This morning, you can make a strong case for the Edmonton Oilers acquiring three players for 2013-14: Braydon Coburn, Cal Clutterbuck and Valeri Nichushkin. It appears all three men are within the grasp of the Oilers this morning. This article has the Oilers dealing for Coburn, with the pricetag being #37 overall and a prospect like Martin Gernat or Joey Laleggia. That’s certainly a fair price for a defender who could reasonably be slotted into the Oilers top 4D. Coburn’s fancy stats last season were a nightmare, but as Jonathan Willis wrote earlier in the week this past season is out of time with Coburn’s career.

  • Willis: Coburn is likely vulnerable after a poor season. He fell to a career-low minus-10 rating, went from 24 points in 81 games to five in 33, and saw took 18 minor penalties in an abbreviated season after taking only 22 in 81 games the year prior. Some of the problems were illusory – his on-ice save percentage (something he can’t control) was a miserable 0.888 5-on-5. His on-ice shooting percentage was also remarkably low, meaning the Flyers struggled to score on shots with him on the ice (again, something likely outside his control). At age 28, with lots of problems happening with him on the ice that aren’t necessarily his fault, and with a long track record of strong play, Coburn’s in the sweet spot where a new team can plausibly look at him as a strong rebound candidate and an old team could see him as expendable.It would be unsurprising in the least if the Oilers and Flyers were talking about the possibility of a trade.

The Clutterbuck deal (for Tyler Pitlick plus) has been out there for some time. It makes sense in that the Oilers wanted to add some toughness to the 3line and certainly Clutterbuck can do that (along with chipping in a few goals and playing the disturber role).


clutterbuck  corsi on

If the Oilers can grab Clutterbuck and Coburn without giving up roster players–better to trade 2nd rounders than Magnus Paajarvi–the depth chart might look like this after the draft:

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Nichushkin-Yakupov
  • Belanger-Paajarvi-Clutterbuck
  • Lander-Smyth-Brown
  • Coburn-Petry
  • Smid-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Potter
  • Belov
  • Dubnyk

Oilers would be down at least one pick, but if they’d like to trade back in the club has Horcoff, Hemsky and perhaps Nick Schultz to offer. These are not the names I would have chosen (Coburn, Clutterbuck) but they do fit with the plan and one can see creative thinking in both moves. I especially like MacT’s avoidance of dealing any of the kids on the roster or close to helping (a range that would include names like Paajarvi, Marincin and Klefbom).


  1. Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′s.
  2. Get Paajarvi signed and then find a role that suits him (suspect it’s 3line).
  3. Deal Hemsky for immediate help (even if its a checker).
  4. Deal Horcoff or slot him into the 3line job for which he is actually ideal.
  5. Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etc
  6. Find a 3line C to play with Paajarvi
  7. Find a 2line R to play with Paajarvi (Clutterbuck)
  8. Find a 4line C to play with Smyth/Brown
  9. Decide on Lander/Belanger or other for 13F (and 14F if they go with 7D).
  10. Top 4 defender (a genuinely effective one, no ‘almosts or sortas’) (Coburn)
  11. Better blue depth (MacT has done this with Belov, plus Klefbom/Fedun/Marincin)
  12. Backup goalie
  13. AHL #1/NHL #3 goalie
  14. Sign Paul Ranger

The downside to all of this? Oilers may not have much to do after the first round at this year’s draft. Still, if they can use draft picks and prospects (Pitlick, Gernat, Laleggia) to address needs at the NHL level, that’s a very good day.


A week ago, Bob McKenzie tweeted that Roberto Luongo would no longer be a Canuck by the end of the draft. Yesterday he said this:

  • McKenzie: “Keep an eye on the Edmonton Oilers, I’m not saying they’re trying to trade for Roberto Luongo but I do know they’ve had interest in Luongo before. He has a no trade clause, but if he’s on waivers, I’ve got to believe the Oilers are looking for a number one goaltender.”

