Goodbye Hall/Nuge, Hello Lucic?

 

lucic_chiarelli

Milan Lucic is sort of the physical embodiment of what Peter Chiarelli stated from the get-go needed to happen in Edmonton. He wanted to get bigger, more competitive players… I do think if he goes to free agency the Oilers are going to have a solid opportunity to bring him in, but they’re going to have to move somebody out in the process because they’ve got to address that back-end as well. – Bob Stauffer (June 3rd Edition of Inside Sports w/Reid Wilkins)

Well Stauffer is making waves again. If you believe what he’s saying above and that Lucic has been in Chiarelli’s sights from the beginning, we’re in for one of the biggest team culture changes since Gretzky was sold. Out with the skill and in with the ill… Tempered. Hockey player.

Now if you read into that quote above a bit, there are two players and only two players on the left-wing that fit the description of somebody that has to be moved to address the back-end.

Taylor Hall ($6M until 2020) and Benoit Pouliot ($4M until 2018).

I’m of the impression that Pouliot was nearly traded to Anaheim along with Yakupov for a mystery return. We’re left assuming it was Vatanen and Maroon. Maroon finally made it over and it seems that he’s taken a liking to Pouliot’s old spot on the roster next to Connor McDavid.

During the season I got the distinct feeling that Oilers head coach Todd McLellan became frustrated with Taylor Hall on more than one occasion and the rumours are running rampant that Hall is joining the list as one of the players most likely to be leaving Edmonton this summer.

TSN’s Frank Seravalli spoke about Hall, Nuge, Ebs, Yakupov, and the Oilers’ 1st rounder in the upcoming NHL draft on Friday’s edition of The Lowdown with Lowetide.

Here’s the thing. IF the Oilers are intending on signing Milan Lucic to a 6x6M deal (for example), that is going to change the complection of the roster completely. The Oilers have almost always been a run and gun, throw defense to the wind sort of team. And it’s gotten them a whole lot of nothing in the last 10 years and now with McDavid running the show and the team failing to rebuild around Taylor Hall, will we see him moved to upgrade the defense? Will the Oilers finally get that brooding power forward that the fans have been clambering for since Bill Guerin and Jason Arnott were in Edmonton?

Milan Lucic

I want to throw a hypothetical at you.

Say that Lucic to the Oilers is a done deal. Now the team chooses to move Hall because theoretically he’s going to bring you back the most value. The Oilers could choose to go after PK Subban before his NMC kicks in. But do you think they could get Subban for Hall straight up? I don’t. I think they’d have to add simply because wingers don’t have the value that defensemen do. Subban is a Norris Trophy winner and they’ve already got Pacioretty running the cart on the Habs 1st line LW.

The Habs love trading their captains mind you.

So, we move on from PK. Erik Karlsson isn’t going anywhere, so you can scratch that idea off the board. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, no… Drew Doughty, no… Victor Hedman, no… Basically any elite level NHL defenseman is a target to far to reach because there are ZERO teams looking to move their no.1 dmen. Name two if you can. The only one I can think of is Montreal and they’re insane. But we’ve been hearing a lot about four other dmen.

  • Hampus Lindholm (ANH) – RFA. Can’t see the Ducks adding Hall’s salary nor losing their best young blueliner to a division rival and for the same reason, I can’t see Edmonton wanting to play Hall six times a year.
  • Jacob Trouba (WPG) – RFA. It’s possible that maybe something could be struck with the Jets but Trouba has fallen off a bit lately and hasn’t recovered. Also, he’s looking for 1st pairing money ($6M/yr) and that isn’t happening.
  • Tyson Barrie (COL) – RFA. He’s at the top of the trade rumour charts at the moment but with Landeskog, Duchene, MacKinnon, etc. Do the Avs want to add another expensive young forward? Surely they’re going to want to add a defender.
  • Justin Faulk (CAR) – ($4.83M AAV ’til 2019) Here is a team that is in dire need of an impact forward and according to some pundits in the YEG, the ‘Canes are ready to put their faith in the likes of Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin, Noah Hanifin, Ron Hainsey, Michal Jordan and James Wisniewski…

So for argument’s sake, at the draft, let’s say the Carolina Hurricanes are willing to offer the Oilers a multitude of deals such as:

A) Justin Faulk and their two first-round picks in 2016 (#13 and 21)
B) Justin Faulk, Sebastian Aho (W/C), and a 2nd round pick in 2016 (#43)
C) Noah Hanifin

16-bit FaulkWe know that the Oilers prospect cupboard isn’t teeming with burgeoning NHLers right now apart from MAYBE Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira, and Jordan Oesterle but that could change. I’m aware that trading Hall for anything less than Alex Ovechkin will probably result in a drop in some offensive and possession stats and I’m okay with that because I believe the team would grow as a group a bit more if there was one less chef in the kitchen. No stats to prove that of course and I suppose you can’t change what you can’t track but if trades were made with calculators at the forefront, wouldn’t they be easier to make?

Anyways, say they choose option A. The Oilers would have the #4, #13, and #21 theoretically. They could come away from the draft with a completely re-stocked prospect cupboard. Not only that but Chiarelli would totally redeem himself of last season’s draft trade debacle.

  • #4 – Matt Tkachuk/Jesse Puljujarvi/PL Dubois/Jakob Chychrun
  • #13 – Charlie McAvoy/Mike McLeod/Julien Gauthier/Clayton Keller
  • #21 – Max Jones/Tyler Benson/Alex Debrincat/German Rubtsov

Not only that but then the Oilers hold the #32 pick as well where they could pick Carter Hart, Boris Katchouck, Lucas Johansen, or Cliff pu.

