Friday, March 05, 2010

Trade Deadline 2010 - Grebeshkov and Jones

(1) To NSH: Grebeshkov
To EDM: 2010 2nd round pick (NSH)

This is a bit of an odd deal to me, in that I'm surprised Grebeshkov could only garner a 2nd on the trade market. Like MC79, I'm not as opposed to this trade as many seem to be. I don't think the value is actually that far from Grebeshkov's "true" worth (if such a thing exists), I'm simply surprised someone wasn't willing to pay more in the (sometimes) seemingly irrational NHL trade market.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm coming around on the deal because I think it is beneficial for the Oilers in potentially unintentional ways. First of all, I don't precisely know how much it will/would cost to buy a replacement for Grebeshkov on the UFA market , but I don't think it would be sizeably more than Grebeshkov's 3.15 mil QO. For that matter, maybe they'll get lucky and find a Jan Hejda? Secondly, dumping Grebeshkov for a pick hurts the current team which should help the team finish last, ensuring a first or second overall draft pick. They probably will finish last anyways, but the marginal drop in expected points must have some indeterminate value to the Oilers. Lastly, replacing Grebeshkov with Peckham for the rest of the season saves the team ~$530,000, which is obviously valuable in and of itself. But, instead of depositing the money in the bank, the savings could be spent on the signing bonuses for a couple additional NCAA UFA prospects. This seems like a reasonable use of money for a rebuilding team. Alternatively, the money could be spent on a couple other high priced AHL veteran talents to help the AHL team improve next season, if you think that improves the development of all your AHL prospects enough to be worth the increased spending.

(2) EDM claims F Ryan Jones from NSH on waivers

The praise for this move has been, pretty universally, positive, but I'm going to be a contrarian here. I wouldn't have made this pickup, because I don't think the upside is as high as most seem to think. Jones is due to make $0.975 mil next season on a one way contract, and will be a UFA in the summer of 2011. If Jones plays really well, he's a UFA and will want a raise towards market value; maybe you've built some goodwill and can sign him cheaper than if he were a UFA. If he plays poorly, he'll go UFA and you aren't tied into him.

You can probably get a better player, as a UFA, for less money and/or longer term. Maybe you don't, but I think that would have been a risk worth taking for the Oilers. I don't think it's a move that costs you much if it doesn't work out, and spending your salary efficiently doesn't matter if you are rebuilding/tanking. I'm just not sure the Oilers are ahead here vs. simply signing a UFA. Or, for that matter, using the roster spot to re-sign one of their own players for less money.

All that said, I'm not terribly familiar with Jones, so maybe I'm simply off the mark regarding this player. The stats certainly don't suggest the Oilers would have been missing out on much had they passed on Jones, but we'll see.

Coming soon:

The Visnovsky and Staios deals

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