Aside from ‘ballsy’ I’d view the move as running counter to the club’s cap interests. Although the ceiling is going to be higher in 2014 summer, that $5M is on the books forever and then some. What is MacT thinking? Clearly, he wants a starting goaltender not named Devan Dubnyk–there’s no other way to spin it should this come to pass.


I still believe the Oilers would like to take a center, and should they end up trading a second round pick the club is more likely to deal down in the first round to pick up an extra selection. If they stay at 7, and the centers we know they value are gone (MacKinnon, Horvat, Monahan) I think it’ll be Nichushkin. He can come into camp, push for a 2line job and then either spend the season in OKC or the KHL if he’s unready. Getting the young man signed will be the key. If they deal down, Horvat or Lazar will be the target.

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  1. gangplank says:

    I am excited about potentially acquiring Coburn. I have liked this player even before Atlanta traded him to Philly for a washed out Zhitnik. Man those thrashers made a myriad of bad choices.

    Not really sold on Clutterbuck. And I am really hoping on Lindholm more than Nichushkin or Monahan.

  2. Woodguy says:

    ’bout goddam time you posted today, its almost lunch!

    *shakes fist*

    *yells at cloud*

    Coburn for not a lot is a very good addition in terms of pure value.

    Clutterbuck is a hockey player as opposed to an “energy guy” or “face puncher”, and would be a good 3RW.

    If Barkov isn’t there at 5 (and he probably won’t be), there is zero reason to give up assets to trade up, and if you can trade down (say, 7 to 11 and add Colburn for not much more), that makes a lot of sense.

    If Nichuskin is there at 7, do you really think they take him?

    I think they see more value in moving that pick if he is there.

    I hope Paajarvi comes out of this weekend still an Oiler.

    The talk is that everyone is calling MacT about 91.

    Should shine a light brightly on the value that he brings to the team at a very cheap price.

    Sunday can’t come fast enough.

  3. Woodguy says:

    If MacT picks up Lou’s cap recapture nightmare contract I’ll boo loudly for years.

    Like the player a lot, but the contract is toxic to any organization.

    Speaking of toxic organizations….. http://capgeek.com/canucks/

    17 players signed and they are $47K under the cap.

    Gillis needs to clear room pronto.

    Surprised we haven’t read about a buyout of Ballard yet.

    Wonder if he can move Booth?

    I really think the best way out of this for Gillis is to trade Schneider.

    He has way more value due to price and I think Lou is the better goalie for the next few years.

    I really hope Gillis fucks it all up and continues the Dynasty.

  4. Lowetide says:

    WG: The Luongo thing is a mystery alright. Maybe they got an offer for Dubnyk? Even then, why mail yourself this contract? Our man MacT is sending out bizarre semaphore signals on that one.

  5. jonrmcleod says:


    Yeah, but everyone will think your booing is lou-ing.

  6. gangplank says:

    I dont believe MacT is dumb enough to take Luongo’s contract. He has been saying way too many smart things to make such a blunder.

    At least we are no longer talking about JJ to the Oilers; that rumor had become popular during the last days of ST

  7. gangplank says:

    A bit surprised we haven't seen some trade action. Multiple ongoing discussions. Sense is the first deal may open the flood gates. Hope so.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2013

    dont these guys say this every time. trade deadline; draft day; FA

  8. godot10 says:

    If I were a GM contemplating picking Luongo up off of waivers, I would appeal to the NHL and the NHLPA for a waiver to allow the team to use Luongo’s actual salary in the cap calculation for the remainder of the contract, plus to be allowed to amortize the recapture now against the cap beginning next season.

    i.e. To be allowed to uncircumvent the Canucks intent to circumvent the cap. It would make Luongo more expensive now, but would eliminate the disastrous implications of the recapture.

  9. gangplank says:

    I wonder what went wrong with Lucs Sbisa and Cam Fowler. Both are getting killed playing extremely soft competition.

  10. Gret99zky says:

    If MacT takes on Luongo’s contract as is that MBA might as well be available in boxes of cereal.

