Wild Rumor


Every morning before I even get out of bed, I grab my iPad and open up my Feedly app to see what has happened in the world of hockey while I was asleep. Usually not a whole lot goes down but every now and then there’s something notable like a contract signing, a player getting in trouble with the law, or a trade rumour.

We’re going to talk about the trade rumour that surfaced on one blog called The Hockey Press but another blog called Puck Gone Wild (I dig the name) dedicated an entire post on it, to which I am going to talk about today.

So if you don’t want to head over to the blog, I’ll be quoting different parts of it below and commenting on it, otherwise head over and read it for yourself. The comments section is pretty funny coming from an Oilers fan perspective.

Let’s get started.


The rumor is that the deal would see the Wild send Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker, for Nugent-Hopkins and “more”.  The Hockey Press believes that the “more” piece was Benoit Pouliot.  The Oilers have not responded to the Wild, and it’s furthered rumored by the Hockey Press that the Oilers are holding out for a high draft pick or prospect to add to the pile due to Nugent-Hopkins’ value to the current Oiler lineup.

Gonna just shake my head at this one right off the bat. Are you facking kidding me? I’ll tell you this, IF the Oilers made this deal, it would be far worse than the Taylor Hall trade in my opinion. The Oilers have actual centre depth right now. Other things to consider include:

  • Is Leon Draisaitl ready to shoulder the load that comes with being a no.2 centre in the NHL right now. We don’t know that because apparently he was riding Taylor Hall’s coattails last season…
  • Nuge had one down year due to injury and now his value is that of a Jason Zucker? No offense to Zucker but come on now, let’s get real.
  • Would the Wild want to re-acquire Benoit Pouliot? Really?

The trade offer as reported is actually very fair and would be beneficial for the Wild.  With the idea of moving Dumba is not an issue, as the Wild have been preparing the team for life without one of their current defensive lineup.

How is this deal fair? The writer makes it seem like Dumba is unneeded by the Wild. Cannon fodder for a trade if you will. I imagine this is similar to how Oilers fans view Yakupov or Griffin Reinhart. So why would the Oiler deal TWO mainstays within their forward corps. for the Wild’s cast-offs?

But the combination of two of the Wild’s best young players might be too much value for Nugent-Hopkins.

But I thought the Wild were preparing to lose one or two of these players? If they’re two of the best, surely they’d want to hold on to them, no?

Furthermore, it just seems that from the start the Oilers have valued Dumba much less than Wild did.

Well duh! As they should be. I heard on Bob Stauffer’s show Oilers Now! that Chuck Fletcher and Peter Chiarelli were talking trade at the draft and the conversation was about RNH but Fletcher was only willing to part with Dumba because of the pickle Chiarelli was in.

So it’s not the Oilers that are so enamoured with Matt Dumba, it’s that the Wild are trying to give it to Chiarelli hard and dry and at this point there’s no reason for the Oilers to take it like that. They’re not as desperate as they were before that Hall trade and they could go into next season without that the right-handed shooter to run the powerplay and be okay.

So enter the “more” or in this case Pouliot.  By asking for a player like Pouliot the Wild are trying to fill a need which is another 3rd/4th line wing.  Right now the organization had options to fill that open spot in the lineup, but most of them are unexperienced.  By using Zucker to sweeten the pot the Wild open up that lineup spot in the forward corps while at the same time compelling the Oilers to offer something more than just Nugent-Hopkins.

So let me get this straight. The Oilers would trade their a centre who as of recent has been one of the most played centres in the entire NHL and no.2 left-wing who made huge contributions playing with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid for a no.6 dman and a winger who went -8 and only put up 23pts in 71 games last year… NO THANKS!


There’s only really about two ways they can close this salary cap deficit.  The Wild can offer another player with a $3.3 million or more annual hit, or they can get the Oilers to retain $3.3 million or more of Nugent-Hopkins or Pouliot’s salary.

So in this scenario the Oilers would gain cap space and could certainly eat $3.3 million or more to make this deal work.  The only issue is, do the Oilers want to give up that money badly enough to acquire Dumba and Zucker?

Oh boy… The Oilers could eat $3.3 million for how many years of Nuge’s deal? The Wild would have better luck seeing if the Oilers would take some of Pouliot’s deal given the term is shorter IF they were so desperate to make it happen.

I’m really shocked that this article didn’t mention the Wild trying to pilfer Jason Pominville and his mega contract. That’s the route I would’ve went.

I mean in my mind the only way that Nuge leaves the Oilers is if that true no.3/4 right-handed PP dman comes back. We’re talking the Tyson Barries, the Jacob Troubas, the Rasmus Ristolainens, or the Hampus Lindholms (I know he’s a lefty).

I would consider Charlie Coyle though. A big (6’3 218lb) right-handed centre (something the Oilers covet) who just came off a 40+ point season.

So let’s flip the script, how about the Oilers give the Wild Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Benoit Pouliot, and Griffin Reinhart for Charlie Coyle, Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker and a 2nd round pick?

Am I missing something here? Maybe I am overvaluing the Oilers players. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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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!

