd Round Pick

I'm still highly reluctant to trade our first pick and I think we have the right pieces, players to make the trade without having to use it. Depending on who we go after would affect how we build our package. If we went after Weber, being a RFA I think it would take something in the neighborhood of Smid or Gilbert (more likely Smid) + Petry + Prospect/Pick. Personally I wouldn't like giving up Smid especially when we don't have another high calibre defensive d-man coming up anytime soon but I think a team accepting a deal for a big name d-men would more likely accept a defensive d-man + potential offensive d-man in Petry.

That's my take on things anyway.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:07 pm
I think it depends on who you aim for when you put a package together for Suter/Weber

Smid/Gilbert
MPS
2nd/1st

I think MPS would be involved in any deal due to his defensive play, he'd be able to adapt and fit into Nashville's system pretty quickly.

You would need to know you can sign them both to a long extension though.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:15 pm
I definitely wouldn't move Smid. It might sound crazy, since we're talking about getting a superb talent back, but Smid is a cheaper d-man that plays a strong shutdown game. He should be a key piece here, as preventing goals is just as important as scoring them. I'd move Gilbert though, although I do like him. However I think his salary is too much to take on for most GMs. We'd have to be also including another good player in there. I still think we could sub in some guys like Omark for offense. Although I'm not sure he'll be of interest to them, if they are really going for a playoff push.

I hate making suggestions cause they generally aren't balanced. lol

Alan: MPS would be a tough sell to move for me. I think people are devaluing him because he's struggled early on, but I think he's just slow in adjusting to the league, rink size, learning how to play to his size, etc... I think one day it will all come together. So if we're giving up MPS, that drastically reduces the cost on our side, for me.. that means no Smid, no 1st.... some other stuff should go, but not Smid or the 1st. Just my 2 cents.

I realize I'm likely overvaluing our side here though. But I just know from past trades that we can be more stingy.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:18 pm
BTW, I posted this on the Blog, but the CBC dudes were talking about Hemsky trade today (talk of the mainstream media.. even Toronto is jumping on it). He WILL be traded by the deadline, I'm certain... so long as he stays healthy.

The one CBC insider suggested we could get Jonathan Blum and a 1st from Preds for him, or perhaps Ryan Ellis. I'm a big fan of Ellis.. I just wish he had more size. But him and Hall together on the PP again? Ohhh boy..
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:27 pm
Racki wrote:I definitely wouldn't move Smid. It might sound crazy, since we're talking about getting a superb talent back, but Smid is a cheaper d-man that plays a strong shutdown game. He should be a key piece here, as preventing goals is just as important as scoring them. I'd move Gilbert though, although I do like him. However I think his salary is too much to take on for most GMs. We'd have to be also including another good player in there. I still think we could sub in some guys like Omark for offense. Although I'm not sure he'll be of interest to them, if they are really going for a playoff push.

I hate making suggestions cause they generally aren't balanced. lol

Alan: MPS would be a tough sell to move for me. I think people are devaluing him because he's struggled early on, but I think he's just slow in adjusting to the league, rink size, learning how to play to his size, etc... I think one day it will all come together. So if we're giving up MPS, that drastically reduces the cost on our side, for me.. that means no Smid, no 1st.... some other stuff should go, but not Smid or the 1st. Just my 2 cents.

I realize I'm likely overvaluing our side here though. But I just know from past trades that we can be more stingy.


I'd rather give up Whitney than Smid, but salary and injury history may devalue him, especially with Nashville having Rinne on a 7m cap hit, and Weber and Suter both needing to be extended to a similar level of salary, so if they move only one of them they'll still be looking at over 14 million tied up in 2 players, meaning lower salaries or ELC will have to go back.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:33 pm
I think MPS has potential but I don't think he'd sell well at the moment, not with how his season has gone. At the beginning of the season I would have included him but I think his value is far less than that of Petry/Gagner/Hartikainen - I think these guys could help out a team right now (Nashville), and that's what they'd be looking for. I would grade Paajarvi as one of our top tier prospects, along with Klefbom.

Smid is my favorite d-man on the team and one of my favorite players in the organization. I would personally hate to see him go but to get a Weber type player I think he'd have to be going the other way unfortuneatly. I don't hate Gilbert but I'd much rather see him go over Smid... I wouldn't be torn if I saw him in a deal, especially for a Weber or Suter but I doubt that would happen.

It's wierd, at times I've read that Suter is equal to if not greater than Weber but I'm assuming that's only after fans watching certain games... Either way it sounds like these two guys would be quite an addition to any blue-line.

EDIT: I have a feeling Hemsky is on his way out too, I'm kind of hoping he gets to play for Detriot, I think he'd fit in quite good there and being Detriot the possibility of success is always there. Then again if we get a return like Blum or Ellis I would be pretty happy too, as long as we don't have to give up mouth more than Hemsky. If we get a reasonable return I wouldn't complain, especially with his injury woes. I just hope ST doesn't jump on a shitty deal, I'd rather risk signing him cheap for a season or two.

Blum or Ellis would be a nice addition but ST better not stop there, I hope he'd still peruse Weber/Suter or an experienced/established top pairing d-man.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:45 pm
Yah really, I'd rather see Whitney go over Smid, and even instead of Gilbert. This isn't based on his injury history btw.. that's just one problem.. I haven't really been completely sold on him. Don't get me wrong, I like Whitney, but I think that foot injury took too much off him, so even when he's "healthy" he is questionable.

