By and large, the Oiler blogging community seems to be in favour of the Magnus Paajarvi/David Perron trade as a standalone deal. The Oilers got a more proven offensive player, both guys are capable of contributing to a line that controls the play, and the Blues get the younger, cheaper player with more room for development. The trade makes sense for both teams in a vaccuum, but does it continue to look good when you explore the broader impacts of the move on the Oiler roster?
Definition of 'Opportunity Cost':
1. The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.
2. The difference in return between a chosen investment and one that is necessarily passed up.
In the case of the Perron/Paajarvi deal, the opportunity cost of acquiring Perron for the second line is in NOT having Paajarvi to strengthen the shutdown line being built around Boyd Gordon. (As well parting with a second round pick of course)
There is no questioning the value David Perron brings to the Oilers. His proven offensive skills are something the Oilers needed to compliment (most likely) Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov on the team's second line. That said, looking at the team's strengths prior to this deal, young, offensive forwards was already near the top of the list. Adding to the group is a good thing, but are those benefits justified when you consider the effects of removing Paajarvi from the team's bottom two lines?
If the top two lines were a source of strength prior to the Perron trade, then the bottom two lines were among the teams largest areas of need. Given the expectation that Ales Hemsky is moved out, the team's ability to ice an NHL calibre third and fourth line was already in question. Removing #91 from the equation only enhances those concerns.
Given those parameters, does moving out your top bottom six winger to fill the lone hole in a relatively strong top two lines make the team better in aggregate? Does an Oiler line-up with Perron win more games than the one that had Paajarvi?
As it stands now, my belief is that you can't yet make a decision on whether or not the Oilers came out ahead on this trade. The potential is certainly there, but until the roster is finalized and the team has their third and fourth liners set for opening night, it won't become apparent if the benefit of adding a good player like Perron to an already strong top six forwards was worth the expense of a quality young, affordable top 9 option like Paajarvi to a team that already lacked players with his skill set.
If Craig MacTavish brings in a pair of tough minutes wingers to fill out their third line through free agency (or more likely trade) without creating any new holes in the line-up, then the sentiment that the Oilers came out ahead in the Perron acquisition will be justified. But, if the opening night roster has unproven players like Ryan Jones and Jesse Joensuu paired with Boyd Gordon on a line expected to shut down the opposing team's best offensive players, then the Oilers could look guilty of robbing Peter to pay Paul and in the end coming out of the deal in worse shape than they were before it.
The thought process of patience being a virtue this summer is something I completely agree with. I think it will serve the team well in potentially improving their return for Ales Hemsky, and it is also quite possible that teams will encounter difficulty re-signing some of their restricted free agents and have to unload a player for pennies on the dollar to make room. In this sense, now was the perfect time to complete a trade such as the one the Craig MacTavish made for Perron. It exposes some weakness on your roster, but the GM still has more than two months to fill those gaps before there are points in the standings up for grabs. If this is the plan here, I think MacTavish could come away from this summer smelling like roses based on his decision making. The lone cause for hesitation and concern is some of the comments MacT has made about liking Ryan Jones for a spot on the team's third line. I don't think such a decision would be wise, but time will tell if that is indeed the plan or if MacTavish has more tricks up his sleeve.
Overall, I will continue to withhold judgment of the trade because I don't yet know if the team will be better off for having made it. The opportunities for Craig MacTavish to address his remaining needs are certainly there, so as I've stated since well before the draft, it is best to wait and see the finished puzzle once all of the pieces are in place. As it stands now though, I'm not so sure this Oilers team is capable of winning more games today than they were on Tuesday, and that is at least somewhat concerning.
So, I'm opening this up to the community. What are your thoughts fans? If you have a chance to make a trade where you can get the best player, do you make the deal and worry about the consequences later? Or, would the adverse effect on the rest of the roster sour you on a deal that you would otherwise accept?