I think most Oilers fans want to see the team trade away the Pittsburgh Penguins pick for immediate help, but the quality in this draft is so deep it’s going to be a tough decision. If Peter Chiarelli is going to deal the pick, it must be as part of a package that will land a legit defenseman (or, and to a much lesser extent because of availability, a goalie) who is under contract or control for some time.
Let’s start with the type of deal Edmonton should be pursuing. Here are some fairly recent examples:
- Anaheim Ducks trade 2014 1st and 3rd rd picks, Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa to Vancouver Canucks for Ryan Kesler and a 2015 3rd round selection.
- Ottawa Senators trade Jakob Silfverbeg, Stefan Noesen and a 2014 1st rd pick to Anaheim Ducks for Bobby Ryan.
Ideally the Oilers get a younger player like Ryan who can grow with the group and hang around for the good times. Among the defensemen who fit that description (but are likely unavailable) are names like Ryan McDonagh, Mark-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Edler, John Carlson.
I think it likely Chiarelli will be looking at offers that include players with issues, like Dion Phaneuf and his crazy contract or a useful veteran with an expiring contract. It is there where the greatest value could come from the Oilers.
HARD TARGET SEARCH
As I understand the CBA (always a dangerous way to open a sentence) an NHL team may enter into contract negotiations with a player on a long term deal in the summer leading up to his free agency. So, after July 1, the Oilers could trade for Brent Seabrook and sign him (or Chicago could ‘sign and trade’ although that doesn’t happen in hockey) and for me he should be the target for Chiarelli.
- Seabrook is a veteran
- He’s righthanded
- Any reasonable model of his career trajectory from now through the end of the decade involves several productive seasons
- Chicago badly needs cap relief and may need to trade away multiple veterans for picks and useful youth.
This is Brent Seabrook in a box, three years running. He’s an effective player in the role in which Edmonton currently uses Justin Schultz and would be a clear upgrade. A RH side depth chart on blue that included Seabrook and Mark Fayne is a veteran one and has clearly stated roles (Fayne would get the severe zone starts and tougher competition). I’m not sure where Justin Schultz would fit here but that’s for Chiarelli and the new coach to decide.
Seabrook also offers Edmonton a fantastic mentor for Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Martin Marincin (depending on how the team proceeds next fall). Of all the options available, and I do know Seabrook turned 30 in April and has over 750 games on his resume, this is the one I think makes the most sense.
He isn’t young and won’t grow with the cluster, but should be highly productive for the next three seasons and those will be vital for the development of the young defensemen on this team.
Chicago has real cap issues so Edmonton may have to take on more than one contract, with Patrick Sharp and Corey Crawford possibly in the mix for a trade.
Since this trade can’t be completed until after July 1, I think the Oilers are better off using next year’s first-round pick as part of the package. After that, the ‘Hawks would be looking for young, inexpensive talent and the Oilers have lots of it:
- 2016 first-round selection
- 2016 second-round selection
- Nail Yakupov
- Anton Lander
- Justin Schultz
- Martin Marincin
- Bogdan Yakimov
What is a signed Seabrook worth? How much needs to be added to that first-round selection in order for the Chicago Black Hawks to accept the deal? Do Marincin and Lander have enough ‘established’ level of ability to offer real value in a trade this early in their careers? Does Justin Schultz have any trade value at all (my thought is no, but I’m willing to be convinced)?
I know the idea of giving up a signed Yakupov is noxious, but trading a winger and a pick for an established NHL veteran defenseman like Seabrook is probably a reasonable option at this time.
I like this plan miles better than doing the deal at this year’s draft and then hoping Seabrook will sign. If you’re going to make this trade, getting Seabrook signed is a mammoth part of it. Would you be willing to trade Nail Yakupov so early in his promising career?