With the NHL trade deadline making it’s decent sooner than later, I reckon it’s time to get into some hypotheticals and create some stir. In my opinion, the Edmonton Oilers are an improving team but they are lacking some key elements found in the teams that brought coach Todd McLellan’s San Jose Sharks and general manager Peter Chiarelli’s Boston Bruins Success.
I feel that the Oilers are lacking in the following:
- Veteran Playoff-Experienced Leadership – I don’t think this team has a definitive leader that everyone looks up to. No Chara, no Thornton. Hendricks is a dandy veteran and Hall is an emotional guy but I don’t see the team buckling up and following those two into the trenches.
- Intelligent Puck-Moving Defenceman – Jultz, I’m sorry, but he’s not going to cut it and as good as Oscar Klefbom is, he’s not the guy you’re looking for here. Sekera is okay, Davidson too but there’s not-a-one guy who can move the puck fast enough or smart enough on this Oilers team.
- Shooters – Have you watched the Oilers PP or whenever they get set up in the offensive zone? How many cute little passes do they try to make before the other team takes the puck away and sends it down-ice? They need a trigger man and for some reason Yakupov isn’t getting the chances or taking advantage of the one he does have. Eberle is doing well now but he does well every year when the playoffs are out of reach and he’s just as guilty of making those cute plays as the others.
- Physical, Tenacious, Fearless Wingers – McLellan and Chiarelli want a better cycling team down low? Well players that are slight in stature won’t last long in that system. The team needs size and puck protection on their wings. If Nuge comes back and Draisaitl is moved to the wing, this could be a redundant element.
Now just to preface, I don’t want the team to make all of these trade. That’s just nonsense. I would, however, like to see the team make some considerable moves. I really think that the team is due for a big shake up and this might be the last season where we see Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Justin Schultz playing for the Oilers.
These aren’t rumors I’ve heard through the grapevine nor are they proposals I’ve ripped off of HFBoards or Facebook or Twitter. They’re simply cannon fodder for conversation, nothing more and nothing less. Besides, I’m sure there are much smarter people over at HFBoards with much better suggestions. I’m just trying to have a bit of fun and hope you guys will join in.
Justin Schultz to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 3rd round pick.
Reasoning: To get him the F out-of-town. He’s harshing my mellow and the Lightning could use a RH dman to cover for Jason Garrison while he sits on IR. The Oilers need to stock up on early round picks too. Their system is bone dry.
Teddy Purcell to the Chicago Blackhawks for Mark McNeil.
Reasoning: Every likes Teddy and he deserves to go to a team that has a good chance at winning the cup. The Oilers would get back a 22-year-old, hard-working, gritty forward who scores at nearly a point-per-game pace in the AHL. He’s 6’2″ and nearly 200lbs and plays a style suited to the bottom six. Regularly spoken of by Bob Stauffer when it comes to trade rumors between the Hawks and Oilers.
Taylor Hall to the Winnipeg Jets for Jacob Trouba, Kyle Connor, and Andrew Ladd.
Reasoning: As I’ve said in the past, I do not believe that Taylor Hall is in Peter Chiarelli’s long-term plans. He’s not afraid to make the difficult move either. Jacob Trouba is a highly regarded young dman who is struggling in his third NHL season but he’s coming up in trade rumors a bit more frequently now. The American-born defenseman plays the right side and is a restricted free agent this summer. Trouba reminds me of Dave Manson a bit, he’s mean and he’s got a cannon. Left winger Andrew Ladd is the leader this team has been clambering for since Bill Guerin left, and Kyle Connor is tearing up the NCAA Jack Eichel-style.
For Oilers fans, yes it would hurt to lose a talent like Hall and the Oilers would have to work hard to get Trouba and Ladd signed but every year Hall plays I can’t stop thinking about other elite wingers that had to go elsewhere to experience success. Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Ilya Kovalchuk are all examples. And I look at a defense that is built around Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Darnell Nurse, Jacob Trouba, and Brandon Davidson and think, “Yup, that’s not too shabby! Expensive down the road but effective.”
Jets fans can rejoice in potentially having one of the best lines in hockey in Hall-Little-Wheeler as well as a defence that includes Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Josh Morrisey.
Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders for Kyle Okposo and Josh Ho-Sang
Reasoning: Here comes the muscle. Okposo would be the Nathan Horton-like player Chiarelli is looking for. I added Ho-Sang here because he’s a headache with tremendous potential but is also a wildcard AND Okposo is a free agent at season’s end who is looking for some top dollar. Another note on Ho-Sang, the Oilers are truly lacking some real offensive prospects in their cupboards. Sleypyshev? Is he the only real offensive gem (if you can consider him a gem) down in Bakersfield that is an Oilers draft pick?
Ok now. I’m sure you’re fuming over that Hall idea but calm your tits. Yes, Eberle and McDavid are having success together and Ebs looks like a man possessed. He’s fun to watch again but I urge you to look up the names Blair MacDonald and Rob Brown… He’s a complimentary winger who doesn’t fit into McLellan’s and Chiarelli’s system in my opinion. McDavid is THAT GUY who makes others better, right Benoit Pouliot?
Trade #5 (If the Oilers win the draft lottery)
The first round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for Rasmus Ristolainen and the Sabres first round pick.
Reasoning: Auston Matthews-Jack Eichel-Ryan O’Reilly… That is a 1-2-3 punch if I’ve seen one. I think it’d hurt for them to lose the big Finn Ristolainen but they signed Cody Franson to be an impact defender and he’s playing third pairing… Perhaps he’s being deployed incorrectly. With Brendan Guhle coming in next year or Chad Ruhwedel, they’ve got cover for that #6 spot in the defense.
Edmonton simply doesn’t need any more 1st overalls let alone high impact forwards. They’re dying on the back-end and a deal like this would do wonders I believe.
So what do you think about my trades? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check out the new Better Call Hall tee below! It’s on for $14 until Tuesday I believe, then she goes back up to regular price.