Trade Winds

by Lowetide

Do you have a favourite trade (or two) you remember well? I have a good memory for where I was and what I was doing at the time a trade broke. The Expos acquired Zane Smith while I was at the Calgary airport, I found out about Mark Langston coming to Montreal when Mitchell Blair called me at two in the morning (I was sleeping).

Oilers acquisitions that were memorable for me include Garry Unger, Kent Nilsson, Bill Ranford, Doug Weight, Lubomir Visnovsky and David Perron. It’s very cool when a trade is made that improves the town team. Perhaps we’ll see one soon.


I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!

Summer trades for Oilers fans have often been tragic in recent years. MacT acquired David Perron from the St. Louis Blues in 2013, the cost (Magnus Paajarvi and the pick that turned into Ivan Barbashev) acceptable. He was less successful the following summer, bringing in the rights to Nikita Nikitin (I think Scott Howson may have been influential in that deal) and acquiring Edward Purcell for Sam Gagner.

Peter Chiarelli made some famous summer trades, sending away the 2015 picks that landed Mathew Barzal, Mitchell Stephens and Jonas Siegenthaler. He also dealt Taylor Hall summer 2016 and Jordan Eberle 2017 summer.

Ken Holland has been active as well, trading Milan Lucic and John Marino’s rights in summer.

How many of these deals brought you instant joy?


Based on Holland’s transaction history in Edmonton, his strengths are patience with talented Finns and signing unrestricted free agents. I ranked his Oilers moves in the early spring (prior to the Dmitri Kulikov deal) and found his best transactions were finding a way to get Jesse Puljujarvi into the fold, signing Tyson Barrie and Mike Smith, and drafting Dylan Holloway.

His best trade (this is my opinion) was getting out from under the Milan Lucic contract. It was a deal that was impossible to buy out at the time, and James Neal’s deal is far easier to cast away (I expect we’ll see it soon, although still wonder about his health and a possible LTIR).

His three poorest transactions were all trades (Athanasiou deal, Marino deal, Mike Green deal) although I think people get their pants in a knot about it a little too much. Why?

Holland overpaid for Athanasiou, but didn’t double down, instead spending that money more wisely than he would have in retaining AA. I don’t think a monument needs to be built but crediting the GM for using the AA money on Tyson Barrie, Mike Smith and Dominik Kahun was a good bit of work.

In Detroit, after the cap arrived, Holland did good work in free agency but his trade track record was uneven. Now, I believe much of that came because the organization was (unrealistically) chasing one final Stanley for Mr. Illitch, and Holland corrected to rebuilding as soon as the owner passed. Bruce McCurdy wrote about it at CofH, was going to link it but can’t find.

Watch for buyouts (Neal, possibly Kyle Turris, less likely Mikko Koskinen imo) as soon as tomorrow, when the window opens.

I think Ken Holland is a better judge of hockey players on the open market than he is in trade, based on his own past.


While I was on holidays, Scott Wheeler at The Athletic wrote about what makes Carter Savoie an unusual and exciting hockey prospect. The article is here. He also dropped his final 2021 ranking, and we’ll talk about both on the Lowdown this morning. Questions welcome, just leave them in the comments section of this post.


At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we could get breaking news as I expect an extremely busy two weeks ahead as we careen toward the expansion draft. Wheeler at 10:20, Cam Lewis from Blue Jays Nation at 11 (Jays made a trade and hammered the Orioles) and lots of talk about the Stanley Cup champs and trades/free agent signings by Edmonton to come. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


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KEN signed KASS. now he is a trade candidate. It was a poor signing by Holland

Harpers Hair

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I wonder how much the Josh Anderson OT goal put into the Owners pocket by extending it 1 game.


I saw the US numbers on NBC. 2 mil watched


It looks like Holland’s first task was to try and move wasted cap prior to but out window.


Not Kassian, they like Kassian and believe he has value. (I do as well)

So if a Keith deal is in place, we dont see the buyout of Neal. No deal in place, or a lesser deal we do see Neal bought out.

im sure trades, protection trades, and free agency are on the list, but this shopping to dump cap space had to come first.


Buyout window goes until the 27 so lots of time still.

There is still the expansion draft and regular draft.

Qualifying offer deadline isn’t even until after the draft.

Sekera buyout happened right near the end of the period, if i remember correctly.


When gretz got traded to LA it was the beginning of the Sunbelt experiment and as Tampa has just won back-to-back cups we can now see what is transpiring;

and that is that if players do have The Choice of location because of their level of excellence where they can where they want to go, more players are opting for Sunbelt destinations and it’s making it harder for teams in Canada and shit hole locations like Buffalo, wpg, det.

FLA NASH CAR T.B. L.A. S.J.ANA VGS are the preferred landing spots. Sprinkled in with the major big time sport cities like BOS, NYR & CHI.

Edm is up against it


Many “traditional” hockey markets are shooting themselves in the foot by standing still while “non-traditional” markets leap forwards with better scouting, development, analytics, performance optimization, etc.

I’m not entirely admonishing or absolving the current regime, but I don’t think you can chalk up the current differences to taxation and climate alone.

Further to this, Canadian cities have changed dramatically in the last 10-20 years, and for the better. That’s across the board. A lot of what you can get in different cities has normalized, or perhaps a better way to put it is the standard has gone up.

Look at how many non-Canadian players have spent large portions of their careers in Edmonton. Very few have asked out. Has this city ever had a Buffalo situation, or a Columbus situation with elite players? I’d argue not really.

In any case, with two uber elite forwards and an IMO underrated D pipeline, there is really no excuse.


I dunno.

According to the Wiki definition of Sunbelt, only TB, Florida, Dallas, Arizona, Vegas, San Jose, LA and Anaheim play there. 3 of those 8 teams made the playoffs last season.

The beautiful California climate (it is beautiful) hasn’t done much of anything to boost their teams in quite a while.

Certainly big cities and nice climates will attract some players. I think a majority of them are motivated by a winning team and a good situation though (probably those are the guys you want on your team anyway).

The Oilers were badly lacking in that department for more than a decade, so why the hell would anyone expect a FA to choose Edmonton over one of the other cities in the NHL?

In the last year or two we’ve already seen players choose to sign in Edmonton when they could have gotten more money elsewhere (Barrie and Kahun were widely reported). It’s true that some players don’t want to play in the Frozen North, but I really think most of the issue is that the team and the organization was garbage for so long.

It sure seems like those things have taken a turn for the better (2 years in the playoffs, top scoring forwards and Dmen, lots of hardware). I expect even more players are going to look to the Oilers as a destination they want to go to in the next few years. (even if they are up against it!)

John Chambers

I get the sense that Holland has been trying to trade Neal for another fat-but-less-unproductive contract.
The main rumour is Keith, but I read traces of OEL, Tarasenko … basically Holland seems willing to take on money if he can divest Neal.
Short of pulling off a trade I’m certain the Real Deal gets bought out.

