The Expansion Draft Changes Trade Plans During the Season | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

The Expansion Draft Changes Trade Plans During the Season

With the Las Vegas Golden Knights finally announcing their franchise name, a whole new explosion of articles on the expansion draft have popped up, most of them dealing with whom the Oilers will protect on their roster. One of the topics that rarely seems to come up as often, is what the Oilers do, management wise until that expansion draft takes place.

Below are a few things to consider if you're GM Peter Chiarelli when it comes to trades. (In future posts, we'll take a look at other transactions like extensions and free agent signings.)



Trade Buyer or Seller?


The Oilers look like they may be headed to the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Yes, I know that the season is still young, but this team looks like a team that could obtain one of those eight Western Conference spots. As the Oilers creep closer to that position, they'll either need to become a trade deadline buyer or seller.

Typically, the Oilers are sellers. They dump pieces at the deadline for draft picks or prospects as other teams load up for their final playoff runs. Doing this every year means the Oilers need to find viable pieces every summer and sometimes when your pro-scouting department is a bit iffy, that's easier said than done. It will be nice to see the Oilers as buyers, but this year, it will be a different marketplace.


NHL Expansion 


The way the expansion draft is set to work, Las Vegas will have a crack at a player from each team. That team will have the option to protect eight skaters and a goaltender or seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender. If you choose the latter, should you be a team with more than three excellent defensemen, you'll likely lose one.

What this means for Edmonton is that they should not and probably cannot add another defense contract that extends longer than the end of this season. Right now the Oilers have Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera as their top-three defensemen under extended contracts. All three will be protected. The rest of the blue line is made up of Kris Russell (UFA), Darnell Nurse and Matthew Benning (entry-level deals), Eric Gryba (UFA), and Brandon Davidson (often injured).

Adding another contract, for a player you want to hang onto, moves Edmonton into the position that they either risk losing one of the Klefbom, Larsson or the new addition. Andrej Sekera's no-movement clause makes him untouchable.

If the Oilers make a trade for a defenseman at the deadline, it would need to be for a defenseman who's contract will expire, or one they can and are willing to lose in the expansion draft. Meaning, if you give up a lot to get this player, you are simply "renting" by all senses of the definition. Merely renting a player changes the trade in a major way.


The Exception


If the Oilers are willing to move an Andrej Sekera (I'm not sure I would if Edmonton is in the market for a rental at the deadline), they'd first have to convince him to waive his no-movement clause. Should they do so, Edmonton can sign a player like Kris Russell and protect him, or they can add a longer-term defenseman by trade, protecting him too. It changes the "big three", but it allows Edmonton have a bit more control.

If Sekera does not waive, Edmonton will likely lose any player they add that has value around the league. It's a catch-22.


The Most Likely Option


If the Oilers end up becoming trade deadline buyers, they'll be looking for a mere rental, nothing more. Edmonton will have to understand that when the season ends, the chances are good that player will not be an Oiler coming into the 2017-18 season.

We can only hope that when that time comes, Edmonton, not having been a trade deadline buyer in a long time, doesn't give up the moon and stars to obtain anyone.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.




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