Babe In The Woods

The signing of Andy Sutton today suggests to me we are now in waiting for a Chris Pronger style trade. Three-for-one in an effort to acquire a complete defenseman who can impact all three disciplines. I have no names in mind, but we should be looking for a defenseman making good money on the way to making really good money.

It might be an rfa like Mike Green or Erik Johnson, or it could be a player who may have had some off ice issues (Dustin Byfuglien). Why do I think that’s what will happen? The Oilers signing of Sutton basically means they can bring back all of the men from this year’s blue:

  1. Tom Gilbert
  2. Ladislav Smid
  3. Corey Potter
  4. Jeff Petry
  5. Ryan Whitney
  6. Andy Sutton
  7. Theo Peckham

If the club is serious about getting better, then standing pat on a team that can see 30th in their rear view is just about the dumbest thing they could do this summer. So, with that in mind, there are three ways to acquire a quality defender with a complete skill set

  1. draft a Denis Potvin
  2. offer sheet Shea Weber
  3. make a three-for-one trade

There is no Denis Potvin in the draft, although I’m pretty certain Edmonton will select one of Ryan Murray, Matt Dumba or Griffin Reinhart. They could certainly OS Shea Weber, but there’s nothing that say Nashville won’t match. Three three for one. The old Pronger trick. I was kind of kidding about Green (huge injury risk) but that’s the kind of deal I see this team making. Their ducks are in order.

And who knows? Maybe Buffalo loses their mind and trades Tyler Myers.


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50 Responses to "Babe In The Woods"

  1. TheOtherJohn says:


    We could draft Denis Potvin but he’s 57. Mind you he’d still have quicker feet than Barker. Wonder if he’d be top 4 on this team?

  2. spoiler says:

    Despite those beautiful, haunting eyes, I have trouble not thinking of the man Natassja inherited them from, Klaus.

    I will be surprised if there’s a defenceman of that quality coming back our way. It would almost surely have to come from a team not in the playoffs. I can’t see either Vish or Pitkanen returning here, and there’s not much else out there for top end talent below the playoff waterline. The Habs have some possibilities but no one of that level. TO is a possibility, but don’t want to trade their top guys. And just lost Gunnarson.

    Green is about the only possible, but with his injury issues, I’d have to think Whitney is going back the other way.

    TSN just said Hainsey and Oduya are the two Dmen off the Jets available.

  3. Traktor says:

    If Edmonton wasn’t rivals with Calgary we might make a good fit.

    Bouwmeester for Gagner?

    Subban sure would be nice. Montreal would be dumb to trade him but he has a lot of flair and Montreal makes weird decisions.

    Gagner + Hemsky (deal him for something Montreal could use) + MPS

  4. spoiler says:

    Dreger: Oilers shopping for top 4 dman and depth forward. Gagner and Paajarvi are outside possibilities to be moved.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Well that’s the three for one! 🙂

  6. TheOtherJohn says:

    Have no clue how you get top 4 D man at this time of year if Hall, Eberle, RNH, Gagner MPS and 2012 1st are off table. Lowebellini cloned as management elsewhere??

  7. Lowetide says:

    It doesn’t have to be now, in fact one doubts it will be. However, the Oilers signing of Sutton makes sense only as the backdrop of a bigger deal.

    Who signs all 7 defenseman from such a shitty year and then stands pat?

  8. TheOtherJohn says:

    Sorry Spoiler….. Misread, see that Gagner and MPS could be in play for top 4 D

    LT Re standing pat Q: it is the Oilers got face-off guy after 3 years

  9. spoiler says:

    Myers… Dammit LT, you’ve got me fantasizing.

    I don’t see any way they trade him, but in a weak draft I would be willing to throw this year’s 1st into the hat.

  10. spoiler says:

    Jack Johnson was Dreger’s dark horse for a trade. Now I can see Hemsky involved with that name.

  11. Gret99zky says:

    C’mon LT, since when has injury risk been a deterant to signing players round here?

    Sutton’s next couple of suspensions will be quite substantial (thus the added contract $’s) and so Tambi may well be buying his “last year it was injuries, this year one of our top veteran D’s has been out half the season” bit for finishing in the lottery next year.

    Also, an OS on any player that includes any future #1 pick would be suicide under this management group. (see Sutton signing)

    PS. I like the deal and term.

