MBS Strikes Again

Lowetide
November 21 2010 07:39AM

Some goals are easier than others. For NHL scouts, delivering multiple players of exceptional quality from one draft is something that may come along once or twice in a career. It's way too early to even be discussing it, but the Edmonton Oilers 2010 draft group keeps doing things to get noticed. It really has been an exceptional start to the season for the top 5 selections. Stand back, we don't know how big this thing is going to get in the next 5 years.  

I believe it takes 5 full seasons to be able to get a good look at an NHL draft. Even then, you can sometimes be waiting on a goalie or college kid. An example: Devan Dubnyk was drafted in 2004 (6 long years ago) and is just now getting his chance to start two NHL games in a row (assuming he plays today).

However, there are early returns on a draft that can spell trouble.

A FEW EXAMPLES FROM 2003

  • Marc Pouliot was injured before the draft at the top prospects game (Phaneuf drilled him).  In the summer of 2003 he got hurt at the Canadian WJC camp in Calgary (hip) and that had a major impact on his 18-year old season. It also hurt his performance at the Oilers rookie camp just two months after being drafted. In November 2003 he suffered an abdominal injury and a broken wrist. 
  • Colin McDonald had some questions coming out of the draft with regard to offense, and early in his NCAA career it looked like he wasn't going to have enough offense to play as a regular in the NHL. That's still true these years later.
  • JF Jacques was selected for his size and speed. He did not miss a lot of games in junior and when he turned pro it looked for all the world like the Oilers had a useful Coke machine. Injuries have derailed his career.
  • Mikhail Youkov was taken on a hunch. Scott Howson in 2003: “He’s a Russian playing in Sweden so he wasn’t eligible to play in any of the tournaments over there in Sweden or Russia. He played in the elite league, his father’s a coach in Sweden and that’s why he’s there. He’s a big strong guy that skates very well so we thought that, perhaps, he may be a little bit of a sleeper and we decided to step up and take him in the third round.”
  • Zack Stortini was taken very late in the third round. They liked his character and heart, plus he'd already established himself as a leader in Sudbury.

Five months after the 2003 draft, we knew Marc Pouliot would lose much of his 18-year old season to various injuries, the concerns about Colin McDonald's scoring abilities were confirmed, Youkov was another blind pick (the most famous being Alexei Mikhnov). We knew those things 5 months after the 2003 draft. They are tells, just like playing fast when you hold a good hand or calling a girl 20 minutes after your date.

The Edmonton Oilers under Kevin Prendergast had a poor draft in 2003, made worse by the fact that it was so rich and deep. Some of that was bad luck (Pouliot was a first rounder on most pre-draft lists) but McDonald, Jacques, Youkov and Stortini were reach picks.

FAST FORWARD TO 2010

The 2010 draft is also 5 months old, and the top 5 selections are absolutely kicking ass.

