Sale On Sail On, Sailor

The Edmonton Oilers will be sellers again at the deadline, watching good players sent elsewhere and waiting for the usual group from the Oildrop to head for the World Hockey Championships.

Ryan Smyth put a lot of miles on during those WHC’s each spring and one of the things I’m supremely pleased about is that he’s going to get a nice chance in Colorado this spring to win the Stanley.

The return on Smyth has been an up and down kind of thing (Nilsson is establishing himself as a replacement level NHL regular–not a shot at him in any way that’s an accomplishment, O’Marra scored a goal in the AHL tonight which means he’s actually in the AHL and Alexandre Plante is finally healthy enough to play although his offense is way off) but there’s always this year.

Here’s a list of current Oilers I can see headed out of town:

  1. Steve Staios: Any team looking for a trip deep into the playoffs is also looking for more defense. The Senators loaded up a few years back and still found themselves short as their blueline was felled by injury. Staios has shown some signs of wear which Kevin Lowe is always very aware of (Janne Niinimaa’s trade was amazingly well-timed) and Staios is valuable enough (and signed for long enough) that a fairly handsome return (1st rd pick or possibly a young contributing player). Defenseman usually go for more than you’d think at the deadline and Staios could help a team looking for a third pairing guy who could jump onto the second pairing if needed. A nice group of posts on Staios appears in the comments section of the thread below (Sunday Minor League Report)
  2. Jarret Stoll: He’s having a tough, tough season. At this point Jarret Stoll is going to be taking a massive cut in pay next season and I could see the Oilers walking away ala Boyd Devereaux. Having said that, he does have specific strengths and they have value to a playoff team. Stoll’s solid in the FO circle (he’s at 54.2% which is 20th in the NHL) and he’s used heavily on both special teams. I can see the Oilers getting a nice young prospect or a pick for Stoll from a team who recently “saw him good” like the Islanders. I like that Jeff Tambellini kid a ton, he’s got 25 AHL goals to lead that league, and that’s no beer league.
  3. Joni Pitkanen: He’s had some signability problems and since we haven’t heard anything from either side in terms of a new contract it has to be at least a concern. Lowe doesn’t have a ton of money to play with this summer so losing a Pitkanen now for good return is at least an option. A solid pick plus a player would be a must since he’s not yet a UFA.
  4. Dick Tarnstrom: Oh, he’s gone baby. The question is what is he worth? My guess is a 3rd rd pick because defensemen who can play are so valuable this time of season and Tarnstrom will be very well rested.
  5. Dwayne Roloson: He costs a lot and he’s got another season left, but Roloson (like veteran defenders) is a guy who can step in when needed. Oilers might have to take back some salary in return but it looks like Jeff Deslauriers is ready for a backup role at the NHL level so clearing his money off the books should be a priority.

I don’t see many other trading chips. Either it would be suicide (Horcoff, Hemsky) or the value isn’t strong enough (Sanderson) to bother. Reasoner might be a guy who a team looks to add for depth.

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26 Responses to "Sale On Sail On, Sailor"

  1. jon says:

    A team that I have been keeping my eye on as of late is the Carolina Hurricanes. I think that we actually match up fairly well in terms of trading:

    1.They have three d-men, two of those over 36, heading to UFA and we have many young d-men
    2. They are probably looking to be active in free agent, we can’t recruit a girl with a $20 bill hanging out of our zipper
    3. They have many more vets upfront than rookies…we all know our saga.

    I’m hoping some kind of package of staios, smid, nillson, can land a cole and a commodore (UFA). Remember I said package and this was not an attempt at making a trade proposal, those are for message boards, just what I believe we could spare and what would interest the Oil.

    As for Stoll…I hope not I think he has more value than just on the scoresheet.

    Roloson-I’m okay with it but I just hope we are not overrating Garon.

    Joni.P- I can not see it and these injuries and lack of points is the pefect bargaining tool for K.Lowe to sign a 2-3 year deal at a relatively good price

    Tarnstrom…counting the days

    Reasoner- Gone baby gone probably in some kind of package.

    Take Care,
    Jon

  2. godot10 says:

    I will predict that Staios and Roloson aren’t going anywhere. Both will play out their current contracts as Oilers, and Staios will probably will then be renewed (at a reduced rate) yearly until he retires.

