Robert Nilsson: To Trade Or Not To Trade

Jonathan Willis
January 04 2010 12:21PM

Robert Nilsson, abandoned for dead by most people following the Oilers (including me) at training camp, has come alive since returning to the lineup from injury, to the point where he’s been one of the Oilers best offensive players over the last dozen or so games. The question is this: does he have a long-term future with this team?

We can’t look at Nilsson’s recent run of brilliance without also looking at his early season stretch of futility. Here are his numbers on the season, split by that lengthy stretch outside the lineup:

  • Before: 12GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS, -12
  • After: 15GP – 5G – 5A – 10PTS, +2

There’s quite a contrast in those two stats lines. In the first sample, we see a player struggling in both ends of the rink, and in the other we see one of the rare Oilers exceeding expectations. So which is Nilsson?

The simple answer is that he’s both. There’s a similar split we can look at: the difference between 2007-08 and 2008-09. In the first instance he was the best member of the ‘Kid Line’, the only one who could be trusted to some degree defensively, and a guy who could play in a sheltered role and dominate. In the second, he was a borderline NHL’er, drifting in and out of the line-up. This inconsistency has been a Nilsson hallmark since he first broke into the league with the Islanders, showing flashes or disappearing for stretches. When he’s on, he’s a tremendous player: gifted offensively and capable of playing a solid two-way game. When he’s off, he’s something else entirely.

Nilsson’s numbers over his Oilers’ career look like this:

Year GP G A PTS +/- 5v5 PTS/60 5v4 PTS/60 QC Off. ZS Rel. Corsi
07-08 71 10 31 41 8 2.37 2.66 10th 53.6 6.1
08-09 64 9 20 29 1 1.22 4.59 7th 55 3.4
09-10 27 6 8 14 -10 1.72 4.57 10th 47.5 1.4

5v5 PTS/60 is Nilsson’s scoring rate in 5-on-5 situations. Anything over 2.00 is high-end territory, while anything below 1.50 is fairly sad. Nilsson’s been both over the course of his career, and while I fully believe he has the talent to hang out in the high end of that range, I don’t believe he can do it consistently.

5v4 PTS/60 is Nilsson’s scoring rate in 5-on-4 situations. The first number (2007-08) on that list is atrocious, while the latter two are very good. I think that the first number is the aberration, and that the latter two reflect Nilsson’s true range; I’ve thought that since the end of 2007-08, actually, which was why I thought he had room to improve on that effort. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on his even-strength offence falling away.

Off. ZS shows the percentage of offensive/defensive zone face-offs in the offensive zone. Nilsson has consistently been among the team leaders in this category, and is again this year, although Quinn seems to care less about getting players out in particular zones than MacTavish did. QC is a measure of Quality of Competition, and the number reflects Nilsson’s ranking among regular forwards on his team. It’s a combination of how opposing coaches view his line and who his coach lines him up against, and we can see that Nilsson generally plays against poor players. MacTavish went for that matchup with Nilsson, and in Quinn’s case it seems to be a result of opposing coaches not worrying about Nilsson. From those two statistics (provided by Gabe Desjardins, as with the rest of this stuff) we can see that Nilsson’s been put in a position to succeed during his Oilers career, generally at the expense of guys put in a position to fail (Reasoner/Stoll/Torres in 2007-08 and Horcoff/Brodziak/Moreau last year).

The final number on the list is relative corsi, adjusted for ice-time and strength of team. Corsi is the sum of all shot attempts for and against, and reflects territorial advantage. Nilsson has positive but relatively modest totals here, but when we consider the difficulty of his minutes (lots of offensive zone starts, lots of weak opponents) those totals look vanilla.

