During the pre-lockout era, Oiler fans came to know the trade deadline and the draft as a time of year when they could look forward to losing their favorite players to other teams.
Oh sure, you’d see a Bill Guerin traded during the season here and there but for the most part those were the two times of year when good veteran players would go bye bye and we’d be introduced to another team’s failed first rounder and a lesser version of what was being sent away.
Trades that would fall into this category would be the Hamrlik to NYI deal, the Weight to STL trade and Hecht for picks.
In the summer of 2005, Lowe dealt for Chris Pronger and Mike Peca. The following summer he traded Pronger away in a deal reminiscent of the pre-CBA trades. Last summer, Kevin Lowe sent away Jason Smith and received Joni Pitkanen.
All arrows point this season to a 3-for-1, in fact management has stated it in those exact terms. They have to find a dance partner but in this day and age of quality players with oversized contracts someone out there must want to dump and overpaid player who has value to another team.
We talked yesterday about approximate trade value. The natural follow up to that is “Who’s Going?” Last year, Lowe had walking around money for free agents and three first round picks to sell for starting ballplayers.
This season? Here goes.
- Jarret Stoll: RFA about to get 2.2M unless he signs long term, Stoll’s poor season owed to concussions suffered the previous year. He did play against tough opposition this past season and he does have value because he’s an established NHL player who was healthy enough to play 81 games. His skills are duplicated in the lineup (Horcoff does what he does, only better) and the team has other options immediately available should he leave town. Chances of Leaving: 70%
- Joni Pitkanen: RFA whose agent thinks he’s Orr. Pitkanen did not have a good season but any fool can see the guy is a player. A dangerous thing, trading a player like Joni Pitkanen. It could bite you in the ass for a decade. They better get a good return. Chances of Leaving: 70%
- Ladislav Smid: Based on MacT’s usage of the 5-6D down the stretch I think Smid may be the odd man out. Young and established which is a compelling combination. Chances of Leaving: 60%
- Raffi Torres: 2 years from UFA status and he costs $2.25M. Torres ripped up his knee last year and although he’s apparently fine there seems to be some kind of player-organization disconnect. While Shawn Horcoff’s recovery is updated on the Oiler website we really haven’t heard too much about Raffi these many months. They had a January “end of season” article and not much since. I think Torres is a valuable player on this team because (when healthy) he brings a physical element not duplicated on this roster. The best this Edmonton team played this decade involved Raffi running around like a crazy man. His injury reduces his value so maybe they hold onto him but it’s no sure thing. Chances of Leaving: 50%
- Marc Pouliot: He’s played enough in the NHL so that teams probably have an idea about what he is as a player. Pouliot is a possibility as a throw in on the three for one or he could be dealt for a draft pick. MacT’s stated wish for Reasoner to return may have sealed his fate. Has to make the team because he won’t clear waivers. Chances of Leaving: 50%
- Rob Schremp: He’s on the list for two reasons: He doesn’t fit the MacT template, and he may be famous enough to get something in return. Schremp’s time is now pretty much and there may not be room here. Chances of Leaving: 40%
- Andrew Cogliano: I’m a fan of this guy so don’t get me wrong. Trading rookies coming off 45-point seasons is a bad team building plan, so the only way this guy moves is in exchange for someone in the impact player division. Chances of Leaving: 25%
- Matt Greene: A bull who hasn’t yet moved up the depth chart, the organization loves the guy and it’s hard to imagine a combination of events that would send him away. Still, they have enough depth to deal him. Chances of Leaving: 25%
- Shawn Horcoff: I can’t see him getting traded but if they don’t extend him then he’s a deadline deal waiting to happen. A 1line center in return would be vital. Chances of Leaving: 10%
- Fernando Pisani: 2 years left at $2.5M. He’s a team leader and among the smartest players on the team but has had some injury troubles plus is unlikely to deliver enough offense to cover the contract. Chances of Leaving: 10%
- JF Jacques: On the list because of his unique qualities, he doesn’t have much trade value and in fact might clear waivers in the fall. Chances of Leaving: 5%
- Dwayne Roloson: He’s on the list but I don’t think they can unload this salary. 3.667M for a 38-year old goalie is more likely a deadline deal than a draft day trade. Chances of Leaving: 2%.