Brandon Davidson being traded surprised nobody but it was who he was traded for that has shocked some. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is creating quite the reputation when it comes to making deals for players that nobody, not even my sources, had expected the Oilers to have interest in.
I’m 50/50 on the deal. I don’t think Brandon Davidson is as good as some folks believe (most of those folk being of the analytic persuasion) but I also don’t think that David Desharnais was the droid Chiarelli was looking for, just the one that was there. Desharnais was def. not acquired for his talents on the dot. I really believe it was because he’s strong on the puck, good in the corners and he’ll be a good short-term mentor for Drake Caggiula. And I really dig that. Chiarelli really wants his kids to succeed and so he’s surrounding them with high-character players who play the game the right way and have the right attitude.
I actually thought that Derek Ryan was going to be the center acquired and when I talked to my source last night, I was told that the asking price was too high. An earlier round pick was the ask and that was simply too much. Bob Stauffer said as much on Oilers Now! yesterday in a segment with Mark Spector too. So it’s too bad about that.
The following reactions to the trade are those of the popular and respected media members/bloggers. Enjoy!
- I don’t like the trade, not one bit, though that’s to be expected given I’m an Oilers fan and Davidson was one of my favorite players. That said, with Klefbom’s own offensive improvement and his relative inexperience at the NHL level, he’s a fine bet as well, as is Nurse, as is Matt Benning. The Oilers have a number of promising young d-men, which makes the trading of Davidson more palatable. But the Montreal Canadiens should be well pleased today. They have picked up a player who has constantly beaten the odds, constantly improved, and one who I believe will continue to do so on the Habs blueline. – David Staples, Cult of Hockey (source)
- While it’s true that the Oilers were at risk of losing Davidson to the expansion draft this summer, the point of trading him so they don’t lose him for nothing was to acquire a forward worth protecting, or a prospect that would be exempt from the draft, or picks that they could use in future drafts. The goal should have been to replace Davidson with an asset that they would benefit them in the future. Instead they acquired Desharnais, who fills a need the Oilers have identified, but whose contract expires at the end of the year. So really they gave away an asset in the fear of potentially losing it, only to acquire an asset they’re going to lose for sure. – Sunil Agnihotri, The Superfan/CBC (source)
- But fans wanted help for the power play and faceoffs, because the Ducks are going to kill the Oilers on the dot if they match up. Fans wanted a burly, shutdown centreman to take on Joe Pavelski, Ryan Getzlaf and Jonathan Toews, and Desharnais isn’t that guy.
But Chiarelli said he doesn’t see the Oilers as a potential Cup winner and has, to his credit, acted accordingly. Without rock-solid conviction, he had no business going all-in at the deadline, given that it always involves mortgaging big pieces of the future. – Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal (source)
- This wasn’t the kind of trade that puts a team over the top, rather one that inserts a veteran player into the Oilers forward ranks ahead of a Drake Cagguila or Jujhar Khaira, two rookies who lack the experience of the 30-year-old Desharnais. – Mark Spector, Sportsnet (source)
- The cost on the trade is dear. Desharnais and Davidson are of similar importance in terms of their position in the lineup, with the difference being that Davidson is both cheaper and under contract longer. On the other hand, with Martin Hanzal and Brian Boyle both already off the market, there just weren’t a lot of other centre options. – Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation (source)
- 30-year-old David Desharnais will slot in at 3rd line center, a hole existing whenever Leon Draisaitl has lined up at wing. Desharnais is small (5’7), but plays aggressively. He is above-average in the face-off circle (50.4% over his career). He has offence on his resume (60 points in 2011-12), although an injury has limited him to just ten points in 31 games this year. He also has 38 games of playoff experience, a genuine plus. He is also a pending UFA, so there is absolutely some risk involved in acquiring him.
Yes, Brandon Davidson is a quality kid and a solid player. He is young (25), has size, is steady in his own zone and is a decent first-pass option with the puck. But lets call a spade a spade: Davidson is also a 7-8D on a Oilers organization that is heavy with left-handed shot defenders. So, the Oilers traded from a position of strength to fill a hole. It is quite possible Davidson would have been lost in the expansion draft. The re-emergence of Griffin Reinhart in the AHL since Christmas was no doubt a factor. – Kurt Leavins, Cult of Hockey (source)
What do you think about some of the reactions to the trade? Are you a fan of the deal? Let us know in the comments below!