Edmonton - October 22, 2014 - As a general rule, I have always made a point of not paying too much attention to trade rumours during the open month of any National Hockey League season.
Unless a team has a player that is in the midst of a contract dispute or flat out demanded to be traded, we rarely if ever see deals involving legit NHL talent this early in the year.
With that being the case, my buddy Beer League Hero was kind enough to let me in on the latest rumblings involving the Edmonton Oilers following their less than impressive start to the 2014-15 campaign. While Boston Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty has come to the conclusion the B’s would be wise to make an effort to pry Jordan Eberle out of Edmonton, the notion that a collection including the likes of Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, a first rounder and a prospect package could somehow get the job done is frankly comical.
As much as Bruins fans would love to see something like that take place, it will take a heck of a lot more than spare parts for general manager Craig MacTvish to even consider moving one of the organization’s star pupils. Unless the Oilers could pry a stud defenceman or top flight centre out of a team, there is absolutely zero chance of the club moving Eberle and even if that were to occur, it is far from a slam dunk that any such deal would even take place.
Whereas the other rumour floating around which apparently has the Oilers possibly engaging in some sort of swap with the Philadelphia Flyers and involving one or a combination of Braydon Coburn, Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn or Luke Schenn, could potentially make sense for both teams. With that said, the Flyers appear to be about as interested in moving Couturier as Edmonton is Eberle, meaning you can pretty much remove both players out of the equation.
We already know MacT has gone down the Coburn road before and was ultimately unsuccessful in working out a deal with than GM Paul Holmgren but with Ron Hextall now running the show in Philly, perhaps the two sides revisit the possibility. However with the Oilers decision to bring both Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin to town over the summer, chances are they will be in no hurry to add another middling defenceman with a hefty ticket ($4.5 million) and one who will be turning thirty in late February.
Bringing us to the name that has clearly caught the eye of many an Oilers fan…Brayden Schenn.
Just like the Bruins, the Flyers would love to get their hands on Eberle but unless the names of Couturier or Wayne Simmonds are part of the discussion, there is no point in even going there. TSN 1260’s Jason Gregor brought up the name of David Perron as a piece Philadelphia could have interest in, as he would definitely fill their need for a skilled winger. While Perron still has a year remaining on his current deal before he can test the free agent market, Schenn is in a similar sort of situation but would be staring at potential restricted free agency.
At the moment, the former first round pick of the St. Louis Blues is the more impactful player but considering the Saskatoon native is still only twenty-three and plays centre, one could argue who actually has the greater trade value. With that said, the Oilers are in a situation where they don’t need to be getting any younger and Perron is a proven commodity.
On the other hand, the potential long-term gain of running with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Schenn as the organization’s top three centres is something that can’t be ignored. Would it shock anyone to see Hextall try and include Luke Schenn in a deal involving his younger brother? With another year remaining on his current deal at $3.6 million, one would guess not so much and perhaps Edmonton would take a chance at making exactly that sort of deal.
If MacTavish had been thinking straight, he would have either signed Jeff Petry to an extension or traded him prior to the start of the season but instead did neither. Settling on a one year contract to carry the former second round pick to unrestricted free agency has essentially killed his trade value and it appears as though the player has zero interest in sticking around.
Considering Petry has gone from this team’s “tough minutes” defenceman, to being a healthy scratch, to playing on the third pairing with Andrew Ference, the writing is pretty much on the wall. On the surface a one-for-one exchange of Perron for Schenn may make sense from the Oilers standpoint but probably not so much for the Flyers.
Maybe a package of Perron and Petry for the Schenn boys gets the job done. Swapping out Petry for Schenn along the blueline would unquestionably be a downgrade but that is the position Edmonton has essentially put themselves in. On a positive note, the former fifth overall pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs would add some much needed size to Dallas Eakins’ backend and the fact he shots right-handed is something that cannot be overlooked…especially with Petry’s likely departure.
It would certainly be a tough trade for Craig MacTavish to make but one he may very well have to seriously consider.