It is my opinion that if Nilsson continues on his current run, Steve Tambellini should move him at the trade deadline. The Oilers have an abundance of small forwards, and they have an abundance of forwards who can’t be relied upon to play difficult minutes without a baby-sitter, and some of these guys need to be cleared out. Nilsson certainly has some value to a team short of these guys, but with Cogliano and O’Sullivan already on the roster (I’ve excluded Gagner because he’s significantly ahead of both the previous duo and Nilsson) and with all of Omark, Eberle and Paajarvi-Svensson joining the team in the near future and all meeting one or both of my earlier caveats, there’s no room for him.

In short: let Nilsson get hot a little while longer. Than maximize the return.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Bucknuck
January 04 2010, 12:26PM
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Buy low sell high, Tambo. I would say Nilsson is high right now... so sell!

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#2 The Towel Boy
January 04 2010, 12:29PM
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I like this new Nilsson. I just wish there was some sort of guarantee that he'll stay this way.

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#4 MattL
January 04 2010, 12:33PM
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I really hate to get rid of someone with such high end talent, I've always been a Nilsson backer (yes, even at the start of the year when he was a total dud) but because of the talent coming in, I have to agree with you. I'd rather get rid of a promising Nilsson at the top of his game than a promising POS at the bottom of his game this year.

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#5 RossCreekNation
January 04 2010, 12:39PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Totally agree. Nilsson is a flake imo. He's a tease, and that's exactly what this team (and maybe just as importantly, this fanbase) does not need.

Sell him as high as possible (no, I mean that literally, get some GM high, and then sell him Nilsson, lol).

Clear some cap space.

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#6 Death Metal Nightmare
January 04 2010, 12:41PM
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trading Nilsson is a huge concern right now. pfffahahaha. seriously, who needs (add your own emphasis) this guy? no one. hes a dime a dozen douche bag rollerhockey player stuck on the ice. all skill, no balls.

here or not, they need to get rid of the guys who are heading to the glue factory soon.

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#7 Hambone
January 04 2010, 12:50PM
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I would also ship Nilsson out of here, but not until the trade deadline. Hopefully he will stay semi-hot and consistent until then, and a playoff team will overpay to have secondary scoring (i.e. trade us a decent draft pick and/or a promising prospect).

Is it just me or does it seems as though the good Nilsson seems to arrive right around the time the team is diving and there is no longer any pressure? During the Kid Line emergence of 07-08, the team was way out of it with no pressure and out came Nilsson from under his rock. In 08-09, the Oilers hovered on a playoff spot for most of the year before they tanked. Nilsson was one of the guys who were expected to contribute but was no where to be seem. Now this year, he sucks from the beginning of training camp, and doesn't get going until Hemsky is out, Khabby is hurt, everyone has written him off, and he has zero expectations on him. Suddenly he's arguably our best offensive player...but again there is nothing to play for.

Not sure what my point is here, but I can't wait to watch him score 2 - 4 more highlight reel goals and hopefully get something decent in return.

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#8 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 12:51PM
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Even if Nilson became consistent, I'd bank on Eberle or MPS filling the same role with more success. If they both make the team next year, they'll need some protected minutes too. Question: I've suddenly read about two or three articles with Omark being listed as a top prospect with a good chance to make the team next year. How could he ever fit into this team's current roster? Seems to me he's exactly what we don't need.

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#9 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 12:52PM
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I said when Hemsky went down that Nilsson would be someone to watch, now that he has brought his value up (even if it's very minimal) maybe we look at moving him just for the sake of moving him and opening up some money for the future.

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#10 Hemmertime
January 04 2010, 12:52PM
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Deal Nilsson, just due to the fact we have multiple replicas of him and hes taking a roster spot for our young guys coming in next year.

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#11 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 12:54PM
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Oh ya and I don't move him because of the above stats. I move him because Nilsson is an inconsistent player that frustrates the heck out of his coaching staff. We also have too many guys like him on the team and in the system.

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#12 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 12:58PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I said when Hemsky went down that Nilsson would be someone to watch, now that he has brought his value up (even if it's very minimal) maybe we look at moving him just for the sake of moving him and opening up some money for the future.

