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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Desktop GM: Letang to Edmonton for ..... by @ToonsBrian

Recently, we at put out the call for you, the reader, to assume the role of Pens GM and propose trades to us so that we could break them down Mythbusters-style. The response you showed was, frankly overwhelming. We’re doing our best to accommodate as many as we can in this Trade Deadline Season.

One of the first we received was from Michael, who proposed this trade:

Pens send D Kris Letang and their 2015 1st Rd Pick to the Oilers
 for F David Perron, D Justin Schultz, F Anton Lander and their 2015 1st Rd Pick

An interesting trade proposal, for sure, and one that intrigued me.  

The Players

Perron: On pace for 33 goals.
David Perron Forward David Perron would make for a very interesting addition the Pittsburgh Penguins roster, to say the least. He’s a creative player that can finish plays. He’s showing that right now, having buried 22 pucks in 51 games so far this season, 7 of those on the power play. While he doesn’t possess the strength that you’d like to see out of an NHL forward, he’s not afraid to get to the dirtier areas of the ice that some shy away from. His contract has him locked up until 2017 at a $3.812 million cap hit, which, if he continues to develop, could benefit the Pens – provided his concussion-related history stays just that…history.

Justin Schultz Justin Schultz has a bright future in the NHL. Schultz has shown himself to be a disciplined defenseman, amassing only 12 penalty minutes in his 47 games this season while playing over 23 minutes per game. At 23, his 6’2” 185 lb frame could still use a little strengthening, but his offensive upside is undeniable. His entry-level deal ends this year and his Restricted Free Agent status could help the Pens retain his services at season’s end.

Anton Lander 22 year old Anton Lander has spent the majority of his 2 year career in the minors. Based solely on what I’ve read, Lander plays a safe game centered around smart positioning and anticipation. Scouts believe he has great penalty killing potential and could become highly effective as a two-way forward. However, as a center, he is seen as undersized and as more of a playmaker than a scorer. His entry level deal ends this year as he becomes an RFA.

The Tradeoff

From a Pittsburgh Penguins perspective, this trade would be extremely attractive. And that’s before throwing in the draft pick exchange. However, every trade that’s ever happened has involved consensus between at least two team and therein lies the problem.

This trade would rely heavily on a few factors for Edmonton.

Edmonton: Only 21 pts out of
the Wild Card race
First off, GM Craig MacTavish has surely evaluated his team and realizes that 1) defense isn’t its strong suit
and 2) neither is team leadership. They’ve got a ton of top-end potential talent but nobody to help it gel together. Kris Letang would just be another top-end talent – albeit on the defensive end – with no real addition to the leadership that this team needs.

Secondly, this would be a move that would be completely out of the norm, in terms of boldness, from Edmonton.

Trading away Perron, the team’s leading goal-scorer, could be something they’d look at doing as they could get a decent return on him.

Trading Schultz would probably meet a little more resistance than a typical youngster.

Sending Lander in a package would be totally feasible, given the loads of potential talent at forward the Oilers already have.

Put them all together and you have a completely different situation. That’s a lot to give up.

The X Factor

The real variable in this equation is Kris Letang and the Oilers’ perception of him and, just as importantly, the fans’ perception of him. 

Clearly, the list of things to like about Letang is long. He’s got a look. He’s got an offensive skill set that is second to none in terms of defensemen in the league. He would, as they say in showbiz, “put asses in seats,” which has been a problem for the Oilers this season and rightfully so.

The Salary Cap

The salary cap is going to dictate much of the trade market this season and possibly into the foreseeable future. 

Kris Letang, this season, hits the salary cap for $3.375 million dollars, which is a steal.

Combined, Perron, Schultz and Lander are on the hook for $5.617 million. With Lander playing most of this season in the minors, he could easily be designated to the minors, shaving the $880,000 he is due. Schultz, however, would be a player you would not necessarily want to designate to the minors.

All things considered, the move would end up with the Pens absorbing roughly $4.7 million by pulling the trigger on this particular trade.

The Oilers have over $18 million in cap space and this deal would free up over $1.3 million more for them. The Pens however, would have to make some other roster moves as they would find themselves $800,000 over the NHL’s cap.

Correction: After stepping away from the article, I realized that I hadn't accounted for the Pens' LTIR monies, as alloted in the CBA. Currently the Pens have an estimated $4.69 million in LTIR space. Therefore, the financial impact of the deal would be greatly lessened for the team and any movement made would be solely to facilitate the new players. My apologies. - Brian


From the perspective of a Pens fan, this deal would be awesome, even without the 2015 1st Round pick swap that was proposed by Michael. The addition of potential 30-goal scorer Perron would be solid. Adding another potential stud to the Pens' defensive corps could never hurt. And the draft pick exchange would be the icing on the cake, assuming that the Oilers’s pick would still be, in my estimation, a Top 10 selection and the Pens would maintain their 20-30th pick pattern through 2015.

Edmonton GM MacTavish
That’s why the deal would not be accepted by Edmonton. They’d be giving up way too much, even if the deal was Perron and Schultz with no other caveats. Perron is their leading scorer and on pace for over 30 goals. Schultz has a bright future as a young defenseman and, given his upcoming RFA status, they’ll be able to lock him up at market value this time around.

Letang would be a positive addition to the Oilers franchise and one they could afford. This deal just asks for too much as Letang would not be able to offset everything that the team would have to give up to get him.
Thanks, Michael, for your proposal.

If you disagree with what was presented in this article, we want to hear what you have to say. So, by all means, hit up the comment section below and let us, and Michael, know what you think.

If you’d like to submit your own trade proposal for consideration, by all means, (Click here).


  1. Send Letang and Orpik to Oilers...

  2. Anon,
    Given the same trade offerings, I would think the Oilers would strongly consider that option. Orpik is a UFA after this season and they could probably keep him for around $4.5-5M per season over three years (guessing, of course). More importantly, it would add a leader to the Edmonton locker room that just isn't there right now.
    This would leave the Oilers with around $21M of cap space, when accounting for Letang's contract/raise, in the 2014-15 season. That would have to be split up among 11 players which would be needed to fill out there roster. They'll lose Hemsky, but will also probably trade him prior to the Deadline anyway.
    As for the Pens, the real pain would be losing Orpik, the man as opposed to the player. The organization and fans have an attachment to him and rightfully so. He's been a standup player and a good guy. Who could ever forget him turning Ovechkin upside down? But, if it came down to it and I was the Pens, I would pull the trigger on that deal.
    Good call, Anon!

  3. Oilers would never trade that pick; they know how awful they are, and that selection could conceivably be Connor McDavid.

  4. Yeah. We had talked about that on twitter. I hadn't even taken the McDavid Lottery into consideration. From a purely positional standpoint, they'd never do it, let alone if the possiblity of landing "the next big thing" was looming.

  5. I like the trade idea how about another non-defensive defensemen in Simon as he is a
    young defender that has show us little.


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