  1. Taylor Hall: Exceptional talent is learning at the very highest level of the game as a teenager. After 18gp, he's 3-5-8 -9 with the Oilers. Stamkos was 18gp, 2-3-5 -7 to begin his NHL career. I'm not saying he's Stamkos, but would suggest that Hall's progress thus far this season--considering the quality of the team he's playing for--is completely reasonable.
  2. Tyler Pitlick: Took some time to adjust to the WHL's style of play, he's 3-3-6 +3 in his last three games. For the season, Pitlick is 17gp, 7-11-18 +2 and those numbers should rise now that he's playing better. Pitlick is a very important prospect in the Oilers system, because he can play center and has a nice range of skills. If there's one thing we should be looking for in the next few months in regard to the 2010 draft, it's strong boxcar numbers from Pitlick.
  3. Martin Marincin: 23gp, 8-17-25 +2 in the WHL. He's still posting offense (1-6-7 in his last 7 games) but is a -7 for the month of November. The club is 2-5 in that stretch, so he's not the only one having a tough time of it. I found Oil Change 2.0 interesting for lots of reasons, but one of them was the exchange with regard to Pitlick versus Marincin fascinating. MacGregor did the right thing (selecting the bpa instead of picking for need) but there's every chance Marincin will end up being the better player based on early returns.
  4. Curtis Hamilton: The young man is having a big season. In November, he's 7gp, 4-6-10 +9 and his overall numbers (22gp, 12-17-29 +22) have him tied for 16th in WHL scoring. He is 2nd in the entire league in plus minus, and like Pitlick represents a Godsend in terms of position and style. A rugged LW with skill is an organizational need and there's every chance he'll be lining up one a depth chart with Hall and Pääjärvi down the line. He is the one player in the top 5 we need to worry over in terms of injury, as his history pre-draft makes Pouliot look like Charles Atlas (Atlas in the 1950's, not Atlas today).
  5. Ryan Martindale: What in the wide world of sports is going on here? Ryan Martindale is third in OHL scoring!! Based on draft pedigree that's an overshoot of mammoth proportions and we can start to wonder openly about getting a draft steal at number 61. 24gp, 17-21-38 +20 and he plays on the number one line in the league (with Prince and Toffoli). He's rocked November (9gp, 8-10-18 +10) and another month like that one and he'll lead the league in points as Christmas. Even better, he's only 5-5-10 on the PP (1-1-2 SH) so a lot of his points are coming at even strength (24gp, 11-15-26). This is a very, very goood sign. The only negative is that the entire line is ripping it up so we're not sure who's driving the bus. Toronto once drafted Laurie Boschman without realizing the key to the line was Brian Propp on LW. Propp went 5 spots after Boschman and delivered a much stronger career.

That's the top 5, but there is more from this draft. Brandon Davidson in Regina (24gp, 3-17-20 -10) is having a strong season despite the -10 (there are two defenders with worse minus numbers) and is a player to watch. Kellen Jones was in a slump playing in the NCAA (12gp, 4-3-7 -2) but scored a goal last night in a win over Harvard.

Two things about this draft:

  1. It's extremely early and there are no conclusions to be drawn other than the arrows are pointing in the right direction for the top 5 plus Davidson.
  2. That's one helluva start for all 5 of them. Splendid.

Stu MacGregor, you really are a magnificent bastard.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 DSF
November 21 2010, 12:02PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I agree that LA has a lot of young talent that they're going to have to mortgage to go-for-it. I also think that Brayden Schenn is a 1st or 2nd line Centre akin to Patrick Sharp.

But we'd be giving up our two best players for unproven youngsters. The Oilers might be better served doing a deal with LA that look something like (Penner + Cogliano or Brule + a 2nd rounder) for Forbort and Schenn. Then making a deal with Washington that looks something like Hemsky and Dubnyk for Alzner and Varlamov.

I don't mind the concept behind your proposed trade, but giving away two top-75 NHL players for prospects could be a real nut-stomp. If LA threw Simmonds into the mix as well it would look feasible.

LA has no use for either Cogliano or Brule. None.

And they need another second rounder like a fish needs a bicycle.

You're basically proposing Penner for Forbort or Schenn straight up.

You're over rating Penner by a wide margin.

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#2 Oilcruzer
November 21 2010, 07:41AM
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great fist rounders and more?

The second two picks were more impressive than the first... Can't believe each were available

Pouliot proved his centre was the reason he was great too... Some no name putz, can't remember his name.

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#4 m_kennedy13
November 21 2010, 07:52AM
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Pouliot playing with Crosby still constantly gets stated as fact despite it being proven wrong many times.

Thanks again for the morning read LT, how's the coffee?

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#5 Oilcruzer
November 21 2010, 07:57AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc-Antoine_Pouliot

???

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#6 magisterrex
November 21 2010, 08:04AM
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I'd say Stortini was a successful reach. On the + side for 2 seasons now, with a team that likes to compete for the Green Jacket.

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#7 dohfOs
November 21 2010, 08:06AM
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I so wished one could look into the future and see where we stand in 3-4 years.

Great read.

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#9 jimmycrackcorn
November 21 2010, 08:16AM
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Future is looking extremely exciting! Can someone post a link to the flames top five picks in their system? Could be interesting comparison.