That's exactly it. On a team that was put together properly, he'd be developing talent and could start to become a future Hemsky-like, playmaking talent. I can really see him being successful on another team, unlike Schremp, who will never be legit top 6 talent. On this team, the existing cast will not allow him to develop properly.

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#13 socaldave
January 04 2010, 12:59PM
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as said many times before - he's a roster spot and not much else. A team full of Nilsson's will never win you a cup, so how could the subtraction of just ONE Nilsson hurt?

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#14 Hemmertime
January 04 2010, 12:59PM
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Offthebandwagon wrote:

Even if Nilson became consistent, I'd bank on Eberle or MPS filling the same role with more success. If they both make the team next year, they'll need some protected minutes too. Question: I've suddenly read about two or three articles with Omark being listed as a top prospect with a good chance to make the team next year. How could he ever fit into this team's current roster? Seems to me he's exactly what we don't need.

Omark put up Markus Naslund #'s in his last year of Swedish Elite league. He has spent most of his career playing against men, not boys at junior level. Hes in his first year in the KHL and is in the top 25 in scoring. 7 points less than Jiri Hudler. Only knock against him is he is small... other than that he seems exactly what we need. A boom or bust prospect.

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#15 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:00PM
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Offthebandwagon wrote:

That's exactly it. On a team that was put together properly, he'd be developing talent and could start to become a future Hemsky-like, playmaking talent. I can really see him being successful on another team, unlike Schremp, who will never be legit top 6 talent. On this team, the existing cast will not allow him to develop properly.

My issue with Nilsson is he has been given chances when there were injuries and when there wasn't injuries. For the most part he just doesn't try and ever once and awhile he realizes it is his last chance to do something.

As for Schremp 3 points in 4 games, was suprised to see that.

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#17 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:02PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Omark put up Markus Naslund #'s in his last year of Swedish Elite league. He has spent most of his career playing against men, not boys at junior level. Hes in his first year in the KHL and is in the top 25 in scoring. 7 points less than Jiri Hudler. Only knock against him is he is small... other than that he seems exactly what we need. A boom or bust prospect.

That's the problem, is he is small. He has yet to play on NA ice too so that is another issue. Does he find ways to playmake with less ice space? Either way for where he was drafted it isn't a huge loss if Omark never makes it.

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#18 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 01:04PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Omark put up Markus Naslund #'s in his last year of Swedish Elite league. He has spent most of his career playing against men, not boys at junior level. Hes in his first year in the KHL and is in the top 25 in scoring. 7 points less than Jiri Hudler. Only knock against him is he is small... other than that he seems exactly what we need. A boom or bust prospect.

Ok, good point and thanks for the info. But don't we already have three-four "boom or bust prospects" with two more on the horizon?

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#19 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:
Oh ya and I don't move him because of the above stats. I move him because Nilsson is an inconsistent player that frustrates the heck out of his coaching staff. We also have too many guys like him on the team and in the system.

Unless I'm missing something, the above stats are a reflection of his inconsistency.

Those stats are totals for a whole year are they not? They don't exactly show him going into a slump for 15 games and then playing hot 5 games and so forth.

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#20 MattL
January 04 2010, 01:09PM
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Speaking of Rob the God Schremp, 8pts in 21 games. -5. Both of his 2 (two) goals are on the PP.

WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE HIM A CHANCE, MACT?!!!!!

Is it too early to call this retribution for everyone that saw Robbie for what he was? Or are you MacT haters still holding your breath for a breakout end of the season?

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#21 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 04 2010, 01:10PM
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MattL wrote:

Speaking of Rob the God Schremp, 8pts in 21 games. -5. Both of his 2 (two) goals are on the PP.

WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE HIM A CHANCE, MACT?!!!!!

Is it too early to call this retribution for everyone that saw Robbie for what he was? Or are you MacT haters still holding your breath for a breakout end of the season?

