The Summer Coming Into View

The news is out, all over town. Protected lists are out and there is some shock and awe out among the stars. For the Oilers, the easy play is waiting for Vegas to make the pick (Khaira? Reinhart?) and go along your merry way.

There are opportunities and options for Peter Chiarelli beyond the passive. As we discussed the other day, there are reasons to trade Jordan Eberle that can make the Oilers better:

  • Cap room.
  • Righty defenseman for second pair.
  • Less expensive Jordan Eberle.
  • Draft picks.
  • RH center who can also play wing.

Based on what we’re hearing out of the Golden Knights head office, Edmonton acquiring draft picks isn’t terribly likely (unless draft picks are involved either way). After that, this list of items seems pretty reasonable moving forward.


A quick spin through the available list from the 30 established teams tells us Las Vegas is going to be okay in goal. It also suggests the club will have a strong defensive group, better in fact than many established teams. Forwards? Well, not so much.

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The Golden Knights will want centers (there isn’t a lot on the expansion lists) and scoring wingers. Jordan Eberle is a scoring winger. He also has a contract that expires in two years, meaning the team might be able to trade him at any of the next two deadlines for a heavy return. George McPhee’s verbal since the beginning of the weekend implies draft picks are a big part of the goal and I think Jordan Eberle could get a fine return of picks and prospects.


The obvious option is grabbing Eberle is the opportunity to retain dollars on a second deal in which the veteran heads out of town the day he arrives. If McPhee could offer a team Jordan Eberle at $3 million times two years, what would he fetch in return? My guess is quite a lot.


The lists are fresh off the fax machine (!!!) so it may take 24 hours to correctly identify all of the attractive options. Here are a few I noticed

  • RD Josh Manson, Anaheim DucksI think the Ducks have some kind of pre-arranged deal (rumored to be Sami Vatanen) but Manson would be an absolute home run acquisition for Edmonton.
  • RD Jason Demers, Florida Panthers. Genuinely disappointed Florida pulled back Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk, and Demers gets paid full pipe. Still, he’s a good option for the Oilers and maybe they get him for just picks and prospects.
  • R Jonathan Marchessault, Florida Panthers. An absolutely brilliant small forward, he could be a plug and play for Edmonton on a skill line. He scored 20 5×5 goals this year!
  • RD Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild. Some chaos for sure and he is going to get paid, but Dumba can play defense and should be able to help on the power play.
  • LD Brandon Davidson, Montreal Canadiens. He fits the system, would be nice cover until Andrej Sekera gets back and the club won’t have to worry about expansion now.
  • L James Neal, Nashville Predators. He’s a first-person shooter, averaging over 9.00 shots per 60 at 5×5 last season. He could be the finisher for 97’s line and bag 40 goals this coming season. He’s done it before.
  • Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Calin DeHaan, NY Islanders. You have to believe there’s a pre-arranged deal here, but any of these gents would be nice additions.


I am not among those who believe Jordan Eberle should be traded, but if the Oilers are hellbent on it, Vegas seems to be the right fit. George McPhee can figure out the math on what he’d get for a $3 million (times two) Jordan Eberle, and Peter Chiarelli has a nice pool of talent to choose from in exacting a price that fits his new roster.

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Note: The list above does not, in whole or in part, imply I am suggesting a trade of Jordan Eberle straight up for each of these men. That would be ridiculous. I would keep Eberle and would certainly need a less expensive (and reasonable) replacement before proceeding.


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  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    The hard part for the Oilers is that Vegas is going to have a lot of people calling and making offers. I expect Vegas will be very competitive in 3 years. They could surprise out of the gate though with such good goaltending available.

    • toprightcorner

      NYI could’t afford that deal. Bailey and Nelson would each fetch more than a 1st round pick, that means NYI would have to give LV more than two 1st round picks to to leave them alone and that isn’t taking Strome into consideration. They don’t have the prospects to get that done so it has to be mostly picks. Snow would be stupid (or at least stupider than he is now) to pay that much to prevent losing only 1 of them. They would have to pay for protection for multiple players to prevent losing one.

      Same with Manson, if the Oilers would give LV Eberle to get Manson, what on earth would ANA give Vegas not to take him?

  • RJ

    As you say, trading for Eberle, retaining his 50% of his salary and trading him again would command a high return. But if I was LV I’d ask for Nuge in any trade.

    Nuge is better than any C currently available. He’s young, got skill and would fit in well age-wise with the big number of players in their early to mid-20s.

    I’d also note that with the high number of goalies available in the .920 SV% range, as well as number of RH depth they could assemble, LV already has a lot of trading chips.

  • DJ_44

    Someone appears to be overvaluing Eberle.

    Let’s go through the list. Manson. Nope, apparently a deal is in place with the Ducks, and Vatanen will be selected.

    Florida. VGK will should select Marchessault. Marchessault (30 goals, $700k AAV) for Eberle (20 g $6M AAV). Looking pretty weak when you actually see it written out.

    Dumba. Hmmm. Tougher choice for VGK. Eric Staal was exposed. He is a #1C and is 32yr old. I am not sure that they take Dumba. (This was smart by Minnesota).

    Davidson….. not much to pick from in Montreal. Maybe.\
    Neal? I doubt that would be VGK’s pick. Scissions, Watson, Aberg are probably better choices.

    And all the Islanders. Another apparent deal in place for VGK to not take a forward, that leaves DeHaan and he will probably be available.

    Vegas will have some scoring available. Heck. Unless Pittsburgh has sweetened the deal substaintially, I doubt Fluery gets taken. Especially with a scoring winger like Rust available.

