McKenzie Says Oilers Still Working On Another Trade

Now for the life of me, I can’t find the radio hit and Chris Nichols hasn’t posted anything over at Fanrag Sports yet. So we’re going to have to run with the word of the honorable Moe Jaber! He’s good people, so no worries there folks!

Disclaimer: This is just me messing about playing basement blogger GM. I think there are lots of teams the Oilers could do a deal with but today I’m just looking at one possibility. I’m just speculating but feel free to flame away. I’m @beerleagueheroe on Twitter 🙂

But it got me thinking about who the Oilers could possibly be talking to and I remember seeing prized defensive prospect Gabriel Carlsson (CLB) lining up on the 4th line in Columbus recently. I thought that was odd given Sonny Milano was available, right? And according to Pierre LeBrun, the Blue Jackets have been looking for a top-two center all season long and just lost out on the Matt Duchene sweepstakes.

The Athletic: The Columbus Blue Jackets hope to land a top-six center before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Alex Galcheyuk of the Montreal Canadiens and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers as two potential options. Galchenyuk’s slow start this season sparked suggestions he could be available. So far, however, the Habs are resisting the temptation to move him. Were he to be shipped to the Jackets, his struggles at center could test the patience of coach John Tortorella.

Nugent-Hopkins is a better option but he carries a $6-million annual salary through 2020-21. With over $5 million in cap space, the Jackets would have to make room to absorb his contract or convince the Oilers to pick up a portion of his cap hit. The Oilers lack of offense at right wing suggests the asking price could Cam Atkinson or Josh Anderson. – source

LeBrun also said this,

“But as it stands right now, I think they want to go out and find a top-two center or certainly a top-six forward, and they feel pretty good about their team if they can do that.” – source

Interesting… Of course, both quotes were from Nov.15th and since then the Oilers have added a… Left-winger… But let’s keep running with Moe’s tweet and say the Oilers are still looking to add a player or two.

We are under the impression that the Oilers are looking for help on D and for some scoring. Who could help out there that play for Columbus that they “might” be willing to move?

  • Ryan Murray (LHD) – Has never really panned out for CLB the way they thought he would.
  • Josh Anderson (RW) – That holdout at the start of the year might’ve soured relations.
  • Sonny Milano (W) – Is definitely NOT a Tortorella guy.
  • Matt Calvert (W) – Injured now but is a UFA this summer.
  • David Savard (RHD) – Also a UFA but would be a hard bargain to acquire for EDM give his RH’dness.

Let’s keep in mind that the Blue Jackets aren’t exactly eating shit this year, they’re 2nd in the Metro division, so there’s no real pressure on them to make any moves but from the way LeBrun and McKenzie are talking about them, they’d really like to get that top-two centre sooner than later. I think the thing with Columbus is that they don’t really have a lot of prospects, well great ones, to use as trade fodder. If they’re dealing with Edmonton though, I don’t think the Oilers would want prospects back anyhow, they’d actually like to move some. So in that sense, perhaps they are better trade partners after all!

If RNH is the rumored target for Columbus and Edmonton is looking to add scoring depth, in order to give them the ability to separate Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and a dman, would you consider something along these lines:

To Columbus:
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Kris Russell
Anton Slepyshev

To Edmonton:
David Savard
Josh Anderson
Sonny Milano
1st Rounder in 2018

STOP! I know! I don’t want to trade The Nuge either! He’s playing out of his skin this season and Todd McLellan would probably saw off his own dick with a rusty butter knife than deal him BUT this is all for conversation anyhow. Shits and giggles if you would.

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A deal like this would give the Oilers a legit top four of Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera, and Savard*. It would alleviate the team of Kris Russell’s contract (assuming he agreed to the deal), Todd McLellan wouldn’t have to explain to the media how he feels about Slepy being hurt again, and Bob Stauffer would be able to wax poetically about the “old-school” nature of Josh Anderson on a daily basis. Sonny Milano is a wizard with the puck and looks to be NHL ready too. There’s nothing wrong with having that kind of skill in the bottom 6 (But will he check?). Lastly, it also never hurts to load up on 1st rounders, especially in next year’s draft!

For Columbus, it’d give them the top-two, NO! A no.1 centre that they’ve been on the hunt for since dealing another no.1 centre in Ryan Johansen and it wouldn’t cost them Seth Jones. They’d get an under contract, smooth-skating, shot-blocking genius who can play both sides of the ice in Kris Russell, and a very skilled (and young) RWer in Anton Slepyshev (Although I’m not sure how Blue Jackets fans feel about Russians since Nikita Filatov and Nikolai Zherdev did them in a bad way all those years ago).