Don Cherry loves the kid. He loves SMac, too. He doesn't understand why the Oilers were stupid enough to let them go.

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#22 Dan the Man
January 04 2010, 01:12PM
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At the beginning of the year we would have been happy to see him go to another team via waivers or to spend the season in Springfield.

If he is currently playing somewhat sheltered minutes then it stands to reason that his play will tail off once the quality of competition he is facing gets tougher so I say deal him now.

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#23 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:14PM
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@MattL

He is doing a lot better then I expected to tell you the truth. I think he had 2 streaks of 3 points in 4 games. Who knows maybe he becomes a 35-40 point player who plays lots of PP? Heck isn't that how Kotalik is making a living?

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#24 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:16PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

At the beginning of the year we would have been happy to see him go to another team via waivers or to spend the season in Springfield.

If he is currently playing somewhat sheltered minutes then it stands to reason that his play will tail off once the quality of competition he is facing gets tougher so I say deal him now.

It seemed that at the start of training camp fans were excited with him, but that quickly faded. Who knows maybe Pouilot makes an impact when he comes back, new coaching staff worked for a few others.

Also I heard Pisani maybe in tomorrow, who comes out for him?

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#25 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:20PM
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Lol. Mid-season training camp?

NHL_Oilers RT @Oilers_Travels http://twitpic.com/wo5i2 - Quinn addresses media Monday PM. Says #Oilers will conduct mini-camp this weekend.

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#26 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 01:21PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

O'Sullivan. God I hope its O' Sullivan!

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#27 Dan the Man
January 04 2010, 01:25PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

It seemed that at the start of training camp fans were excited with him, but that quickly faded. Who knows maybe Pouilot makes an impact when he comes back, new coaching staff worked for a few others.

Also I heard Pisani maybe in tomorrow, who comes out for him?

It's a tough choice when so many forwards are equally bad.

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#28 MattL
January 04 2010, 01:28PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

He is doing a lot better then I expected to tell you the truth. I think he had 2 streaks of 3 points in 4 games. Who knows maybe he becomes a 35-40 point player who plays lots of PP? Heck isn't that how Kotalik is making a living?

On pace for 30pts with lots of PP time? Not quite in Kotalik range, but neither is Kotalik right now, last time I checked. Also makes him VERY expendable. You'd better get more than 30pts out of a PP regular in a season.

Kotalik also fills a point role on the PP because of his shot, so I think you value that a little higher than what Robbie brings.

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#29 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:31PM
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@MattL

Not saying Schremp equals Kotalik right now, but maybe in a year or two he is a similar player minus that shot. That's about Schremp's max potential now.

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#30 MattL
January 04 2010, 01:31PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

Don Cherry loves weird-looking dogs too. If Schremp's name was, I don't know, Rob Shrempekov, he would probably hate the guy and what he brings. Soft Euro, good skills, no jam.

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#31 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 01:32PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

It's a tough choice when so many forwards are equally bad.

No, they've all sucked to different degrees, but O'Sully has become the King of Suck and Pisani would fill his role the best.

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#33 MattL
January 04 2010, 01:35PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not saying Schremp equals Kotalik right now, but maybe in a year or two he is a similar player minus that shot. That's about Schremp's max potential now.

I agree, that's probably the best he could hope for. Either way, glad we don't have to put up with the Schrempaholics anymore, even if they are being reborn as Eberleholics, or Paajarvi-Svenssonaholics, which really rolls off the tongue, IMO.

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#34 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 01:36PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not saying Schremp equals Kotalik right now, but maybe in a year or two he is a similar player minus that shot. That's about Schremp's max potential now.

Schremp is Kotalik without a shot? Now that's a dog without teeth.

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#35 Offthebandwagon
January 04 2010, 01:48PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

Yes, but the shift between 07-08 and 08-09 is the same sort of shift we see during the season.

It's fractal geometry.

