Last year, Edmonton Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish made a stellar trade with the St. Louis Blues. He traded away fan favourite Magnus Paajarvi and a second round pick for David Perron. At first, some balked. He had a history of concussions, so there was a fear he would be Ales Hemsky 2.0. As it turned out, however, it was a match made in heaven as Perron had a career high in goals and points with 28 tallies and 57 points. For St. Louis, the move was a salary dump. Now, any moves they could make are to secure more scoring prowess. After another ejection early in the playoffs, they need some offensive pieces to go the distance.
The Oilers do have some moveable parts. Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle are definitely attractive pieces that are likely being eyed up by Blues’ management after their painful ejection on Sunday. The Oilers’ need to be somewhat tentative with their trades this off season. Their depth at forward is actually quite poor, despite the developing firepower at their disposal. Oklahoma City features few players who could be an effective call up if one of the core player falls to severe injury. At the same time, the Oilers are in desperate need of help on the blue line and down the middle, so leveraging risk from the current forward group has some merit.
Who could the Blues unload? They have a solid group in place but are lacking a playmaker who scores big goals. Alexander Ovechkin could be on his way out with the Capitals, so they may go that way, leaving the Oilers in the dust. For the Copper and Blue, defence is a priority. The Blues run three effective defensive lines, so acquisitions from any of the three lines could be fortuitous.
On the top end, Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester have to be seen as untouchable. Kevin Shattenkirk could then be made available. He is a good defender, but his big knock is size. Here’s his stats card:
At only 5’11, Shattenkirk lacks the size the Oilers need on the blue line. He is a similar player to Justin Schultz and would not be worth Eberle or Yakupov. Perhaps a second rounder and Sam Gagner, along with a defensive prospect? That may work.
In my mind, the Oilers would be better to target Roman Polak. He is a big body, has a bit of offensive upside and is only 28 years old. The above Gagner package, give or take the prospect, could be workable. Salary would likely need to be retained by Edmonton, but it would add a necessary piece to the Oilers’ roster. Here’s the stats card for Polak:
Lower level deals could be made for guys like Patrick Berglund, Steve Ott or Maxim Lapierre. But, the Oilers may be able to secure better help through free agency and the draft. If a trade is going to happen, count on it being offense for defense.