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Should the Edmonton Oilers Trade Connor McDavid?


Connor McDavid‘s mind-bending marker versus the Canadiens was one of like 8,000 absurd solo highlights produced by No. 97 this season. (Getty)

I am sure the title seems like sacrilege. Trade Connor? You must be out of your mind? Dude, what are you smoking? Stop, please just stop. The problem is, I think Connor McDavid might be the problem.

Ok cowboy, hold your horses and hear me out. McDavid has been in the league for six years since the Oilers drafted him first overall in the 2015 draft. He has compiled an impressive regular-season resume. McDavid has played 407 games amassing 574 points (195G, 379A), two Hart trophies, three Art Ross trophies, and three Ted Lindsay trophies.

It feels like there is nothing this man can not do. That is until we get to the playoffs. While his individual numbers are spectacular, his teams have not been. The four-time All-Star has seen post-season play just 50% of his time in the league. In three playoff appearances, McDavid led teams are 8-13. They reached the second round only once in his second year losing in seven games to Anaheim Ducks.

In 2019-2020 during the Bubble, the Oilers were the 5th ranked team and played the last team to make the 24 team COVID tournament, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers lost to the Hawks in 4 games in the best of 5 qualifying round.

This season the Winnipeg Jets the third seed in all Canadian North division swept the oilers in what many considered the shocker of the first round.

Remember, these are and always will be the Wayne Gretzky led Oilers. When McDavid entered the league, they hailed him as the next Gretzky. It was destiny that they would draft a player of this caliber first overall for the Oilers. A Stanley Cup must be in the cards soon.

After seeing the regression in the playoffs and the lack of a balanced team, the Edmonton front office should take a long and in-depth look at where they think they will get with McDavid as their centerpiece.

McDavid has the highest cap hit of any player in the league. His current salary could be the problem. He has Leon Draisaitl an all-world player with him, but together they have not gotten this team over the hump.

What if you could trade him to a team for the pieces that will make you a contender right now? Would you do it? Most fans would say “In a heartbeat.”

So, let us look at two possible trades that could help both teams and would make sense cap-wise and hockey-wise.

We made the two trades using the Capfriendly.com trade simulator.

Trade 1

McDavid to Tampa Bay

I am guessing when you first saw this you said what the F@#K!!!!!! Yes, Tampa Bay is over the cap right now. But they have the right pieces that could be moved to make the money work and to set up a possible Tampa Bay vs Edmonton Stanley Cup Final in 2022.

Here is the trade.

Edmonton receives

NameLevelCap Hit
Sergachev, MikhailNHL$10,451,612
Cirelli, AnthonyNHL$10,451,612
Palat, Ondrej (M-NTC)NHL$11,540,322
Maroon, Patrick (M-NTC)NHL$1,959,677


Tampa Bay Receives

Holloway, DylanMinor$0
Kesselring, MichaelMinor$0
McDavid, ConnorNHL$27,217,741
2021 1st round pick (EDM)


On the Surface, this feels like an unfair deal. However, if you break it down, you see that this helps both teams and gives both teams a bit of space to make other moves.

The Lightning goes from cap hell to having $7,185,482 of space to add one or two free agents. Tampa Bay’s biggest loss is F Anthony Cirelli. The 23-year-old Etobicoke, Ontario native is a two-way forward who blossomed during the 2021 Playoffs. Cirelli’s 12 points combined with his play on the penalty kill makes him an asset for both teams, but Tampa must shed money.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) advances the puck with Florida Panthers left wing Dryden Hunt (73) challenging during the first period of the 2019-2020 NHL season home opener between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers on Thursday, October 3, 2019, in Tampa. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times ]

Mikhail Sergachev and Ondrej Palat were important pieces of Tampa’s two Stanley Cups. Their combined $22 million dollar salary makes them expendable. Palat is a versatile forward who brings the champion pedigree that the Oilers so desperately need.

Sergachev is the same type of player on defense. He can help create a defensive structure that the oilers currently lack. The Oilers recently acquired Duncan Keith from the Blackhawks and Sergachev could also act as an insurance policy for Keith.

The Big Rig is the piece that ties it all together. The three-time Stanley Cup champion brings the toughness the oilers need and the swagger that they have lacked since the Great One’s days.

For Tampa, they get the best player in the game today to go along with Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. That is some big-time talent. Hall of Fame caliber talent. The type that McDavid did not have in Edmonton. This is a team that can dominate not just the regular season, but the playoff as well.

The Two Minor leaguers and the draft pick balance out the trade and allows Tampa a bit of flexibility in the upcoming season and beyond.

Trade 2

McDavid to Montreal

HAbs Series

Edmonton Receives

Drouin, Jonathan (M-NTC)IR$11,975,806
Chiarot, Ben (M-NTC)NHL$7,620,967
Byron, PaulNHL$7,403,225
Kotkaniemi, JesperiNHL$0
2021 1st round pick (MTL)
2022 1st round pick (MTL)
2022 2nd round pick (MTL)
2023 1st round pick (MTL)

Montreal Receives-

McDavid, ConnorNHL$27,217,741
Rodrigue, OlivierMinor$0


This is your rebuilding trade for Edmonton and “You go for it now” trade for Montreal. The Canadiens, who just made an improbable run to the Finals, would want to build on the momentum, and bringing in McDavid, could do that. The Habs keep their young speedy core and adding McDavid could raise the level of their game.

The Major drawback to this trade is that Montreal is giving up the future of the team to win now. This trade is a big gamble for the Habs and a windfall for the Oilers.

The Oilers could use those draft picks to move up in upcoming drafts or even acquire a top-level goaltender. The upside for the oilers is high while the risk for the Canadiens is just as high.

The value of this trade is in the money. This trade is as close to revenue-neutral as you can get. The cap hit/loss for the teams is $217,743. This is where both teams could see the value of this swap and pull the trigger.

Bottom Line

As much as the Oilers faithful love him, he may be holding the organization back. Without Hall of Fame caliber teammates, I don’t think McDavid is the type of player to lift an entire team on his back and carry them through the grueling four rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Will the Oilers trade McDavid, probably not. Should they, absolutely. Trading McDavid will get you to the finals faster than keeping him.

Till Next time Hockey fans.

Guy “Hawaii Blues Fan” Bensing

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