    Can’t wait till Sunday where we see items on the to do list actually getting done or MacT explaining to us all that managing a pro hockey team is complicated and rolls with Horcoff, Hemsky and two inexperienced rookies come October.

  11. justDOit says:

    I think if the Canucks will trade Lou and sweeten the deal somehow with a decent throw-in because of his contract, the Oilers can play him for one season and then buy him out next summer, providing that MacT still has an amnesty buyout left after this summer.

    As WG pointed out, the Nucks should be getting desperate to shed some $$$ soon, and this scenario for them would be less worse than buying Lou out with Aquilini dollar$.

    As for Nichushkin, I would love to see him available at #7, but I believe he has stated that he will be staying in the KHL for another season and wouldn’t be attending an NHL TC this fall.

  12. gangplank says:

    In fact Fowler had a pretty good 2011-12 campaign where he was close to their best D man

  13. gangplank says:


    The speculation is Oilers take Luo on waivers and not trade for him

  14. Woodguy says:


    but I believe he has stated that he will be staying in the KHL for another season and wouldn’t be attending an NHL TC this fall.

    He got out of his KHL contract and stated he’ll come to NA this fall IF he plays in the NHL.

    He wouldn’t stay to play in the AHL.

    Its for that reason I don’t think the Oilers take him.

    For all the gifted roster spots this team has handed out over the last 7 years, I think that type of thinking is over.

  15. gangplank says:

    Hahaha WG

    It's getting interesting. 2 sources say Corey Schneider is in play. 1st and a prospect part of asking price. Suspect Oilers in on talks.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2013

  16. Woodguy says:


    Here are Fowler’s most common D partners and their TOI together.

    Also is the shot attempt differential together, team mate apart, and difference.

    If the last number is a positive, it means that Fowler did better without the partner, if its negative the partner did better without Fowler.

    Remember for Dmen when you switch partners, you also can be switching the level of comp that you face.

    In the large scheme of things, Fowler didn’t play much with Sbisa.

    ALLEN, BRYAN 252:21:00 46 45.5 0.5
    LYDMAN, TONI 124:17:00 44.4 49.4 -5
    LOVEJOY, BEN 121:53:00 53.2 50.3 2.9
    SBISA, LUCA 87:27:00 40.8 46.2 -5.4
    BEAUCHEMIN, FRANCOIS 21:07:00 50 49.5 0.5
    SOURAY, SHELDON 04:06:00 57.1 48.2 8.9

  17. Woodguy says:

    Hahaha WG

    Dreger always reads my stuff and reports it as rumour.



  18. Marc says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here but I think if you can get an above average starting goalie (which Lou is) for free, you should do it. Dubnyk will fetch a nice return if he gets moved. It just seems like good asset management to me.

  19. knighttown says:

    If the Oilers move #37 for Coburn and that brings the trade down into play I think they push the Knighttown Oilers/Jackets #7 for #14 and 19 trade.

    Jackets get their guy with elite upside in Lindholm or Nichuskin and still have another late first to add a tailor made Jacket like Rychel. Oilers need for top line talent and power play gurus is less pressing than its need for better all around guys.

    I think you see the oilers go after two guys from the Bergeron/J.Staal tree (Horvat, Wenneberg, Lazar and Gauthier) or one from there and one of the giant, mobile defencemen (Nurse, Ristolainen, Morin or Zadorov).

    Lindholm for Horvat and Zadorov

  20. Woodguy says:


    Here’s the same thing for Fowler the year before.

    Note that he plays over 80% of the season with Beauch, so the WOWY takes on much less meaning.

    BEAUCHEMIN, FRANCOIS 1157:11:00 51.3 46.7 4.6
    LYDMAN, TONI 90:05:00 51.8 45.1 6.7
    BROOKBANK, SHELDON 78:22:00 45.1 44.9 0.2
    SBISA, LUCA 62:07:00 51.2 48.1 3.1

    Its also important to note that with both Beach and Lydman, both them and Fowler were “worse” away from each other, so you can’t really read into who is carrying who, although a vet like Beauch playing with a rookie or near rookie, its easy to infer.