  12. pboy says:

    LA trades for Hemmer, who then scores a highlight goal on his 1st shift as a King and separates his shoulder on his 2nd. We would be able to hear Lombardi’s screams all the way up here in Edmonton……

  13. doritogrande says:

    Having seen Alphabet play for the Jets (because I bloody have to if I want to watch an NHL hockey game), the Oilers are out of their minds if they acquire him. He is not a defenseman. Full stop. Buddy’s got 99 problems and playing his position is one of them. He’s Paul Coffey without any wheels and an attitude problem. Sure his shot makes him an attractive piece, but remember the cautionary tale of Souray getting pylon’d on a regular basis.

    The local MSM has floated that of our higher end defensemen they’d like to see Enstrom gone. If that’s the case the Oilers should be all over him. He’s a beautiful defenseman. Great offensive skill, speed to burn and always makes the right play positionally. Doesn’t hit for much (so he’ll be more a pariah than Gilbert) but honestly who cares if he affects the game like Brian Rafalski?

    If we could somehow pry Toby away from the Jets he’d fill the need for a young, experienced Top-2 guy and be well worth the price. However the Jets are in the middle of a playoff run (say the media, I scoff at their chances) and even in the offseason Enstrom won’t come cheap. Probably in the neighborhood of Paajarvi+. I still think it’s worth it.

  14. Lowetide says:

    I’d love to have Enstrom, can’t imagine he’s available.

  15. sliderule says:

    At this point why would we draft a defenceman ?

    They only players in our system who are tracking well are defencemen.Marincin,Gernat,Bigos and Blain are all putting up good boxcars and reviews.Klefbom played better at Wjc than Larsson last year or Murray this year.

    If you look at WJC AllStar defencemen almost every one plays in NHL the next year.Is it not reasonable to expect Klefbom to do same and play well like all the rest?

    Our forwards are too small .Shouldn’t we be drafting a big forward?

  16. Lowetide says:


    If the BPA is a defenseman you should take him. I don’t think the Oilers will pass on the chance to add a defenseman though. I’d be shocked to see them take a forward unless they are picking 1 or 2.

  17. russ99 says:


    Klaus was such a great actor, especiaily in Woyzeck.

    Back to the Oilers, there has to be a deal somewhere to get us a top pairing guy. We may need to give up someone we don’t want to give up, and would have to likely give up a future first rounder, but there has to be something, if not at the deadline, than at the draft.

    Maybe we have to wait another year for FA’s since in 2013: Pietrangelo, Bogosian, Rundblad, Fowler and Ekman-Larsson are RFAs, and Hainsey, Streit and Regehr are UFA.

  18. cabbiesmacker says:

    Great minds? I could see Buffalo being a top trade partner if they’ve forgiven us for the Vanek OS. There are players on that roster the Oilers have coveted for some time, as well as some very nice prospect/younger types that would fit our needs.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a multi player swap involving some big names either.

    Washington and Toronto would make sense also.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Well if Myers and Stafford are heading to Edmonton, someone really good is going.

  20. spoiler says:

    It doesn’t have to be now, in fact one doubts it will be. However, the Oilers signing of Sutton makes sense only as the backdrop of a bigger deal.

    Who signs all 7 defenseman from such a shitty year and then stands pat?

    Well there is some hope that this means the Barker experiment is being shelved next to cold fusion.

    It could also mean that Peckham is on his way out of town.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Well, at this point signing Sutton now is like walking into a cafe, looking at the menu and starting with choice of garnish.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Hopefully they keep their nerve and make sure they pick top three in the draft.

    it’s not like everyone hasn’t already suffered.

    Three for one? How about Hemsky, Peckham and Omark for a signed Weber.

    Can they send Peckham to the AHL? if not it might be a good idea to take him out for ice cream then push him into traffic.

  23. Captain Obvious says:

    None of these are good options.

    An offer sheet for Weber is a horrible idea. The incentive structure of offer sheets is set up such that it never makes sense to make the offer in the first place. $7 million for Weber for x years? Sign me up. $7 million a year plus the next five first round picks. That’s a team killer.

    At the same time there is no such 3-1 trade that will net you an established top defenseman. Instead, I think the best bet is to aim for the Tom Gilbert’s of the world. Guys who are better than their reputations but are a step below the Norris candidates of the world. I think these guys can be had in the offseason. In the last thread I mentioned three I’d target: Sekera, Coburn, or Vlasic. I’d add Enstrom to the list but I can’t imagine he’d be available. Start with the 2013 first round pick and see what it takes.