    All the “money puck” guys (including you) have been arguing all year that the Oilers don’t have enough NHL veterans, and now you want to get rid of two of them.

    Staios is going to be around to show Chorney and Petry the ropes. Prediction: Staios is going to be the James Patrick of the Oilers. 3rd pairing, and eventually the 7th defenseman.

    The Oilers don’t have Luongo, Brodeur, or Kiprusoff. Lowe and MacT can’t afford to have substandard goaltending for 30 games, and thus, both Roloson and Garon are absolutely necessary, especially behind a young defense. We have yet to see Garon face adversity and how long it takes him to recover from that adversity. Having Roloson around also takes the pressure off of Garon, and vice versa, and together they are pretty cheap next year.

    The Oilers main need is a solid two-way right winger (preferably big and physical).

    I could see Stoll, Torres, or Pitkanen being traded to address that need.

    The main reason that Stoll might not be traded is that he is a right shot and good on faceoffs, and that he might be will to sign a short term deal.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    Is Roloson’s contract really such an albatross that we’re justified ditching him to the first guy to offer us Allan Rourke II? I’m not convinced it is; in spite of a couple rough nights it’s not like Rolo is done, demand for him has never been lower than it is right now, and I have horrible Conkkanen memories keeping me from embracing Garlauriers.

  4. Black Dog says:

    Already having this argument but do you really think there’s a taker for Roloson, LT? Looking at contenders, imo, they either are set in goal or could have cap issues that preclude taking on a 4M backup goalie. And what playoff team is going to give up salary (read veteran) at a time of year when every veteran body can count?

    I could see Staios getting moved and I think he would bring a nice return.

    I think he would have to get a beauty beauty deal to move Pitkanen unless he is asking for the moon and if he is then let a team make him a giant offer and get those multiple first round picks.

    Reasoner and Sanderson may very well get moved. Tarnstrom probably has his bags packed now.

    I don’t think they move Stoll.

  5. godot10 says:

    Roloson is a $3.7 million cap hit, with an actual salary of $3 million dollars next year.

  6. Black Dog says:

    hey godot10 – the Oilers didn’t have enough vets last year and they don’t have enough this year – what makes you think Lowe won’t pull the trigger on Staios or Roli?

    I personally would not want to see Staios get moved and I think there is no market for Roli.

    No market for Torres until he comes back from his injury.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Jon: I think it’s been several years since any guy could attract any girl with $20 hanging out his zipper. Oh sure in the 50s that kind of thing was common, but now? Not so much. :-)

    godot10: I’ve never read Moneyball and don’t consider myself a moneypuck guy. I sit down with an HB and an adiator while these other guys move statistical mountains. I’m not in their league.

    As for offloading veterans, this is the time of year to do that. The Oilers also need to clear cap space.

    As for Roloson, I think there will be a market for him. Some of these teams have goalies who are struggling mightily, which could be injury or old age (Olaf Kolzig looks like meat tonight in the Pens-Wash tsn game).

  8. Dennis says:

    Staios to SJ makes a tonne of sense. They are poor on D, they have money to spend and Staios is tied up for a while coming and they have enough young guys to develop that they could afford to toss away a first rounder. Only thing is that if the Oilers deal Staios, I can’t see them moving Pitkanen as well. They might think the world of Greene, Grebs and Smid but you can’t go into next season with those three plus Gilbert and Souray as your corps.

    Last time the Oilers dealt Reasoner, they Weren’t doing him a favour. This time they just might be.

    I think Stoll could fetch a lot based on past rep and current reality of PK and faceoff ability. I’d still like to keep him for ’09 as one more year of security blanketing for all of our young pivots but if someone offered something super attractive for him, it would be hard to turn down.

    Sandy’s off and on the IR and I don’t even think someone would take him as depth.

    Tarnstrom’s gone as soon as they can get him out the door.

    A final word on Roli. I was and still am a Roli guy but I wonder what he’s got left. I haven’t seen any close-to-prolonged good stretches from him this year and it seems like he’s in the one-step-up and two steps back territory. That’s not to say he’s Raycroftian but I wonder how everyone else in the league views him. If it’s as insurance, then his salary’s tough to swallow. But if someone thinks h e has another starting kick left in him, then 3.7 and 3 mill hits respectively won’t be so hard to take. Especially considering that the cap’s going up agian. Col seemed like a good early bet but now Theo’s resurging so maybe LT’s right when he picks the Caps. Not sure what the terms are left on Kolzig’s deal but perhaps Leonis would give the nod to shoot first and address payroll questions later – next summer to be exact.

