As fans, how we feel about events like the trade deadline have a lot to do with the man in charge. When Slats was GM, Barry Fraser was ordering Cuba Libre’s at the Cancun Palace so the draft was a waste of time, but the trade market was a golden opportunity to add useful parts. As such, we followed the trade deadline, July and training camp closely because that’s when good things might happen.
Steve Tambellini has been running the ship for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 deadlines, and he’ll be the point man again this time. As we saw during the Oil Change series, Kevin Lowe is still in the room and the overall thrust of the organization is similar to Lowe’s time as GM.
In a thread below, DBO posted the following:
- I guess I wonder when we get to the point where we will actually do the 3 for 1 deal. We are stockpiling assets, and if we wait for them all to be ready we will wait 3 more years. What’s scary is that at the Season ticket holders meeting yesterday Tambellini said, when asked about D, that we have a bunch of great ones coming in 2 or 3 years so we just have to bridge that gap. What frightens me is he seems to think Sutton and Barker are the ones to fill that gap.
My thanks for DBO for passing it along, and to Schitzo for doing it a day earlier (I read everything but the brain is taking on water these days). When we talk about these things, I think it’s important to be fair and say ST isn’t going to tip his hand to the fanbase and say “we’re gearing up to draft a center 3rd overall and then trade Gagner plus for our guy this summer” so the entire item has to be placed in context.
Having said that, I don’t think the Oilers have very many “great ones” that close to making a difference in the NHL:
- Martin Marincin is a pencil and is developing in junior. He’ll turn pro and should see at least a couple of AHL seasons before coming up to the NHL. If you add 200 games for learning on the job, that puts Marincin’s ETA for making a difference at Christmas 2017.
- David Musil is a guy I believe may come quickly, even as soon as this coming fall. However, that depends on his foot speed and counting on him is folly. Should he make the club fall 2012, that means 200 games in the show puts his ETA at Christmas 2014.
- Oscar Klefbom is a guy who might be able to jump the other blue, but one doubts his timeline will be shorter than Christmas 2014.
- Ryan Murray–who I believe is a target for the Oilers (with Griffin Reinhart 2nd in line) is a stud prospect and may be able to make a difference inside the 2014 Christmas window.
- Deadline 2009: Oilers got Patrick O’Sullivan and Ales Kotalik for Erik Cole.
- Deadline 2010: Oilers plucked a 2nd rd pick (Curtis Hamilton) from NAS for D Denis Grebeshkov; claimed Ryan Jones off waivers; dealt Lubo for Ryan Whitney; sent Steve Staios to Calgary for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd rd pick (Travis Ewanyk).
- Deadline 2011: Sent Dustin Penner away for a 1st (Oscar Klefbom) and Colten Teubert.
Now, I ask you to take into account that the Oilers had decided to rebuild (as of 2010 deadline) again, thus sending away talent in their prime for picks and prospects was the goal each time.We can’t pick Tambellini apart for doing what the organization has decided is the correct path.
- The Cole trade didn’t work out and adding Kotalik was a bad idea (they flipped a 2nd) from 2009 deadline. Saving that pick might mean a roster player by now. The Oilers were looking to add for a run, but the additions weren’t close to good enough. Failing grade for 2009.
- The trade that killed this team was Lubo for Whitney in 2010. Whitney’s problems in terms of injury go way back (Christmas ’08–he missed 31 games with left foot surgery) and the club either chose to disregard those issues or felt comfortable the problems were over. Either way, it was a major, ghastly error. The devil is in the details, and the Oilers appear to be further exacerbating this problem by not recognizing that Whitney could be done as a top of the order defender.
- The other 2010 moves were fine, Hamilton is a nice prospect having a tough time adjusting to pro and Jones has worked out very well. Ewanyk doesn’t like much and Staios is still in the league, so that trade doesn’t look as good as it did at the time.
- 2011 I was fine with at the time and remain so. I didn’t like the club trading Penner, but felt (and feel) the value was there.
The goal this deadline will be different: more draft bullets are fine, but only with an eye to exchanging them for something useful in 12-13 at the NHL level. Trading Ales Hemsky puts the club in an enormous hole for next season and the Oilers are not going to acquire a healthy NHL defenseman from any of the contenders at the deadline.
The Oilers management group won’t face the backlash they saw when Smyth was dealt, but I think it’s obvious this trade will be a net loss for Edmonton. Management cannot say “we’re rebuilding and this is part of the plan” because any 1st rd pick taken 20-30 this summer will take years to help the team. Steve Tambellini can’t just throw Groundhog Day on every trade deadline and he can’t have another season in last place and remain the GM.
Steve Tambellini is Sonny on the Causeway this morning, and is extremely likely to look back on the Hemsky trade in the same way Jim Devellano remembers one of his worst:
Bobby Clarke: I made my second trade with Jimmy Devellano. I traded Darryl Sittler for Murray Craven and Joey Paterson. Jimmy is funny. After that trade he told me ‘you picked my fucking eyes out, Clarke.’“
Steve Tambellini is extremely likely to be in the market for an eye patch this time next week.