As I was listening to Lowetide’s show from Friday it got the wheels turning in my head bone. What they were talking about on that show was the idea of trading of Taylor Hall. Now this subject is as contentious as they come but most everyone with their heads screwed on right dismiss the idea right from the get go UNLESS the return is that of a no.1 defenseman but what if there was a way to trade Hall, get that no.1 dman AND fill the hole that Hall would leave?
Lowetide had his guests on the show address this very topic. My interpretation of his guests responses were as such: Will Fraser give his top 6000 right-handed shooting dmen he’d deal Hall for, Alex Thomas from the Oilers rig came on to give his opinion (If it’s a Subban/Hall deal, do it!), Matt Iwanyk said the Oilers should start the upgrading of the defense by offering Eberle and if that’s not working, move up to Hall. LT’s last guest Paul Almeida was saying that the Oilers should put Eberle’s name out there to see how the market values him, select Auston Matthews, and at least take a shot at Stamkos and see where talks go. Almeida made the comparison money-wise of Stamkos being equivalent to Eberle/Pouliot, which would you take?
So what came to my mind is that obviously you don’t want to trade Taylor Hall because he’s a driver and the team would suffer unless he was replaced in the line-up somewhere by another driver like Erik Karlsson, PK Subban, or a Drew Doughty type BUT what if the Oilers could secure Steven Stamkos as a free agent?
There are a couple of reasons that Stamkos came to mind and one of them was watching the Oilers piss away a handful of powerplays and scoring chances versus the Avalanche because they didn’t have a trigger man and another reason is, the Oilers had better get him before the Flames do and you know damned well if they had a chance to sign Stammer, they’d get it done.
So here’s how it’d work in the circus that is my mind.
- Oiler sign Stamkos to a Toews/Kane-like deal. ($10.5M x 8yrs)
- Trade Hall to St.Louis for Alex Pietrangelo.
- You trade Hall instead of RNH because you don’t know what you’ve got in Nuge quite yet and the team HAS to keep its centre depth. Hall is 6 years into his career and we’ve got a pretty good idea of what he is as a player but Nuge is JUST about to turn 23. Also, we’ve come to live with the fact that Hall isn’t the sniper the team requires but he is an elite playmaker and possession driver.
- I entertain this idea regularly because I’m not sure the Blues make it out of the first round with Jake Allen/Brian Elliott/Anders Nilsson guarding their net. Also, and I’ve said this before, if they can get Shattenkirk under contract for better term and price point, they’d have to consider this.
- Would you switch up the deal and use RNH/Nurse instead? The Blues are lacking a real solid LH dman. Maybe It’s a Klefbom package instead?
- Move Eberle to the Islanders for Hamonic.
This would give us a glut of dmen on the back-end and bodies would need to be moved for future assets. So with that being said this is what I was thinking:
- Nurse to the AHL?
- I hate this idea. I don’t think it’d be fair to Darnell after playing nearly an entire year in the NHL. It’s not his fault the team kept him up even though he was getting snowed under but the fact is he’s in over his head regardless of the guys he’s kicked the shit out of and players like Oesterle and Davidson who have had time in the minors are passing him in short order on the depth chart.
- Fayne has to go. If the team has Pietrangelo AND a Hamonic/Demers or David Savard/Brodin in the no.4 spot, there’s no need to play him as the no.6. Better off putting Davidson there.
- Trade Klefbom? Yikes. I mean is anybody else really concerned about the future of this young man’s career and the fact that the Oilers are playing this card really close to the chest? My personal feeling is that the broken finger and staph infection weren’t/aren’t the only things he is/was dealing with. But would you swap him out for futures? I can’t see this even being a viable option in anybody’s books to be honest. His contract is way too cherry and he was the Oilers best defenceman before he went out with his injury.
- Let Gryba/Pardy walk? The blue-collar fan would be sad to see either of these guys go but are they the necessary sacrifices to getting this team back on the path to the playoffs?
So yes, the Oilers lose their top two scorers for the past XX amount of years but they gain and they gain HUGE! Not only would its defense get the instant upgrade but so would the LW and the PP. Can you imagine McDavid feeding Stamkos on a regular basis? That alone would be an enormous plus for the Oilers. A fun fact about Stammer is that he can also play centre. So that’d give the team McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH, and McDavid possibly in their top six. Surely something that would have Todd McLellan foaming at the mouth to implement.
Could adding Stamkos, Pietrangelo, and another no.4 dman be added to the cap? Moving Hall, Eberle, and Fayne is about $16M-ish per year, adding Stamkos, Pietrangelo, and no.4 right-handed defender would be about $19-20M annually, no? So it’d be a tall order to get things moved around for a near-perfect fit but the Oilers do have some players they could move to get it done. Pouliot being one, maybe they’d have to move Yak as well, and perhaps they’d need to move Klefbom.
Would Stamkos be as pissy playing on the wing in Edmonton if Connor McDavid were his pivot? Come on, think about it… McStamkos?… Pretty tasty isn’t it? Could Tampa replace the face of their franchise with a reinvigorated Jonathan Drouin? Are they doing the right thing by letting him go, if in fact that is what they intend to do given the expiring contracts of Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Ben Bishop, etc. on the horizon?
Maybe this all pie in the sky and wishful thinking or maybe it’s not. Would this scenario have real legs come summer time? Let me know in the comments below!