Sunday, January 10, 2010

Edmonton Gets Passing Grade

With the WHL trade deadline now officially in the books, the Edmonton Oil Kings look considerably different than they did just a couple of weeks ago. In all, GM Bob Green executed three deals between Christmas and the deadline which has seen 4 assets (all players) on the way out while a potential of 9 pieces are coming back his way.

Is the team better today than they were two weeks ago? Certainly not. Is the organization better off because of the choices Green and his staff have made? Almost definitely. Did the team do enough or were there more deals that should have been completed? Debatable.

Deal #1 December 27th - Clayton Cumiskey to Everett for Cameron Abney

I like this deal partly for the fact that Abney (Photo: Dylan Lynch/Edmonton Oil Kings) is an Oiler prospect so it's now easier for me to keep tabs on him than it was when he was with the Silvertips. For the Oil Kings, they get a lot tougher although, to date, Abney has picked up 10 PIM in 6 games with the Kings but they have all been minor penalties. He has the reputation of being one of the toughest guys in the WHL but so far he hasn't dropped the gloves yet as a member of the Oil Kings. Outside of of a couple of big collisions that he instigated, Abney hasn't actually done a whole lot in my opinion. I still like it though because he provides size to a roster that badly needed it, especially up front, and he's actually a pretty good skater which might surprise some people who want to label him as strictly a "goon".

Deal #2 December 30th - Brent Raedeke to Brandon for Klarc Wilson + a conditional 3rd round pick in 2011.

I like this trade more and more. No question in my mind that Brandon does well here getting a guy who can help them as hosts of the Memorial Cup this year but they do give up a really nice prospect in Wilson, a local product. Quite frankly, when I heard the Wheaties were one of the leading suitors for Raedeke I quickly scanned their roster and prospect list to see what I thought might be of interest to Edmonton. "OK, well they won't get Wilson so what else does Brandon have?"

Wilson (photo: Andy Devlin/EDM Oil Kings) didn't have great numbers in Brandon, only 2 points in 18 games, but I wonder if that was a case of playing down the depth chart behind a really impressively strong line up? It would make sense and Wilson (just 16 years old) will play a much bigger role in Edmonton. Listed at 6' and 198 lbs, Wilson should be a major player for this club over the next 2-3 years.

Deal #3 January 10th - Tomas Vincour + Brett Breitkreuz to Vancouver for Garry Nunn + Mike Piluso + Sebastian Svendsen + 5th in 2010 + 3rd in 2011 + conditional 3rd in 2012.

I was fairly indifferent to this at first glance, mostly because of my unfamiliarity with the players Edmonton was getting in exchange for Vincour and Breitkreuz. Vincour is a talented player and in my opinion should have been of the same, if not better value, as Raedeke. The fact that Edmonton didn't get a top 16-year-old is a bit disappointing to me although Bob Green told me two days ago that he didn't want too many 16-year-olds anyway.

The 3 warm bodies Edmonton brings in are all very small. Nunn (Photo: Paul Clarke/VAN Giants) is an overaged player who will not be back next year, is 5'9 but is basically a point-per-game player. Svendsen, an 18-year-old product of Denmark, checks in at a paltry 5'8 and this year he has just 6 points in 36 games with the Giants. Piluso is expected to bring some edge and leadership but he too is on the small side; 5'10 and 183 lbs.

Edmonton's addition of two draft picks, a 5th this summer and a 3rd in 2011, are OK. There is another 3rd in the deal should Vincour return to Vancouver next year but that will depend on what the Dallas Stars decide to do with him - most expect he'll be in the AHL.

The Oil Kings are now smaller, are without their top two scoring forwards and didn't replace their offence unless Nunn continues to produce at the same pace despite a weaker supporting cast. The chute was pulled on this season so really, the fact that the team will probably struggle on a nightly basis even more should hardly surprise anyone. An even weaker team won't help ticket sales but believe it or not, the franchise is probably much better moving forward after having made these moves.

Deal #4 NOT COMPLETED - Torrie Jung to Regina Pats

Rod Pedersen said it first and I've been told the same thing; there were talks between Regina and Edmonton for the services of overaged netminder Torrie Jung (Photo: Andy Devlin/EDM Oil Kings). a deal couldn't be agreed on and I know Bob Green has told me several times in the past that he wouldn't make a deal just for the sake of making a deal but... isn't getting anything for an expiring player better than getting nothing?

That really depends on who you ask. Jung is seen as a top quality person in the room and I know the organization likes the influence he has on their younger players. There is value in what Jung provides to the team in that sense. Surely he'll play much less in the second half in order to allow Cam Lanigan (Photo: Andy devlin/EDM Oil Kings) prime development time but Jung still has worth to the Oil Kings.

But is it enough to justify not getting anything at all back for him? Apparently it is and without knowing for sure what Regina was offering, it would make sense to assume it was in the territory of a 4th rounder. Kurtis Mucha went for that same cost earlier this year in a trade between Portland and Kamloops and he too is an overage netminder.

All in all... Oil Kings fans might find it hard to stomach in the short term but knowledgeable people should see that these were moves Green should and perhaps even had to make.