John Chambers

As long as we don’t hear Jeff Skinner rumours…

Harpers Hair

Is the Skinner contract the worst in NHL history?

I think it might be.


You beat me to it how about Yashin or Bobby Bonilla, oops wrong sport.

Harpers Hair

Pre cap for sure.

But can you imagine starting every season in the hole by that much as Buffalo does?

It must be demoralizing.


Bobby HOlik?
Kassian? 🤣🤣🤣

Gerta Rauss

I suggested Drouin a couple weeks ago

Drouin needs to decide if he’s playing hockey again, and if he wants to play in Montreal

EDM would have to add of course, but Drouin isn’t going to command a kings ransom

I suspect a bad contract and a modest return is the best MTL can expect in this market

Not sure what Montreal would do with Neal, perhaps EDM retains a little(and they play him for a season) or they buy him out


Edmonton is a rough town for the sensitive sort. Drouin might be better off in Nascar country or music city.


An intriguing wrinkle is Filip Forsberg. Six million cap hit this season then UFA and a big pay raise.

I imagine he would be very expensive, asset-wise, but someone will pay. Grab your popcorn. This off-season is going to be crazy!

Harpers Hair

Given Forsberg’s reaction when Arvidsson was traded perhaps LAK will be a player.

They have the assets and cap space.


Given Forsberg’s reaction when Arvidsson was traded perhaps LAK will be a player.

They have the assets and cap space.

That would be a really interesting summer.

Add Tarasenko and Forsberg (sending out top 6 forward Kempe) and they’re done. The cap space is gone. And a bunch of assets too I guess.

Do you think that gets them back to being a contender? Maybe you do.

Harpers Hair

So Happy Buyout Day!

In a a couple of hours.

Who goes first ?


Does anyone know if it’s customary for a GM to tell the player or the agent that they are being bought out?

On the one hand, it’s a nice gesture. On the other hand, it may compromise a GM’s negotiating position vis a vis available cap space with prospective players or with RFAs.

On balance, unless it’s a player with a long history in the org, I would lean towards not telling the player.

Harpers Hair

I would think it’s common courtesy to let an agent know what the plan is so the player can plan his future.

As for prospective players, their agents would also want to know if there will be room for their clients.


I agree, but perhaps Holland is holding out hope for a trade partner.

There is also that second buyout period available to teams who have a player that files for arbitration. If OP has taught me anything it’s that 🙂 I kid, there is much more.

OP had a great idea awhile back, basically hoping/encouraging Kahun to file for arb with an agreement in hand. That gives you some additional time, though I think it would only apply to Neal and Koski, I think Kassian’s contract is under the threshold of 4 million (source: I may be wrong on this.

Harpers Hair

You would think Holland has had sufficient time to gauge which way the wind is blowing after the Oilers were eliminated.

Harpers Hair

That may well explain the radio silence.


The first buyout period goes up until right before free agency so Holland has a bit of time but, of course, lots of spending can (or cannot) be done once free agency opens.

It would be great to kick the buyout can down the road – see how off-season procurement is going and, if a few extra million is needed, the option is there. If not, don’t take the dead cap hit.

I can’t see Holland discussing this scenario with Kahun or Khaira though.


Kassian’s contract is under the threshold of 4 million (source: I may be wrong on this.

Nice catch. I had no idea about this.

And the holding out for possible trade partner thing would also make sense. Perhaps it’s even Neal and Chicago, though I still don’t really see that.

(hmm, Jones+Samorukov+Neal for Keith kind of makes sense from my Keith >>Neal POV. Not sure I like it, even with the Keith >>Neal POV, but it’s plausible as a way of bringing the ‘cap neutral’ and ‘Jones+Samorukov’ rumours into the same conversation)


Mikko definitely unless traded.


I don’t see Mikko being bought out.


I didn’t see Sekera.

Harpers Hair

The gift that keeps on giving.


I don’t see Mikko being bought out.

I 95% don’t either, but I do think Holland will chase one or more of the FA goaltenders this offseason.

I’ve said I think he could then move Koskinen at 50% retained if he gets one of them. If that’s not true though (as you and many others believe), then having the option to buy Koskinen out (if Driedger, Ullmark or other do sign) later would be valuable.

That said, I agree a Koskinen buyout is very unlikely, as is asking Kahun/Khaira to hold of on signing to open up a 2nd window.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

I still think the only one bought out is Turris. His real salary is $2.2 million this year and buying him out saves the owner a few bucks. He would then only cost $183,333 against the cap this year (and $733,333 next year). Yes I know that we can send him down to the AHL, but that saves the owner no real dollars and leaves a higher cap hit this season. I think the Oilers take the almost $1.5 million extra cap space this year and save Katz some dollars by buying him out.

As for Neal and Koskinen, trade or bite the bullet and retain, but get these contracts off the books as soon as possible. Koskinen should be tradable with some retention and Keith is a perfect storm to get Neal off the books at zero extra cost. CHI can get almost $4 million of cap space in this deal but it will cost the owner some cash. I don’t see any cheaper/better realistic options for them. Double bonus is that we can ask Keith to waive his NMC as part of the deal since SEA is an acceptable backup destination. Toss Jones into the deal if they feel sad.


Here is hoping that the owner has not shifted from (a) massive cash commitments in trades (Lucic trade cost him $12M I think, burying multiple one-way contracts in the minors, signing massive AHL contract deals (Malone, for example), two-way contracts with big AHL salaries, etc. to (b) requiring cap limiting transactions to save $700K over two years.


Holland and Tippett aren’t working for chopped liver as well.


Exactly – analytics aside (and that likely has nothing to do with money), Katz has shown the willingness to spend, spend, spend in the name of the on-ice product.

Last edited 17 days ago by OriginalPouzar

Some oblivious narcissists on here today behaving like junior high boys. Sick. Giving LT stress that’s he doesn’t need. Disgusting.


The constant trolling on this site has allowed the rot to set in


When every third post is antagonistic to Oilers fans it creates a certain tone to this place


We all know this but Maroon is the first player to win three cups in a row since the early 80’s Islanders. Epic. Not enough being written about this monumental achievement. Not a top G, D, or F so that’s probably why but, wow, practically HOF worthy.


I would stop well short of the hall of fame…….


Tale of the tape In 1 corner standing 6’4”
Weight 247 GP 589 G 151 A 159 P 310 PIM 354 and 2 Stanley Cup rings Dustin Penner….,

In the other corner standing 6’3” weight 238
GP 568 G 101 A 146 P 247 PIM 646 with 3 Stanley Cup rings the one the only Patty Maroooon…..

Last edited 17 days ago by Reja

Mayve one day he takes the torch from the OBC one day. With all the rings he surely knows a thing or two about winning?


The OBC hasn’t and will never have to pay for a round of golf or drinks at least until Connor and Leon are GM and Coach for the greatest team ever comprised.


Why were Georges posts deleted? He had a really good one about draft pick valuation, can’t remember the others.




