Thursday, June 09, 2011

How Much Rebuilding is Too Much?

In the old CBA, I was a big proponent of the Oilers rebuilding. I believed the Oilers were stuck in a cycle of finishing 7th-10th in the West and weren't likely to have future success without dropping to the bottom for a couple of seasons. Even with that background, I have not been the most vocal fan of the Edmonton rebuild over the past year and a half. I don't doubt that rebuilding can work in this CBA, but I'm less sure it's worth* all the on-ice losing in a CBA that makes it very difficult for a team to keep its core together over the long term.

Daryl Katz was on "Oilers Lunch" a week or two ago and suggested it's a luxury to own a team in such a sophisticated hockey market. As mentioned, I'm generally not an advocate for rebuilding in this CBA, but if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing "right". Especially if your market is as savvy as Daryl Katz believes, and will continue to support a 30th place team as long as there is the promise of a future contender.

So, the question becomes, how much rebuilding is too much? How many older player with value should the team trade, if they can get a reasonable return? What follows is an example of what the Oilers may be able to do, and what the roster might look like, if they are willing to jump over the cliff. The trades specifically aren't meant to be perfect assessments of value; if you disagree with the value the Oilers are getting back, or giving, in one of the hypothetical trades by all means mention it and maybe we can fine tune it in the comments, but this post is more directed at the general idea and not so much as the specific players and picks returning.

I chose not to have any players waive NMC's to come to EDM since there's not much reason to think they'd want to play here. But, if it's true that EDM could acquire a guy like Drury in exchange for some valuable picks from NYR, and Drury was willing to waive his NMC (maybe he thinks that's better than being bought out, as has been rumored?), then that might be something to look at as well. Campbell has a NTC, but because the Oilers are first in the waiver claim priority list, they could probably work something out even if he doesn't really want to waive his NTC to go to Edmonton. If he were going to have such a big problem coming to Edmonton you probably wouldn't want to make the deal, so this assumes that you know Campbell would handle the trade or waive as professionally as one could hope. Thanks to capgeek for helping me put together the final roster so easily!

To CHI: Whitney
To EDM: Campbell, Leddy, Frolik, 18 OV, 36 OV, 2012 CHI 1st

To CLB: Gilbert, 31 OV
To EDM: Commodore, 8 OV

To VAN: 61 OV
To EDM: 29/30OV, Ballard

To BOS: Hemsky, 19 OV
To EDM: 9 OV, 2012 BOS 1st

This would leave the Oilers with 6 picks in the first 2 rounds (1st, 8th, 9th, 18th, 29/30th, and 36th picks) of the 2011 draft and 3 picks in the first round of the 2012 draft.


Taylor Hall ($3.750m) / Shawn Horcoff ($5.500m) / Jordan Eberle ($1.158m)
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson ($1.525m) / Sam Gagner ($2.275m) / Linus Omark ($0.875m)
Michael Frolik ($2.500m) / Andrew Cogliano ($1.500m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m)
Teemu Hartikainen ($0.875m) / Colin Fraser ($0.825m) / Gilbert Brule ($1.850m)
/ Anton Lander ($0.880m)

Kurtis Foster ($1.800m) / Brian Campbell ($7.142m)
Keith Ballard ($4.200m) / Nick Leddy ($1.116m)
Jeff Petry ($1.000m) / Ladislav Smid ($1.300m)
Mike Commodore ($3.750m) / Theo Peckham ($0.550m)

Nikolai Khabibulin ($3.750m) / Devan Dubnyk ($0.800m)

BUYOUTS: Robert Nilsson ($0.416m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $50,839,541; BONUSES: $4,262,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $8,560,459

Would it be wise for the Oilers to go in this direction, since they are rebuilding anyways? Do Hemsky and Whitney want to stay? The Oilers certainly have better information than I do, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were willing to take their chances going UFA in the next year or two.

* I'm talking about worth for fans of the team, not the off-ice business for the Oilers organization. As long as people still keep paying to come out, even if the team is terrible, losing money isn't a concern with Edmonton's rebuild.


marty1268 said...

