Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Herald that he and his staff have not yet made a decision between top draft prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Of course, right now he doesn’t have that choice — Edmonton does.
Should the Bruins decide they like one player substantially more than the other, Chiarelli said he would talk to Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini about a deal. Here’s what Chiarelli told Stephen Harris of the Herald:
“I haven’t come to that conclusion yet. We’ve got our rating on the guys. That’s how we’re going to determine if we’re going to make that move and what we’ll offer. We haven’t made that determination yet, as far as if there is a difference between the two players. They’re both terrific players.
“I haven’t talked to Edmonton yet. I will have a discussion with Steve. I just haven’t had that discussion yet.”
There has been all kinds of speculation about what Edmonton would want in return to flip spots with the Bruins. Let’s get this one out of the way right now: Blake Wheeler, Vladimir Sobotka and a post-surgery Tim Thomas are not sweeteners to a deal. The Oilers have scouts, they watched this season as much as anyone else in Boston. There’s no way they would want one of those players, in addition to probably the Bruins’ second-round pick, for No. 1.
In thinking of compensation for that top pick, Chiarelli would probably have to open his vault of secondary prospects. Think more in terms of Brad Marchand, Jeff Lovecchio and Jeff Penner — guys that have more upside and work cheap. The Bruins could even consider next season’s first-round picks. If you expect the Bruins and Leafs to be better teams next season, those picks could be kind of low.
Then there’s the idea that Edmonton might be looking to get out from a bad contract or two. Reportedly, the Oilers have been looking to move Ethan Moreau and his ridiculous $2 million deal for some time. Maybe the Bruins would have to take a player like that back in order to sweeten the deal.
Edmonton doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It works in a fish-bowl atmosphere of a hockey-crazed Canadian city, which right now has “Taylor Hall fever.” If there’s a chance the Oilers would be passing on Hall in order to add more to its stable of players in a deal with Boston, they would have to make a trade they could sell to their paying public, who have the same opinion of Wheeler, Thomas and others that most Bruins fans voiced all season long.