If the Oilers are going to get a center, they’ll have to give up something of value. If the club goes after Josh Bailey or Patrik Berglund or Chris Kelly, the bottom line is they’re going to give to get. It could be money, it could be draft picks or prospects, or it could be an NHL player in an area of depth.
DEPTH? In the NHL? Actually, yes. The Oilers have depth (now) on the wing.
OILERS PROJECTED DEPTH CHART (WINGERS) 14-15
That’s a very nice group, three players over 25 goals, plus a struggling Yakupov and now the Oilers add Pouliot and Purcell. If the Oilers had three capable veteran centers to go with the top six, we could in fact talk about the unicorn that is three scoring lines. The third line could PASS the second line!
The Oilers traded Curtis Hamilton a year ago, but it didn’t take. If we make our roster and agree no one goes out unless their (better) replacement comes in, then the trade assets become obvious:
|LEFT WING||CENTER||RIGHT WING|
|TAYLOR HALL (6M)||RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS (6M)||JORDAN EBERLE (6M)|
|BENOIT POULIOT (4M)||LEON DRAISAITL (1M-est)||DAVID PERRON (3.8125M)|
|NAIL YAKUPOV (925k)
||MARK ARCOBELLO (600k)***||TEDDY PURCELL (4.5M)|
|JESSE JOENSUU (950K)***||BOYD GORDON (3M)||MATT HENDRICKS (1.85M)|
|LUKE GAZDIC (600k)-IR
||ANTON LANDER (600k)***||TYLER PITLICK (600k-est)***|
|LEFT DEFENSE||RIGHT DEFENSE|
|MARTIN MARINCIN (730k)||JEFF PETRY (3.075M)|
|NIKITA NIKITIN (4.5M)||MARK FAYNE (3.625M)|
|ANDREW FERENCE (3.25M)||JUSTIN SCHULTZ (4M-est)|
|KEITH AULIE (800k)||OSCAR KLEFBOM ($894,167)***-callup|
|BEN SCRIVENS (2.3M)||VIKTOR FASTH (2.9M)|
Trade assets that might go are asterisked, although I think Marincin might be dealt ahead of Klefbom. The Oilers don’t really have much to trade, especially now that Jeff Petry is one year away from full free agency.
- Draft picks (not 1st round selections, especially not the 2015 1st rounder)
- Young blue (ranging from Marincin to Betker, Edmonton has a number in various stages of development)
- Unproven forwards (Arco, Lander, Pitlick, Hamilton)
- A winger who has real value
That last one is unlikely to happen, but the addition of Pouliot and Purcell does in fact give Edmonton enough depth to consider dealing a winger. I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing Eberle, Perron and Yakupov as assets for trade, because we’ve wasted enough time on it. Suffice to say the player sent away would have to deliver exceptional value and be considered bona fide.
WHAT IT IS
I think this comes down to one of two options: running a Nuge-Arco-Drai-Gordon-Lander depth chart at center, with the understanding that any injury to Nuge or Gordon is catastrophic. OR they’re trading something that will hurt, like David Perron or Martin Marincin.
What else do they have available that gets them a real live center?
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN 1260, 10 this morning and a guest list that could stop traffic. Dennis King, Oilogosphere icon joins at 10:05 and Jeff Krushell is on after that. Before 11, Jeff Veillette from Leafs Nation drops by to talk about the Edmonton stop for Five Hole For Food. In hour two, I’ll be joined by Scott Cullen from TSN and Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. @Lowetide_ on twitter, text 10-1260 as well. It’s going to be fun!
(Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)