Not surprising that Connor said the Habs are built for the playoffs but we already all knew that.


The Flyers have and protection issues – I wonder about JVR being available.

2 years @ $7M.

Would they retain $2M?

Would they take Kassian back in the deal?

Harpers Hair


And definitely not.

They would be better off just losing him in the expansion draft.


Odd to posit that they’d be better off losing him in the expansion draft without even contemplating the trade return.

Harpers Hair

You didn’t suggest a player who they would want off the Oiler roster.

Want to try again?


you sure like flogging Kassian I myself predict he’ll have a bounce back season after being threatened with riding the bus in filthy Bakersfield.


Feel free to use the term flogging but, of course, its evaluating the player based on performance vis-a-vis expectations and contract.

I would love nothing more for Kassian to “bounce-back” to calendar year 2019 form.

If he plays the 2021/22 season like he did in calendar year 2019, then he lives up to his contract for the season.

That’s part of the issue, the best case scenario is that Kassian can be value for his contract – there is zero chance he will out-perform his contract. This was my opinion on the day it was signed and it remains the same.

That would be a solid add to the team as they’d be getting a valuable player for free. There was no semblance of that player at all in 2021 – for one game in the playoffs, that’s all. Having that player is like adding him from scratch without adding the cap hit. Yes, please.

Hope that happens – given what we say in the 2020 and 2021 (so far), it can’t be expected – it could happen but it doesn’t seem likely.

Jethro Tull

LT, is something going on with the posts? Did George delete a bunch? That’s a shame if so, they were good reading, and gave me a few things to think about.


I am not sure what happened, but I also noticed a bunch of his posts disappear.

I think one of his posts was caught in the manual review filter and he seemed frustrated.

The webiste has been very glitchy for me today. All day long, I keep getting “server not available error messages”

So I am not quite sure what’s going on.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ryan
Jethro Tull

Me too, had to switch from Edge to Chrome.


I missed all of his posts since my last comment.

I looked in the manual review filter and there was one where he expressed that he liked Sprigings’ work better than Tulsky’s.

Some other stuff that I barely scanned thru that seemed benign, then I clicked “approve” which I don’t usually ever touch (it’s not my website) and then when I went to read his post on the site, a bunch had disappeared including the one in the review filter.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ryan
Material Elvis

I blame Duncan Keith. And Chiarelli, of course.

Scungilli Slushy

Teams in many or all sports massage the rules, cheat at things, sometimes get caught. Lots of monkey business. Humans are humans, only consequences usually change that behavior.

Or you know, a league with good rules and oversight that acts on things for the sake and well being of the game and fairness which protects it’s perceived integrity.

I sell stuff to some nice fellows that work for the government. They have a pretty cushy job compared to the tradesmen that work privately, and are compensated well compared to most in their industry.

The crew changes some over time, but there were some retirements in a short span. So it changed quite a bit, and the new people really took the ‘effort level’ to a new ‘standard’.

The managers know what is going on, but if it’s good enough it’s not worth the effort to deal with. Well the lads took it too far, way too far, and now the heat is on big time. Jobs are on the line which is rare in my experience with them.

The Coyotes got punished hard when the Wonder Boy Chayka took things way too far. I always felt his ethics and motives were suspect because of several things around that franchise and his other ventures. A text book self interested climber.

To me Tampa has done this with LTIR, it was blatant and in your face, like the nice fellows I mentioned, and hopefully ruined the scamming for everyone else. Like Chayka doing his own testing because the league typically won’t don’t do anything. Unless it’s too far.

Way too far to be let go. Has to be worth the effort to the league now, it is another direct hit on their recently frequently hit integrity, and management quality, in the eyes of non NHL insiders and owners. And those fan folks.

At some point they need to clean it up and run the league likes it a major one, with gambling coming on. You can still make money and not run it like Barnum and Bailey in 1905. Quality and profit and growth are possible, in fact they usually go hand in hand.


Chicago did it too. Holding Patrick Kane out from the trade deadline to the end of the season when they won one of their cups. (Toronto did it on a lesser scale this year also.)

Tampa lost in the Stanley Cup finals to Chicago that year.

Scungilli Slushy

Yes that is true

For me there are degrees. A month or so is iffy, should have been dealt with and maybe was with a hard word, a whole season is a different degree and should get 3 hard words at least

Harpers Hair

The timeline for recovery from Kucherov’s hip surgery was 4 months so it appears any shenanigans was 1 month at most.


The shenanigans were the 3-month wait after the 2020 cup was awarded until surgery.

Last edited 17 days ago by OriginalPouzar
Harpers Hair

There could be many alternate explanations for that.

For example, surgeons often have to wait for inflammation to recede.


I’m with Frank – shenanigans.


agreed but come on, not 3 months lol… let’s be real here


I still think it prudent to trade the 1st pick for a useful player we can use NOW, At 19 the chance of getting a useful player is iffy,and if he does make it,it will be 3-5 years.We need help now!A goalie,1st line LW,a3rd line center.The draft pick will be none of those if ever,and then only when Drai,and McD are almost UFA.


Lots of good players are available in unrestricted free agency for just money.

Good players on ELC’s will be necessary for the Oilers to have a long contending window with McDavid and Draisaitl, so it is not advisable to trade any more 1st round draft picks until McDavid is in his thirties.

Unless one is getting a cost-controlled impact player before his prime who has at least four years left on his contract.

The Oilers cannot sell any more seed corn until McDavid has signed his next contract. The prospect pipeline has to be overflowing when the current contract expires.

Harpers Hair

This absolutely flies in the face of what the TBL did go win 2 cups in a row.

Do you know how many of their 1st round picks they employed in their forward group?


Do you know how many of their top 6 D were drafted by the Lightning?


There are 3 pillars to winning a championship.

Draft and develop.

Smart free agent acquisitions.

Not being afraid to trade picks and players if you can improve your team right now.

In a cap world, incremental improvement leading to the promised land is almost impossible because your best players age out before you get there.

Hanging on to a 19th overall pick because the player MIGHT provide value in 3-5 years is not a winning strategy especially this season when more than a few teams would be falling all over themselves to trade a quality player who can contribute now and in the future.

Of course there is danger involved if your GM, pro scouts and analytics team don’t know what they’re doing.

Wouldn’t you trade the 19th overall pick for a 25 year old J.T. Miller with term left on his contract?


Tampa was a contender already. They lost in the finals to the Blackhaws in 2015.

The Oilers have yet to win a playoff round under the new regime. They are not contenders.

I didn’t say never trade a 1st. But it has to be a young impact player cost controlled with duration before his prime.

i.e. a JT Miller type. I’ve used Sam Girard as this years model for that type of trade. 23, 6 years left @ $5 million AAV.

Harpers Hair

Since 2009 Tampa has traded 11 of their 1st round picks and/or the players selected with those picks.

This did not start when they became contenders…it’s HOW they became contenders.

While I agree with your general parameters for trading the pick, surely this of all seasons is the time to be exploring that option with vigor.


