The more things change the more they stay the same. This is especially true with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have fired yet another head coach, this time bench boss Dallas Eakins.
While the coaching carousal takes yet another spin (sixth time in seven years) the Oilers brass continues to be gainfully employed.
The Oilers previously fired Craig MacTavish as their head coach, hired him back as their GM, MacTavish then fired the coach that he hired and has re-hired himself as the head coach. And now there is this:
Call me crazy but maybe MacTavish should have to prove to Hall that he is the one that is part of the solution because Taylor Hall is pretty good at the hockey thing.
2011-15 Leaders in even strength points per 60 minutes:
The culture of the Edmonton Oilers has been fostered by Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish. If culture is indeed the problem, those two should be on the chopping block, not the franchise’s best player. However, if the Oilers are going mistakenly shop Taylor Hall I believe that there is a team in the Western Conference that should come strong with an offer.
That team is the Nashville Predators and that offer is Shea Weber.
The Nashville Predators were in a conundrum a few years back. They had three huge free agents to sign: Shea Weber (RFA), Ryan Suter (UFA), and Pekka Rinne (UFA). Ryan Suter ultimately walked to Minnesota on a huge deal and Pekka Rinne re-signed uneventfully.
Shea Weber on the other hand decided to go down a road less traveled. He signed a huge offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. Weber smartly and expertly used another organization to get the terms that he wanted in his new contract with Nashville. The contract signed was/is massive. After watching Ryan Suter walk for nothing the Predators really had no choice in their developing hockey market other than suck it up and sign the mega-star Weber.
The contract was for 14 years and 110.0M.
Fast forward to today the Nashville Predators are doing well under the guidance of new Head Coach Peter Laviolette. Pekka Rinne is healthy and the forward moves they have made have paid off to this point. Most important in this is the fact that Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, and Seth Jones make up a formidable trio on defense thus opening the door to a potential Shea Weber trade. Shea Weber puts up impressive numbers offensively but his possession game is starting to show signs of slipping now that Ryan Suter is no longer around.
The Edmonton Oilers are desperately looking for a top pairing defenseman. Shea Weber is still perceived to be one of the best top pairing defensemen in hockey. Furthermore, he is in a leadership position within Hockey Canada. This will play right into the hands of the Oilers brass wanting a “culture change”.
Anytime there is discussion about trading players to Edmonton there is usually a pink elephant in the room, the dreaded no trade clause. Surprisingly enough Shea Weber does not own one of those pesky no trade clauses.
I think there is a great opportunity here for the Predators to get more offense with the acquisition of Taylor Hall while shedding an enormous contract at a position they are already pretty strong at.
Thanks for reading!
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