The truth is that if you fixate on one thing long enough it becomes a major part of your life. The Edmonton Oilers have a problem in this area, have for years. One of their major themes is making itself known this week throughout the main stream media: the Oilers want to trade up.
If you’re an Oiler fan of a decade or more, you know that they were going to trade up for Joni Pitkanen, Braydon Coburn, Drew Stafford, Ryan Johansen and on it goes. You’d think at some point the organization would stop leaking this stuff and then if it doesn’t happen it still looks like they know what they’re doing.
There’s talk of Ales Hemsky, Tom Gilbert, Sam Gagner, the 19th pick, next year’s first round pick and all kinds of things going this year.
Should the Oilers trade next year’s first round pick I believe it will be the beginning of the end for Steve Tambellini. Edmonton has very little chance of moving out of lottery territory for 11-12 based on the current group, and watching another team select in the top 4 would require another sacrifice. It might even be enough to get Kevin Lowe back in the GM’s chair, something I believe we’ll see eventually.
The Oilers are now at a point where they are running out of things to trade. They don’t have anything worth putting in the Bargain Finder, no one wants the stuff they post on E-bay and soon kijiji will block their account. That’ll leave a garage sale at Steve’s house and we’re down to saddle lamps and decks of 51.
What can the Oilers trade at the draft?
- 19th overall: It’s a nice pick in the middle of the first round. Oilers could trade up, or they could also deal the pick for two later selections.
- 31st overall: As a few insightful posters here have mentioned, the first pick on day two might have exceptional value. Teams will re-set their lists overnight and may be very aggressive if they feel a gem has fallen out of the first round.
- C Andrew Cogliano: I would have bet money that Cogs would be gone by now, but coach Renney seems to have found a role for him and may be lobbying for his return in 11-12.
- D Tom Gilbert: A fine, veteran defender who was overworked and beaten down from another trying season. A change of scenery likely spells re-birth, and he is a quality finesse defenseman capable of helping an NHL team.
- R Ales Hemsky: Injuries and an expiring contract mean he won’t have as much value as we think he will, but the Oilers annual rebuild may mean Hemsky is too old to hang around until the times get good (I probably am, too. Fans who are eligible for seniors housing should be on notice).
- C Sam Gagner: Fine young C getting better in small increments. Bad teams flush these kids all the time, and then wonder why they’re better on a better, more structured team.
- D Ladislav Smid: There was a rumor he was going at the deadline, which may mean another NHL team was interested. That scenario is sometimes followed by a multi-year overpay in Our Town, but there’s still a chance Smid walks the plank.
- R Linus Omark: I worry the Oilers may not know what they have here, and a smarter front office (like Detroit, or New Jersey, or Buffalo, or or or) might grab this player before he shows the world how cool he is.
The Oilers would be unwise to trade next year’s first round pick, as there’s every chance that selection will be inside the top 5. It would be complete idiocy for Steve Tambellini to make this trade, as the knives are no doubt being sharpened for this winter’s failure.
If Steve Tambellini trades next year’s first round pick, we can be certain he has badly misjudged the fanbase and what Daryl Katz will do to appease the masses. The storyline is available in pretty much every history book, but I suspect history books are pretty dusty at the Oiler office.