What’s it going to take? by Zackman35

By , January 20, 2012 8:48 am
What’s it going to take?

What’s it going to take?

No doubt about it, the Edmonton Oilers blue-line has been thin for quite some time now, many fans agree that this is an issue that management must address and soon. How long has it been, two, three, four, five seasons? In 2006 the Oilers iced a defensive group oozing with experience and battle scars. This defensive group was anchored with Jason Smith, Chris Pronger, Steve Staios and young Marc-Andre Bergeron with a few other D-men rounding out the back end. A respectful defensive group, I’d say.

The season following the cup run of ’06 the Oilers defence changed, along with the rest of the team, and as fans of the Edmonton Oilers we all know the bumpy ride it’s been. Since the lockout we’ve witnessed a few “block-buster” type deals go down and I wish to examine some of the notable deals involving the “big name” defensemen.

August 3rd 2005 – Chris Pronger

To the Edmonton Oilers:
Chris Pronger (D)

Edmonton receives an elite calibre defenseman in Chris Pronger, a number one defensemen with grit, nastiness, offensive capabilities and the ability to log a ton of minutes. What is going the other way?

To the St. Louis Blues:
Eric Brewer (D)
Jeff Woywitka (D)
Doug Lynch (D)
Eric Brewer

Larry Pleau may have sugar coated Brewer a little bit but he was a promising young d-man that had some upside, with a ceiling of becoming a top pairing guy. (Please correct me if I’m wrong).

“Eric Brewer (26) has been a premier defenseman in the National Hockey League for the past several seasons and we are very excited about the talents he brings to the Blues,” said Pleau. “We are also adding two skilled younger defensemen who are clearly up-and-coming players at this level. We’re looking forward to having all three of these players in our lineup together one day in the future.” – Larry Pleau St. Louis Blues Senior Vice President & General Manager

Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch
These were two bubbling defensive prospects in the system that showed promise at the time of the trade.

At the time Blues seemed press financially, so sending salary heavy Chris Pronger to Edmonton for young, promising Eric Brewer and futures, a deal was made.

January 31st 2010 – Dion Phaneuf

To the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Dion Phaneuf (D) ($6.5 Mil Cap hit until 2013/14)
Dredrik Sjostrom (LW/RW) ($750k Cap hit until 2010/11
Keith Aulie (D) (Prospect)

I think Burke sums up the trade pretty good. Phaneuf was obviously the big name in this trade but also getting prospect Keith Aulie was pretty important too.

“It takes some offence out of our lineup and that’s the next question … who replaces that offence we lost today, but it puts a major weapon on the blueline and makes us much more difficult to play.” – Brian Burke

To the Calgary Flames:
Matt Stajan (C) (UFA)
Niklas Hagman (LW/RW) ($3 Mil Cap hit until 2011/12)
Jamal Mayers (F) (UFA)
Ian White (D) (RFA)

To get a good grasp on what was coming to Calgary I think reading Kent Wilson’s post at MatchsticksandGasoline gives us good insight from the Flames perspective.

(Analysis on players all from MatchsticksandGasoline)

“Stajan seems to get similar press to Daymond Langkow: good secondary center, but not a legit first line guy. The 27 year old is on pace for a career season this year (61 points) and he’s only crested 50 points once. That said, he’s right in the meaty curve of his development arc, has managed more than 2 points per 60 minutes at ES this year (despite a rancid on-ice SH% and PDO) and leads the Maple Leafs in terms of PP efficiency with 4.37 PPP/60. Those are all favorable signs for a club desperate for more scoring.”

“Toronto’s leading goal scorer is fast and relatively capable at both ends of the ice. Hagman is the second most efficient producer of points at ES for TOR this year behind Alexei Ponikarovsky (who I would have liked, but whatchagonnado?). Hagman is 30 and signed long-term for $3M/ season. I laughed at the Leafs when they signed Hagman after his 27 goal outburst in Dallas, but he’s been a legit top 6 forward during his time in Toronto.

Like Stajan, his level of competition was middling.”

“This player might actually be the jewel of the deal from a Calgary perspective. White is to the Maple Leafs what Giordano is to the Flames. A big time scorer in junior, the only defender facing tougher minutes than White this season was Francios Beauchemin.“

“No need to include his stats. Mayers is a physical 4th line option. He’s probably no better than Nystrom, Sjostrom, Prust, etc. and was probably a salary throw-in. He drops the gloves on occassion and you don’t want him caught on the ice against good players.”

To me, this deal seemed like a “shake-up” for the Flames with the opportunity of adding some potential offense but more importantly being more flexible with the cap. Although Burke paid with offense and roster d-man, he never sent a “big name”, top line/number one pairing guy the other way to get Phaneuf a warrior and potential stud d-man patrolling the blue for years to come (personally I’m not a fan of the ogre).

January 19th 2011 – Erik Johnson

To the Colorado Avalanche:
Erik Johnson (D)
Jay McClement (F)
Conditional 1st Round Pick 2011 or 2012

To the St. Louis Blues:
Chris Stewart (F)
Kevin Shattenkirk (D)
Conditional 2nd Round Pick 2011 or 2012-01-19

“We’re very excited to acquire a young emerging power forward in Chris Stewart and a top young NHL defenceman in Kevin Shattenkirk.

These are two solid young players who will help us now as we continue to grow and improve our team.” – Doug Armstrong St. Louis Blues GM

This deal in my eyes was a good ol’ hockey trade. Focusing more on the players in transaction rather than the cap. Erik Johnson traded to the Avalanche, a number one pick who may have not been reaching expectations of his draft pedigree in St. Louis. In my opinion he was a solid addition to the Avalanche blue line, even if it will take him some more time to develop I think the Avalanche added a key piece to their blue-line and future. I also believe that the Avalanche paid quite a hefty price in this trade, sending young offensive d-man Shattenkirk (22) (7G 19A 46GP at the time) and young powerforward Stewart (23) (13G 17A 36GP) but time will tell.