Here’s the problem though, there’s no guarantee that the deal would work out for the Oilers (I think it’d work out very well for Columbus as they’d be getting the best player in the deal). Even though Anderson has 7 goals and 3 assists already this season, losing a major contributor to the Oilers offense, like RNH, is would hurt more than help, obviously.

Do the Blue Jackets have another defender that could replace David Savard right now? I’d venture a guess that the answer is no.

Does this do anything to address the Oilers apparent lack of “team speed”? As far as I know, Josh Anderson is more Cam Neely than Mike Gartner and how far off is he from Pat Maroon skillset-wise?

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How would the deal work on a financial level? Not very well… Just off the top of my head (because that’s how I do this blogging thing) the Oilers would be taking back at most $7M dollars back while the Blue Jackets would be adding closer to $11M, a $4M difference thereabouts. Capfriendly says that Columbus has $3.85M of “projected cap space” and $5M of current cap space… Either way, she’d be close for Ol’ Jarmo’s finance division and wouldn’t allow them to do much more.

Maybe the Oilers’d be better off asking for Oliver Bjorkstrand (I’m sure Oilers head scout and former Edmonton Oil Kings GM Bob Green would love this eh? Oh those old Winterhawks/Oil Kings games were something!) instead of Josh Anderson. He’s a natural RWer and he shoots right too (Anderson’s a lefty).

While both teams seem like excellent trade partners, perhaps a deal would best be done in the summer and usually deals of this magnitude do wait for the summer hours. Then again, all the GMs are in one place this week…

I really do not want the Oilers to part with RNH but we have to be realistic too. The long-term plan with Leon and Connor is that they are 1C and 2C. That means the Oilers are going to have to find someone to play RW on McDavid’s line. Someone preferably mid-20s to late-20s in age, NOT a teenager!

There are a lot of people who don’t want Chiarelli to deal Nuge either and they’re POV is completely understandable. Trader Pete does good on the little deals and rather shitty on the big ones depending who you ask. I like Larsson for what it’s worth and I’m happy watching Strome play 3C whilst Leon and Pulju play where Eberle used to play.

But with that said, I hope he takes a page out of Sakic’s book IF he deals RNH and gets a good haul in return because if he doesn’t and he goes for a player that fits rather than a player of equal value, it could cost him his job, especially if the Oilers miss the playoffs or fail to make it to the Western Conference final.

Maybe Lowetide’s suggestion of Frank Vatrano or a player like that would be a better deep dive?

What do you think? Nuge to Columbus HAS been on the burner for a few years…

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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!

  • Kane Adamson

    I like the idea, but theres no way we get a 1st back too. RNH is a 2C and roughly equal to Savard on his own with the way puck moving RHD are valued now. Russell does have value but probobly only helps get a forward back

    • Beer League Hero

      RNH for Savard straight across? I hope that’s not the valuation of Nuge…

  • Yaseen Ali

    Oilers should have traded Nuge for Seth Jones 2 years ago when they had the chance. Seth Jones is a franchise RHD. Stupid MacTavish.

    • Beer League Hero

      Yeah, that’s a funny thing eh? I’m not sure if that was ever a serious trade though. I know the rumors were out there but I think that NSH was playing CLB and EDM off of each other to see who would pay the highest price.

  • benabary

    I don’t think you understand Columbus’ needs. They wouldn’t take on Kris Russell’s contract given their next few summers will be full of contracts that they need to negotiate. Not to mention, if they weren’t giving up all of that for Duchene, I don’t think they give it up for RNH. Instead of Savard, Anderson, Milano and a 1st, I think you’re looking at JJ/Carlsson, Milano and maybe a 3rd. But a pick/prospect has to be coming back too.

    • Beer League Hero

      It’s entirely possible. I was just spitballing. They don’t need Russell but I imagine that if Nuge is heading out, that including him in a deal would w/RNH would be the best way to get rid of him.

  • Lee Dicken

    Just look at what Colorado got for a winger/center who is not as valuable as RNH.
    The Oilers being a cap team will need young inexpensive players as well as high prospects.
    And lets be clear, no more left handed d men unless they are superstars , They have about 15 Left d men in the system already.
    The Oilers would get a better deal trading the Nuge to Montreal , getting the unhappy Russian winger as well as Montreal’s 1st pick which will be way more valuable that Columbus 1 pick.
    The Oilers thought they had a team to win now, they are 3-4 pieces away with zero cap money, it’s time to re-tool for a team that competes and scores more than 2 goals every night.
    Arizona and Vegas score way more goals than the Oilers, think about that.