The Oilers were unable to trade for Zach Bogosian, but he is exactly the type that the team needs. He's big, strong, can put up points. He's going to be a force on the blueline for years to come, and his entry level contract just happens to be expiring.
I'm of the opinion that top line centers don't grow on trees, and they are critical to the success of a team. For that reason, I hope the Oilers draft Couturier in June, and given the fact that they were looking to trade for a defenseman, I think they are leaning that way.
It would once again make the organization unpopular, but I think an offer sheet for Bogo is in order.
There are rumors that he is having differences with the coaching staff, and insider Nick Kypreos even tweeted that Bogosian wants out of Atlanta. I don't think it would be all that difficult to convince him to join an up-and-coming team, given he'll be making more money and getting out of a situation he doesn't like.
There are serious ownership questions going on in Atlanta right now. The team is reportedly showing enormous losses (up to $181 million), and the current ownership group wants out. They have given GM Rick Dudley a mandate to reduce the payroll of the team. With the extension to Dustin Byfuglien (5 yrs at $5.2M per) and captain Andrew Ladd needing a salary bump, would the Thrashers be able to afford to match an offer sheet exactly like Byfuglien's new contract?
At 5 years and $5.2 million per season for Bogosian, the Oilers would have to give up 2012 first, second and third round picks to the the Thrashers as compensation. However, the Oilers currently own two first round picks in this year's draft, which softens the blow considerably. With the addition of Bogosian and Couturier, and the progression of all the Oiler rookies, this team would still probably finish in the bottom ten, but I doubt it would be bad enough to be in the hunt for a lottery pick.
If the deal was the 8th, 38th and 68th overall picks next year for Bogosian when the Oilers will probably pick from 1-3 and 15-20 at this year's draft, would you pull the trigger?
Bogosian already has three years of NHL experience under his belt, and you'd get just as much mileage out of him as you would an Adam Larsson, except the Bogo offer sheet would allow the Oilers to draft Couturier. Also, if the Oilers draft a center this year they would definitely draft a defenseman with next year's first pick anyway. At 5-10th overall, that player would probably not have as much upside as Bogosian and would be four years behind in development. The second and third round picks are almost a moot point, because a player like Cogliano could easily turn into a second rounder next year and the Oilers already own LA's third round pick.
So would you do it? It's cutthroat, but it could work.