I'd have taken the picks. I'd have done it then and I'd say the same in hindsight.
Of course, Darcy was never going to do that after letting Briere and Drury both walk. He probably would've matched any offer Edmonton made, if only because his job might've been in real jeopardy otherwise.
Regier was certainly in a tough position. He had lost Drury and Briere. Losing Vanek may have cost him his job. It certainly would have looked terrible and set the franchise back even further. Vanek was coming off an unbelievable statistical year.
That being said, given that you had just lost Drury and Briere and were going to be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode, I think the right decision would have been to take the 1st rounders. I would have gambled that Vanek wouldn't have improved Edmonton very much and that the picks would have been top 10. I would have tried to 'sell it' as a total start from scratch with the huge advantage of having multiple top 10 picks multiple years in a row.
Oh right so Vaneks 34 goals would have maybe got Edmonton to 27th instead of 30th. But keep in mind, the price tag and the players Edmonton couldn't afford to have to improve past 27th place. So yea, I seriously don't think Vanek could have helped.
Way too many unknowns over 5 years to determine either way how it would have gone, though if we had any way to guarantee that the picks Edmonton did have would be ours, I think 95% of us would have let him walk.
Just too many variables to have too much of an intelligent conversation about it.
It's still likely that Vanek's goal scoring makes the Oilers a better team over that span of time. Those picks would not have been in the same location and it's possible, even likely, that the personnel moves made are not the same during the interceeding years. 25-35 goals per season simply can't be discounted, even taking out Penner's initial paltry output. The picks would not have been the same, moves made from that point to now would not have been the same.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle
You didn't do it right. You can't just add Vanek's 34 goals per year average without subtracting however many goals Edmonton's first round picks have averaged per year.
Yeah, you simply can't add it that way. Also consider you have to measure how much better Vanek would have been than the guy whose minutes he was taking. So Vanek takes minutes from a 25 goal guy, who gets bumped down and takes minutes from a 15 goal guy, who gets bumped down and takes minutes from a 5 goal guy, and all three of those guys now score slightly less, and in short there's no way to add Vanek's offensive input.