With the recent rumblings of a flat cap or even a $74 million cap, I believe Oilers are in a position to fill their needs via trade with a team that needs some help.
For a shared reference point, I am looking for teams that don’t have much cap room and that also likely need a change because they aren’t competing against the Chicagos and LA Kings for Cups. I believe like many others that we have a gaping hole on defense. In my opinion, we need 2, if not 3, defenseman that play on the right side and that can help us out 5×5 and as well on the PP. With that in mind, it brought my focus to the Minnesota Wild.
According to generalfanager.com, the Wild have already $64 million committed in salary for 16-17 for only 15 players. A typical roster is 23 which would mean they have $7 to $10 million to add 8 players. This is doable but not realistic, especially with the core of that team on the outside of the playoff race.
When going through the roster there are a few contracts that really stick out that they would likely love to move away from. Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville jump off the screen in the forward position and surprisingly Jonas Brodin. A few years ago Brodin was the toast of the league but his underlying numbers do not look good this year. Add in the fact that he’s a left shot and that he’s played all of 4 minutes on the powerplay, he is not a target I would like.
After pouring through defensemen stats on stats.hockeyanalysis.com, young Matt Dumba looks like a very good fit for the Oilers. Dumba has a shots/60 of 18.99 and a points/60 of 3.94 on the powerplay this year, he also has a positive Corsi Rel of 0.8 while playing 5th most minutes at 5×5 (advanced stats are from http://www.stats.hockeyanalysis.com April 4) When I look over the numbers, the biggest negative I find is the lack of NHL experience. To date he has just over 150 NHL games. He was picked 7th overall in 2012 draft which Oiler fans are falling in love with (or maybe not). The Oilers already have the 1st and 4th pick in their organization and both haven’t had much success to date.
Last but not least is Dumba’s contract. He’s coming off his ELC (entry level contract) and is due for a raise. Without getting into too much depth on contract comparisons, I look also at 2012 draftee Ryan Murray and his recently signed extension to a bridge deal which is $2.825 million per year for 2 years. He was drafted higher, but I would think could be used as a fairly comparable contract in negotiation’s. A resource that I greatly miss is Saskatoon Blades scout Cody Nickolet’s WHL from Above. Clicking here will give you Dumba’s scouting report for that 2012 draft (as well as Griffin Reinhart’s).
The second player from Minnesota Wild is Jared Spurgeon. Spurgeon is a more of a veteran player with over 370 NHL games. He’s 26 years old, a little on the smaller side with hockeydb.com listing him at 5’9 and 176lbs. I will go quickly through the same set of numbers as I did for Dumba.
Spurgeon is number 2 in 5×5 TOI for the Wild, has a positive Corsi Rel of 0.6, has a points/60 of 6.17, and a shots/60 of 6.17 on the powerplay. Spurgeon is the 3rd most used defenseman on the Wild for the powerplay behind Dumba and Ryan Suter. Spurgeon doesn’t have the volume of shots this year on the powerplay that Dumba has but has a very good point rate on the powerplay. Spurgeon also has recently signed a contract extension with the Wild that averages just over $5 milllion per year for the next 4 years, which kicks in this next season.
These two players are fairly major contributors to the Wild defense and team and are likely not high on the list of players they want to move. The Wild have also traded a lot of their draft picks in a win now mode, but they aren’t winning. I would imagine that the Oilers would likely have to trade a combination of value players, draft picks or young players on lower priced contracts in order to get the Wild to deal either player. Players that come to mind on the Oilers for this type of deal are Yakupov, Davidson, Reinhart, and Draisatl. We could also look at a bigger deal and look at taking back one of those forwards on a bigger contract in order to lower the trade cost we would be sending their way. I don’t view Dumba as a finished product, but rather one that could fit a very specific need on the powerplay. Ideally he would play 4 or 5 D man minutes with a lot of powerplay time.
Perhaps we look at the deal being built around Dumba for Yakupov, Davidson, and picks. The Wild would be receiving younger and cheaper players with potential and value. I don’t expect it to be popular to trade Davidson but it might need to be considered. Another thought is looking at a trade down in this years draft. The Wild would get a highly rated prospect & Oilers get a developing young D.
Is Minnesota a potential landing spot for Yakupov? Oilers would need to get creative to get Dumba out of Minnesota but with Salary cap issues there is potential.
Too much? Too little? Thoughts?