There is a growing concern in Oilers nation about the possible return the club will see for Patrick Maroon at the trade deadline. The Edmonton Oilers are extremely unlikely to make the postseason in 2018, the current odds have them barely hanging on. There are eight teams with more than a 75 percent chance of making the playoffs, meaning there are eight spots open in two conferences.
In the eastern conference, SportsClubStats has six eastern teams (Tampa Bay, Boston, Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, Philadelphia) and six western teams (Vegas, Nashville, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Dallas, San Jose) over the 70 percent threshold at this time. Teams between 51-74 percent include Los Angeles, Dallas, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Calgary and the NY Islanders.
There are 18 teams with a 50+ chance to make the playoffs and the case can be made for each of these teams to be full-fledged buyers. The rest of the NHL, fully 12 teams, should be considered at least possible sellers.
There are three teams between 35 and 50 percent (Minnesota, Anaheim, NY Rangers) who aren’t acting like sellers and that makes sense because a winning streak could put them right back into contention. If we include these three teams, we are left with nine clear sellers, one of whom are at least contemplating their future.
- Carolina Hurricanes. Despite having a less than 30 percent chance of making the playoffs, the club is just four points behind No. 8 Philadelphia Flyers.
That leaves nine teams who should be clear sellers. Arizona, Chicago, Vancouver and Edmonton in the west, plus Buffalo, Ottawa, Detroit, Montreal and Florida in the east. When we look at whether or not it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market this year at the trade deadline, it comes down to scarcity of position and skill. Patrick Maroon of the Oilers is a big, rugged winger with skill who can play inside the top 6F. Among the teams listed here, his trade “competition” could be be Evander Kane (Buffalo), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa), Max Pacioretty (Montreal) and Thomas Vanek (Vancouver).
Maroon’s big advantage, or rather the big advantage for the Oilers in regard to offloading Maroon for value, is his price point. At $1.5 million toward the cap, his acquiring team isn’t going to need much room in order to add him to its roster. In this way, I do think this is going to be a seller’s market, at least for Maroon, at this year’s deadline. It might be a ‘five seconds to midnight’ trade but Edmonton should get real value for the big winger. What does real value look like? I’ll say a young NHL player who has shown some promise but is not central to this spring’s playoff run.