So what’s it going to take?

Shea Weber

With Shea Weber going through arbitration this summer signing the one year deal worth $7.5 Million, rumours and arm chair proposals have been running rampant ever since. Will Shea Weber actually sign in Nashville? With the long term deal Pekka Rinne signed earlier this season, management has shown that they have money and are willing to spend it on their players but are their players willing to stay? Shea Weber may be an RFA but as the deadline and off-season approach Ryan Suter contract negotiations still remain a mystery.

Seeing a few of the trades above what do you think it would take to acquire Ryan Suter or even Shea Weber? As is right now what do you think it would take before the deadline? How about after the deadline and in the off-season, knowing that one of or either of the guys are not willing to sign in Nashville? There are a lot of scenarios to to think of but looking at the trades above the deal seems possible without using our big three in RNH, Hall or Eberle. Our 2012 1st Round Pick would be a pretty substantial addition to any trade proposal but do you think we can get a trade done for a defenseman without it? I think the possibility is there.

Our blue line is young, thin and suffering growing pains. Drafting a defenseman is a possibility but with that usually comes a lot of time in development. We could potentially speed up the process of the rebuild solidifying our blue-line and acquiring that number one d-man. So what’s it going to take?

5 Responses to “What’s it going to take? by Zackman35”

  1. Racki says:

    Thanks for yet another quality guest post, Zack.

    The thing is, usually (except when Mad Mike is involved) a GM is making a trade to get something out of it, obviously. BUT it’s not always a good player they’re trying to get out of it. Some teams just want to dump off salary. You have your habitual losers like the Islanders that are frequently drafting great players and then shipping them off elsewhere because they don’t want to pay top dollar. The same happens to a lot of the small market teams. It’s all about knowing when you have a team behind the eight ball, and offering them something that will help fix their financial situation while giving them a glimmer of hope for the future.

    So for me, I think we can target the Predators and not have to break apart our big 3 at all to get Weber.

    Assets I would use in any trade for a big name D-man:
    Linus Omark, Ales Hemsky, Tyler Pitlick, Ryan Martindale, Curtis Hamilton, Ryan Whitney, Taylor Chorney, Alex Plante, Colten Teubert, Eric Belanger, Cam Barker, our first rounder in 2012 (would completely lower any other pieces we’d have to package with it), our 2013 1st rounder, any other picks.

    Really, we have a lot to work with here. BTW, before anyone thinks I’m crazy, I didn’t mean packaging all those guys for one guy like Weber. I mean, that’s the better pieces we could draw from (plus more, for the right price).

    There are lots of players who could be on the table. I think our fans can commonly undervalue our worth here as much as some people overvalue it. We have a fairly deep farm system… just many of our players won’t be ready for 2-3 years. We don’t have the patience for it, but there are other teams out there that have made a name for themselves for being the rest of the NHL’s development teams.

    We can definitely make a trade for Weber, or Suter, or other big name guys. I have no doubt about that. Suter is also holding out in Nashville because he wants to see what the Predators will do to improve the team there (to show commitment from GM) before signing. The team may not be willing to do that.

    It’s all about taking advantage of a team at the right time 😉

  2. Dman09 says:

    Well here is what I say. Hemsky(=1st +prospect), O’mark, Peckham, Plante/Chorney and 2012 1st rounder + 2nd rounder for both Weber and Sutter. If you need to you can bump that 2nd up to another 1st or just make is a conditional. Thats basically equicalent to 2 first rounders (one being a lotto likely) 4 prospects and an additional pick of a 1st or second. I think that is pretty fair value for Weber and Sutter and if they want to add a couple more guys to the mix like Sutton,Barker to fill in the gaps then throw them in for free.

  3. Racki says:

    I would have to assume that the Preds would never trade both, but they’ve got some D depth there. So maybe we could pry one or the other, plus a Blum or Josi, or Ellis or something. We’d have to pay quite a bit to do it though, cause they shouldn’t be too inclined to give up the young cheap guys.

  4. Dman09 says:

    My thinking was if both players are holding off contract discussions and considering between the two you are looking at a possible 14+million in salary, that doesn’t give the team a lot to work with for trying to improve the team when they don’t really know what their cap situation is going to be. Also if they get the feeling that neither is going to be willing to sign they may want to try and get what they can for them. I think the biggest draw to the deal is the likely hood of a lotto pick. If that pick turned into Yakupov I think they would be very happy. If they wanted a Potter or Whitney in there I would still work over the deal to have those two.

  5. Racki says:

    I think you have to also look at it from our side though too.. that’s a hell of a lot of salary for the Oilers to take on. Won’t happen while Horcoff, Gilbert and Khabibulin are here, unfortunately. I can see one of them being moved, but would be hard to free up $14M for us. We have deep pockets, but there is only so much cap space.

    I would definitely love to have both though, but it wouldn’t last long.. don’t forget that Eberle, Hall and Paajarvi get new contracts by July 1st, 2013, and then the Nuge on July 1st, 2014.

    On the plus side, we might lose Hemsky’s $4.1, and Smyth’s $6.25 will likely be reduced a fair bit (I think he’ll retire here). But it still gets dicey. I haven’t done the math though, but that’s a lot of money to tie up in 2 players, plus our big 3 forwards will get huge money soon. Would have to be pretty stingy with the rest of the team! I would definitely love for the Oilers to be able to do it though.

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