  • Lee Dicken

    PC took so much heat for his last trade, you know his next trade he is not giving away a solid center who is still very young for a d man they don’t really need. I like the Oilers right now, THey are not desperate , if a deal makes sense then make it. How about Yak and Rhienhart for Dumba and a 2dn round pick

    • Beer League Hero

      Not sure if Minny needs any help on the right-side but you never know.

  • bcoil

    This is just a stupid deal.I can understand Mini wanting Nuge he is a great two way centre but if that is the deal Peter C would be out of town on the next plane if he did it .It makes absolutely no sense to the oilers.We get weaker on the wing and at centre for what a number 3 or 4 defence man and a winger that cant carry Poliots hockey bag? Must have been floated by a blogger in Mini.

  • Caleb Meyers

    considering dumba had 10 goals last year, is 22 years old, zucker put up 34 in the last 2 years in 122 games, while pouliot put up 14 and is 29 years old, and you consider him a “no.2 left-wing who made huge contributions playing with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid for a no.6 dman and a winger who went -8 and only put up 23pts in 71 games last year… NO THANKS!.” And rnh put up 36 goals in 131 games as apposed to zuckers 34 in the last 2 years in 122 games. i think you are way over valuing rnh and pouliot, and undervaluing dumba, who is 22 years old, put up 10 goals, has huge offensive upside potential, and the only reason hes a #5 defense, is because the wild has a very good defensive core, unlike the oilers. i just think that the oilers fan base doesnt understand how much value defense have, especially with good offensive upside like dumba. the fact you threw coyles name in here is a joke. i wouldnt even take rnh and pouliot for coyle. i would almost value dumba higher then rnh at this point. the problem the wild have, is they cant play everyone, they also have mike reilly, who is very similar to dumba. do you know how many times i yelled at the tv last year for yeo to put dumba on the top power play? almost every game. dumba will be a top power play dman, he has an absolute bomb of a shot, if he was on our top pp, he would have had 15-20 goals last year, and hes 22. very even trade that benefits both teams, except if they retain cap, then i would expect a pick thrown in. it almost feels as if oilers only value forwards, which is why your defense is to terrible, time to trade some of your 6 number 1 over all picks for defense, or how ever many you guys have, and join the rest of the league in some competitive hockey.

    • Beer League Hero

      Thank you for reading and commenting Caleb! It’s always nice to hear from fans in other markets!

      Zucker absolutely dropped off of a cliff this past season and that’s no surprise given he was shooting at 16.9% two years ago. A freak occurence if you will. As for Dumba, 6 or his 10 goals were on the PP. How were his 5×5 numbers? His pts/60 was .65 which would’ve put him 4th on the Oilers behind Klefbom, Clendenning, and Oesterle… His Wowy numbers for xGA/60 tell us that his teammates are better off without him than with him.

      And thank you for bringing up Mike Reilly. He puts the Wild in a spot of bother doesn’t he and that decreases the amount of leverage that Chuck Fletcher has.

      With regards to the Oilers luck at the lottery, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

      • Caleb Meyers

        zucker is also 5 years younger then pouliot, he was a bust in minnesota before, he has not been anything special in the nhl. most of minnesota doesnt even want him back, they sure want zucker though. he also played with vanek a lot last season, which was almost like playing 4v5 on a lot of nights. as for dumba, having mike reilly hardly decreases the leverage fletch has. just because we are stocked at defense, doesnt mean we are going to give away an excellent up and comer, although we did give burns away. either way, it doesnt even matter to me, dont trade dumba, i think with a better coach, we will watch dumba blossom into an amazing dman, we keep zucker, he can put up highlight real goals, unlike pouliot, he is one of the fastest players in the nhl, we needed size, which we got from staal and stewart, we dont even need rnh. we certainly dont need pouliot. rnh -32 for his career, haula was a plus 21 last year after they canned yeo, and he started getting real playing time on the 3rd line. haula is a plus 28 career in 130 less games. yep, im fine with where the wild are to start the season, i cant say the same for the oilers, with their d core, i dont see them making the playoffs any time soon. klefbom -31 career in 107 games, ference -39 in 147 games with the oilers, and, not to mention klefbom and oesterle which you are comparing stats with dumba, played a combined 47 games last year? good luck with that d core man.

        • Beer League Hero

          I think the fact that you are using +/- still in this conversation tells me that you’re in over your head Caleb. I love your passion for the Wild but the evidence has already been presented to you proving that Zucker and Dumba aren’t as good as you feel they are.

          Minny has a wonderful D-core. Truly. I’d love to have a Suter, Spurgeon, Scandella, Dumba, or Brodin. But one of those guys is leaving and it’s out of Fletcher’s hands due to the expansion draft. You can thank him for handing out NTC/NMC clauses like candy 🙂

          • Caleb Meyers

            ha, and now youre insulting my intelligence about hockey? i played for 15 years, played with nhl players in high school, played against players like backes. do you not understand that all of your defense and players are all negative? what does that say about your core? your goaltending? i mean, for fuck sakes, you are comparing stats from 2 players that played a combined 47 games last year! 47 games, are you kidding me? dumba played in 34 more games then both of those players combined. and you add in clendening, who doesnt even play for your team anymore played 20 games last year for the oilers. all 3 of those players added up have 14 less games played then dumba last year for the oilers, and dumba is younger then every single one of them. there is a reason why to win a batting title in baseball, you have to have a minimum amount of bats to qualify. i mean, its as if you dont even know who actually played games for the oilers last year, but yet look at stats and start mumbling garbage off. but yes, lets compare pts/60 from one player who actually played a whole season, to 3 players who added up all together dont even have a complete season played last year, and then call someone else in over his head. get the fuck out of here guy. this just shows how little you understand all aspects of the game.