Fractal geometry wouldn't allow for a break-out season or for injuries or coaching changes. It doesn't account for player growth. If Nilson was 27 years old it would be more meaningful. (That said I still agree with you.)

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#36 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:48PM
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@MattL

Schremp is the reason I don't get too excited about draft picks anymore. If MPS were playing in the canada somewhere right now maybe I would get excited as he would be playing NA hockey and has all those skills. But didn't Mikonov have awesome skills but had problems adjusting? Even non-oilers in Tikonov and Filatov had issues getting use to North America hockey.

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#37 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 01:50PM
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@Offthebandwagon

Maybe not exact same player, but both aren't exactly players you count on when it is even strength. Their strength is the PP.

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#38 Jay
January 04 2010, 01:53PM
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My guess is that he's playing with Penner to inflate his trade value. Thoughts?

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#39 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 04 2010, 01:59PM
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Even Nilsson's "good days" aren't that good. Getting a reward of bottom end 1st line numbers/high end second line numbers for 15/20/30 games isn't really worth dealing with 4th line numbers with 0 intangibles the rest of the time.

He's fun to watch (sometimes), but if theirs any kind of return out there for him - move him.

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#40 Bucknuck
January 04 2010, 02:00PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Schremp is the reason I don't get too excited about draft picks anymore. If MPS were playing in the canada somewhere right now maybe I would get excited as he would be playing NA hockey and has all those skills. But didn't Mikonov have awesome skills but had problems adjusting? Even non-oilers in Tikonov and Filatov had issues getting use to North America hockey.

Schremp was a late first round pick... if he was a sure bet he woudl have gone earlier.

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#41 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 02:07PM
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@Bucknuck

Eberle went 22nd overall and Schremp 25th, not much difference.

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#42 David S
January 04 2010, 02:18PM
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Move Nilsson over O'Sullivan? Maybe I'm not paying enough attention and there's this red-hot, outplaying his contract O'Sullivan playing for Edmonton that I'm just stupid and not aware of. Because the POS I watch night after night is a POS. Has been since the day he got here.

Then there's the rich assumption that our two hottest JUNIOR prospects are going to walk into top 6 positions right out of camp. AND dominate in their first year in the show, enough to outstrip what Pat Quinn has described as one of the best players currently on the team. OK.

Seriously. Is there no slight possibility that an athlete can improve? I mean, come on. The Robert Nilsson I've seen over the past while deserves the benefit of the doubt. He knows its his last at bat and it appears he's making the most of it. The more he plays the way he's playing right now, the more he'll believe he can continue to do so over the long run. Not to mention that he and Sam sure seem to work together pretty nicely.

So we're OK with borderline players like Stone and JFJ taking up roster spots, but we're ready to trash one of the truly gifted NHL players we have on this team. Oh man.

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#43 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 04 2010, 02:26PM
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David S wrote:

Move Nilsson over O'Sullivan? Maybe I'm not paying enough attention and there's this red-hot, outplaying his contract O'Sullivan playing for Edmonton that I'm just stupid and not aware of. Because the POS I watch night after night is a POS. Has been since the day he got here.

Then there's the rich assumption that our two hottest JUNIOR prospects are going to walk into top 6 positions right out of camp. AND dominate in their first year in the show, enough to outstrip what Pat Quinn has described as one of the best players currently on the team. OK.

Seriously. Is there no slight possibility that an athlete can improve? I mean, come on. The Robert Nilsson I've seen over the past while deserves the benefit of the doubt. He knows its his last at bat and it appears he's making the most of it. The more he plays the way he's playing right now, the more he'll believe he can continue to do so over the long run. Not to mention that he and Sam sure seem to work together pretty nicely.

So we're OK with borderline players like Stone and JFJ taking up roster spots, but we're ready to trash one of the truly gifted NHL players we have on this team. Oh man.