    The third choice would be to trade for someone before they are proven NHLers. Last year’s Voynov or Gardiner. This is the best option but also the hardest to execute. This the only scenario in which a Hemsky trade would be palatable. I don’t know enough about guys in the AHL to speculate who’d be a good option here other than to say I don’t think Brendan Smith, Jonathan Blum, or Ryan Ellis qualify. I mean I’d take them but I don’t see any of them being as good as Voynov or Gardiner.

    I have no interest in anyone named Johnson. Both Eric and Jack are quite overated. I don’t really want Tyler Myers either. He’s being paid for promise and it would take a fortune. I wouldn’t trade for Mike Green either. If we can’t sign Hemsky because of injury concerns why would we want Green?

    PK Subban would be awesome. Pierre Gauthier has lost his mind, so one can dream.

    So hold tight, and trade for Sekera in the summer. That’s how winners are built.

  24. OilClog says:

    Hemsky will be gone before we trade for Weber 🙁

    How about a big trade with Nash. MPS, Omark, 1st, two other prospects for Weber and Lindback?

    Enstrom would be a sweet addition. Pecks, draft choice or two, + a prospect. Theo and Dustin would be a hilarious combo on the back end.

    Yes I know neither of these trades have a 2% chance of happening, but its fun to play GM.

  25. Woodguy says:


    Bouwmeester for Gagner?

    Its funny, talking with a buddy and we came up with that exact scenario.

    I’d love to see that happen.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Jack Johnson was Dreger’s dark horse for a trade. Now I can see Hemsky involved with that name.

    God I hope not.

    Probably one of the most overrated and overpaid Dman in the league.

    Gets killed this year and last playing 2nd pairing minutes.

    Imagine a fast Barker signed for $4.37MM until summer 2018.

    If Lombardi unloads that contract he should get GM of the year.

    I can see Tambellini trading for him.

  27. Zack says:

    I wrote a post a little while back about this very topic – original, I know. I took a look at some of the big names (defensmen) being moved in recent past. If you’re interested take a look!


    Always for drafting BPA when our pick is as high as it is. Forwards will most likely have a fast track to the show over d-men and goalies (of course). We may draft a player who can help us for years to come but I hope and believe that management is working on making this team being able to compete and not rely on that drafted player to make an impact next season.

  28. spoiler says:

    WG, agreed, although I don’t think he’s quite all as bad as that and there could be some upside if/when the light goes on.

    But I was referring more to Lombo’s love for Hemsky meeting Tambo’s love for former first round draft picks.

    I don’t think I am as convinced as LT that there’s another shoe to drop on the blue line. Years of imbalance have convinced me to always assume no-trade, in face of undeniable trade need.

  29. spoiler says:

    I’m guessing here, but I suspect one of the reasons Hemsky has been shopped for a first rounder is because the Oil have interest in a certain Russian netminder.

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    What do the numbers say about Matt Greene’s season..?

    I know he’s not Suter or Weber but I think he’d fit in with this group and he wouldn’t cost a fortune-signed for 2 more years at $2.95M.

    Has he learned to play defence since he left Edmonton..?

  31. doritogrande says:


    “I stopped listening after the word Russian”

    – Kevin Lowe

  32. ASkoreyko says:

    The best case scenario for the Oilers in my opinion is the following:

    Trade Gagner, MPS, Omark, Hemsky (pick 2 of 4) for a top 2 dman (Enstrom, Myers, J Johnson?)

    Draft Grigorenko

    Sign a top 4 vet dman

    I would hate to see Gagner go (have to give to get right?) but that should help solidfy our d-core and we should in theory be set down the middle for the next 10 years. We should still have enough wingers to be dangerous and we could finally have a dcore that can actually push the play forward.

    You would have to think if we manage to stick at #2 overall the forward makes the most sense. It has been talked about ad nauseum that forwards are quicker to develop than a D. This team can’t wait the 3-4 years for Ryan Murray to become an impact player. Deal from a position of strength and find some balance in this roster.

    Again I love Gagner, but how nice would it be to have 6’3″ Grigo skating out onto the ice after RNH’s line. Other teams would weep…

  33. DeadmanWaking says:

    I take it Kinski is a reference to the all-time great casting decision to have her play “a young lesbian who lives her life almost completely in a bear costume”. Not bare. Bear.

