I decided to hold off commenting on this trade until the terms of the contract had come in, which are now reported as 6.25 per for 5 years.
Hmmm, how to feel about this deal?
On the one hand, they got Chris Pronger.
On the other, one imagines that they might have been able to sign Niedermayer for around the same kind of money, and used Brewer, Lynch , and Woywitka to help out in other areas.
For the moment, I'm glad they have Pronger, because he's clearly one of the best 5 defnesemen in the NHL, a "true #1" D, whatever that is.
He'll take over Brewer's minutes, perform better offensively on the PP, and be more competant as a shut down guy. He will improve the Oilers, unless he gets injured.
Will he help them more than if they had signed Niedermayer and traded Brewer etc for other help? I guess it's irrelevant at this point.
As for the pieces traded away, it's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Brewer. But he's clearly not a garbage defenceman either. He was unsigned, and historically Lowe has been willing to overpay him. He was probalby going to get something like 2.1 mil this upcoming year, and would be unrestricted next summer. So losing him isn't nice, but it's unlikely they had him for a long time anyways. Even if they had been able to sign him longer term, I can't think of much reason to think he'd have signed for less than 3.5 mil, in EDM or elsewhere, come next summer when he's a UFA.
I have never been a big fan of Woywitka, but everyone always said he'd turn out so I was hoping. Lynch on the other hand I like more to become a regular top 4 guy. I don't know that EDM will regret trading him, but I could see him playing on STL's 2nd pair for a long while. Obviously the Oilers felt comfortable moving the three D; they must like some of the other D in the system (Gilbert, Tesliuk, Greene, Chorney, Syvret, Roy).
I think Pronger's acquisition signifies an attempt to win now, which is fine by me as I think now is as good a time as any as well. Overall, I like the deal, probably mostly because it's interesting to have an elite player playing for the Oilers, but I'm not convinced I'll like it so much in 2-3 years.