Whatever else happens in the next four weeks, it will most certainly be Peter Chiarelli’s team by July 15. A team that has been collecting draft picks great and small since 2010 summer appears poised to cash in some of their silver and gold in search of balance and a playoff run.
PETER CHIARELLI’S BEST AND WORST
- Best trade: The Matt Hendricks for Johnny Boychuk trade was unusual (Boychuk was a minor leaguer) but worked out fine. His trade of Hannu Toivinen for Carl Soderberg was a dandy, Dennis Wideman plus a first and a third for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell was a key to team success. I will pick Phil Kessel for two first round picks and a second—the Bruins were having cap issues and were going to lose Kessel, that was a nice payoff.
- Worst trade: I will pick Tyler Seguin to Dallas but only because the team won the Stanley after the Tomas Kaberle deal (it was awful).
Chiarelli is a veteran GM and has plenty of both in his resume. As I have said many times on this blog, credit to him for Andrej Sekera, Cam Talbot and (I think) Mark Letestu. Negatives include the Griffin Reinhart deal and Martin Marincin being sent away, with the Lauri Korpikoski acquisition added in for good measure. An uneven record—some believe he should be on notice now, I do not share that view—and two weeks of brilliant gems in play are unlikely to calm the nerves of those who worry about PC’s direction.
- No. 4 overall (1st)
- No. 32 overall (2nd)
- No. 63 overall
- No. 84 overall
- No. 91 overall
- No. 123 overall
- No. 149 overall
- No. 153 overall
- No. 183 overall
CHIARELLI’S NEEDS LIST
- Top-pairing D to partner with Klefbom (perfect fit: Travis Hamonic)
- Second-pairing RHD to partner with Sekera (perfect fit: Tyson Barrie)
- Acquire RHC with some skill (perfect fit: No one in sight)
- Backup goalie (Perfect fit: James Reimer)
No one can suggest getting all of the targets here represents reasonable expectations—that would be a dream summer—but getting a legit RHD who can be part of the future (a RH Sekera) is vital. If the Oilers decide the Tyson Barrie fit is not there, perhaps they choose a one year option at the position.
RHC? I do not see a player now that Chicago has cleared room for Andrew Shaw—good news for fans of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (like me). I see no obvious path to acquiring a Nuge replacement at this point and that means (in my opinion) he stays.
It also opens up the possibility of the dreaded (gulp) one-for-three deal, a trade that sees one of Edmonton’s $6 million men dealt for a RHD and a RHC. This might be called the Ryan Smyth molotov cocktail. Who moves up the trade list?
CHIARELLI TRADE LIST
List is based on most likely to least likely to be traded:
- Nail Yakupov
- Taylor Hall
- Jordan Eberle
- Benoit Pouliot
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Cap space
- No. 4 overall selection
- Mark Fayne
- Griffin Reinhart
- 2017 1st round selection
The list changed a little from last time, but the usual suspects are hanging around in the top five. I moved the No. 4 overall selection down in the last week or so, seems to me PC might have talked himself into Tkachuk.
HARD TARGET SEACH—RHD
- Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. Perfect fit, if available.
- Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. Money is all it takes.
- Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Nuge?
- Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. Strong, effective defender.
- Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Would be higher, question availability.
- Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Solid offense, not completely proven.
- Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. Strange year for a talented young player.
- David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets. Range of skills.
- Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils. A nice underlying option.
- Mark Pysyk, Buffalo Sabres. The numbers imply there is a player here.
HARD TARGET SEARCH—RHC
- David Backes, St. Louis Blues. This would be a free-agent addition and in many ways represents the closest to ‘perfect fit’ out there. I have him here because (imo) he isn’t coming to Edmonton.
- Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators. A fine offensive center who is young enough (26) to be part of the Hall portion of the cluster. Would really help in terms of adding a veteran center behind McDavid.
- David Krecji, Boston Bruins. I know this seems rash, but there may be a window of opportunity here. PC knows the player well, the Bruins appear to be in the process of pivoting into a new tomorrow and he would solve a lot of problems in terms of two-way attack.
- Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers. A splendid veteran with across the board skills, if the team is going to make a big trade then Philly could be a target.
- Mika Zibanejad, Ottawa Senators. A dandy player who is a legit center, range of skills including emerging ability as a scorer.
- Rikard Rikell, Anaheim Ducks. He is not strictly speaking a center but does take faceoffs and could be placed on a line with (say) Leon Draisaitl to share the job.
- Travis Zajac, New Jersey Devils. Past 30 and on a team that may want to hit refresh with a team loaded on the young talent front. Good in the faceoff circle, he is very expensive (modern Horcoff!) but could deliver a lot of what Edmonton needs.
- C Ryan Strome, New York Islanders. Islanders seem to be souring on the young forward (might end up as a RW). Not specifically a center, but he can and has played the position.
- Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks. Seems a stretch, but we are reaching Poe-level madness on the left coast and maybe the NMC gets put aside. Long shot, and that is reflected in his spot on the list.
- C Riley Nash, Carolina Hurricanes. Already reaching UFA status, Nash has decent size, some offense and good possession numbers. As a righty C, he should be on a list somewhere in Peter Chiarelli’s office.
THE BIG DEAL
If you match up the teams with a player on each list, there could be the makings of a monster deal. How many pieces of the Chiarelli trade list would need to be included? Don’t know.
- NY Islanders: Hamonic and Strome
- Philadelphia: Giroux and Gudas
- Anaheim: Vatanen and Rikell
- New Jersey: Severson and Zajac
Look, we are just blue skying here, ladies and men. Chances are they will sign Keith Yandle, deal one of the young LHD for Mark Pysyk, sign Riley Nash and pick up Chad Johnson. That said, there seems to be something in the air and it could get very crazy, very quickly.