So far in his NHL career, Craig MacTavish has been fairly successful in the trade market. No GM of any tenure has a perfect record, but the Oilers GM has been able to deliver some good hockey deals for his team.
- July 2013: Traded Magnus Paajarvi and a 2nd round pick to St. Louis for David Perron. It was in fact a dear price, we knew it at the time. Having said that, I can’t imagine Oilers fans view it as a negative trade at this time. David Perron is a gritty winger with significant offense, and an actual NHL player. Paajarvi is still trying to find his way, and the pick—which, with the Oilers damnable luck, turned into Ivan Barbashev—wouldn’t be helping this Oilers team more right now than Perron.
- November 2013: Traded Laddy Smid and Olivier Roy to Calgary for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit. I didn’t like the deal at the time, but it was a win if only for the relief in cap number provided by sending Smid away.
- January 2014: Traded Devan Dubnyk to Nashville for Matt Hendricks. Many will disagree, but there was no chance DD would be back in Edmonton for 2014-15, and Hendricks has been a solid addition.
- January 2014: Traded a 3rd round pick to Los Angeles for Ben Scrivens. Edmonton’s starting goalie is struggling now, but played well down the stretch a year ago and should recover his form this year. The draft pick, Dominic Turgeon, continues to develop in the WHL.
- January 2014: Traded Ryan Martindale and Derek Nesbitt to Florida for Steve Pinizzotto and Jack Combs. A smaller deal, but it was a decent bet and Pinizzotto has provided the team with depth in the bottom 6F. He actually won an NHL job during training camp, but had to wait for it awhile.
- January 2014: Traded Cam Abney and Teemu Hartikainen to Toronto for Mark Fraser. MacT traded two players not in the future plans for a Mark Fraser audition. I think there’s still a chance Hartikainen plays in the NHL, and it could bite the Oilers in the ass if that happens.
- January 2014: Traded Ilya Bryzalov to the Minnesota Wild for a fourth-round pick. The club signed Bryzgalov as a free agent and then cashed him later in the year for an asset. The pick, William Lagesson, appears to be a prospect.
- March 2014: Traded a 2014 fifth-round pick and a 2015 third-round pick to Anaheim for Viktor Fasth. Edmonton grabbed a legit (if injury prone) NHL goaltender for a couple of distant bells. The selection, Matthew Berkovitz, is developing in the USHL. The Oilers should be able to cash Fasth for similar value this deadline.
- March 2014: Traded Nick Schultz to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a 2014 fifth-round pick. Edmonton cashed that pick for Nikita Nikitin, so this was good money after bad, not a lot to defend here.
- March 2014: Traded Ales Hemsky to Ottawa for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a 2015 third-round pick. The first selection, Liam Coughlin, is not a promising selection, but the third rounder in 2015 should be a solid prospect.
- June 2014: Traded Sam Gagner to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell. A good trade on the day they made it, and Purcell is (so far) on par with Gagner. Like Dubnyk, I think the trade was a lot about getting 89 out of town and moving on.
I don’t know who they’re going to acquire, it could be Cody Eakin or Lars Eller or Brandon Sutter or Brayden Schenn or Patrik Berglund. I would argue Oilers fans can look at Craig MacTavish’s track record and feel good about their chances of breaking even on the deal. The problem may be timing: When you’re looking for a trade, a premium is normally required. I’m not thrilled it took this long to decide on adding a center, but am pleased the decision to improve the position is finally here.
Eberle? Yes. 2015 first-round pick? Yes. Marincin? Yes. Get it done. Now.