An Edmonton Oiler Trade Proposal...

With Oiler fans having listened to Tambellini say that Edmonton's inability to change it's current roster had a lot to do with contracts going out vs coming in and the salary cap; I got to thinking what it might take to start solving this problem. After all, if Tambellini really wants to improve the team, there has to be a way right?

Here is one idea that came to mind and I think is more than realistic.

Trade: Ladislav Smid, Jean-Francois Jacques and Robert Nilsson to San Jose for Jonathan Cheechoo

Before you comment, with either your "we don't want Cheechoo" or "San Jose would never do that deal" rants, here is why I think this might make sense.

San Jose's Needs:

1) To add to its roster: Right now they don't have enough contracts to roster a full team. They especially don't have enough cap room to add players. What this means is that, even if they don't necessarily think what the Oilers are offering is fair value, they might take it. If San Jose moves Smid (as we'll discuss in a bit) the big advantage here for the Sharks is in adding Jacques on their bottom six and putting Nilsson in there somewhere without adding to their cap and essentially trading one player for two, which is a good start. In fact they'd lessen their cap hit if they move Smid later as part of a trade for Heatley.

2) Get trade bait Ottawa wants: Ottawa likes Smid and we're willing to move Smid. San Jose can move Smid to Ottawa and doing so doesn't increase the Sharks cap hit if they simply say "here you go" after obtaining Smid from Edmonton. Plus adding Heatley later would reduce the "ouch" factor in what might be considered a small return for Cheechoo.

3) Rid Salary: Nilsson and Jacques make a combined $2.525 million which is helpful for San Jose considering Cheechoo makes $3 million per season as a cap hit and is buried under a ton of forward depth. He still has something to offer, but San Jose won't miss him.

In fact, in a quote from PJ Swenson at, Swenson contends that Cheechoo has more to offer than some might think. "His heavy shot and quick release have not diminished in the slightest, and he remains a deadly option for any power play. Cheechoo struggled with a broken thumb and a double hernia surgery which limited his production to 37 goals and 23 goals the two seasons after his Rocket Richard winning 56 in 2005-06. This year Cheechoo was the odd man out in a numbers game that saw seven top-6 forwards in the same lineup. Cheechoo was relegated to limited minutes on a third line that was racked with injuries (Goc, Plihal, Marleau, Roenick). Cheechoo has struggled to regain the form that allowed him to slide into open areas in front of the net, but in the proper situation he should be a lock for at least 20-30 goals."

I'd be willing to give it a shot.

Edmonton's Needs:

1) Better top six forward depth: No matter how you slice it, Cheechoo is more consistent and brings a grittier more in your face style than Nilsson. Cheechoo makes a lot more sense as your 2nd line RW than Nilsson and a Penner/Gagner/Cheechoo or Penner/Horcs/Cheechoo line has a nice ring to it if O'Sullivan gets a crack at first line LW to start the season.

2) Rid themselves of contracts to add by subtraction: Tambellini says he has too many players to make moves. Well if he can ship out three players for one, he gives himself enough of a cushion to go add that 3rd line center he needs.

Bottom Line: Whatever we lose in the deal, we have bodies to replace it. Peckham for Smid, MacIntyre for Jacques and Cheechoo for Nilsson. Heck, if Cheechoo still struggles, he's gritty enough to play a checker role on your 3rd line, where a guy like Andrew Cogliano can take his place on the 2nd line.

San Jose is actively shopping Cheechoo and if Ottawa doesn't want him, the Oilers maybe could use him and this could be an interesting starting point for a Heatley to San Jose deal which is complicated at best.

Then again, I could be way off. What would you do as arm chair GM?


I too think Cheechoo has more to offer and would love to see him reborn with the oil. I don't think Jacques needs to be in the trade though, some might say that Smid is the best player moving in this trade if you consider youth/potential/cap hit. With SJ having more forward depth than defense, I think a Smid/Staios/Pouliot/Chorney for Cheechoo & Goc would be good for both teams.

August 5, 2009 at 2:46 AM comment-delete

OilerInsider, you know I respect you and your blog but this is fishing to the nth degree. Though your rationale makes sense later on in your article about how our players can be replaced, I cannot help but go back to the fact that we would get Cheechoo back in return. You know how I feel about this player and though I may be wrong, I liken him to Chris Simon. A gritty player that put up some decent numbers in one year (29g - 20a - 146 pm), I cannot fathom why the Oilers would want to take on another contract like that. I mean seriously, he's dropped off to 12 goals a year ... that's what we have Stortini for (tounge in cheek).

I also personally believe that Tambo needs to make a move that wows the Oiler faithful and I think that Katz is behind that idea. I just don't think that Cheechoo wows anyone ... at least until he starts proving he's a winner again.

I've been a fan of the Oilers my entire life and I cannot for the life of me remember when we took on a reclamation project and ended up on top ... I can's see Cheechoo being any different.

August 5, 2009 at 8:38 AM comment-delete

A reclamation project where we ended up on top? Joe Murphy.

August 5, 2009 at 9:08 AM comment-delete

Joe Murphy was a 1st overall draft pick ... and he was part of a huge package deal ... it's not like we traded 3 players to bring him in specifically.

August 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM comment-delete

@ Anonymous

I don't think you'd have to throw in Jacques either and I do like him, but I did so because of the need for the Oilers to shed contracts wanting to sign a UFA and for San Jose to add contracts since they don't have enough bodies and will lose more in any Heatley trade.

@ llcooljayce

I respect your opinion and I agree that Tambellini would like to do more than just add Cheechoo. Shoot for all I know he has no interest in him. That said, Cheechoo has had the following stats:

05/06 56g 37a for 93 points
06/07 37g 32a for 69 points
07/08 23g 14a for 37 points
08/09 12g 17a for 29 points

The 07/08 and 08/09 numbers show me two things. He was injured 20 games in each of those seasons and that he was moved down the depth chart for an incredibly talented group of forward depth in San Jose.

The Oilers don't have that depth and I firmly believe Cheechoo would do much more than his 08/09 numbers which at $3 million I'd take.

August 5, 2009 at 10:44 AM comment-delete

I think Cheechoo is done. But, if contracts can get shipped out to give Tambo some breathing room, I don't mind this deal. Smid though, is the best player in the deal. I believe that as is, the Oilers are a playoff team. I think Penner gets 30+ and O'sullivan 23 -28 goals. Coaching and opportunity to succeed will be available under Quinn / Renny. The defensive zone flood that was an embarrassment last year is gone for good and that bodes well for all of the top 6 forwards. Points in transition and PP will increase dramatically this Year.

August 5, 2009 at 11:34 AM comment-delete

@ GarbageManBrian

I hope you're correct. It would be nice to see those players who underachieved start to flourish under new coaching. I don't ever see Cheechoo getting near his 56 goals again, or in fact his 37 goal season, but I wouldn't put double his production of last year past him.

August 5, 2009 at 11:54 AM comment-delete

@anonymous--Goc would have been great for a cheap faceoff/checking roll. Too bad he's gone. As for Cheechoo, I respect the opinion of the Oilersinsider, so I will only say, 'no thanks.'

August 25, 2009 at 11:55 AM comment-delete

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