The latest rumour of the day has the Edmonton Oilers sending Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Minnesota Wild for Matt Dumba plus. I’m going to weigh both sides of the coin from a Tier 2 fan’s perspective on this rumour but there’s some required reading before I begin.
Both Woodguy (Darcy McLeod) and Jonathan Willis have chimed in previously and I highly suggest you read what they’ve written.
- (Woodguy) Oilers would be irresponsible to see Dumba as a top-four defenceman next year
- (Willis) A quick look at Spurgeon, Dumba and Brodin
So basically, Woodguy sees a bit of value in Dumba and Willis sees the former Red Deer Rebel in a completely different light but both agree that having Dumba as the principle piece in the return for RNH would be inexcusable on Chiarelli’s part. I think it was Woodguy who said the team who is getting the three players in a 3 for 1 deal is the team losing the best player and thus losing the trade.
Now the two gentlemen above used numbers and fancy stats to argue their points. Let’s just use some common sense here. Straight one-for-one, Dumba for RNH is a facking horrible deal for Edmonton. No matter how much Dumba reminds me of Scott Stevens.
- Edmonton has three soon-to-be elite centres but two of them can’t buy beer in the US yet. Leaving Nugent-Hopkins as the elder statesman of the trio. He’s the most experienced and has been forced to play against the NHL’s best centres since he was 18 years old.
- One problem the Oilers have is that those three centres mentioned above are all left-handed shooters. Minnesota has a burgeoning centre by the name of Charlie Coyle. He’s a righty… If any deal is to be discussed involving RNH and Dumba, then Coyle has to be included.
- Proposal: Nugent-Hopkins for Charlie Coyle, Matt Dumba, and Joel Eriksson-Ek
- This is the only way I could accept trading Nugent-Hopkins right now. Just because he had tough season doesn’t mean he should be traded for less than true value.
- Problem with this proposal is that it doesn’t really address the need for an older player at centre. Coyle has played similar minutes over the last three seasons as Nuge and his fancies seem to be a bit better than RNH’s but he’s yet to get over 50 points in a season whereas RNH has had three.
- Dumba would hopefully be a 3rd pairing powerplay guy. Woodguy’s article above showed us that Dumba is a shot generator. Which would be very welcome on Edmonton’s powerplay but Willis showed us the Dumba is closer to Schultz than we care to admit.
- Eriksson-Ek is a big two-way centre that the Oilers were interested in last year at the draft. The Swede was taken 20th overall and had Chiarelli not dealt the #16 in the Reinhart deal, Eriksson-Ek might be an Oiler right now. Well him, Barzal, or Kyle Connor… Geez…
- Leon Draisaitl is not ready for prime time just yet. He needs a year at third line centre. A year where he can focus on developing and not have to worry about the responsibilities of being a top 6 centre in the league. The Oilers need to be treating Leon like they’re treating Reinhart or Nurse. Slowly bringing him along with massive o-zone starts and special teams. Give him Yak as a winger, Maroon as the other.
See, here’s the rub with trading each one of the $6M men:
- Taylor Hall – Elite playmaking left winger. Top three in the NHL. Drives the bus every time he’s on the ice.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Team’s best two-way centre and oldest of the top three. The team finally has centre depth and it would be a travesty to dig into that depth before one could see it in action for 20 games.
- Jordan Eberle – Right-handed sniper who has found chemistry with McDavid. Trading him would leave the team with one right-handed winger in the top 6 and he’d never played a game in the NHL.
So you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The team could address each hole left by one of the $6M men via free agency but there’s no guarantees. Best thing might just be to sit tight and let the deals come to Chia instead of forcing them through.
Minnesota is a team I could see the Oilers dealing with but as I said earlier, not for what is being rumoured now. Maybe Jared Spurgeon jumps into the conversation and then we’re cooking with fire! Until then though, we wait…
Let me know what you think about the Nuge/Dumba rumours in the comments below!