“There are 3 pillars to winning a championship.
Draft and develop.
Smart free agent acquisitions.
Not being afraid to trade picks and players if you can improve your team right now.”

This is true. Especially when you got the Golden Ticket (MCD).

Pitt traded almost all of their 1st in pursuit of Stanley. They added 2 more.

Winning the Cup is not for the faint of heart GM’s or the pre cap strategy of hanging onto every player and pick.

Be Nimble. Be savvy. Find Value.

Sergachev for Drouin. Great deal by Yzerman. Edm GM’s seem to scared in their own ability to win a trade.


Edm GM’s seem to scared in their own ability to win a trade.

Chiarelli sure wasn’t.

I don’t think Holland is either. He certainly wasn’t in Detroit. He only made 5 1st round pick in his first 14 years as GM.


If I’m not mistaken, Holland doesn’t have a long history of making material “hockey trades”, player for player – generally draft picks for players, deadline type deals.


Yes, I think that’s true. LT has looked at it a few times, and most of Holland’s moves (even off season stuff) more often involved draft picks.

The specific question here involved moving this years 1st though. And Oiler GMs reluctance to do such a thing. I don’t think Holland’s history suggests he’s at all afraid to do that if he feels the return is worthy.




Great stuff.

I agree, this was a good move. I liked AA and thought he was a bit unlucky.

Wonderful wheels and size. He wasn’t afraid to take the puck to the net, either.


I think Kevin Lowe’s acquisitions of Samsonov, Spacek, and Roloson made for one of the best deadlines of all time.

Those were the perfect moves made at the right time. It was not so obvious that that team had championship potential, but they did.


Why do you hate Dick Tarnstrom?


Unrelated, but..

Occasional dyslexia cause me to think his last name is “Transform” the first time I saw this name on a dinky CRT computer screen while he was making news with the Penguins as a rookie. “What a great name”, I thought to myself.


lol forgot about him.

Harpers Hair

Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) Tweeted:
I think Tarasenko still has a lot to offer & won’t shoot at 6% over a larger sample. Just have to ask yourself how many games you’ll get out of him for the next two years of the contract.

Litke 94

What an example of such an extreme range of possibilities with this player.

If the reports are true and his should is actually fixed, you get yourself a 30 goal scorer on the cheap from St. Louis. His cap-hit matters not, at that point. An incredible opportunity to buy extremely low on a helluva player.

If his shoulder is still a pain, or he isn’t the same player as before, you’ve just blown a massive portion of your cap. Even if he went on LTIR, you’ve really handcuffed yourself.

I personally don’t think the risk is worth it.

Harpers Hair

That would depend to a large degree what you sent back in a trade.

Yesterday, I used the example of what the rumored deal involving the LAK might look like.

Adrian Kempe has a $2 million cap hit so the net effect is $5.5 million for 2 years.

I would imagine any acquiring team would want a thorough medical assessment before pulling the trigger so the risk is really how much, if any, his healthy performance may have declined.

Litke 94

Zack Kassian, come on down! Just kidding. Good point. That would make the risk a bit more digestible.


I would do Kassian for Tarasenko. I probably add in one of Kemp or Berglund or Niemalainen.

Kassian for Zucker is still my preferred option.


Well thats a pretty big question for a 7.5 mil dollar player isnt it?

Scungilli Slushy

Is it likely he’s 100% after all the issues?

Litke 94

I always think shoulders are like knees, once there are some issues there, it is always somewhat wonky from that point on.

Harpers Hair

Life is full of risks.

If you read why Tarasenko has asked for a trade a large part of it was that his previous two surgeries were performed poorly by team doctors.

His 3rd surgery was performed by an outside surgeon and has apparently fixed the issue.

We’ll see.


The 3rd surgery fixed the ligamentous instability but doesn’t fix the fact that he’s had 3 surgeries on the same shoulder


Agreed. Three surgeries on one shoulder is a lot. I don’t know. I have a hard time imagining a guy can come back and be the threat that he was. Things I would want to know:

1 – Has his skating declined?
2 – Any dislocations since the third surgery?
3 – Any arthritis in the shoulder?
4 – How does his shot compare before and after?

Overall, I have a real tough time believing that Tarasenko can be the same 40 goal guy he was.

Jethro Tull

But you have two chances of making that one in six pick. And the next pick doesn’t “remember” what the last was. The last pick has no bias on the next. What does, though, is the scouting department and GM making that pick. Now, KH is supposed to be the guru, isn’t he? I’m not sure if this is true or not, we’d have to run the math on how many 2nd rounders HE picked made the grade.

Point was, he coughed up his usual sure-shot ammunition and painted himself into a corner contract wise. There was no out, other than cut bait on valuable picks or the player.

What does your math say about how much a player like AA should be paid, according to his entire scoring history? Taking this into consideration, was Kenny wrong to let him walk?


GSVA has its inherent flaws, but there’s also limitations with only looking at player offense.

Dom’s GSVA had AA as a pretty marginal player using his last 3 seasons (ending with his stint at the Oilers.)

His GSVA was 0.42 which was just below guys like Neal and Pitlick.

If you’re trading two seconds for a guy in that range, you probably need better analytics.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ryan
Scungilli Slushy

Any price paid should be evaluated as to what the player in question adds to the team overall.

Not all offense is positive. Nor is all talent. There are players that will not fit into a team structure or put in the effort to do the hard work end of things, that are boring. There are lots who won’t bond and add to the group environment. It is really important in sports that cohesiveness is key to success at the highest level.

AA is a skill player, big enough, fast. He has had two good seasons. At the same time nobody wants him for long.

Is AA, that Holland knew, worth that? Should anyone be surprised he wasn’t easy to deal with around the contract and had to be walked. I sure wasn’t. I expected he would be unsettled and not fit in. Like always, why would he change?

Not worth 2 seconds on a team that still gets decent draft position. One yes.


AA had a rep as being a guy that would take a while to fit it on a new team. I had heard some pundit mention that he would be a better player to acquire in the off season (that was right after the trade)

That being said and this isn’t entirely fair since Burakovsky was acquired in 2019…

Burarkovsky has a GSVA of 1.21 and AA 0.42 on Dom’s list.

Which trade worked out better for which org?

Which org has better analytics department?

Last edited 17 days ago by Ryan
Harpers Hair

Will be interesting to see if LA opts to retain AA with their recent emphasis on analytics.


If you mean AA is not worth 2 2nd rounders, that’s not how draft math works. Not even close. The draft math says a player like AA is worth 6 2nd round picks.

The discrepancy between your “draft math” and real-world trade market is interesting. Obviously, any GM who would have offered up 6 second round draft picks for AA should have been fired on the spot.

I thought I had read somewhere that GM’s did a surprisingly good job at valuing draft picks relative to their actual market value.

There was a seminal article by Tulsky about draft pic value in a different context.

Another early piece by Dawson Sprigings here. and here

Dom has a newer article year using GSVA.