  21. Lowetide says:

    KT: That makes sense.

  22. Woodguy says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here but I think if you can get an above average starting goalie (which Lou is) for free, you should do it. Dubnyk will fetch a nice return if he gets moved. It just seems like good asset management to me.

    The NHL instituted a “cap recapture” formula where teams that have players with contracts that pay them more than their cap is penalized the difference in the future.

    Picking up Luongo means that in the future you will artificially lower your team’s cap and impair your ability to manage the team properly.

    Here is Cap Geek’s explanation of it:

    CAP ADVANTAGE RECAPTURE (Roberto Luongo Rule)
    Teams receiving a “cap advantage” from long-term contracts — defined as seven years or more for contracts signed prior to the January 2013 CBA — will be penalized in the event the player retires or “defects” from the NHL before the contract expires. A team receives a “cap advantage” when the player’s actual salary exceeds his cap hit in a given year.
    Following retirement/defection, the “advantage” will be “recaptured” and charged against the club’s cap in equal amounts each year until the contract expires. This penalty applies to any team that received a cap advantage from the contract — ie. a traded contract — except in the event that the trade occurred prior to the new CBA coming into place in January 2013.
    [ Edit: June 2, 2013 ] Teams do not receive a credit for net negative cap benefit (where cap hit exceeds salary over the course of the contract prior to retirement). However, in calculating net “cap advantage,” teams do receive a credit for seasons in which cap hit exceeds salary.
    Please note, contracts that fall under the “over-35″ rule do not qualify for cap benefit recapture, the NHL has confirmed. In these cases, the team is charged with the player’s full cap hit.

    Love that they call it the Lou rule.

    Here is the calculator, play around with it: http://www.capgeek.com/recapture-calculator/

  23. Rondo says:

    How many 34 yr old or older are # 1 goalies in the NHL. How many good years does Roberto Luongo have? Will Lou be the exception to the rule?

  24. Captain Obvious says:

    Trading for a “proven” goaltender is always a bad idea. Always. The fluctuation in performance is too great and everyone assumes the high end of the variance is normal.

  25. Lewis Grant says:

    Lookie there! Do I see DSF’s Rookie of the year Granlund pulling up the rear?

  26. Lewis Grant says:

    I would take those trades for Coburn and Clutterbuck in a heartbeat. (Presuming, of course, that Hall and Clutterbuck can get along.)

  27. Rondo says:


    “If they stay at 7, and the centers we know they value are gone (MacKinnon, Horvat, Monahan)”

    Didn’t you mean to write Lindholm rather than Horvat

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Coburn for 37 and Legallia sounds like a deal to me. Clutterbuck for Pitlick and say a 5th or something. Draft the Russian. I would, if he’s there and Lindholm/Monahan aren’t.

  29. Captain Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Coburn for 37 and Legallia sounds like a deal to me. Clutterbuck for Pitlick and say a 5th or something. Draft the Russian. I would, if he’s there and Lindholm/Monahan aren’t.

    Of course you like those deals. Those are something for nothing deals. I love them too. Everyone should love them.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Obvious: Of course you like those deals.Those are something for nothing deals.I love them too.Everyone should love them.

    Thanks for helping out.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Captain Obvious: Of course you like those deals.Those are something for nothing deals.I love them too.Everyone should love them.

    Who are you, Captain Obvious?

  32. theres oil in virginia says:


    Isn’t it “obvious”?

  33. Ice Sage says:

    This cynic is still looking for good NHL players coming back in a trade.

    Coburn the next Teubert?, Clutts the next Eager? Hoping MacT is better than Tambo at sniffing out trading partners who are looking for anything for damaged goods. That’s opportunity cost for the Oil – roster spots taken by faltering players…

    Luongo would be… would be… comical?

