Welcome to Volume 2 of The Rig Roundtable.
Instead of a traditional mailbag, where a bunch of writers answer a bunch of questions, we’re just going with one question. Because we have so many people who write very specific niche pieces on the site, we thought it would be good to get input on a pressing Oilers issue from some of those writers.
This week, the respondents are Alex Thomas, Dave Gordon, Preston Hodgkinson, and Avry Lewis-McDougall.
Without further ado, here’s this week’s question:
What do you think about trading Davidson in favour of resigning Kris Russell?
Trading Brandon Davidson makes a lot of sense. If the Oilers go with the 7-3-1 protection formation (Which I suspect they will) then the club will lose BD for nothing. Trading him around the deadline, say, for a second round pick or a player like Brian Boyle makes a lot of sense in my eyes. Edmonton would add an asset of value for a player that they are likely to lose for nothing to Las Vegas anyways, If Edmonton isn’t going to protect him, they might as well deal him.
That said, re-signing Kris Russell is an asinine take. While Russell has been solid this season to my eye, he is nothing more than a glue player. Committing multiple years and millions to this player would be a catastrophic mistake considering the pending contracts for Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Yes, Russell has helped this season, but re-signing him shouldn’t even be an option unless it is another one year deal.
I have no problem trading Brandon Davidson, but the Oilers better not move him just to keep Russell. That, to me, would be a shortsighted and misguided decision.
Davidson over Russell all day errry day!
Russell has been good, no matter what our friend Matt has to say about him, but Davidson has much much more upside than Russell over the long term.
BD is younger and less experienced sure, but if you want to talk about all around talent on the blue line Davy has got Russell covered in spades.
Russell blocks shots, probably the best in the league, but besides that attribute there isn’t anything he does at a higher level than Davidson.
If I’m Chiarelli I’m doing whatever it is in my power to ensure that Davidson remains an Oiler post expansion draft this spring. As for Russell, thanks for your service, see you next year with the Flames.
I am not a big fan of this idea at all. As much as Russell has impressed management and parts of the fan base I think Davidson is much more valuable to this team. That being said, it is most likely we lose Davidson during the expansion draft so I am not totally opposed to trading him to get something in return. However, in favour of signing Russell? Not my reasoning at all.
Kris Russell takes more heat than a souffle in the middle of Port of Spain, Trinidad during a July afternoon but he’s been serviceable during his short tenure as an Oiler in my mind.
That being said, I’m much more inclined to part with Russell, who’s in Edmonton on a one year deal in the off season than a future top four blueliner in the form of Brandon Davidson via trade. (My guess is Russell would also want close to the 3.1 million salary of 16-17, while Davidson is much cheaper at $1.4 million for next season and 17-18).
Davidson has shown good defensive awareness in his young NHL career of course it will develop more with him hopefully becoming a full time first or second paring D man and the Oilers blueline compared to other years has allowed me to breathe easier during the 23 season rebuild.
It may not be the most start studded core but it’s getting the job done and with Darnell Nurse finally skating again, my grin is a mile wide.
Now let’s cross our fingers and hope Vegas doesn’t take Davidson in the expansion draft as the wrench thrown in to mess all of this up.
If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, email me ([email protected]) or ask us on Twitter (@TheOilersRig)