I Thought We Established That D-men Should Cost a Ton?


I may as well just be honest.  I’m bitter about this, so let’s just get right to it.


Last night the Habs got Steve Ott for a 6th round pick.  Ott is essentially done in his career, but he does have a ton of experience, gritty as hell, from every account a terrific guy in the room, he’s a 4th liner but he’s a total glue guy.  Analytics guys probably hate him, but analytics guys will argue up is down if they can find any numbers to back that argument.  Had the Edmonton Oilers pulled the trigger on something like Ott for a 6th round pick, I would have been ok with it.  I would probably prefer a guy like that heading into the playoffs then a guy like…say….David Desharnais.


Add to this, you have the NY Rangers who added Brendan Smith from the Red Wings.  They paid a pretty good price for a guy who has been ok, but disappointing in his NHL career.  I’d say Smith is a solid number five guy.  Brandon Davidson I would also consider a number five guy.  I don’t like Davidson AS much, but just last season in my opinion Davidson was better than Smith.  I would say a 2nd round pick for a guy who has a nice contract for next season (1.425 cap hit) and can anchor a bottom pairing is fair in what is expected to be a shitty draft.  Smith got a 2nd and a 2019 3rd.


So a 2nd round pick for a 6th round pick is essentially the value going out and coming in here for Peter Chiarelli.


I do not get this at all, and I’ve had a pretty good grasp on players trade values for the most part over the years.  I have a very good memory, I’m a hockey geek, so it’s not difficult for me to think back to past trades and past situations where certain players were dealt and what the return was.  I’ve been thinking about this one for hours, and I just can’t for the life of me figure out what Chiarelli was thinking.  How do you not get a better offer than THAT?!  And if you don’t, how do you not just say “fine, I’d rather have him for the stretch run and either try to address it in June or lose him”.


Sure, the Oilers have a lot of depth on the blueline (especially on the left side) throughout the organization and they were likely going to lose him in the expansion draft.  I get all of that.  But having depth on defence is vital to an organization heading into the playoffs.  And what the hell does Desharnais add to this club?  No size, he’s not all that fast for only being 5’7, he’s a lefty shot, he’s subpar in the dot, he’s nothing great in his own zone, and his offensive numbers have done nothing but decline since getting 60 points in his first full season in the league all the way down to just 10 points this season in 31 games.  I.  DO.  NOT.  GET.  THIS.  F******.  TRADE.  Anton Lander fills needs for the Oilers better than Desharnais does, and the Oilers got him in Bakersfield.


This is now the 3rd deal Chiarelli has done where I’m just completely dumbfounded.  I 100% back the Larsson/Hall deal, and pretty much have since day one.  But it isn’t as if I didn’t believe they were ridiculous to not get more.  The Devils seriously wouldn’t have gave them Boston’s 2nd round pick in the 2017 draft for a 2017 4th?  They seriously wouldn’t have added THAT?  Come on.  And the Reinhart trade…I’ve lost my skull about that one from the moment it went down and I’m still hot about it.  I really believe that you can blame that deal for Taylor Hall being dealt.  And I love Adam Larsson, please don’t get me wrong, but I’d rather still have Taylor Hall and have used a Joel Eriksson Ek package to land the D-man they needed.


Three deals where the man seemingly got completely fleeced.  It’s bizarre, because I do trust Chiarelli.  The man turned the Bruins into contenders with one top five pick (5th), and he’s done some great moves in his time with the Oilers (the Talbot trade, the Maroon trade, the Benning signing), and a lot of really solid moves.  I’ve never seen a GM seemingly THIS bipolar for lack of a better word.  It’s as though once he zero’s in on a guy he likes (I wouldn’t put Reinhart in that group, I believe that was massively influenced by the clowns who remained from the old regime) he’s willing to simply cave to a price that’s asked.


I can’t speak for all Oilers fans, but the ones I’ve talked with since the deal all shared the same opinion…we’d rather lose Brandon Davidson just like a UFA after the season then get Desharnais…and still lose possibly Reinhart (who as much as I’ve dogged him in this piece, is playing great in the AHL right now) in the expansion draft.


But let’s talk about how the man can salvage this deadline before I end this blog this morning, put a bit more of a happy face on all this.


