As expected, we’re about to enter a period where current Oilers are going to be discussed in trade rumors. As much as is possible, this blog will attempt to assess the ideas/rumors and we’ll come to a conclusion together in the comments section.
- Joe Haggerty, Comcast Sportsnet: Top draft choice Connor McDavid is heading to Edmonton, and there’s a good chance the Oilers will make Jordan Eberle or Taylor Hall available this summer. And a team like Edmonton will be in the market for a number of things to upgrade its flawed roster. They’ve long appreciated Milan Lucic’s game in Edmonton, and the Oilers need Lucic’s type of toughness, size and snarl among their top six forwards. Lucic is good friends with ex-Bruin and current Oilers captain Andrew Ference, and Edmonton is exactly the kind of offensive setting where the left winger could put together a gaudy contract year with free agency looming. Source
THE CONTRACTS (via NHL Numbers)
- Milan Lucic UFA 2016 summer, cap hit 2015-16 $6M and salary $6.5M
- Taylor Hall UFA 2020 summer, cap hit 2015-16 $6M and salary $6M
- Jordan Eberle UFA 2019 summer, cap hit 2015-16 $6M and salary $6.5M
The trades Mr. Haggerty is discussing above are very expensive for Edmonton. Milan Lucic’s one season in Edmonton would cost five seasons of Taylor Hall (under contract) or four seasons of Jordan Eberle.
BOXCARS, THREE YEAR TREND
This is Milan Lucic. His offense is down in 2014-15 but that isn’t news. The Bruins as a team suffered a power outage due to injury and the Lucic boxcars lost 15 points in basically the same number of games. That’s significant. Benoit Pouliot posted a higher points-per-game number this past season than Milan Lucic.
This is Taylor Hall. His worst season (2014-15) is a match for Lucic’s best year, and Hall during the two healthy seasons is among the very best LW’s in the game offensively. Unless you place enormous value on the enforcer role, these two players don’t belong in the same conversation.
This is Eberle. As with Hall, his worst season (2012-13) is a match for the best of Lucic in this window. Eberle’s best season is pretty damn close to the other two, the man is amazingly consistent. I wouldn’t trade four of these seasons for one of Lucic. Not ever.
FANCY STATS, THREE YEAR TREND
This is Milan Lucic. He’s down in 5×5/60 season over season and his Corsi for 5×5 % is trending downward as well. NHL history is absolutely full of players who are physically dominant in their 20’s and injury prone after establishing themselves. Al Secord was done by his 30th birthday, that sort of thing.
This is Taylor Hall. Those 5×5/60 numbers (this injury season aside) are top drawer, absolute impact numbers. Trading Hall may or may not be a viable option (I vote no) but trading him for Milan Lucic is bringing the crazy.
There’s a lot wrong with this trade idea from the Oilers point of view. Milan Lucic doesn’t address the club’s main issues (G and D) and he’s one year from free agency. He’s got a lot of miles on him (despite his relatively young age) and he’s expensive. Although his boxcars and fancy numbers are impressive for a player of his type, there’s simply no way to cover the gap in value between one year of Lucic and four seasons of Eberle. It’s an even bigger gap for a Hall exchange. In life, there’s hits and there are misses. This trade option misses by a substantial margin.
One more item. Peter Chiarelli is a smart guy and he’s going to improve this team, or at least try to, via all areas of procurement. There may come a time when one of these young guns is dealt but I can’t see it happening this summer and I do not see the return being a player with one year left on his contract. Mr. Haggerty’s article frames the issue very well for Bruins fans but is less satisfactory for Oilers boosters.
As an actual template for a trade? No.