    I haven’t heard who’s getting the nod in TB tomorrow night but if it’s Roli, I suspect he’s getting the showcase. I’ll be intrigued whomever gets the start because this is the first time Garon’s been passed the baton and with 8 GA allowed in the last two games, one more start with three or more GA and maybe the doubt creeps in again.

  9. Dennis says:

    One last thing about Staios. Smith’s UFA to be this coming summer and I haven’t heard a peep from Philly about if they’re interested in him come July and beyond. They don’t have a lot of other vet depth so I’m thinking they’d like to keep him but maybe the Oilers flip Staios and then bring Smith back as vet and defending help to augment puckmovers like Pitkanen, Gilbert and GULP Smid.

  10. Aaron says:

    PLEASE keep Stoll. I really hope you are dead-wrong on that one. It will be interesting for sure. He is way too useful of a player (in all aspects) to give up on after one down season.

  11. Ribs says:

    I don’t think there’s much on the block come trade deadline day for the Oilers.

    Pitkanen could possibly be moved if he won’t sign, but I imagine Lowe would take his chances with arbitration again.

    Reasoner could leave but I wouldn’t expect anything back for him.

    I can’t see Staios going anywhere after signing that contract. Lowe is a man with a plan. Trading Staios would kill whatever building strategy he has implemented since his signing.

    Tarnstrom isn’t itching for a Cup. The Oilers would get little in return for him and why weaken a defense unit that is setting records for man games lost due to injury?

    Jarret Stoll…Would anyone want him? I think he’s too young and inconsistent right now to be an effective rental player. I say Lowe gives him another year to show his worth (Hey, Raffi Torres is still around!).

    Most contending teams have already have goaltending. Roloson will likely stay for the rest of the season at least unless save a team loses it’s tender to long-term injury.

    It’s quite the pickle Lowe’s gotten himself into here and it’s mostly due to players not playing well enough to have any kind of trade deadline weight.

    I’d like Lowe to be swift enough to steal away Dallas’ bonus 1st round pick they received from Los Angeles. I think Lowe has enough to package something away for it. If he could do that, I’d say it would be a good enough day in Oiler land come February 26th.

  12. jon says:

    Another poster named Jon eh? Hmm…

    Time to change things up.

    -Jon K

  13. Mr DeBakey says:

    Add Grebeshkov

    Add one of Petry, Chorney, Peckam, Wild – no way the Oilers will be able to use all four.

    Add Schremp

    I don’t think LT is suggesting all of the names on his list will get moved.
    But they’re all possibles.
    About half are likely

  14. Steve says:

    Can you really see Staios fetching a first rounder with the deterioration he’s undergone and the money left on his contract? I have a hard time imagining it. I’d make the trade, though, provided I was pretty sure I could hang on to Pitkanen and Gilbert (those being the guys around whom this team’s defensive corps should be built, barring another Pronger-esque pickup).

    If we can move Roli – and I share BDHS’s concern on that front – I say we do it. I’d also be worried about Garlauriers, but if we’re playing them down the stretch we should be able to get a read on them, and we can always pick somebody up in the off season if they’re not good enough.

    I’d take Tambellini for Stoll, although I doubt he’d be on offer. I just think Stoll’s trade value is far enough depressed, and his likely contract small enough, that you might as well keep him around.

    Pitkanen…man, I sure hope we don’t have to trade him. If we do trade him, it had better be because we were absolutely certain of being unable to sign him.

    Once Sanderson’s off the IR, why wouldn’t a team with the cap space flip a late round pick for him? It’s a low-cost low-benefit move, but I’d think he’d be good veteran to have around in case you got a bad couple of injuries.

    As for the prospects listed by Debakey, it doesn’t make sense for the Oilers to be trading prospects at the deadline (what are we going to get back? Rentals?). Let’s see if we can get a better bead on who’s an NHLer before we move those guys.

  15. Keegan says:

    If we loose Pitkanen I am going to be very very pissed off.
    What was the Smith trade for? One year of an injury-riddled tease of a top two d-man?

  16. Muller says:

    I hope Lowe doesn’t trade Pitkanen he’s what the Oil haven’t had in years, a good offensive minded d-man. I would give Stoll another year.

