Now that we’ve established there are going to be players leaving YEG, let’s have a look at specific players and why they’ll be out the door—and more importantly—why a team would trade for them.
- Why Are they trading him? If the Oilers decide to do a re-set on Yakupov, it will be a mistake. However, in his postseason presser, Craig MacTavish did not mention Yakupov as the big part of the future (Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Schultz were mentioned) in Edmonton. That same article tells us MacT said they were committed to developing Yak City, but I think there’s a reasonable doubt in the organization’s mind.
- Why does he have value? Yakupov has the potential to score 40 goals a year. Exceptional potential value.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? I think it’s going to be close. If Edmonton can find a young player who better fits their plan, they may pull the trigger. I believe that may include men like Michael Dal Colle and Nick Ritchie, who will go No. 5 or later at the draft.
- Why Are they trading him? Sam Gagner hasn’t improved his play at center, and it’s been a long time. He won a big contract from the Oilers and was going to have a hard time delivering full value for it even before the injury. It feels like time, although he could re-invent himself as a winger.
- Why does he have value? Gagner’s a solid offensive player. Two years ago, he posted a 1.94/60 at 5×5 and in 12-13 he was a monster on the power play. A team with responsible two-way wingers could protect Gagner without the puck and employ him as an offensive force with strong zone starts and 5×4 time.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? Yes. In return, I expect the club will either acquire a similar talent with a wider range of skill (Josh Bailey, etc) or they might trade him for picks and use the $4.8M in free agency. I think he’s gone.
- Why Are they trading him? I think Perron is the ‘outer marker’ player Edmonton would trade for a legit top center. If they can get that player, and part of the ask is Perron, I suspect MacT would pull the trigger.
- Why does he have value? David Perron is a skill player with grit and responsibility. I have no idea why St. Louis traded him, but it was an error.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? No. If Martin Hanzal is available, and Perron is the ask, then the Oilers would have to consider it.
- Why Are they trading him? The Oilers make this contract a big decision in their team-building template. They proceeded with Sam Gagner last season, buying some free agent seasons. Steve Tambellini moved the problem to here, and now Craig MacTavish has to address it. Free agent seasons for Petry are going to cost money, a guess would be well north of $4M dollars. How many years? How much investment? Does he fit the plan? We’ll know soon.
- Why does he have value? Petry has terrific value, although I’ve never been completely convinced the Oilers think as much of him as they should.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? No. I think he stays. Edmonton doesn’t have much experience back there, and Petry is a strong option. I think MacT may have arrived just in time, based on his postseason comments: “Jeff Petry — for some of the criticism that he took at times, had a career year in a lot of statistical categories. He’s a developing player as well.”
- Why Are they trading him? The Oilers have to give in order to get, and may feel Oscar Klefbom is ready to take on Marincin’s role in their top 6D. Remember this club is committed to Andrew Ference, and may be bringing in a top pairing option. The LH side this fall may feature the new hire on 1LH, Klefbom on 2LH and Ference as 3LH. It’s possible.
- Why does he have value? Marincin arrived NHL ready, and played extremely well this season. You could argue he was their best defenseman and get very little push back from anyone, and he’s still developing as a player. Exceptional potential, and there was interest last summer (Vancouver).
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? I believe there’s a real chance he’s dealt. Edmonton badly needs a veteran presence who can play way over 20 minutes a night, and there may some available (Phaneuf, Byfuglien, Coburn, Ehrhoff). Part of the ask will surely be a young defenseman with the potential to grow into that role.
- Why Are they trading him? The Oilers may not want to qualify him, and there has been interest in Hamilton in the past.
- Why does he have value? As we approach draft day, teams may want to deal off excess picks (some teams have a ton) and take a flyer on a more advanced prospect. Hamilton has shown flashes, and was a second-round pick not terribly long ago.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? Yes, and I think a late-round pick comes in return. Maybe it will be Dallas again.
- Why Are they trading him? Martin Gernat is EXACTLY where the Houston Astros were in the early 1970s with John Mayberry, Cliff Johnson, Bob Watson, Mike Easler and those other bats. A ton of similar talents all clustered together, enough to feed an entire division back in 1971.
- Why does he have value? Like Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, this young man has size, speed and range. His abilities are raw compared to the others, but we were saying that about Marincin not so long ago.
- Will he go and what will the Oilers get? Yes. A smart team is going to ask after him, and the Oilers have so many other options it won’t feel like pain.
As I mentioned in last night’s post, this is an extremely dangerous summer for Craig MacTavish. The career of a young player like Martin Marincin is like viewing a iceberg above the water—impressive, but a whole lot we can’t see. There’s every chance he’ll be in this league in 2025—seriously. That’s a lot of talent to send away for veteran help.
Now. Everything I just said about Marincin? Apply it to Gernat. The Oilers have a lot of nice things developing now, and many are at the pro level.
Keep Calm and choose wisely, Craig MacTavish.
(Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)