But yes, Whitney likely won't get it done due to salary, and ditto for Gilbert.

As crazy as it sounds, I would probably due Petry over Smid, in that case. I think Petry is a solid player that other GMs could be keen on too... but I think where Petry brings a bit of a mixed bag with decent offensive potential, Smid brings the physical and defensive game VERY adeptly. There are always other options. A major deal is not going to hinge on Smid, I don't think.

Maybe Nashville wins the Hemsky sweepstakes, which would go a long way for them this year. Give them Hemsky.. give them a d-man that shows promise but their scouts maybe don't have a beat on yet (Petry, Plante - OK that's a long shot.. lol, etc..).. give them a pick..

I have to ask too (on a slightly related note, but kind of off topic)... if Nash trades one of Suter or Weber, do you guys think the other will re-sign? I really don't.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:00 pm
If Suter gets traded at the deadline (I can't see Weber being traded then), I think it would depend on who they get/how far they'd make it in the playoffs. Nashville has ~14 Million Cap space to work with? Lots if they were only trying to sign only those two but I think they have to address a few other areas. I think Smid/Petry would look quite good with their
cap space, with Rinne bogging them down (horrible contract) they probably will look for cheaper players if they can knowing they can't sign both unless they make a salary dump somewhere.

I'm not sure how arbitration works so if Weber doesn't want to resign does he have that option? I think the length they go in the offseason will play a big part in the decision.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:06 pm
Nashville's realistic internal cap shouldn't allow them to spend to the cap.. so yah, they really need to drop salary.

I believe a player can elect salary arbitration any year they want (when RFA)... but they can only be taken (i.e. team requested) to arbitration once. Arbitration would most certainly result in the Preds walking if they signed Suter already to a big contract.

But yah, I'm thinking if they pick up Hemsky for this year's playoff push, Jeff Petry.. a 2nd or lower pick and/or maybe Omark or something for the long run.. we could pry away Weber.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:33 pm
I'm going to respectfully disagree here Racki with the Weber proposal, I don't think Hemsky could be the cornerstone of the deal in that trade, not with the worry with his shoulder (Hotstove mentioned Holland's worry and I'm sure other GM's are equally concerned). I would probably place Hemsky in the Gagner/Hartikainen/Petry part of the deal and if we paired him up with Gilbert that might be too much cap for them to take on.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:44 pm
I wasn't so much thinking of him as the "Cornerstone" in our deal, but going with the EA Sports NHL mentality of trading (give them a bunch of modest assets to add up to one big one.. lol). So yes, I can agree with you
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:53 am
Racki wrote:Nashville's realistic internal cap shouldn't allow them to spend to the cap.. so yah, they really need to drop salary.

I believe a player can elect salary arbitration any year they want (when RFA)... but they can only be taken (i.e. team requested) to arbitration once. Arbitration would most certainly result in the Preds walking if they signed Suter already to a big contract.

But yah, I'm thinking if they pick up Hemsky for this year's playoff push, Jeff Petry.. a 2nd or lower pick and/or maybe Omark or something for the long run.. we could pry away Weber.


Nashville have got another investor in this year apparently and are now capable of spending if the GM thinks it's needed.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:00 am
Interesting... that I didn't know. The Predators have decent attendance numbers, but I wonder if that has more to do with ticket price there than anything. I'd be interested to see just how long and how willing to spend they would be. But if they do have the money to go to the cap, then there's no reason they can't sign both Weber and Suter. However, they're still losing money there with a $50M payroll (although they aren't bleeding it like Phoenix), so I wonder really how much more they can realistically spend. I'd estimate that it would be another $9M in salary going to Suter, Weber and Rinne if they kept all 3. That's a lot of kablingy right there that they may not ever get back.

They can really easily stay under cap with all of the big 3, but I still wonder if they'd be able to stay under their own cap even if they do have an investor willing to kick in cash. I think they'll still need some scorers there too (more $$$) before they really go places and/or draw the big crowds.

Boy could they ever use a Nail Yakupov there... :lol:
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:49 pm
teams to trade players to at the deadline based on how much 'space' they have:

East:
Ottawa: 56m
Winnipeg: 52m
Boston: 13m
New Jersey: 12m
Pittsburgh: 8m
New York R: 5m
Washington: 5m

West:
Nashville: 66m
St Louis: 43m
Detroit: 26m
Chicago: 22m
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:59 pm
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/To ... 01281.html

So Garioch says Pecks and Sutton are being shopped. What do you think? I think we keep both and wait for the draft in
Ess we are getting back a stud on D, but that kind of trade would be hard to pull off without Gagner and an Omark type being in the mix.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:01 pm
I've heard some rumblings that Tyler Myers might be available for the right price...

I know it's pretty unlikely but if so I wonder if a package like Hemsky, PRV, Peckham and our first for Myers, Kassian, Gaustad and Buffs first?

Hall Nuge Eberle
Hartikainen Gagner Kassian
Smyth Horcoff Omark
Lander Gaustad Jones

Whitney Myers
Smid Gilbert
Sutton Petry
-Bringing mediocrity to a new level of awesome-
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