Earlier this season, Craig MacTavish dealt Ladislav Smid to Calgary for Laurent Brossoit and Roman Horak. That’s not a trade we can really call “true value” and so it’s very hard to justify. We can presume one or more of the following are true:
- The Oilers changed their mind on Smid (who had signed a four-year extension April 1).
- Smid’s skills may not have been a match for (new) coach Dallas Eakins.
- They felt a need to offload him before the trade deadline (when defenders have greater value).
- The Oilers targeted Laurent Brossoit.
- The Oilers wanted Ilya Bryzgalov on the roster while not risking bonus money riding into next season.
Either way, I don’t believe anyone can argue Smid’s established level of ability (top four defenseman) has less value at the deadline than it did on the day he was dealt. As fans, how do we establish trade value? We can assess “established value” so why not established trade value? It can’t be that hard, right?
- All veteran defensemen are worth fourth round picks (or better). Even if they can barely breathe, or played with Dave Keon. Fourth round, or better.
- Teams can get value for minor leaguers at the deadline (Oilers sent away Rita and Salmelainen spring 2006 for impressive payoffs) or get them in return if out of the race at the deadline (Nilsson, O’Marra and Plante for 3 weeks of Ryan Smyth). ALMOST ALL of these prospects are spent bullets—the team trading them doesn’t have high value on them.
- Famous players have value, even among GMs. Phoenix Coyotes traded Georges Laraque to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Daniel Carcillo and a 3rd round selection in 2008. BG was less than 150 games from the end, but he held value well.
- Young players who hold value are rarely traded for each other. Zack Kassian for Cody Hodgson is a recent famous example.
- If a team wants a specific player badly enough, they’ll give you a first round pick (Paul Gaustad and a fourth for a first).
- Nick Schultz once fetched Tom Gilbert.
MY ESTIMATED DEADLINE RETURNS FOR CURRENT OILERS
- Jordan Eberle: A quality top four defenseman signed long term and possessing a wide range of skills.
- Jeff Petry: A young, established NHL defenseman capable of playing top 4D minutes (but a different player type).
- Sam Gagner: A top nine forward with enough skill to play a legit role. A Moreau-type (when he was good) who is established.
- Ales Hemsky: First-round draft pick (I understand a plug-and-play would be better but teams don’t trade those things at the deadline).
- Ben Scrivens: A second round pick.
- Nick Schultz: A third round pick.
- Ryan Smyth: A fourth round pick.
- Corey Potter: A fourth round pick.
- Anton Belov: A fourth round pick.
- Ilya Bryzgalov: A fourth round pick.
- Jesse Joensuu: A fourth round pick.
- Taylor Fedun: A fourth round pick.
- Mark Fraser: A fourth round pick.
- Luke Gazdic: A fifth round pick.
- Ryan Jones: A sixth round pick.
- Denis Grebeshkov: A seventh round pick.
- Ben Eager: A seventh round pick.
I don’t believe we’ll see any of Eberle, Petry or Scrivens dealt but included them because some of these names have been out there since early in the season, and Petry is a player whose value will be quite strong at the deadline (seller’s market).