Interesting stuff to think about.

Jethro Tull

Is that seven or more 2nd round picks before you hit on a player as good as a 1st overall? Is that the gist? Well yes, if you are trying to prove that 1st OV players are a LOT better than 2nd round players. That’s kind of a 1000 monkeys with typewriter prophecy, is it not?

So what’s the take away? Fire all scouting departments and set up a polaroid wall with darts and a blindfold for everything after the first round?

How much is too much for 13 games of hockey?

Bag of Pucks

Now that I think about it more, wouldn’t the issue with extending the cap into the playoffs be the bonus implications? Would imagine the majority of bonus clauses are determined at the end of the regular season. Would the league need to slide the cap upwards for a ‘playoff cap’ to accommodate this?

Harpers Hair

Creating a playoff cap is an interesting idea.

If it was, say, 5 million higher than the regular cap, it would likely result in far more transactions at the trade deadline.

Harpers Hair

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber (@ChrisFaber39) Tweeted:
Ryan Johnson tells me that the outreach from agents who want their players to play in Abbotsford compared to Utica is “astonishing”.

“Agents and players are telling me, I want to be there. How do I become a part of this?” said Johnson.

Harpers Hair

I wonder if this would also be true if the Oilers moved their farm team north of the border since I cant see Bakersfield as a preferred destination.

Scungilli Slushy

To me it would make sense to have players play in a similar climate to Edmonton, thinking about long term and players.

Going from California to Edmonton would be a shock to the brain especially for players from warmer places including Europe that have never ‘experienced’ the sunshine and fun of a prairie winter.

I get that the Bake is west coast, but I have wondered if the team being there has something to do with Katz and business/tax things.


Bakersfield is not exactly Venice Beach. It’s an oil and farming town in the middle of the desert and a good drive to the ocean. In the summer it is hot as hell. As for taxes, California has the highest taxes in the US, no one goes there for the taxes.

Elgin R

The team should not be there at all! Bakersfield is listed top 3 in most, if not all, studies reporting on air pollution in US cities. When you fly in the whole city is generally covered with a thick brown layer of yuk. Great place to put athletes!

Eh Team

By pretty much all accounts Bakersfield is a dump. If you were a young European prospects playing in the AHL and Bakersfield wouldn’t be too appealing compared to most European sites.


What you say is true but the venues they travel to are superior, the winter is better and the schedule allows for a better life away from hockey. I lived in Anaheim and didn’t find taxes that onerous so long as you take advantage of the tax breaks available. Mind you I lived there during the Reagan years.

Harpers Hair

And, having your minor league team close has tremendous advantages for player recall and the ability for team management to have a closer connection to the farm system.

Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal have all done this and you have to wonder how long Edmonton and Calgary will resist.


The American tax system is better! Moved from Southern California back to Edmonton and it is a shock to the system. I moved back because Canada is a better place to raise a family and am glad I did!


Have you ever been to Bakersfield?

Scungilli Slushy

I meant more that it’s summer 365/yr. I’m sure it’s a crap hole. And it’s California!!!


Utica has the same high cost of living as Vancouver with a uglier winter. Bakersfield has a lower cost of living with a better winter and the teams they play against and the schedule is much better. It would be like comparing apples and oranges. Simple answer is no it would not be the same!

Harpers Hair

Vancouver is the highest cost city to live in North America.


According to the data I found, this is demonstrably false.

NYC is +40% more expensive than Vancouver.

Harpers Hair

The link you provided is to a crowd sourced report.

Here is some actual research.

While that deals just with housing costs (the largest component of the cost of living) taxes in BC are very high and Vancouver has the highest gas prices in North America….169.9/liter yesterday.

As carbon taxes continue to rise, almost every component of the cost of living continues to rise in BC as higher transportation costs force everything from food to clothing to become more expensive.


The Economist ranks New York number 4 in the world on cost of living (which includes everything), but Vancouver doesn’t make the top 10. Also, AHL players are generally not buying real estate and rental prices are not always fully connected to ownership values.

Perhaps more important though, Utica is not New York City, and Abbotsford is not Vancouver (and I have been to both).


Since when and what is your source of reference! Based on what currency?


Ever been to Utica? It’s no wonder.

Harpers Hair

I haven’t but I have been to Bakersfield…unfortunately.

Bag of Pucks

Spend my days with a Coach unkind
Shot the puck and hit all that twine
Made up my mind, make a new start
Goin’ to California with an achin’ in my heart

Bag of Pucks

I think it will be very difficult to close the loophole on the Kucherov ‘circumvention.’ Reports I’ve read indicate that many players with that injury are out even longer.

What’s at issue is the length of the recovery period and when the player is deemed suitable to return. To standardize a cap compliancy policy on this, you’d almost have to investigate these longer term injuries like you would a WCB claim.

No way in hell I see the NHLPA agreeing to that. There’s already a lot of friction between players and teams on injury management, the latest being Tarasenko.

ACTUALLY disregard this post. I just read the suggestion down the thread to extend the cap to apply to the playoffs as well. That’s a great fix!

Last edited 18 days ago by Bag of Pucks
Crazy Pedestrian

There is actually a fairly complex problem with just “extending the cap into the playoffs”. And that problem lies with the trade deadline.

Let’s use Kucherov as an example. After that point, if he is deemed fit to play, and cap must be cleared to fit him in, how can a team clear $9.5M worth of players? Drop as many players into the AHL as you can? Waiver-eligible or not? On NHL contracts teams only save $1M and change when sending down players. So will they need drop 9 players? Can’t play the game with only 15 active players. In normal circumstances teams can make trades to make cap space. players could also be picked up off waivers, clearing their entire cap. Neither is possible after the trade deadline. players that would most definitely be picked off of waivers would be forced to be buried or not play. Wouldn’t that be circumventing not only the cap, but also the CBA?

The only way I could see the “extend the cap into the playoffs” scenario work, was to eliminate the LTIR cap relief all together. Which would mean having no way to replace injured players to keep a competitive roster.

unfortunately, as much as we all hate how the cap doesn’t apply in to playoffs and how teams can take advantage of these loopholes, I’m not sure there is a good way to fix it.

Bag of Pucks

Good post.


All that would take is a minor tweak to the LTIR rules. ie a deadline date for players to have to come off to be eligible for the playoffs.


I don’t think that tweak works though.

Kassian missed a bunch of time but was ready for the playoffs – there were no funny games there.  There are players that are legit hurt that are out and could be ready a week or a month in to the playoffs.


There will be players and teams that would be penalized but this is normal when correcting for those that choose break the intent of the rules!


One minor point, trades are legal after the deadline but those players moved are ineligible for that season’s playoffs. So it is possible to clear the cap space to a team that’s already eliminated (or one that qualifies, just not at all likely).


You just have to make every game’s lineup conform to the cap. Y

ou need to populate your game card with 23 guys for every game and their total cap hit cannot exceed that year’s limit.

You can change players in and out from game to game but the cap hit for each game must be under the annual limit.