    I was listening to Bill Moyers interviews John Leonard today.

    MOYERS: You write in here, quote, Ours is a “buzz age. So full of yak, cable, white noise, advertisments, videos, dis-information and hypnotherapy that sorting out the signals to arrive at scruple, gravity or grace gets harder and harder.” Scruple, gravity, grace. I mean, God, those words call for something that’s missing.

    LEONARD: Those are pretty good words aren’t they? Aren’t they? They resonate. And why do they resonate? Because, boy, are they gone. Are they gone. I have to read a Toni Morrison novel to find gravity and grace, you know?

    On the internet these days, there’s an awful lot of buzz subtraction to find signal. The sane noise by the end is far from the MSM, distilled in a few crazy outposts, where the shine is good. Gone in the large. But not completely gone.

    LEONARD: Yeah, but also it’s not just the words because the words, the style always reflects a habit of mind. And the habit of mind comes in from a different angle. The habit of mind uses the colloquial here and uses the joke there. And then creates some discordant music and then something strange and wonderful happens.

    And you see things differently. You see a different light is shed on it. Well, it’s that tone.

    I go off in some fairly strange directions at times, but that’s what I’m after: to break habits of mind. I’ll take any mixture of angry, amused, or confused. Lowetide, the great Crooner, has his own habits of mind. Different than mine. Grace and gravity. And scruple too: the scruple of having a history and remembering it, and knowing what you like, leavened with sadness and hope.

    MOYERS: James Lee Burke writes in his essay in this book of, “A place each of us has in our hearts like a stained glass cathedral visited by people who are emblematic of our lives.” Do you have a place like that?

    LEONARD: I once went to the famous Kyoto temple with the Zen garden, the gravel, the little mounds and it’s, you know, it’s been pictured over and over and over again. And what they don’t tell you is that this little acre or some acre of serenity is surrounded by millions of people taking pictures. So it sounds like a storm of mosquitoes constantly. And it never stops. And there’s no serenity. And so not even in Japan can I find sanctuary.

    I went off to MC79 for a rare visit the other day. I appreciate what he’s doing there. I could wade in. I do the analytic thing all day long. I could speak with erudition about heteroskedasticity. But I don’t want to. The thing is, they can determine with numbers and elbow grease and sharp words which players are pulling their share, and which aren’t. But then, of course, the leap is to management competence (see: lack of) and that’s not entirely fair game. You can only judge a decision by knowing the option rejected. Basic game theory. Well, thanks to Bettman and the closed nature of deals unconsummated that half the information is never available. Ultimately Tambi is only incompetent if he fails at the task as Katz assigned it. We think we know what that task ought to be. But is it? If we’re wrong, and we bay for blood nevertheless, then you have the true formula for becoming the Islanders West.

    Lots of clever mosquitoes over there, but no sanctuary. I have a place that gives me sanctuary. It’s here. With hummingbirds and saviours and angels and prayers.

  34. hunter1909 says:


    Bouwmeester for Gagner?

    Its funny, talking with a buddy and we came up with that exact scenario.

    I’d love to see that happen.

    This idea is so bad it’s a joke, right? Right?

  35. hunter1909 says:

    I take it Kinski is a reference to the all-time great casting decision to have her play “a young lesbian…”

    insert any scenario here.

  36. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Like the player and term, ok with the $. One year deals are the way to go for 36 year old 5-7 D-men.
    I don’t see how the stud D-man appears until the summer ala the Pronger 3 for 1.

    What’s Boychuk going to get? 3.5-4.5M for 4-7 years?

  37. spoiler says:

    I have a place that gives me sanctuary.It’s here.With hummingbirds and saviours and angels and prayers.

    Target practice at the shooting range? What’s the best gun for angels? Prayers are hard. Like shooting will-o-wisps.

    *pops another Sinutab*

  38. FastOil says:

    “You can only judge a decision by knowing the option rejected. Basic game theory. Well, thanks to “Bettman and the closed nature of deals unconsummated that half the information is never available. Ultimately Tambi is only incompetent if he fails at the task as Katz assigned it. We think we know what that task ought to be. But is it? If we’re wrong, and we bay for blood nevertheless, then you have the true formula for becoming the Islanders West. ”

    A romantic ideal, attenuated to reality. I was raised by hippies, so for me obscure prose in the form of an opinion has little appeal mainly because the meaning is subjective, and the germinating seed of things that matter is so often clear thought and it’s communication. Even the hippie became the “yuppie”. In anything associated with the need for income or revenue, performance reigns at the end of the day. Things have to be good and work to be valuable, like this blog for example. The world is full of secrets and subterfuge, always has been, always will. Few want to give up their advantage for someone else’s gain. The agent of quixotic revelation demands to be paid, right?