Wow.. Do you watch Hockey? Trade away our best defenseman for a washed up Campbell that is waaay overpaid. And Hemsky AND a draft pick for A prospect (9th overall) and a for sure lower pick in NEXT years draft? I am certainly glad you arent in hockey operations.. Or is this a Sutter writing this Blog?

Anonymous said...

hahaha, starting out with the "Do you watch hockey?"


Anonymous said...

Marty - you really missed the whole point here, didn't you.

speeds said...

Wow.. Do you watch Hockey?


Trade away our best defenseman for a washed up Campbell that is waaay overpaid.

The idea is that there must be some point where CHI includes enough value in young players, prospects, and picks to offset Campbell's big contract. Is that offer enough, not enough, I don't know, but that's the basic idea. If you're going to tell me that's something EDM shouldn't entertain given that trial balloon offer, fair enough.

And Hemsky AND a draft pick for A prospect (9th overall) and a for sure lower pick in NEXT years draft?

If the Oilers decide they don't want to keep Hemsky, or hear that he doesn't want to stay, they'll likely entertain moving him before the deadline next season. Feel free to quibble with the value though, what do you think Hemsky is worth, one year from UFA status and with his injury concerns?

I am certainly glad you arent in hockey operations..

I'm sorry to hear that, good sir.

Or is this a Sutter writing this Blog?

Alas, it is not. Was Sutter famous for rebuilding and trading players for picks?

DangerMan said...

I understand the post you are trying to make, speeds. Why spend so much money if you are going to suck anyway?

You are correct about the "new" NHL. Rebuild time is about 3 years in most markets if you have been a lottery team those years. Anything more than that, you should get labeled "suck".

I'm just hoping in this underlying theme that the Oilers have a plan.

DangerMan said...

For the record, I do like the wheeling and dealing you did, although I'd venture to say that whoever gets drafted 1st overall makes the team, esp. if its a C. I've seen that center group play for the some time now, its neither good enough or deep enough, it needs an overall. I like the fact you overhauled the D (badly needed). I'm not sure of its for the better, but it has a different look with more offensive dimension, that alone has to help, just not sure if collectively they can check their hats. Commodore would have to become beastly for the Oil.

hockeyguy10 said...

Of all your deals the only one I consider is the Hemsky deal.
I didn't think the Oilers D could get any worse. :-) Arguably you only have 1 defenceman(Campbell)capable of playing in the 1-4 slots.Granted the prospects pool would be deeper.

DangerMan said...

Trading a #1 for a bunch of 3-4s on D, is the tough one to swallow.

Leddy Smid

The defense is light at the top but deeper, but I'm not sure it makes the Oilers any better, short or long term. The Oilers would have to find their "Pronger" along the way.

speeds said...


I think the basic idea would be it doesn't really matter too much how good the team is right away. If they get better, that's obviously great PLUS you have better prospect depth for 3 or 4 years down the line when you would be looking more like a contending team. If they don't get better in 2012 (or 2013), well, add another elite young prospect to the pile.

WRT the Campbell idea, i can see both sides. I can see CHI saying that's too much to give up just to lose Campbell's contract, even if we get Whitney back, and I could see EDM saying not enough. I think there's an argument to be made that the Campbell deal wouldn't be in EDM's best interests. If you scrap that one, and are able to complete the others, your net trade would be:

IN: Ballard, Commodore, 8, 9, 29/30, 2012 BOS 1st
OUT: Hemsky, Gilbert, 19, 31, 61,

DangerMan said...

Taking out the Campbell deal and then you would have:


Its ok, it has a #1 (for now) in tact. Depth is ok, but either way, procuring Dmen needs to happen ASAP. I like a Ballard-Commodore pairing as a 3-4, its got good dimension, but it also means fast-tracking Petry.

OilLeak said...

Some interesting moves, some of the propositions have a high asking price, but I do like the upgrades on defense (The only way to describe the Oilers current defense corps is "Shitacular")

Also, the Oilers wouldn't have the 31st overall pick if it was sent away with Gilbert.

speeds said...


Yeah, some of the valuations may not be right, it's more just to get a general idea of where that course of action might leave you.

And thanks for mentioning the mistake, I've corrected it in the post!