Thing is you need guys like Stone and JFJ on your team I am starting to want guys that are better, but them being on the team shouldn't effect Nilsson or POS at all they should be playing different roles. We just don't have enough Stone's and Jacques and have too many Nilsson's and O'Sullivan's.

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#44 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 04 2010, 02:26PM
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David S wrote:

Move Nilsson over O'Sullivan? Maybe I'm not paying enough attention and there's this red-hot, outplaying his contract O'Sullivan playing for Edmonton that I'm just stupid and not aware of. Because the POS I watch night after night is a POS. Has been since the day he got here.

Then there's the rich assumption that our two hottest JUNIOR prospects are going to walk into top 6 positions right out of camp. AND dominate in their first year in the show, enough to outstrip what Pat Quinn has described as one of the best players currently on the team. OK.

Seriously. Is there no slight possibility that an athlete can improve? I mean, come on. The Robert Nilsson I've seen over the past while deserves the benefit of the doubt. He knows its his last at bat and it appears he's making the most of it. The more he plays the way he's playing right now, the more he'll believe he can continue to do so over the long run. Not to mention that he and Sam sure seem to work together pretty nicely.

So we're OK with borderline players like Stone and JFJ taking up roster spots, but we're ready to trash one of the truly gifted NHL players we have on this team. Oh man.

The spot that Robert Nilsson fills is not one that needs filling. If you can move him for a good return that fills the spots we've already identified need filling, I don't see a rational argument against it.

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#47 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 04 2010, 02:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ David S:

I like Nilsson. Not more than Cogliano, though. I also doubt O'Sullivan's all that tradeable right now, certainly not for more than 50 cents on the dollar.

The team can only hang on to so many of these guys. Tough decisions need to be made, and this is one of the ones I'd make.

I don't have an issue guessing that one of Omark/Eberle/MPS will earn a spot next year.

Are you a believer in Omark?

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#48 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 04 2010, 02:38PM
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David S wrote:

Move Nilsson over O'Sullivan? Maybe I'm not paying enough attention and there's this red-hot, outplaying his contract O'Sullivan playing for Edmonton that I'm just stupid and not aware of. Because the POS I watch night after night is a POS. Has been since the day he got here.

Then there's the rich assumption that our two hottest JUNIOR prospects are going to walk into top 6 positions right out of camp. AND dominate in their first year in the show, enough to outstrip what Pat Quinn has described as one of the best players currently on the team. OK.

Seriously. Is there no slight possibility that an athlete can improve? I mean, come on. The Robert Nilsson I've seen over the past while deserves the benefit of the doubt. He knows its his last at bat and it appears he's making the most of it. The more he plays the way he's playing right now, the more he'll believe he can continue to do so over the long run. Not to mention that he and Sam sure seem to work together pretty nicely.

So we're OK with borderline players like Stone and JFJ taking up roster spots, but we're ready to trash one of the truly gifted NHL players we have on this team. Oh man.

I don't think the "keep who's hot, trade who's cold" theory is that strong.

When deciding who should be delt vs who they want to build around managment should be looking at the big picture, not just the last 15 games.

Avatar
#49 Smokin' Ray
January 04 2010, 02:40PM
Trash it!
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trashes
Cheers
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cheers
Jay wrote:

My guess is that he's playing with Penner to inflate his trade value. Thoughts?

Good possibility. I definitely doesn't hurt to have him on the 1st line. Maybe that's why O'Sullivan is on the 2nd line with Horcoff. Welcome to showcase number two...

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#50 Bucknuck
January 04 2010, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Eberle went 22nd overall and Schremp 25th, not much difference.

I was defending the DFF standpoint. If the only thing we have to get excited about this year is a draft pick then I will get excited about a draft pick. Beggars can't be choosers.

Eberle was a much better pick than Schremp, though. everything Eberle has done to impress has been since the Oilers picked him. His value is far higher this season than it was last season or his draft year.

It just goes to show how a draft pick can go either way.

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