    Ignoring what has become known by many astute observers and good teams would be like Kodak. There is now a more clear path to finding performance in NHL hockey players. Teams use it, our team had better get up to speed. At the end of the day, what they say needs to match what they accomplish. Even if we don’t get to know the inner workings of the league, we don’t really need to at some point soon.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Greene is a 3rd pairing guy.

  40. Gerta Rauss says:


    thanks-we’ve got plenty of those.

  41. DSF says:

    Rick Nash on the market:

  42. Gerta Rauss says:

    Terry Jones’ take on the Sutton deal.

  43. bendelson says:

    If Griffin Reinhart is on Stu”s radar (and I believe he most definitely is) then it means trading down in the draft doesn’t it? Perhaps down to 5th or 6th? And if so, what does moving down from 2 to 5/6 bring you?

    In a perfect world let me suggest:

    The Oilers get Myers and draft Reinhart.

    Buffalo gets Peckham, Omark and drafts Grigerenko.

    Just a thought. (Not enough unless Buffalo is INSANE for Grigs)

    Start with Hemsky for Jurco (also not going to happen) and Tambo isn’t a joke anymore.

    Sad that all Tambo needs to do for redemption in my mind is make a trade or two that isn’t remotely possible.

  44. peeps says:

    Based on the Oilers’ injury woes over the last 5 or so years, part of me is expecting Hemsky to get injured 2 – 3 days before the trade deadline (essentially a Souray-redux). Then, the REAL cynic in me expects a miraculous recovery before the end of the year, followed by Hemsky posting crazy-high numbers, pushing his UFA contract worth far beyOnd any reasonable budget that the Oilers may have had in mind.

    Have I been following a terrible Oilers team for too closely? I’m expecting dIsaster of comedic scale.

  45. hags9k says:

    Man do Oiler fans deserve a good trade or UFA signing though! A Myers trade or a Suter UFA would be so exciting for the fanbase, that’s how you know it won’t happen. Grossly overpaying for Mike Green sounds about right…

    I wonder how trading the 1st rounder this year (or maybe next) would effect the mindset of the team for the rest of the season. I suggest that the level of play will pick up somewhat at the moment when the organization publicly says it’s time to stop drafting and start winning.
    (This would also be the moment I slap the C on Hall’s jersey.)

    As has been mentioned recently, whatever happens with the club between now and the deadline and over this upcoming summer will likely define Tambellini’s tenure, and possibly that of the entire rebuild. Exciting times. Cmon Tambo, surprise us all and get it right!!

  46. danny says:

    I’m sitting here on the fence with Bookje and Deadman, watching everyone run amok in the fields. Clowns to the left of me Jokers to the right. Stuck in the middle with Bookje.

    Hemsky is the first person off the ice after practise is useless information. As are statements like ‘not signing hemsky is stupid’. Narrative.

    Until we know actual details of dollars and term, it’s impossible to know if signing Hemsky is a good idea or not.

    I’m willing to bet equal amounts of teeth gnashing was happening last year over Dustin Penner. not so much teeth gnashing this year.

    Personally I see merit in both sides of the Hemsky debate. I’m kind of undecided until I know the terms in cost and years. Tough to lose an ES guy like 83 and probably have to break in another kid winger. Tough to scream blue murder unless we know what he was asking, because there is a definite cutoff point with extending a guy that has his injury history.

  47. Yeti says:

    Woodguy: Imagine a fast Barker

    I’m trying really hard, but I just can’t do it.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Since LTs sharing the love:

    Hey LT… any thoughts on Rielly and/or Trouba (you always seem to mention murray, dumba and reinhart)?

  49. jfry says:

    As a guy who has watched jbo closely since his arrival…i can only say hes a waste. Id rather petry.

    Jbo constantly avoids contact because hes soft and scared — its not supreme positioning as some say.

    Id rather burn gags than do that trade.

    It would just give traktor one more player to call soft.

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