I would posit that would make sense for the 20 player lineup card – need flexibility on the “roster”


Dave Manson trade was a good one…if that 4th overall pick would have turned out – would have been a great one.

Lindgren (injuries derailed what I thought was a solid player)
Bosignore (1st round 4th overall)
Adam Copeland (4th rnd)

Last edited 18 days ago by maudite
Harpers Hair

A fantastic breakdown of how the Lightning built their championship roster over time.


When signing Tyson Barrie (one of the worst defensemen in the entire NHL) is one of your best transactions, that’s not a good look.


For the cost and what he produced your comment is absolutely stupid!


Connor, Leon, JP ( are anyone else) Barrie and Nurse are the best 5 man unit I seen since the Russian Commies had it going on.

Gamma Cassiopeiae

Aside from the trades of the legends, I remember the Pronger trade and the Roman Hamrlik trades. I was giddy for days after Pronger was landed. Getting Hamrlik for a player that we’d given up on (Bonsignore) seemed a great deal.

When Hamrlik was acquired I recall my 100% confidence that management had won the trade. Now that confidence level is closer to 10% – on a good day. Is the team management that much less confidence-worthy, or has the internet ruined everything?

If they traded a fourth rounder tomorrow for a superstar I’d fret over the lost cap space.


Memorable trade – well, Chris Pronger acquisition was quite a day.

The Hall/Larsson trade was quite memorable for me as I was on the tarmack in Nairobi and the news broke like mere minutes before we were taking off and I was going to lose service for 12 hours…… plane wifi wasn’t quite what it was today. I wasn’t able to research Larsson nor talk about the trade for half a day – wild stuff for me.


I can’t, in way, fault Holland for the Marino trade. As we know, there was zero chance he was signing in Edmonton after Chiarelli was let go and getting a 6th was fine value for the level of prospect Marino was at the time who was about to be a pending UFA. NOthing more the GM could have done, in my opinion.

Scungilli Slushy

It keeps getting mentioned the Bolts ‘did nothing wrong’ in their cap circumvention.

As I understand a player when good to play is supposed to come off whatever injury protocol they are on.

Unless I’m wrong about that, the team and it’s doctors lied about Kucherov’s status.

That isn’t a benign using the loopholes situation. It’s purposeful cap circumvention and dishonest. It’s cheating.

Just because other teams might also do it (I feel many wouldn’t including our own team that blatantly) doesn’t mean it’s right or ok.

Just my take on it. I hope Gary gives them their parade and then makes a phone call. Not this year Brise.

And tightens it up.


“Tighten it up” hmm that sounds a lot like the honour system, good intensions, slap on the wrist kind of thing. Which virtually ensures it happens again, maybe not the bolts, maybe not next year, but the problem is not fixed.

Don’t know the solution but maybe a board of doctors from other teams has to review/signoff, or the cap applies during the playoffs, or something else. But saying we’ll do better in the future fixes nothing.

Scungilli Slushy

I meant Gary makes it not possible to circumvent like this anymore, they’ve done it with other issues they actually care about

Harpers Hair

Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) Tweeted:
“You’re outraged that your team wasn’t smart enough to work the system. That they’re not good enough to win a #StanleyCup, let alone two in a row. That they’re the Tampa Bay Lightning, and you’re not.” #NHL

Scungilli Slushy

My point being it’s not about smart, it’s dishonest and intentional. They’re different and nobody should put up with it.

Whitewashing it is the wrong thing to do. I don’t think anything should have been done in season, the NHL made their bed, it would have been far too disruptive to a league that has integrity issues.

But it should be dealt with now, like back diving contracts, 20 year contracts, etc.

Most reasonable people saw it for what it was. Wysh to me is now a blowhard. He’s dead wrong and that statement is obnoxious.

Harpers Hair

While not exactly the same, a reminder that Montreal was able to add at the deadline because Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher were on injured reserve.

Scungilli Slushy

Yes and The Laughs played it as well with Nash the Slash.

There is cheating around the edges at the end of the season, and there is what Tampa did. A full season intentional caper.

I’m sure you know this, as anyone should that has a sense of ethics. There is a step, or a triple jump, too far across the line.


Harpers Hair

 Reply to  Scungilli Slushy

 July 8, 2021 12:24 pm

While not exactly the same, a reminder that Montreal was able to add at the deadline because Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher were on injured reserve.

A reminder that the Habs almost missed the playoffs, largely because those two were hurt and unavailable to the team.

If Kucherov was indeed “ready” prior to the end of the regular season then, yes, not activating him was against the rules. We don’t know the answer to that for certainty.

What we do know is that they waited 3 months after the 2020 cup was awarded until they had the surgery…….. this wasn’t like Klef delaying surgery because he couldn’t get to Denver to have it.

Ice Sage

We also know that Kucherov hit the ice in all-star form, full speed, no rust, etc, after a year off and blew away the playoff scoring race.
This was orchestrated and will forever be a * on the championship.


Pull your head out of the sand the Tampa cheaters are going to have a huge target on their back next year.



 Reply to OriginalPouzar

Pull your head out of the sand the Tampa cheaters are going to have a huge target on their back next year.

It seems you didn’t read (and/or understand) my post….


Not sure why anyone would care what this guy thinks.


All that means is there is another you alive and well!

Elgin R

Simple: Salary cap applies to the whole season – including the playoffs.


Why this isn’t already the case makes no sense at all

Scungilli Slushy

Yes or one GM said if you don’t play reg season you sit the first round


That fixes the loophole of Kucherov coming back for the playoffs but there are still related loopholes. For example, aw shucks James Neal’s back is acting up again and he’ll be out for the playoffs huge loss he was key, guess we’ll have to load up and try to replace him.


I got roasted on here awhile back when I mentioned the honourable Medical profession isn’t always black and white when it came to the LTIR game. Sometimes a little fib here and there can mean the difference between a very well paid cushy job are having to see 25 slugs like me a day every second week.


I wouldn’t necessarily put this on the doctors. They can say a player is unfit to play because an injury is not healed, but even if they give clearance saying the bone/tendon/cartilage is healed, the player could still be saying, my shoulder is still sore or tight so not fully rehabbed for game action. Its this gray area where players/trainers/coaches can mess around with to delay a return to active duty without any medical professional having to opine on something that would be unethical by medical standards.

Scungilli Slushy

For sure. And then they are magically at 100% first game of the playoffs. Or good enough to play when they weren’t 2 days before. After a long time off and past usual rehab time with your team way over the cap.

Lots of gray area and deceit. It happens a lot, it’s the magnitude of this one that is the issue for me.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Oilers got amazing value for Dave Manson, though squandered much of that value on Jason Bonsignore. But Boris Mironov straight-up would have still been a good deal. Throw in Mats Lindgren, who would become Tommy Salo, and that’s a helluva trade. (A few additional later round picks in there on all sides I’m happy to call a wash.)

Litke 94

Dreger saying the Oilers “covet” Zach Hyman.

