The Edmonton Oilers are 7-11-2 through 20 games, and no one saw this coming. Believe it or not, trading one of the league’s best wingers for a fringe top-four defenseman is kind of a bad idea. But, Peter Chiarelli has taught the hockey world that trading diamonds for dust can get you somewhere, so long as Connor McDavid is in the driver’s seat.
Making headlines Tuesday was that the Oilers are working the phones to acquire some help on the blue line. This puts man NHL fanbases in a funny spot — some teams are looking to sell off assets to acquire futures, so naturally, the reaction was mainly “Shea Weber for Connor McDavid” or “Erik Gudbrandson to Edmonton.”
Let the record show that the latter could actually happen. I would say that Marc Bergevin would trade for McDavid, but nothing about the Canadiens organization tells me they are that logical enough to consider that.
The Red Wings are in an interesting situation — an NHL purgatory, if you will — they’re not a great team, but they can get by being slightly above mediocre if they wish. Of course, the popular opinion is that the team should consider a rebuild. I think we can all agree that Ken Holland will never assume a full-on rebuild.. He’s just not that type of GM, but after last season, we know that he can gauge if the team needs to sell for futures if the situation calls for it. Right now, I doubt Holland is thinking about trading any play on his team, but there should be some serious consideration about what needs to be done with Mike Green.
Green reminds me a lot of Keith Yandle near the end of his tenure in Arizona — high-output offensive defenseman that could help any team in need of defensive help. If I were captain of the ship, I’d be ringing Chiarelli’s Motorla Razr at this very moment in attempts to cash in — mainly because Chiarelli is so vulnerable to making poor-judgment trigger trades.. Just look at his past.
The Asking Price
I think Mike Green’s rental price should start at either a 1st round pick, or a top prospect, then go from there. Grabbing a 1st round pick from Edmonton would be a sugar-sweet deal seeing that they’re bound to crash and burn this season despite having one of, if not the best players in the world. There is more to be had, though.
The Oilers are still sitting on a few high-ceiling prospects that I think the Red Wings should consider — one being Jesse Puljujarvi. The Red Wings have a strong crop of prospects on the wing... Players like Anthony Mantha have emerged to be all-star caliber. I see Puljujarvi to be another one of those Mantha-like players in that he is a huge offensive wingman who is likely to develop into another power-forward playmaker. Another young player to consider could be Kailer Yamamaoto It’s not clear what the Oilers are willing to dish out for another defenseman, but looking at Chiarelli’s past with trades (Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome, Tyler Seguin for literally nothing, etc), there is a steal to be had.
The Bottom Line
The Red Wings could sneak into the playoffs somehow.. They’ve had brilliant performances from both special teams units, great goaltending, and the young players appear to be taking over in place of older leadership. The problem is that if any one of those regresses, the team will fall out of a run for a wild card spot.
Despite only one ES goal this season, Mike Green has had a strong start to his season with 17 points through 21 games. Whether he’s traded now or later in the season, Ken Holland can hold a king’s ransom for his services. Year after year, defensemen are always at a premium in this league — and Green provides that veteran intangible that teams want, while still having plenty of ability and skill to contribute on a consistent basis.