          • Beer League Hero

            This isn’t baseball and what you do on the ice with what little time you have counts. So Dumba played more games, his teammates are better off without him than with him. And since the majority of the game is played 5×5, those stats mean more. If you can’t come to grips with the fact that +/- has been a dead stat for quite a while now, that’s your own problem. Hate the game not the player and then when you’re done, educate yourself by going to Corsica.hockey, then combos,then wowy at the top. type in Dumba’s name see what I’m talking about.

            I agree with you that Minnesota’s defense is better man! I’m not sure what you’re getting all bent out of shape about. Edmonton’s was in shambles last year and the previous 6 years. No argument there. Would it be better with Dumba than Clendenning, Reinhart, or Nurse? That’s probably a yes but not at the sacrifice of one the best young two-way centres in the NHL.

    • oprah sucks

      Thanks for the concern but oil are finally on there way now to be a competive team. This yr will prove that. And speaking from a team need. Not other teams needs, but the oilers needs and not necessarily player for player either but yes, obviously d has been the back breaker for the club, it is improved. Can it be improved more, absolutely! But if you think it’s worth it for the oilers to trade Rnh for dumba or Rnh and then some, well, then u sir are very Dumba!!

      • Caleb Meyers

        ha, alright dude, the oilers defense is still trash, and most of minnesota fans dont even want to trade dumba for rnh, nor do they want pouliot.

        • oprah sucks

          Awesome, then most of minn fans will be happy to know they aren’t get’n him.

  • superdutyfan

    RNH is not going anywhere. He is a solid NHL center and the center position is as valuable as Defense position. The Oilers finally have depth at center and going into next season with just McDavid and Draisaitl is a huge mistake. Keep Pouliot for next year so we can have him expossed in the expansion draft and hope Vegas picks him up and clear the 4mill cap hit.
    I have said it before grab Gryba and Wisniewski and we are set in the defense for next yr.

    • oprah sucks

      Can’t argue this man……..like at all!!

  • oprah sucks

    I get a kick out of the Rnh rumours that are STILL being thrown out there. It’s people that don’t follow this team close enough, cause I hate to use the term dumb hockey fans, that buy into this. One comment about oilers overvaluing some players, and I can tell everyone right now that Rnh is not one of them. In fact, it’s the opposite. Too many fans don’t appreciate the value or see it with Rnh. It’s the same reason why he won’t get traded right now. Management knows, coach compared him to joe pavalski. This isn’t a rookie gm calling out Norris trophy for a guy that had barely played in the NHL yet. This is a proven, credible veteran coach that coached pavalski for many yrs………he knows a pavalski when he sees one. One quick thing about the d group, I want to say what chiarelli didn’t and what nobody has said but first what chiarelli did say. He mentioned hes happy with d as of now but would like to add pp specialist. He talks about why he’s content with d and I believe him. But what he doesn’t say and another reason why he’s content with d isn’t entirely because of who we have but rather who we don’t have. I’m not here to bash Justin Schultz cause I believe oilers hurt his development and he has way more to offer but his time here was done. The guy hurt the team almost every time out on the ice by the end of it. He needed a change no doubt. Now take his sometimes 19 plus mins a night and give that to our swedes and it’s the diff between a mistake very other shift, or 1or 2 the entire game, huge huge diff. Gm would never say it but he thinks it I’m sure. I like some of the suggestions on here with d but I also like what’s happened so far. This might be a better d core this yr than we expect………..at least I hope it is. Lol

  • wfoddis

    Sometimes looking at total pointsls regardless of situation (e.g., 5v5 vs PP), you get an undervaluation of a player. At 5v5, over 4 seasons, Zucker’s goal-scoring rate ranks 14th among forwards. Yes, you read that right: 14th! Why Zucker didn’t score more goals is because he is rarely given PP time (i.e., 127 minutes over 4 seasons). Why that is baffles me. If you have a top-20 sniper, he should be on your PP.

    However, if you look at Zucker’s points/60 over 4 seasons, he ranks around 200th. That’s the equivalent of a 3rd line forward. So this would suggest Zucker is more of one-dimensional (goal-scorer) player on offense.

    Not really going to comment on trade value, but just wanted to put that out there.

  • LesMc

    OK, so I just Googled Zucker. Another publication said he was small, and listed him as 5′ 1″, 185 lbs. This is how I pictured him…Can’t post pic, but I’m thinking BB-8.

    • Beer League Hero

      I don’t think he’s that small. lol. It’s probably a mistake and they meant to say 5’11”