Should Oiler Fans Cheer For the Bruins?

If you're a hockey fan you might be watching the playoffs no matter which teams play each other. Perhaps you are a Canadian and Montreal or Vancouver are your teams of choice. My suggestion, is that if you're an Edmonton Oiler fan, perhaps you take just a moment to give a little nod to the hockey gods that the Boston Bruins get to the finals.

The catch? In the end, we need Boston to lose.

If the Boston Bruins can do everything except win the actual Stanley Cup, imagine what the mindset of the team, the GM and the fans would be knowing that perhaps they are just a mere nip and tuck away from winning the whole thing next season.

Take into consideration a few things that lead me along this line of thinking.

First, the Bruins already have the 2nd overall pick coming to them in this years NHL entry draft. They'll be getting either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. Who they get, is up to the Oilers.

That said, it's no secret the Bruins want Taylor Hall. They're deep at center and want a player who will make an impact sooner rather than later. Everything we've heard to date about Hall fits their needs perfectly and the Oilers hope to take advantage of the Bruins need for a winger and not a center. The Oilers need both so Boston shouldn't gamble on thinking they know who the Oilers will take.

Second, the Bruins have most of their core locked up for just one more season after this current campaign. Come 2011/2012, players like Zdeno Chara, Marco Sturm and Patrice Bergeron all hit the UFA market. The Bruins will be unlikely to keep that core in tact and for them to win, the time is either this year or next with the squad they have. Can they replace other peices down the road? Sure. Would they rather make slight improvements to what seems to be a winning formula? That's more likely.

In short, the Bruins are the exact opposite of a rebuilding Oilers team. Their attitude is win now, as it rightfully should be.

If Boston comes ever so close without winning it all, they'll have tough decisions after using available money to resign players like Blake Wheeler and possibly Miroslav Satan or Recchi on the cheap (if they can get them on the cheap both are having tremendous playoffs seasons and have likely garnered some attention from other GM's).

If Boston successfully signs these players and then whatever draft selection they take, they'll quickly use up much of their $8 million in cap space for next year and will contemplate clearing out space. Maybe they'll look to trade a player like Michael Ryder. Maybe they'll toy with not re-signing with a player like Denis Seidenberg. Both cut even more into the limited space available and might be seen as less than key ingredients in this current and future cup runs.

Part of the decision will boil down to whether or not players available to them in trade or free agency are a slight improvement over the options available to them currently. Free agency might be a stretch since Boston just doesn't have the space to pay the going rate. So too, free agency doesn't allow them to eliminate cap space while a trade or two would.

Enter the Edmonton Oilers.

Would Sheldon Souray be an improvement over Denis Seidenberg? Boston might think so. A one two punch of Souray and Chara has a nice ring to it and if in the process Boston could move Michael Ryder they'd consider it. I'd bet the Oilers would make that move as well, if for no other reason than to say goodbye to Souray and hello to a lesser cap hit for one year.

Maybe even more, the Bruins take interest in a fourth line grinder like Ethan Moreau. Moreau brings playoff experience, grit and leadership. He also brings a contract about to expire which could make Moreau more attractive to the Bruins when other teams have clearly shown no interest.

The Oilers would be happy to send an overpaid Moreau for an overpaid Ryder, if it meant they could get rid of an overpaid and unhappy Souray. Perhaps adding Souray means the Bruins move one more peice of the blueline and an experienced NHL defencman like Andrew Ference to clear more space? He sounds like a thrown in, but Ference is a legit experienced d-man who can help the Oilers.

In one swoop, the Oilers move Souray and Moreau while adding Ference and Ryder. The Oilers pick up $6.2 million in cap space and move $7.4. It adds $1.2 million to the Bruins current payroll, but nothing that hampers them to make other smaller moves and they improve their team for another push to finally win the cup.

Don't think Boston would do it? Consider this a lateral move at best? What if the Oilers offered up the 1st overall pick for the 2nd, thus guaranteeing that the Bruins get their man Taylor Hall and the Oilers draft Tyler Seguin?

The Bruins have Souray, Hall and Moreau while the Oilers have Ryder, Ference and Seguin. I don't see this as too big a stretch. The beauty is, this isn't the only combination of options that work between Boston and Edmonton. What would you do?

