In a thought-provoking Twitter thread, renowned numbers guy @Woodguy55, known for his astute insights, delved into the potential costs and implications of the Edmonton Oilers striking a deal with the Montreal Canadiens involving goaltenders. The central focus was the prospect of sending Jack Campbell to the Canadiens in exchange for Jake Allen. Writing, “My guess is Allen for Campbell + big price (equivalent of 3 firsts??) and then MTL buys out Campbell next summer,” he adds, “Selling a buyout is expensive.”
@Woodguy55 emphasized the significant cost attached to such a move, questioning its viability despite the Oilers’ urgency to alleviate themselves from the Campbell contract. The intricate thread presented a meticulous breakdown of the possible scenarios, anticipating Montreal’s willingness to part with Allen, particularly once they secure the signing of Sam Montembault.
The suggested trade involved Allen for Campbell plus a substantial additional cost, akin to the equivalent of two, maybe three first-round picks. @Woodguy55 rationalized this by considering Allen’s performance over the past five years, utilizing Evolving Hockey’s Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) as a metric. The analysis covered all situations, even strength, and penalty kill scenarios, revealing fluctuations in Allen’s goaltending prowess.
While Allen’s performance in even-strength situations raised concerns over the past three full seasons, his proficiency on the penalty kill was notably commendable. @Woodguy55, contemplating the potential structural advantage for Montreal’s goalies in penalty kill situations, presented data highlighting Allen’s superiority in comparison to his peers, with Montembeault emerging as a standout in the current season.
Addressing doubts from fans about Allen being the ideal target for the Oilers, @Woodguy55 acknowledged the limited options, asserting that Campbell’s departure is imperative for the Oilers, even if the alternatives are less than ideal. Acknowledging the hefty real-dollar cost associated with trading Campbell, he suggested that Edmonton’s retention on Campbell’s contract could potentially lower the overall cost of the proposed swap. He wrote, “…the more EDM retains on Campbell in this scenario, the lower the cost to do this. My “equivalent of 3 1sts” guess was based on MTL taking the whole contract.”
Cost to Fix a Huge Campbell Contract Mistake Could be Painful
In response to concerns about the Oilers’ need to chase Campbell’s departure, @Woodguy55 acknowledged the slim pickings in available alternatives, reinforcing the urgency for the Oilers to make a move. While estimating the cost of moving Campbell as more than two first-round picks, he recognized the impact of the significant $9 million in real dollars tied to the trade.
At the end of the day, this deal would be as much about getting out from under one of the worst contracts the Oilers have signed in years. If the goalie that comes back is even remotely suitable as a backup to Skinner and call carry his weight (even if he’s not stellar), that might be a win for Edmonton given the circumstances.
The intricate analysis and insights provided by @Woodguy55 shed light on the complexities surrounding a potential goaltender swap between the Oilers and Canadiens. While these two teams are being linked in a deal (at least, the Oilers were seen scouting the Canadiens), a trade won’t come without some heartache.
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