  17. Dennis says:

    If Pitkanen walks and it’s because of something other than him asking for six million, it just makes the Pronger trade worse and worse. Lowe might just outdo himself at the end of the day.

    Steve: SJ will wind up giving someone a first rounder for a D so why not for a guy in Staios who’s locked up for another little while? Look at the six D SJ iced on Sat night and there’s no way they can beat Ana or Det. So, it comes down to do they try and improve their D or do they wait until Lidstrom and/or the Neidermayer/Pronger duo retires? Add in they have capspace and bam, someone’s gonna get their first.

  18. Steve says:

    SJ will wind up giving someone a first rounder for a D so why not for a guy in Staios who’s locked up for another little while?

    Well, my thought – and bear in mind here that I’d basically be the worst GM in NHL history, including Mike Milbury – is that because he’s locked up for a while at a rate that’s probably going to be an increasing overpay as he begins to suck more, he’s not all that desirable. But I’d be thrilled to get SJ’s first rounder for him.

  19. HBomb says:

    We’re talking Staios and San Jose here, but I’m going to suggest something bloody controversial that will probably never happen.

    Souray’s wife is from California, the Sharks were one of the teams that were allegedly interested in Sheldon before he signed here, Rivet (I believe) used to be Souray’s d-partner in Montreal, and what guy wouldn’t want to play for a contender?

    If San Jose offered Bernier and a first rounder for Souray, I’d hope Lowe would at least ask him if he’d like to go to California and have a shot at winning for the next 3 seasons with a good Shark squad…..that cap space would be a nice asset to have.

    Probably isn’t going to happen though.

  20. Steve says:

    Well, presumably the Sharks weren’t prepared to offer as much as the Oilers were during the off-season. Has Souray done anything in the meantime that might have convinced them that they were wrong in that? So wrong, in fact, that they’re prepared to give up Steve Bernier to rectify the error?

  21. dawgbone says:

    hbomb, the sharks balked at giving up Bernier and Michalek for Pronger… I can’t see them giving up Bernier and a 1st for Souray.

    And I think San Jose could have an interest in Roli. They have a tonne of cap space ($10mil), an unproven backup and a starter who is beginning to look like a guy who is a touch burnt out from starting 43 games in a row.

    Not that I advocate trading Roloson, I don’t think he’s been nearly as bad as HF has made him seem to be (and he’s worlds better than Conkannen was).

    I think he’ll bounce back with a strong 2nd half to the season.

  22. marriedtotheoil says:

    I’m fond of Stoll, so this hurts to say, but I do sometimes watch him this season and wonder if he’d benefit from a fresh start in a less media-fishbowl-like city. I’ve seen it work wonders for ex-Red-Sox recovering from injuries/slumps over the years.

    But being a softie myself, I’d be the last to hurry him out the door.

  23. Bank Shot says:

    Moving a RFA or player with years left on his contract is too outside the box for Lowe so I doubt anything like that happens.

    SJ has cap room, but from what I have heard they really don’t like to spend money. For that reason alone I can’t imagine they would spend 4 big ones on a back up.

    It should be a quiet trade deadline for the Oilers with likely one or two of Reasoner, Tarnstrom, or Sanderson being shipped out for mid round picks.

    Rourke could possibly fetch a late round pick for a team looking for mega depth on D.

  24. Dennis says:

    Married: I doubt the fishbowl has anything to do with Stoll. He’s just a guy who has a hard time scoring at EV. I think his once chance this year was to go with 14-34 again and try and recreate that bit of jam they had last season and maybe the only hope for him this year is to play with 18-34 and see if that works. That appears unlikely now, though, as LT has laid out the current line combos and Stoll’s awash in that scnario.

    HB: It would be great to see Lowe admit a mistake and thus flip Souray to SJ for a 1st plus. I’d love to somehow get a crack at Bernier as well but the only way I can see that is if we throw in Stoll and that would leave us thin down the middle next year.

    What I’d really like to do with Stoll is deal him off for one of the young D in Nsh. With all of Suter-Weber-Hamhuis in their lineup, and only Radulov as a young scorer, you’d think they’ll eventually have to move some of their pitching for hitting.

    Then again, maybe we can go LT’s route and open up those Hemsky/Hamhuis talks again:)

  25. Lowetide says:

    Is Hamhuis having a bad year? I haven’t checked.

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