8 comments:

This helps the Bruins more than the Oilers. I would like them to throw in someone that would actually improve the Oilers. I keep hearing Wheelers name being thrown around. If O'sullivan gets moved, the Oil are short in RW.
Souray, O'sullivan, Moreau 1st overall pick for
Wideman, Wheeler, Ryder, 2nd overall pick. Thats about 8million to Edmonton and 10 to Boston. I didnt include Wheelers salary because I believe he is an RFA after the season.

Anonymous
May 6, 2010 at 9:43 PM comment-delete

WTF? The Oilers only win is to move out to salaries. Souray has value, Ryder would be the dump....If it was Souray, Moreau, swap picks for Ference, Ryder and a piece...it might have some merit. Joe Colbourne comes to mind.

May 7, 2010 at 9:27 AM comment-delete

@ Anonymous

Don't be too quick to overvalue Souray. Ryder is a dump, but a dump at 1yr remaining is a much easier sell and better deal for Edmonton who has to dump Souray with two years at $5.4 million.

Moving out O'Sullivan wouldn't put us short at RW either, knowing that Hemsky, Svensson, Cogliano, Brule or a player like Mike Comrie could be signed and are better options that O'Sullivan seem to be at that position.

That said, I based this idea in reality. A trade that Boston might actually see as doable. Your proposal is so one-sided on Edmonton's behalf it just isn't feasible.

It's a big assumption that Boston would want all of Edmonton's trash. The likelihood that Edmonton could pawn off O'Sullivan, Moreau and Souray in one move is slim at best.

May 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM comment-delete

@ George B

I see a big victory here if the Oilers can move salary. I also see the benefit in being able to replace one solid veteran defenseman for another. Ference isn't Souray of course, but he gives Edmonton more options while he plays a solid shut down game which Edmonton is lacking.

So too, while I consider moving Ryder from Boston more a dump than a value trade by the Bruins, don't short Ryder's ability to score. He's had 50 points in 3 of his last 5 seasons and no fewer than 14 goals at his worst. A bad year for Ryder was this past season and he would have placed 6th is total scoring but 2nd in goals on this Edmonton team.

Consider too, that moving salary makes room for players like Eberle, Svensson, Omark and whomever the Oilers draft when currently there simply isn't any.

May 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM comment-delete

@ Anonymous

Sorry about the post mistake.. The overvalue of Souray comment was meant for George B.

I would love your trade proposal if the Oilers could do it, but Blake Wheeler makes that trade a tad unlikely. He's too valued.

The only way I could see it, is if Boston came to Edmonton begging for Taylor Hall.

May 7, 2010 at 10:47 AM comment-delete

Im not overvaluing Souray, but he is big veteran Dman that can put up points when healthy. Besides Hemmer, all of the players you listed are not natural Rw's. I believe Svensson plays left. Cogs and Brule r Centres. I know this trade is not going to happen but isnt the whole point of the Oilers staying away from Hall is if there is some benefit to them. Your trade of Ryder, Ference and 2nd pick for Souray, Moreau and 1st pick doesnt seem to benefit the Oilers except losing a year off Sourays contract. The Oil will find some other dumb GM to take Sourays contract and get at least a draftpick and a dman.

Anonymous
May 7, 2010 at 8:41 PM comment-delete

I suppose our only disagreement is over Souray's value. I see a few issues with other GM's wanting to take on Souray's contract and Edmonton's desire to ship him out of town.

It's a high priced multi-year deal, he's had problems in other franchises before the Oilers and now said amazingly stupid things here in Edmonton to lower his value around the NHL (even though I may agree with some of what he said).

And you nailed it on the head when you said healthy. His track record shows his tendancy to be unhealthy.

To trade something like Souray means you take on a big contract in return ie. Redden or Rosival in NYR. If I had my choice, Ryder is a much better salary to take back than either of those two, whom hamper the franchise for years.

Could I see other players in the NHL that teams need to move? Briere in Philly and Kotalik or Kotalik in Calgary, but a Souray trade makes no sense for those two teams since both teams are stacked on defence.

Would New Jersey move Rolston? Maybe, but why would the Oilers do that trade over a Ryder, Ference deal if it was on the table?

I just see a natural deal waiting to happen with the Bruins and of many of the options that might be available to Edmonton, this moves makes some sense.

Heck if the Oilers could get a guy like Blake Wheeler do it. I just doubt Boston would be that interested to move that kind of value.

May 8, 2010 at 1:23 PM comment-delete

I am a Bruins fan.
Please take all.
Wheeler, Savard, Wideman, Ryder,
Ferrence, Thornton, all useless!

Anonymous
May 25, 2010 at 6:35 PM comment-delete

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