How Little Is Too Little? How Much is Too Much?

13 days and counting. When I say counting, I'm being literal too, since there are many people I know actually counting haw many sleeps until June 25th and the Oilers drafting first overall for the first time in franchise history. In that respect, it's like a little kid at Christmas.

One has to hope those kids won't be disappointed if the Oilers don't pick #1, since many are suggesting it's about a 50/50 shot that the Oilers and Bruins do a deal involving the first overall selection.

I'm of the belief that in the end the Oilers will keep the first pick and with it draft Taylor Hall. More news continues to flow that Hall is just as excited and ready to play center as he would be wing (where people feel he naturally fits). Add to it that Hall is a big game, big situation type player and it's a much less of a lose situation for Edmonton to pick him first.

I'm also of the belief that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli will talk some twenty plus times between now and the draft to see if they can come to a mix of the right ingredients to make a move.

I figure it will take a lot of quick short, "are we close yet?" type calls between the two GM's before one just finally says "yep, we have a deal" or "nope, we're just gonna draft our guy". Those conversations will likely involve how much is too little from Chiarelli's offering standpoint and how much is too much from Tambellini's asking position.

Rumors started with a name like Blake Wheeler and went as high as a name like Milan Lucic. Some suggest the Oilers shouldn't expect a valid roster player since the discrepancy between Seguin and Hall isn't that big, while others suggest the Oilers can get a great player since it's obvious the Bruins want Hall.

I'm of the belief that Wheeler is too little. That the Oilers who could use a 20 goal guy (which Wheeler likely is) would view it as a start, but wouldn't hold their breath that Wheeler is part of an Oiler future.

Wheeler has a history of choosing when and who to play for. As an RFA this season, he means little to Boston in the big picture and he may be in one door and out another too quickly for the Oilers to capitalize on a deal like that.

I like Wheeler and many aspects of what he'd bring. He has size and he's young and he'd fit well in a second or third line role on the Oilers at right wing during a rebuild. But the only way I do that deal, is if the Oilers could manage shipping salary like that of O'Sullivan along with the 1st and 31st overall pick in 2010 to the Bruins in exchange for Wheeler, the 2nd and the 15th overall picks. All this has to be contingent of course on talking to Wheeler and ensuring he'd want to play in Edmonton.

In terms of an Oilers asking price, I think Milan Lucic is too much. While he offers the same size and offensive type numbers Wheeler does, the Bruins are much more keen on Lucic. He's got grit, he's a natural leader by example and he's been invested in for three more years (heavily I might add at a cap hit of over $4 million per season).

Because his salary is hefty, the Oilers would again have to send salary back to Boston, which if their asking Boston to move Lucic isn't enough, might be the straw the breaks the camels back in terms of what they'd be giving up and taking just to flop picks.

I think to have Lucic involved would be something like Lucic, 2nd rounder in 2011 and the 2nd overall in 2010 to Edmonton for the 2010 1st overall, Robert Nilsson and Ethan Moreau. I wouldn't do that trade if I'm Boston, so I don't know how it would happen without creating more cap issues for the Oilers than it does good.

Somewhere in the middle would be what I'd like to see as a fan.

Contingent on Boston signing UFA Johnny Boychuk to a reasonable three year deal (which is a big if, because Boychuk can test free agency after the draft), I'd ask for Boychuk along with the 2nd and 15th overall pic in 2010 for the Oilers 1st and 31st overall in 2010 along with Andrew Cogliano.

It's a steep price for Boston, but might raise some eyebrows. It's a great move for Edmonton, who fills a need on defence with a young high upside prospect (Boychuk played the 2nd most blueline minutes to Chara) and moves Edmonton up into the first round with their second selection. The Oilers could then try to turn that pick along with a player to a team like Columbus for the 4th overall. Edmonton gives up a young prospect in Cogliano, but giving up only Cogliano who unfortunately isn't finding a viable home lately with the Oilers is liveable to fill a bigger need on defense with a young and improving contract.

While Boston might resist at first giving up Boychuk, the fact that they signed Seidenberg and committed over $19.5 million to six defencemen in this coming season tells me they'd be alright without Boychuk if it meant winning now, which is what Boston is trying to do.

Of course as the title of this article suggests, this could be too much or too little depending on which side of the fence you sit.


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