It’s been almost a full year since former GM Craig MacTavish was at the helm of the Edmonton Oilers and much can be said about his attempts or lack thereof during the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.
All around the Oilers faithful had to wait a couple months into the off-season when Peter Chiarelli took over and started making moves. It wasn’t as if MacTavish was reluctant to make moves, the Oilers just didn’t have anything worth any value they were was willing to part with.
Edmonton didn’t exactly have the names available that would bring back much or any return no matter how hard they peddled. It’s something that comes in hand with being a perennial draft lottery team. The players of value (Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Nail Yakupov etc.) were either the end of the conversation or someone the team wanted a high value in return for.
For the most part the Oilers were either going to have to make a move, under MacTavish’s viewing, that would either see them give up a valued player in a desparation deal that might not get them the return they wanted or they’d have no return on the players they did put on the table.
Goaltenders: Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth
Defensemen: Andrew Ference, Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz
Forwards: Leon Draisaitl, Boyd Gordon, Jesse Joensuu, Anton Lander, Derek Roy, Nail Yakupov
In retrospect with Chiarelli taking over for MacTavish much of the changes would take place during the off-season after a evaluation period. The evaluation period is still continuing in 2015-16 with major changes expected prior to next season. We degress.
None of the needs the Oilers had at last year’s deadline were met at the time the trade freeze went into effect, yet a key piece was acquired that would eventually help the Oilers. It’s clear Oiler fans were frustrated by the organization and MacTavish’s overall desire to essentially stand still at the deadline. The team had made moves throughout the season to acquire depth players like; Matt Fraser, Derek Roy and Rob Klinkhammer.
MacTavish had already traded one of the Oilers biggest trade chips in David Perron to Pittsburgh for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st round pick (16th overall). The Oilers traded that pick in a package that got them defenseman Griffin Reinhart.
Regardless here are some of the Oiler needs and when and how the Oilers attempted them at the deadline last season:
No. 1 Goaltender – The market didn’t have much to offer at the time. Much of the class of pending UFA’s were backup goaltenders. The ones who were available of note were Devan Dubnyk, Karri Ramo, Jonathan Bernier, Robin Lehner, Martin Jones, Cam Talbot, Eddie Lack, Antti Niemi and Anton Khudobin.
The price was steep and eventually it was Talbot the Oilers paid heavily for at the draft.
No. 1/2 Defenseman – Nothing was done at the deadline by MacTavish but Chiarelli was able to sign Andrej Sekera in the offseason to be a top-pairing blueliner. Sekera’s fit in nicely in Edmonton and has been one of their more dependable blueliners.
Top 6 Forward – Edmonton wasn’t able to find a player because there just weren’t alot available that made sense. It was a weak trade market all around. Chris Stewart, Antoine Vermette, Tomas Fleischmann, David Clarkson, Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Tlusty were the bigger names left around the time of the deadline. Edmonton had given up Perron to Pittsburgh in early January. In the end they opted for internal competition which gave Andrew Miller an opportunity. Position has been filled admirably by sophomore Leon Draisaitl.
No. 3 Center – Poor market led to the Oilers dealing away Boyd Gordon in the off-season and signing Mark Letestu to a much more cap friendly deal.
The Only Trade Edmonton Made
To alot of fans dismay the Oilers only ended up moving out one player, Jeff Petry. Petry was a fixture on the Oilers defense and was by far the most leaned on defenseman on the team and defacto No.1 on a poor Oilers blueline. Petry averaged anywhere from 20:22-21:45 TOI during his time as an Oiler and played the hardest minutes with some of the most defensive zone starts and first PK units.
2015 2nd Round Pick (57th)
*2015 Conditional 5th Round Pick (117th)*
D Jeff Petry
The second round pick the Oilers got in the trade did some moving around and when the dust settled it ended up in Washington who selected defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. Originally belonging to the Canadiens, the pick was traded to the Oilers for Jeff Petry. Edmonton then flipped the pick to the New York Rangers as part of the deal that landed them goaltender Cam Talbot. The Rangers then traded the pick to the Capitals who selected Siegenthaler out of Switzerland.
The conditional 5th round pick the Oilers negotiated for was under the condition that if the Canadiens advanced to the second round of the playoffs that it would become a 4th round pick instead. Montreal eliminated Ottawa in the first round, thus this became the 4th round pick (117th overall) that the Oilers used to select defenseman Caleb Jones.
Say what you will about MacTavish but when Chiarelli took over he made good work of the assets the former did acquire at the deadline. There was a lot left on the table however.
In all you can look at this deal from an Oilers perspective, with all the peddling around taken into consideration, Edmonton got Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart and Caleb Jones for a handful of draft picks (including the 16th overall pick that became Mathew Barzal) and Jeff Petry. They were unable to unload the likes of either goaltender Viktor fasth or Ben Scrivens, defensemen Nikita Nikitin or Andrew Ference and depth forwards like Derek Roy.
Big picture those aren’t exactly enticing names. None are playing with regularity in an NHL lineup this season, aside from Scrivens as a backup with Montreal until Carey Price returns.