An undercurrent of more than likely pure speculation of, “Oilers and Hall a possibility.”

A tiny, little niblet of “would Tarasenko waive his NTC to go to Edmonton” in the Athletic article breaking the Tarasenko news.

Oh how I love this time of year.

Last edited 18 days ago by Litke 94

I think it’s obvious the Oilers would love to add Hyman.

I’d love to add Hyman but not for 4 plus years and not for $5M plus.

For those that like to worry about Larsson’s back, take a look at Hyman’s knees……


Getting Weight for Tikk was a superb rebuild trade (and I LOVED Tikkanen).

Salo gave the team a few good starter years for Mats Lindgren and an 8th.

Penner for (eventually) Klefbom was nice work, too.


Not to mention flipping the shambling corpse of Salo later on for Tom Gilbert.


Poor Tommy Salo.


New York had a hard on for Oiler players on their route to a Stanley Cup. Sather wanted many of his ex players because he knew they would do whatever needed to win. He mortgaged the future for it. And it was worth it in the end.

Harpers Hair

No one waxing poetic about the Ryan Smyth trade to the Islanders?

The beginning of the end.


No one waxing poetic about the Ryan Smyth trade to the Islanders?

The beginning of the end

True colours right here folks.


His motto is I’m not happy til you’re not Happy!😉


I was pushing a Smyth for Giordano trade.

The Oilers were devoid of “puck moving” d-men and Gio showed potential and then had effed off to the KHL. I thought it would be the perfect sale of a pending UFA for futures.

Bag of Pucks

I always liked the Tikkanen for Weight swap. Dougie was one of my favourite Oilers and the trade was one of the few examples in Oilers history where they maximized the value of an aging vet.

I’d like to see the current regime pull off a couple steals of this caliber.


I loved the Weight led teams, hard working lunch pail group that never quit. I wonder why Weight is always shunned at the reunions and when OBC are reporters reminisce about the Oilers past.

Bag of Pucks

Some great stories about Weight in Cujo’s biography. Pretty funny guy and a true gamer. Bled Oiler blue for sure.


Guessing there’ll be some extra chaos in the first round with drastically less info on players, and with so many missing a year of development entirely.

Unless there’s someone they’re completely sold on at 19, this could be a great year to trade down a few spots and pick up a 2nd or 3rd.


Was just looking at something else and noticed that Holland turned the 2020
3rd into 2020 4th + 5th (Savoie + Tullio), I’d forgotten.

That’s got a chance to turn out real well for the Oilers. Agree it could make sense this year as well.

Randle McMurphy

Yes. So the question is where are the tiers, and what does 19 equate to in later rounds.


Who says no? Yandle, Bobrovsky (retain 20%), Duclair and Lundell for Neal, Kassian and Koskinen.
FLA opens up for Knight with Koskinen backing him up, gets rid of 2 salaries they don’t want.
EDM gets a goalie (gamble), a couple of young players and Yandle > Keith (as of right now).



Bob with 20% retained is still $8M for 5 more years. He’s had a worse SV% than Smith or Koskinen since he joined the Panthers (Smith .912, Koskinen .910, Bobrovsky .902 over 2 years).

Yandle>Keith is also highly debatable. Yandle IS more expensive though.


Last edited 18 days ago by jp

I say Bear, Jones, Mikko, Khaira and Benson are gonzo Neal and Kelfbom LTIR. Incoming Larsson, Barrie, Keith Driedger 3C. Book it!


You mean like last year when you thought Bouchard and Puljujarvi would be gone for sure?


Live a little it’s a Oilers blog anything can happen after Gretzky was traded. Its easy to be Captain Obvious, remember when Neal started on the IR how many folks had that one to name a few.


Neal went on the IR because he had actually tested positive for Covid, which was fully legitimate and had nothing to do with managing the cap. While it was indicated he was in Covid protocol during camp (which could be anything from coming into the country, being exposed or a positive test), it wasn’t revealed until after camp that he had tested positive. You had been speculating they would make up an excuse to get him on the IR.


All that matters is the end result unless Covid IR is different from Groin IR or Back IR maybe he had all 3 going on for the Trifecta but they only chose 1.


Trade Tarasenko for Neal.
If Tarasenko gets hurt Ltr him if his contract is insured. If he’s healthy for 80% of the games then that is a win.


I mean, if this was available (and VT passes whatever physical) it’s a slam dunk. The Neal buyout is almost $2M per, so this would offset the $7.5 for two seasons and the team would have that extra space to maneuver in years 3-4.

Given that, hard to see the Blues doing it.


and St. Louis agrees because…..?


They need a boat anchor.

Brantford Boy

LT/Wheeler Question: If the best player available happens to come from the QMJHL who is it for you both? LT: Do you see the red flags Wheeler has outlined for Bolduc as a major negative to his draft position or would that player (type) be valuable to the Oilers?


If you had to pick a player for Benson to model his game after, who would it be? A not-so-fast skater with good edges, of average size, with a defensively responsible game and great vision? Stone is more of a goal scorer but hits all the other elements. Zetterberg is just way more skilled, but he fits the bill (not fast, winger, average size, Selke candidate), Claude Giroux is a good match. Joe Pavelski played a lot of C, but I think is playing wing now. He’s a decent match. I think Andrej Palat fits the bill, too. Mark Stone is bigger and more of a goal scorer, but his skating and hockey sense are a match. John Tavares is an interesting comparison but obviously more skilled and plays C.


Pavelski was the player who came to mind.


The good news is that most of them didn’t become ‘impact’ players until their D+5 or D+6 seasons or their 22 or 23-year-old seasons. Unfortunately, Benson was robbed of his possible rookie 22-year-old season by Covid protocols and the taxi squad. I hope he makes it and gets to play with some goal scorers this year. Maybe we’ll see a breakout season. He’s definitely overripe.

Last edited 18 days ago by Jaxon

If Benson gets to play with players who actually have some offence at the NHL level, he will post points and boost our depth scoring. Have always believed in his skill, he just needs the opportunity.


A not-so-fast skater with good edges, of average size, with a defensively responsible game and great vision

That sounds a lot like RNH without the PP minutes.

Last edited 18 days ago by kelvjn

Lots of commentary since the end of the Oiler’s play-offs around a winger for McDavid and Driasaitl. I see that way down the priority list for Holland this summer.

1.We NEED a goalie that can play 50 games, handle the travel and give the team a chance to win every night AND then be able to win +12 games in the post season. AND we need a back-up that gives us a chance to win the other +32 games.

2.We NEED a legit 1RHD to play with Nurse – hoping Bear develops into this players would be a mistake

3.We NEED a legit 2LHD – yes to Keith at the right price – no to all other internal solutions unless Klefbom is ready to play the full season.

