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!
- New Lowetide: Oilers 2021-22 roster projection, including trade and free agent targets
- DNB: How do Oilers fans feel about their team’s 2020-21 season?
- Lowetide: What is a reasonable trade price for Oilers to pay for Duncan Keith?
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers draft from the OHL after a season that never happened?
- DNB: Oilers are interested in trading for Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith — at a price
- Lowetide: Finding the ideal No. 3 centre for the Edmonton Oilers
- New DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ future value to the Oilers will be defined by his adaptability
- DNB: Oilers’ Connor McDavid wants ‘more consistency’ with NHL playoff officiating
- DNB: How re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for eight years could help and hurt the Oilers
- Lowetide: Can the Oilers’ next wave of prospects help them win a playoff series in 2022?
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- Jonathan Willis: How underappreciated Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry became a Canadiens mainstay
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers return to the WHL prospect pool in the 2021 draft?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect pipeline could be at stake as AHL coach Jay Woodcroft outgrows his minor-league role
- DNB and Dom: How the Oilers should value pending UFAs
- Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers could make a Jack Eichel-level trade happen this offseason
- Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones, Oilers reach crossroads that could land Jones in Seattle
- Lowetide: What will Oilers do if they must replace Oscar Klefbom?
- Jonathan Willis: What comes next for the Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi?
- Lowetide: Why Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod and more prospects are options for Oilers in 2021-22
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
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.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
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!