But it doesn’t stop there because they’ve got three 3rd round picks to boot! The likes of Sean Day, David Quenville, Evan Fitzpatrick, James Greenway, etc. could be Oilers.

They could also choose to move those draft picks for roster players. But the more bullets Chiarelli has in the chamber, the better the Oilers’ chances are of finding a hockey player that will play 100 games for them in the future.

But take this overhaul a step further and say they sign 27-year-old Jason Demers to a respectable 5yr deal worth $4.75M per annum. That’s more than doubling what he makes now. So then you plug Demers into that hole on the 2nd pairing above and voila! A respectable Edmonton Oilers roster that is capable of challenging for a playoff spot and arguably more importantly, the roster is built in such a way that it allows it’s prospects the necessary time to develop properly.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything but the fictional Oilers roster would look like this after all is said and done:

Oilers

A couple of drawbacks (depending on how you see it) include having a hair over 950k in cap room, no way to sign a backup keeper for Talbot, no RH’d one-timer off of the wall on the PP, and a shat ton of LH shooters…

I think the team could save some money by LTIR-ing Ference and/or trading Reinhart.

Peter Chiarelli is bound to make the Oilers roster one that teams fear playing against and at the moment, they are not that… At all… If Hall or Nuge, Ebs or Yak have to go, then so be it. I welcome a change to the make-up of this team because for ten years they men running the show have been trying the same thing over and over and it simply isn’t working. You NEVER build a team from the wings inwards… And I’d prefer the wingers be dealt before the centers personally but that’s a conversation for another day.

Draft day, please hurry.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • BlueJayBlue

    I move Fayne for Bozak.
    And try and move Nuge for Connor Murphy,Dylan Strome and #7. Toss in #32 or prospect or extra left Dman like Reinhart if necessary. Get Cychrun at #7

    • Beer League Hero

      Those are interesting offers. I know that Fayne isn’t the best blueliner in the league but he’s an NHL dman and the Oilers have very few of those. I don’t reckon the ‘Yotes do that deal. Maybe Murphy and the #7 but not with Strome added in.

      • BlueJayBlue

        I think they do that deal if #13 goes back the other way. They’d have Nuge and Dvorak still

        • JimmyV1965

          No offence, I really really do not like these options at all. Chia has already seen the result of trading Seguin for three pieces and that was ugly. I highly doubt he does it again with Hall. If he did and it bombs, his days as an NHL GM are over. He would be remembered as the guy who got hosed trading two stars. Not so good for the resume.

          You absolutely need two top end scoring lines to succeed in this league and you throw that out the window trading Hall. It’s more than possible to fix the defence without trading Hall.

          Besides, the Canes only trade Faulk if they commit to a total rebuild. They would want the 4th pick and RNH or Drai. If they think they can win by simply tweaking their roster they trade a different dman, not their most experienced guy. And of course there’s no way the Oil trade for 19-year-old Hanifin who happens to be a LHD.

          • Beer League Hero

            Hi JimmyV1965! Thanks for taking the time to comment after reading!

            No offence taken. I appreciate your opinion! With that being said, We have to remember that Chia was forced to make that trade by Cam Neely because Neely felt Seguin was a spoiled and uncontrollable kid. He got the best return he could and to be honest, it wasn’t that bad a return.

            Loui Eriksson just had a great season for the Bruins. Reilly Smith turned into Jimmy Hayes. They probably should’ve kept Smith but Hayes being a local boy and a throwback player to the Big Bad Bruins, Neely couldn’t help himself. Joe Morrow, is just starting to get some minutes in the NHL, so we’ll have to wait on him another season or two. The way I see it with Morrow is it could swing either way. The Bruins D is aging and that fact alone might open things up for him. The last piece was Matt Fraser and nothing came of him.

            Did the Bruins win that trade? Obviously not but they didn’t do as bad as some may think and I don’t think the Oilers would do that poorly either. Do I see them trading Hall? I’m so-so on it. I can’t tell either way. We know that Chiarelli has no qualms trading good young players and the Subban rumors won’t die…

            We have to keep in mind that Glen Sather traded away Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog, Glenn Anderson, and Jari Kurri… And even after all of that, he still made it to New York to work for another twenty years or so.

            I do agree that if the Canes trade Faulk it’s a bad idea for them. That D is far too young to be put in the hands of some NCAA grads. But an RNH 4 Faulk deal would cause me to deliberate for a bit. Hanifin is LH’d but he’s going to be ridiculously good. It wouldn’t even matter what way he shoots if the Oilers could get him.

            thanks again for commenting!

          • superdutyfan

            trading Hall if we sign Lucic is the best thing to do It would be a sideways move on the cap and Hall brings the most return and Edmonton would be best suited to have RNH Draisaitl and McDavid in center for a couple more yrs. and Eberle is the only desent RW.

  • HockeyWiz

    I’m waiting for Dustin Brown to shake loose from LA (buyout), to sign as a free agent for second/third line dollars.
    That starts the Nuge conversation… Minnesota needs a first line solution and has a few capable RD options, good prospects, backup goaltending, draft picks…
    Send Pouliot+ to Anaheim for Vatenen and Chris Stewart
    Send Yak to Carolina for a young RD
    Draft Tkachuk

    Go shopping. You still have over 10M and your balanced NHL roster is under contract.

  • superdutyfan

    Peter Chiarelli trades Hall which I would rather that the RNH. I’m sure would be a first for a GM to trade the top 2 players in the same draft year. I would be willing to go with option A in a Carolina trade. But only if Lucic was going to Edmonton.

    • Beer League Hero

      Ya I’m not sure if a GM has every traded the top two picks in a given draft year before. That’s a good shout.

      Thanks for commenting Superdutyfan!