Rumor: Gilbert for Stafford.. Would You Do It?

By , October 21, 2009 5:00 am
Rumor: Possible Tom Gilbert for Drew Stafford Trade?

Rumor: Possible Tom Gilbert for Drew Stafford Trade?

I don’t really think this one holds any water, but the first I heard of this rumor was when David Staples of the Edmonton Journal mentioned on his blog Cult of Hockey that a journalist for the Buffalo News was rumor mongering a possible deal between the Oilers and the Sabres. In the Buffalo News article, the reporter cited that an “A source in Edmonton says the Oilers would trade puck-moving defenseman Tom Gilbert in a heartbeat for Drew Stafford, if the Sabres were interested.”

Now right off the bat, that isn’t even what I’d call a trade rumor. It’s more of a case of drooling over someone else’s players. But I’ll humor this idea because it’s possible that the Oilers have been mulling it over and are thinking of giving Regier a jingle, and partially because this rumor gained new legs when it was brought up again by Robin Brownlee today. To be honest, I’m not really sure why it’s still lingering around, however, let’s take a look at how Stafford could possibly help here.

So let’s start with the stats/facts. Drew Stafford is a 23-year old, 6’2″ and 213lb right winger with a right handed shot. His box cars over the past couple of years are:

Regular Season Stats:
2007/08: GP 64, G 16, A 22, P 38, PIMS 51, +3
2008/09: GP 79, G 20, A 25, P 45, PIMS 29, +2
Ice Time:
2007/08: 11:33 ES TOI/G and 1:55 PP TOI/G, minimal SH TOI
2008/09: 12:58 ES TOI/G, and 2:37 PP TOI/G, minimal SH TOI

Those numbers are alright, but nothing I would consider spectacular. So what about the scouting report? His assets sound like a typical Quinn guy.

Assets: Owns an impressive size/skill package. Can score goals and also play a physical game from the wing position. Works hard.

Flaws: Must prove he can play a consistent brand of hockey in all three zones. May not become an elite goal-scorer at the highest level.

Career Potential: Top six winger.

Salary wise, Stafford comes in $2.1M/year cap-hit less than Gilbert (however Gilbert is signed for 3 years longer).

So is it worth it? I don’t know about that. I’m not sure about Stafford, to be honest. He’s a former first rounder that did have some decent success in college hockey as well as on Team USA winning a gold medal in the under-18 tournament in 2003. He’s also got ties with the Oilers organization, as he’s the son of long-time equipment manager Barrie Stafford (little random factoid for you folks).

Without a doubt, he would be an upgrade on JFJ or Stone. However, I’m not so sure giving up Gilbert for him would be a wise decision. From what I’ve read out there, it sounds like Sabres fans wouldn’t be happy with this deal either (Gilbert really doesn’t get much respect around the league, it seems – he’s the blue line’s Shawn Horcoff), mainly because of the amount of extra salary they would pick up. It may require the Oilers taking on a bit of cash in return. I’m not sure who the Sabres would be looking to give up in addition, however. Really, I don’t see this deal as going down. It’s wishful thinking on some media members’ parts, I believe.

I will say though that Taylor Chorney has really come into his own since Staios/Souray were hurt. Just one example… I’m not sure how many noticed, but with approximately 2 minutes left in the game against Vancouver, a shot game off the end boards just to Khabibulin’s left. Khabibulin was slow to get over to that side of the net, because he was on his knees. Mason Raymond was there on the doorstep to pick up the puck and ready to jam it in, however Chorney got body position on him, forced his stick down against Raymond, and dove to push the puck away. The puck came back around the front of the net a dozen or more seconds later, and Chorney was there again to fight Raymond off the puck. Little things like this go unnoticed sometimes. Everyone was talking about Smid’s save (which really WAS spectacular), but this also was a key game saver.

It seems like the Oilers have a couple of players waiting in the wings on the blueline now with Chorney and Peckham knocking at the door. So that said, it would seem they can afford to give someone up now, so there is a slight bit of possibility behind this rumor (if I can call it that).

So again, who out there would pull the trigger on this deal? And if it’s not quite good enough, what else would you ask for from the Sabres’ side?

Would you trade Tom Gilbert for Drew Stafford

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22 Responses to “Rumor: Gilbert for Stafford.. Would You Do It?”

  1. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I wouldn’t do that trade only because if we move Gilbert, I would prefer it be a part of a bigger deal that lands us a premier scorer like Kovalchuk. I do like Stafford but I don’t see the urgency to get a deal done right now, and when you are in that position, you can take your time and see what else is out there. Wait for a better deal.

  2. Steve-O says:

    From what I heard, this org has had a chubby for Stafford since he was drafted. Not sure where I heard that but I’m just throwing it out there.

    Other than that I would rather give up Souray or Visnovsky than Gilbert…unless we are trying to win the cup this year.

  3. DropIt says:

    Majestyk: You may as well give up you Kovalchuk hopes, he has publicly said he does not want to play for a canadian team.

    This deal seems fairly even, but I don’t think I would trade Gilbert… He looks to be the #1 defenceman here when Souray finally leaves… Not enough coming back

  4. Racki says:

    Steve-O: From what I heard, this org has had a chubby for Stafford since he was drafted.Not sure where I heard that but I’m just throwing it out there.Other than that I would rather give up Souray or Visnovsky than Gilbert…unless we are trying to win the cup this year.