Randle McMurphy

~So a goalie, Barrie and Keith~

Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy

Why not Target Seth Jones as our 1RHD.
Don’t resign Larsson – use that money for Jones.
RHD would be

Not sure the asset cost but would be willing to trade a 1st and prospect for a first pairing of Nurse / Jones – that tagteam could play 25-30 min / night.
Also, if chicago want’s Caleb to entice Jones, why don’t we use what we already have to our advantage.


Lots of futures will need to be given up for Jones. I’d rather sign a guy like Hamonic to a 1-year deal and then pursue Parayko (or even Jones) next summer.


Seth Jones would be unreal – that is a legit 1RD.

At the same time, the re-signing risk is too much to pay full value for. Unless the Oilers have knowledge otherwise, I don’t see him re-signing in Edmonton.


Geez, this article has sparked something in me.

Another one that stands out was the trade that brought in Jason Smith. Can’t remember who left exactly but he was an absolute warrior for the oil for eons. They don’t make them like that anymore.


Along the same ilk as Smith was Staios for a 3rd. A warrior also. That we stole him from Calgary…even better. Smith came to Edmonton for a 4th and a 2nd.


I think he came from Atlanta. We traded him to the Flames when he was done, which a tidy bit of business


A 2nd and a 4th for Jason Smith was one of the best trades in Oilers’ history.


Memories of trades / drafts of yore tend to revolve around our hometown’s annual slo-pitch tourney, as it usually falls on NHL draft weekend (in normal years, natch).

I can tell you exactly where I was standing between games during our 2000 tourney when my former Gr. 12 principal–an Isles fan–told me his team had just acquired Hamrlík from the Oil for Brewer, J. Green and a 2nd-rounder. He was pleased as punch for his squad but liked the deal for EDM too. I didn’t mind the deal either at the time.

Last edited 18 days ago by Tarkus

I remember back in 89 the trade that sent out Jimmy Carson and brought in Graves, Klima, and Joe Murphy. I felt it finally brought some closure to the big one that I won’t mention.

Each of one of those guys brought something special the team and no, I’m not referring to Klima’s bucket helmet. Lol. I don’t think they would have won the cup if they weren’t a part of the team.

Shame about Joe Murphy’s present situation though.

Last edited 18 days ago by Coiler

I still don’t feel AA was a bad trade. I really liked the deal at the time. If Covid didn’t take over the world and screw up the playoffs and the cap, AA could very well have been a great deal. He got injured and didn’t have a lot of time to gel with the team before the weird play-ins. If the cap went up and they signed him to a reasonable contract just a bit above his previous one, that would have been a great deal. AA may have been over 20 goals this season. At the rate he scored in LA (12G, 15A in 56 game pace), he would have been 6th in scoring behind Nuge and ahead of Puljujarvi. And there is good reason to believe that if he had an extended period with either McDavid or Draisaitl, he would have blown those numbers out of the water. I think it was a good trade, but factors out of his control screwed it up.
Kassian was and is an overpay, but I’d venture a forgivable one(?). $500k to $1M overpay?


I agree. I liked the trade at the time and didn’t mind the price because he was an RFA. Covid changed everything. And I really liked Holland’s unwillingness to cave to his salary demands. Hell, I would be happy to sign him again at a low cost when the Kings let him go.


Yup. I think they should sign him too, but that bridge may have been burned. I’ve got all kinds of time for a cheap, young, speedy, goal scorer.

Jethro Tull

AA was only two of those things


Agreed on AA as well.

I also have a very tough time calling playoff depth (Green) for a 4th a poor move. The same player from any team other then Detroit would have been viewed as normal business preparing for the playoffs IMO.

Jethro Tull

It was a situation Kenny created. He doesn’t get kudos for not doubling down on a mistake that shouldn’t have been made. Just look at AA’s numbers. That 30G season was a severe outlier. Not an indication of things to come. The gamble should not have cost two 2nd rounders. Should have maybe been for a salary dump + 2nd to 3rd rounder.


If I haven’t said it enough, I didn’t particularly like the AA trade.

AA is sort of in the ‘Sam Gagner’ class of players. Guys that sort of look like they put can put up top six offensive numbers, but are also seen in photo enough that they don’t really have a net benefit. Except you’re always going to pay for the offensive side of the equation in cap dollars.

Watching him play in the brief run for the Oilers, he could transport the puck and rifle shots from the blueline, he could also pass on the rush, but he could not make a play in the offensive zone.. He also seemed gassed the second it was time to backcheck.

Most of the analytic models including Dom L’s showed that AA was a special kind of bad player defensively. Holland was familiar with the player too. This guy is not the Goodrow that contenders pick up for a run.

Even if Covid had never happened, there was still the RFA with arb rights situation for a guy with a 30 g season on his resume.

Trading two second rounders is an expensive night out on the town for sure.

We’re also under the presumption that Holland knew about Klefbom’s shoulder issues at the time of the trade.

So issues. 1. Holland blew a lot of assets on a year that the Oilers were not poised for a run then got swept by a team that would not have even made the playoffs.

It would have been better asset management to make that type of expenditure during the offseason than at the trade deadline for a team that wasn’t built for a run.

Secondly, If you’re going to spend those type assets, you have to get it right.

Given how bad of a season AA was having (he was on pace for -80 prorated over an 82 game season), you could fairly make the argument that Holland also paid way too much even for the deadline. I had not heard AA linked to anyone else in trade rumors, so we were also bidding against ourselves.

Obviously, Joe went 2/2 with Burakovsky and Toews. Burakovsky only cost a second and a third.

Randle McMurphy

My favorite trade OF ALL TIME was in 2015 when the Oilers traded their 3rd overall pick for the 1st overall pick. 🙂



Last edited 18 days ago by Randle McMurphy

I was pumped when we acquired Curtis Joseph as he was a fav of my. We also obtained Mike Grier In the deal who was one tough hombre and became a favourite as well.


Was lifeguarding at our local swimming pool when I heard about that deal. And there was much rejoicing.

Wonder if Sather was wearing a black ski mask when he pulled off that heist.


The first time I saw Mike Grier was at a World Junior Game. I was excited to see Oilers draft Jason Bonsignore in person, but it was Grier that really stood out. He was built like a fire hydrant even then. Everyone else’s jersey seemed loose and flowing and he looked uncomfortable in his. It seemed so tight on him it looked like he could barely move his arms.

The Oilers could really use a 1999 version of Mike Grier in their bottom six.


For trades not on your list, I’d say acquiring Pronger is notable in its absence.

Also acquiring Maroon was a tidy bit of business.

Darth Tu

At the time I liked the Maroon move, then he blew up and I liked it even more.

As much as I’d have liked to see a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup for the first time since I was 9, I can’t not be happy for Maroon. For a 6th round draft pick he’s really had quite the career.


Awesome for Maroon. No player has won 3 in a row since 1983 when the Islanders won their 4th in a row!


Oiler memory of the day:

1:50 mark, I believe it’s Phaneuf & Regehr BOTH tripping on Pronger’s broken stick from earlier in the play. Samsonov sees opportunity & slips through-pass to Horc who trickles it past Kipper.