    In short, hoping for VGK to take Eberle of the books, especially and get something in return, is optimistic to say the least.

    • Glass

      Would Eberle get you Vatanen or Dumba if chosen by Vegas? I think it’s absolutely plausible, unless Vegas picks up Marchessault and Neal. But if they choose March, it opens Florida up for an Eberle / Demers trade. If Vegas picks up Strome from NYI, that may or may not make us better trading partners with NYI.

      I feel like Nuge has a lot more value to Vegas, especially if they don’t pick up one of Staal/Nelson. If either of those guys are picked up, you can trade Nuge to that team as they’ll have a hole at center.

      As for ‘hoping for VGK to take Eberle off the books’ is kind of a dumb statement. They will have so much cap room to play with, and might even consider picking up Bobby Ryan because of it.

      • DJ_44

        Would I trade Eberle for Vatanen or Dumba.? Not if I were Vegas. Vatanen will be in my top4 D and run my PP. I would pick Eric Staal (#1C with 65pts last season) over Dumba. Anyone who wants Dumba has to offer VGK a package that is a lot better than Staal. There are 2 forwards on the Oilers that would fit that description. One is the franchise and the other is from Germany. Barring a side deal, I do not think VGK will pass on Marchessault (26 yrs old with 51 points). I also do not think Neal is the attractive option on the Preds. Sissions (because of age) or more than likely Wilson (35pts) or maybe Smith (big cap hit for a while though).

        Nuge has way more value (for the same price) than Eberle. And finally, “taking Eberle off the books is not stupid”. They will not have huge cap space. They will sign some UFAs (already have). So the will not pick Ryan (huge cap hit for a long time). I am afraid Eberle will eventually be a salary dump.
        By the way, I have Pitlick going from the Oil.

    • RJ

      I wish they had shared the LV trades.

      We can speculate all we want, but nothing is official. Like Manson. I’m not sure what Anaheim would offer to get LV to not take Manson, but I’m sure that Manson on the open market could rival a Ducks offer.

      Same thing with Fleury. If someone needs goaltending, then it wouldn’t be hard for LV to put him on the block and have others put in their bids.

        • camdog

          You take a UFA, when you don’t want anybody from a team. There’s a stipulation that Vegas must take on 20 signed players. If they choose 10 RFA/UFA’s I don’t know if they have to even sign them/qualify them. They might be able to let them walk. And they won’t be taking Pitlick. Oilers have a couple prospects on the cheap that would be worth throwing a dart at (JJ or Reinhart).

        • DJ_44

          You are right …. according to capfriendly….I was using the tsn expansion draft to and it says he was under contract…my bad (actually TSNs bad)… i will take Pakarinen then. Wow, just about had a Calgary offer sheet thing going on there.

  • oilerjed

    How is the expansion draft going to play out? Are the moves (If any) going to be announced as they announce the players chosen? or will it all just be leaked out through the talking heads?
    All I have heard is that the list will be announced during the award show but nothing of the format that will be used. Any one have any ideas>

  • The Rookie

    What about a situation where Oilers trade Eberle and a third to vegas for player x. Let’s say Vatanen or Manson. And then trade, next years 1st and say Tyler Pitlick or Tyler Benson for Eberle at a$3M cap hit?? End of the day vegas gets a prospect, a first, and a third, oil get a descent D man (certainly better than any Oil could acquire in FA) and reduction on Eberle’s salary.

  • Tombstone

    Jordan Eberle for Evander Kane.
    Kane has one year left at $5.25 mil, is an outcast and no way he will be worth that much at FA.
    Sign spencer Foo
    Sign Bonino

  • LV is stocking up on 1st rounder’s through expansion draft deals (IE: Columbus’ 1st, NYI 1st, some kind of deal with Philly as well, etc..). Apparently they’re going to try to convince NJ to trade down. NJ isn’t convinced that Nolan or Nico are going to be as impactful as acquiring a Defenceman. They would get LV’s 6th overall pick in the deal, and they believe there will be good defenceman there for the picking. LV would make a great first impression for their fanbase, NJ loads up on picks in a weak draft but grabs a coveted “D”? You’re call, McPhee

  • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

    Chia is going to play this smart and not trade Ebs unless it improves the Oilers today. As much as I felt that Eberle played himself off the team with his playoff performance, 50 pts is 50 pts and is not easily replaceable in this day and age. I wouldn’t be surprised if he waits until mid-season to trade him or even next summer. Let’s face it, Ebs is not going to fetch THAT much based on last season’s performance. Plus, the Oilers were a good team last year. A playoff team. It’s not urgent to trade him in anyway this season until McD’s new contract kicks in. Chia will play this one cool.

  • Muleman84

    How about trading Eberle, one of Reinhert or Khaira, and our 1st rounder this year for Josh Manson, Brandon Davidson and Ryan Strome? We get our D-core plus cover for Sekera, and a cheaper Eberle!

  • btrain

    When you have to start talking backdoor deals, I think the odds of Eberle moving (expansion related) have dropped significantly. Despite what the media will have you believe, Chia is not desperately trying to move Eberle and just waiting for the worlds OKayest offer to come available. I am certain there is just as much if not more action around RNH as he would be much more valuable, especially for Vegas. In fact, I think RNH could get you a very good return from Vegas as a young center who would become an instant centerpiece of their organization. Don’t want to trade RNH either but for Manson or Vatanen, you have to consider it. Especially when you already have strength down the middle and its not unrealistic to find a quality 3rd line center for much less then RNH was making (i.e. Hanzel).