    I think the relationship to Barry Stafford has part to do with it. But I’m of the opinion too that it wouldn’t be a good deal for the Oilers. And if we were giving up Souray and Visnovsky, I would hope to hell we were getting a lot more in return than Drew Stafford, not that this would be the only piece of that deal. But I would expect that if we give up Souray/Visnovsky we’d do it for a big piece of the puzzle, not Stafford and another half-decent player.

  5. Steve-O says:

    if we gave up 44/71 then its for cap reasons more than the players

  6. Racki says:

    It wouldn’t be to Buffalo then, because they don’t have much wiggle room. Less than 1M.

  7. Smytty777 says:

    I don’t see how Stafford for Gilbert makes us a better team. Has Stafford demonstrated the ability to be a consistent top-6 forward? I don’t think he has to this point. Gilbert on the other hand is definitely a top 4 defenceman, why would you give him up for a question mark in Stafford?

  8. Steve-O says:

    Smytty777: I don’t see how Stafford for Gilbert makes us a better team. Has Stafford demonstrated the ability to be a consistent top-6 forward? I don’t think he has to this point. Gilbert on the other hand is definitely a top 4 defenceman, why would you give him up for a question mark in Stafford?

    because our management has a track record of not being terribly bright

  9. Horpensky says:

    I could only see it next summer if Gilbert is having a terrible season, and he’s being pushed out of the top 4 by Smid….. It would be a classic case of too many defensemen, where one of our big 4 have to be moved by the end of next summer to accommodate some raises, and Gilbert is the odd man out.

  10. NorwegianOiler says:

    It would be a bad trade for the Oilers. Stafford isn’t bad, but isn’t near as valuable to the Oilers as Gilbert is (or any team, in my opinion) A solid, young 2-way defenseman that’s a right handed shot, signed long term? You won’t find a lot of those, but you will find a large sample of players comparable to Stafford. I wouldn’t do that deal if considering market value and never if considering the needs of the Oilers, which really does not include adding another top 6 guy that’s not really going to propel the team any further.

  11. Racki says:

    That’s a good point about the right handed D-man, N.O.. They’re hard to come by. I also agree that Stafford isn’t really going to make this team that much better that it’s worth giving up on a d-man with Gilbert’s abilities. That all said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a D-man go in the future to make room for Chorney/Peckham, however I don’t think there is any reason to rush either of them up here while they still have a waiver-free pass.

  12. gr8one says:

    Yeah, I don’t really like this trade either, if we trade Gilbert I’d rather have some of the other “rumored” players out there like Frolov, or Nathan Horton.

    Pittsburgh might be very interested in one of our offensive D-men now that Gonchar’s hurt too, so Stall could come into the picture as well, but I’m sure Shero will take a wait and see approach with Goligoski/Letang do before going down that path.

  13. gr8one says:


    also, the more I think about next year, I really think Cogs might be trade bait at some point this year since we will need to resign him and Gagner, and we will have Eberle and MPS and Omark(hopefully) making a push to make the team next year.

    Cogs and Gilbert in a package has the potential to get us a pretty big fish.

    anyways, I digress, just sorta thinkin’ out loud.

  14. Racki says:

    Yah only issue with Frolov (other than he’s not in the good books there with Murray) is that he is a UFA at the end of this year. But I think he would be a guy that COULD work with Hemsky. He does play the LW and has a right handed shot, which would make a good combo with Hemmer. He also has scored over 30 twice. I’d think long and hard about that one, even though it might not be a good long term deal.

    Horton, I’m not really too sure about. Not really completely sold on him yet.

  15. DropIt says:

    The only problem with Frolov, is a good, young defenceman is the last thing that team needs… If they trade Frolov, their top need becomes a LW to replace him.

    Staal would be a big move, but the Oilers would have to give up a lot more than Gilbert…. Still hard to see how that would turn out anything but positive if the Oilers could actually bring in a player like Staal.

  16. Racki says:

    Yah I don’t see Staal being moved at all.

  17. Steve-O says:

    Off topic but I just saw on TSN that Quinn separated Hemsky and Horcoff


  18. Racki says:

    Was just about to start a post to mention that and some other updates. Btw, I heavily approve that idea. Someone let Quinn know.. 😛

  19. Hockey Noob says:

    Yeah, Pittsburgh’s got their top three center positions locked up for what seems like the next 20 years, lol. I would be surprised if they move Staal.

    With Souray and Staios out (Souray in particular), it’s hard to think about trading Gilbert until he returns to play (Souray).

    Overall, I agree with Racki in that Stafford’s a decent player, but I would hope to see the Oilers get a better return on Gilbert. Specifically, I would hope that we would find a player who’s a bigger difference maker.

  20. gr8one says:

    Steve-O: Off topic but I just saw on TSN that Quinn separated Hemsky and Horcoffpenner-gags-hemmer


  21. Antony Ta says:

    Grebeshkov + Staios + 4th round pick for Stafford + Lydman + Mair and conditional 5th round pick

    Not because Gilbert is better than Grebs (in my books, they’re almost the same) but because Grebs is due for a huge raise and Gilbert is guaranteed at 4 million. We also get a younger shutdown D-man out of it in Toni Lydman, and a versatile forward in Adam Mair.

  22. chucker says:

    Nope. Gilbert is worth way more than Stafford. Stafford is similar to O’Sullivan in my opinion. I’d want a player one shelf up from Stafford for Gilby.

    Also, I do not like the optics of getting a guy who’s related to an Oilers employee. It’d be like trading Gilbert for Tambellini.

    I do agree Gilbert is the obvious guy to trade, but he can fetch way more than Stafford.

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