Vancouver - November 23, 2014 - The Edmonton Oilers are shopping David Perron to the highest bidder according to TSN. This tidbit is one of the more baffling bits of information to leak from the Oiler organization, who sits tied with the Buffalo Sabres for last in the NHL.
Following Friday nights 2-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils, Perron was very candid following the game and without naming names, was clearly naming names. The quote pulled from nhl.com is as follows:
"It's the turnovers, it's 3-on-1s and breakaways and jumping up in the play for no reason," forward David Perron said. "They are a team that only needs one goal, they have been doing that for years and had success. I don't know why we couldn't tighten it up. Something has to change. When you are making those mistakes, something needs to happen. They are the same mistakes we were doing last year. We keep talking about how much better we are this year, but for me it is the same record now that we had last year. It is not better. It is pretty frustrating."
Anyone that was watching this game knows that Perron was talking about Taylor Hall and Justin Schultz. Both Hall and Schultz played dreadful against the Devils, and for Schultz, it was just another game to add to his poor season.
The response to the one guy in the locker room asking for accountability and change from his teammates? His name gets thrown in the rumor mill. That is the encapsulation of everything wrong with this team and organization. The Oilers finally have a guy that is willing to stand up and demand more not only from himself, but his teammates as well. Now that same player has his head on the chopping block, which means the guy who is preaching change and accountability is going to be the next guy leaving town.
The core will remain the same, Hall, Eberle, Nuge and Schultz are going nowhere because they are the “core”. The core is rotten, and until Mactavish sees that and does something about it, this team will continually disappoint.
If the Oilers are serious about changing the loser mentality that exists in this locker-room, they ought to be looking at trading away one of Eberle or Schultz instead. With Eberle, you can get back a good, young center with a high upside. A center that is better suited for handling the Leon Draisaitl minutes, and then you can bring Draisaitl along slower in a more controlled situation, such as throwing him on the wing. Good teams don’t rush young centers into positions of responsibility, they let them learn the game on the wing and then shift them over when the time is appropriate.
Trading Perron and his fire is not the answer to the question, rather it is the stock answer that has been bled dry by an organization that is afraid to make a big change because of a false sense of loyalty. There is no right answer for this team, but trading away the one guy in the room who preaches accountability and improvement is maybe the worst answer available.