I really believe Jarome Iginla is a possibility.  There are so many connections to the organization, and he is a right handed shot who can still rip it on the PP.  He also wouldn’t have to play in a top six role with this club, they could shelter him a little bit.  I’m not saying I love the idea, and now I’m getting gun shy to the idea of Chiarelli trading for any player he may like because the return here could be Puljujarvi at the rate he’s going….but I don’t think bringing in Iginla would hurt anything.


Sticking with the Avs, not that I have any inside knowledge of this stuff but a guy I maybe would keep an eye on is Carl Soderberg.  He’s a big cap hit at 4.75 million for another three seasons.  But he doesn’t HAVE to be that big of a cap hit.  Could Chiarelli do Soderberg with the Avs eating 750,000 for Pouliot, maybe a guy like Lander and a prospect?  Pouliot only has two years left on his deal…but I’m just thinking out loud, don’t read anything into this, it’s just a thought.


I do think Pouliot could play a role in a move today.  He maybe has slightly negative value at the moment, but I think he’s very moveable, especially to an analytics heavy team like Arizona or Florida.  The Panthers have a guy like Nick Bjugstad who word is they’ve soured on quite a bit, and he’s virtually the same cap hit as Pouliot.  No idea if those rumours of the Panthers souring on Bjugstad are legitimate, but if they were I’d definitely have time for the kid.  And again, I believe Pouliot could be part of the deal simply because he’s big, can skate, and has always had very good analytic numbers…not to mention good numbers period.  He was well worth the 5 year/20 million dollar contract the Oilers gave him up until this season.  A guy like Bjugstad who is still young, huge, can really skate for a guy so big, and a right handed shot on top of all that will still bring in a lot in a trade even if he isn’t living up to his contract this season.


Another guy that you don’t hear a word about is Bryan Little.  And hey, probably because Kevin Cheveldayoff has zero interest in moving the guy.  But he’s a UFA after next season, and this team is loaded up front.  Are they wanting to pay him 5 mil per to be on their 3rd line moving forward?  Right handed shot, great in the dot, and can produce five on five (23 ES points in 41 games this season).  He obviously wouldn’t be cheap, but I wonder if he could be had?  And if so do the Oilers have the right pieces to make it happen?  Again, just spit thinking out loud, though I’m sure someone is going to look to fight me for even bringing it up in the comments section….there’s always one knob who takes these things far too seriously.


Then you have the backups.  I won’t go in depth on any of them, but it sure would be nice to land someone Todd McLellan has some confidence in so he can give Cam Talbot a little more rest down the stretch.  Halak even with the Islanders eating 50% of his deal is still 2.25 million next season.  Do you really want to pay your backup goaltender that much?  Even though he’s having a tough season I’ve always like Neuvirth, but I wouldn’t give up much for him.  Maybe a 5th round pick.  Depending on his health I would be interested in Ondrej Pavelec if the Jets retained 50% of what’s left on his deal (UFA after the season).  Reto Berra is another guy who has been mentioned as a possibility.  Not sure he’s an upgrade on Brossoit, but it’s not as much about that as it is Todd McLellan having confidence in the guy.  I don’t understand why Brossoit hasn’t been given a couple more games to prove his worth, I think he’s looked solid when given the chance this season, but if they can upgrade I still think they should pull the trigger.


But I’m not getting over this Desharnais/Davidson swap by the end of the day.  Clearly Chiarelli, who seen Desharnais a ton while in Boston, loves the kid.  He better be right on him, because if he’s not this fan base could turn on him in a hurry and we don’t need that kind of drama back in town.


Follow me on Twitter @TJ_Soups

4 thoughts on “I Thought We Established That D-men Should Cost a Ton?

  1. For me it was losing Barzal and Carlo for Reinhart that wised me up on Chiarelli….and thanks for pointing out that the Hall trade happened because of the incompetent folly of the Reinhart trade. Carlo’s been first pairing in Boston all year. And Barzal…good god, what a play-maker. Of course, if not Barzal, Kyle Connor too. Check out Connor’s progress on the Manitoba Moose.
    It’s great to have Larsson back there and I enjoy his aggression. I heard Scott Stevens got him going in NJ…makes sense if that’s so.
    But Hall for Larsson was soooooooo much a fleecing….in the minds of anyone outside of the Oiler PR dept.
    Why not Lander? And Desharnais is a (mighty) pipsqueak…where is the consistency in philosophy?!

Leave a Reply