  34. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ice Sage,

    Coburn is an NHL player, Teubert never has been.
    Eager was an upgrade on Stortini, even after the concussion derailed him (Eager). Clutterbuck is an upgrade on Eager.
    Luongo would be a fine goaltender to have, just not with that contract.

    In general, I share you cynicism, maybe a little lighter though (skepticism?).

    I think the players who’ve been brought in over the past few years were brought in with the hopes that they could play integral roles and revive the team. I think the players that will soon be brought in won’t have as much pressure on them from the team or the fans perspective.

  35. gcw_rocks says:

    If the Oilers can get Bobby Lou for free and they think they can get give good years out of him then it would not surprise me if MacT considers grabbing Luongo and letting the next GM worry about the recapture.

  36. 719 says:

    I think it is pretty obvious after reading the Oilers twitter for the last two days, and what Stu Mac just said, that the Oilers will take Mohahan if he is available and if he is gone, then they will take Nurse. I doubt Lindholm is in the discussion after what Stauffer had said a few weeks ago on twitter.

    I hope they do not acquire Luongo. I still think he will be a great goalie for three to four more years, just his contract is completely toxic.

  37. Ice Sage says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Thanks for that gentler perspective and here’s hoping…

    I just can’t remember when the Oil got a supposedly good player in a trade and it worked out (Teubert, Eager, Brown, Whitney, Smithson, heck even Smyth). I suppose Fistric has been OK.

  38. 719 says:

    According to Bob Mackenzie, Seguin is in play. Would the 1st and Gagner be enough?

  39. Bushed says:

    God no to Luongo.

    We can get by with someone else for a year and revisit the situation then.

    No need to take on a crazy contract. that will totally screw the cap situation, even if it were the best goalie in the world, which it isn’t.

    Let the Canucks stew with their goalie situation for as long as possible. If they’re really looking at moving Schnieder, it would seem to be a clear signal that ownership has told Gillis no way re. a huge buyout.

  40. gcw_rocks says:


    If you go after Seguin, I think you offer Gagner straight up. But, if you are the Oilers, you need to be sure of 2 things: 1) Seguin can move back to centre and be successful; and 2) that hip condition of his is repairable by surgery, even if that surgery puts him on the self for 6 months.

    You don’t have to add the 1st.

  41. bazmagoo says:

    Hi Lowetide, long time reader first time poster. Didn’t realize you had your own blog, read your articles on Oilers Nation. Posted this comment over on that site as well.

    If Philly is desperate to unload some salary on their defence and wants to add a top 6 forward, I’d guess if a deal goes down involving the #7 pick it will come about because Monahan isn’t available at #7.

    Considering Philly is somewhat desperate to unload some cap space, I think the following could be likely:

    Hemsky (Oil eating half his salary and cap space) plus #7 (if Monahan isn’t available) for Coburn and #11.

    Philly gets Hemsky at a discount, he slots into their top 6 and has lots of potential upside. With #7 they draft Nurse or Ristolainen, who both fit into the Flyers traditional mold for defencemen. Plus they save $2 million in cap space.

    Edmonton gets Coburn who slots in next to J Schultz for the next couple of seasons. Big, physical yet capable defenceman they desperately need. Oilers draft Bo Horvat or Curtis Lazar with #11, filling a team need for gritty potential down the middle.

    Considering both Hemsky and Coburn are similar in age & pedigree, it seems like a win-win to me. Both teams are desperate, and this trade helps both solve certain issues.


    If it’s Paajarvi going the other way instead of Hemsky I think that’s an overpay by MacT.

  42. Lowetide says:

    I like Coburn but for me the difference between 7 and 11 is distinct, therefore I’d prefer to give up less than Hemsky. I’d give up 7 and next year’s 2 for Coburn and 11.

  43. bazmagoo says:

    Considering MacT has tipped his hand and told the world he wants to get rid of Hemsky, I think if you can get anything legitimate for Hemmer we need to run and not walk towards making that deal. Just my opinion. My trade scenario is making the best of a bad situation.

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