Anonymous said...

Oh Guy and Dean, Hamonic dealt.

You're welcome.

But, nice try. Good effort.

Guy Flaming said...

If Hamonic isn't hurt, do you think he still gets traded? Who else, other than Brandon, has the luxury of knowing they will still be active when he is ready to play again?

Good job, you were right.

Feel free to email one of us with you real name. 'Anonymous' is a bit weak. If you're going to toot your horn for being right, is it hard to tell people who you are?

You can say "told you so" without being condescending. No need to be a dick about it... you were right.

Matt Bugg said...

The OKs don't want more 16-year-olds? I get that, but then acquire a single '92. Piluso is an energy forward who scraps a bit, sort of like Tie Domi. I like him and he's going to be a good addition to the dressing room but he's an add-in, not a player you build a deal around.

Svendsen is a little bigger than that- IIHF has him at 5'10, 181 and EliteProspects at 5'10, 183- and he had a nice WJC Div-1 but he's not someone I'd say would be a future impact junior player. He's pugnacious for his size, fearless on the forecheck and can kill penalties quite well thanks to his speed and hockey sense but he's not near skilled enough to become the 'next Mikkel Boedker' people thought he was going to be when he tore up Swedish J18. He's basically a center version of Robin Soudek.

I do agree with the premise of not trading Jung, though. Anyone who has been around that dressing room the last couple years knows he's essentially the captain and you'll never meet someone more grounded or with more patience. It's the first WHL deadline for many of the young guys so keeping a familiar face around is important. You need to be bad to finish last and you accomplish that via a firesale but the Kings are well on their way and you don't want to burn the kids you've got in the process.

Guy Flaming said...

Thanks for the info and input on the incoming guys from Vancouver, Bugg.

I'm not really excited about any of them either but at least Green got something for guys who won't be back next year... something is better than nothing.

Dean Millard said...

Dear Anonymous,

If you think a healthy Hamonic was going to be traded you're on more drugs then me, and I just had a hernia surgery!!!! If he's healty the Warriors keep him and make a playoff run, like Guy said Brandon is the only team that knows he'll play for them guaranteed. good effor though.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes Dean the WHL lives in your make believe fantasy hypothetical world.

I heard the tooth fairy is going to center Brandon's top line if Schenn goes down. But of course that's a big if. Apparently Mccrimmon aquired the tooth fairy's services for some pixie dust and magic beans.

He was dealt, and was going to be dealt all along. The injury just gives you a back door out.

What other article are you going to wow us with next?

We are all waiting with baited breath! Thousands similtaneously refreshing the page for the first opportunity to hear your WHL infinite wisdom.

Dean Millard said...

so bold anonymous, so bold.

Vik said...

Yeah, got to love the internet.

Anyways, Hamonic was definitely on the block but it's most likely the injury that got things done. I'd read that Moose Jaw was needing Mark Stone back for him earlier and that simply wasn't going to happen And he is a perfect addition for Brandon. All us fans were hoping for at least one more solid dman (mainly for some kind of Eberle and Teubert for Glennie+ deal) but hopefully Hamonic's enough of an upgrade by himself.

And from what I've read (and the couple games I've seen) I wouldn't get too excited about Klarc Wilson. He's huge but not all that skilled and needs to really pick up his skating (as you'd expect from someone his size). But, hopefully, he proves wrong.

The Steve said...

Hey guys,

Just cause people remain anonymous that doesn't make them wrong and you guys right.

All this proves is you guys aren't any more knowledgeable than a guy with an internet connection.

Dean Millard said...

The Steve, you may be right, but being anonymous means you can make anything up you want, from anywhere you want. I was at the World Juniors and not once did Hamonic's name come up in trade discussions until he was hurt. I've spoken with WHL scouts/GM's since and have been told his name never once came up until he was injured. Unlike an anonymous person we have our name attached to what we write, meaning we can't just make something up because a player is good and would make another team better. It's called research and talking to souces, and it's what credible broadcasters and journalists do.

Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for signing your name.

Anonymous said...

Haha, this is a GREAT thread. Dean, it appears anonymous is more credible than you when it comes to information. Maybe you should fire your sources ;). You shouldn't go on here talking about how high and mighty your inside knowledge is when you can't see the biggest possible deal staring you in the face.

But i'm just another anonymous poster who can see this for what is. Sorry Deano.

Anonymous said...

Go to Bruce Luebke's blog Dean.

Kelly McCrimmon clearly states in an interview "we had talked to Moose Jaw prior to Christmas about Travis". So that shoots your latest theory out the window. I can keep lighting you up all day if you'd like :p

I'll await another shoddy, no research reply Dean, just par for the course. They are very entertaining.

Orignial Anonymous

Dean Millard said...

I guess the best part about you guys not thinking we're credible is us not having to deal with your comments in the future right? Why would you want to read a blog that is so terrible? Take care. I stand by my sources, but you not liking them isn't going to bother me that much. I know plenty of people who do. That's the best part about opinions, every one can have one, even anonymous people. Have a great day.