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#10 m_kennedy13
November 21 2010, 08:19AM
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Haha, good stuff LT. I personally got one of Ronald McDonald's slaves to make my coffee, they are giving away free small coffee's for a couple weeks. Just pay the difference if you want a bigger size.

As for your reasonable expectations yesterday, I found this interesting.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=844192

Maybe Mr. Paajarvi is tracking better then it appears? I think we need to see him get some more prime time minutes personally.

I think Hamilton is going to be a player. Watching him play this season has been a treat, he's a big winger with a scoring touch. I have been preaching since the summer that he should make our WJ team, perfect third liner for that squad if you ask me.

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#12 The Real Scuba Steve
November 21 2010, 08:41AM
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The Oilers draft track record haven't been really impressive since the early 80's. The Oil management can dream and talk big about the future but can I dare say the only player worth watching that the Oilers drafted in the last decade or longer is Hemsky.

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#13 m_kennedy13
November 21 2010, 08:43AM
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I'm a huge Penner fan for a few years now, so I never want to see him leave. However, outside of my secret feelings for him, it's too early to let him go. We really do need him to help shelter the LW depth chart.

I think MPS is just going to be another example of how there is a clear cut transitional period for players who come from the SEL. It's a different game.

I would love to spend a morning drinking a coffee with the Magnificent Bastard. He has proven to have a special talent. Two players I would want to ask him about would be those Saulnier twins out in the Q (a league I don't get to watch as much of). They aren't big but sure can cycle and work the puck. My hopes are we can pick them up this upcoming draft, I have a feeling they might be able to make an NHL line-up one day.

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#14 Woodguy
November 21 2010, 08:52AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Yeah, I don't know why anyone is down on MPS (as the author of that post states) because he's doing well in less than ideal circumstances. I sometimes wonder if the Oilers should trade Penner now (for a defenseman) and move MPS up to the Gagner line.

It's going to happen sooner or later, and this kid needs to grow.

If the Oilers can get Forbort and a pick (not sure you can get a first with Forbort) from LA for Penner, I would be thrilled. With Francis stating that the Sutterite Colony has promised Iginla not to trade him, Tambellini should sleep in the Kings' front office foyer until it happens.

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#16 CowboyBillFlett
November 21 2010, 09:05AM
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LT, with so many young talents how can the Oilers assure they don't waste a talent like MPS playing him in the wrong places. Is Cogs a prime example of what occurs when you stuff a kid where he does not belong? It would be a shame to lose one of these prospects.

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#17 Crackenbury
November 21 2010, 09:11AM
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Martindale is an interesting prospect. It will be interesting to see who's the straw that stirs the drink on his line.

PRV's game is struggling at the moment. Regardless of his corsi's, boxcars, etc he hasn't looked like the same player since he got rocked in Calgary. He was playing with no fear up to that point and drawing penalties like crazy. It looks to me like the Oilers are trying to give him some softer minutes in hopes he gains some of that early season confidence back. He's another 5 games of weak play away from a trip to the PB or a swap with OKC from a 2 week confidence builder.

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#18 oilers2k10
November 21 2010, 09:14AM
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This is a bit off topic but I need some clarification from someone who watches the QMJHL.. Why is it that I've never heard the names of "Phillip Michael Devos, and Jonathon Audy-Marchessault" they lead the Q in scoring (47pts in 26gms and 41pts in 25gms respectively), which is ahead of "Shawn Couturier" who has 37 points in 27 games..I realize those other two guys are under six feet and a year or two older that Couturier, but Jordan Eberle was two years older than Taylor Hall and Seguin in Junior hockey last season and people would easily put Eberle right up there with Hall and Seguin...just confused..what is it about the Q that these players names aren't anywhere to be found, couldn't even find them on hockeysfuture.com.

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#19 speeds
November 21 2010, 09:29AM
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Hickey has 6 pts in 19 GP, leads the team with a +6 (3 or 4 guys are +6 for that team).

I think Forbort is an interesting name for Woodguy to bring up. He's an good prospect on his own, but what makes him so interesting (and this is probably part of why WG mentioned him) is that a FORBORT name bar was one of the ones on the bed during the Oil change documentary - we know the Oilers liked him enough in June to have his name bar prepared so IF they make a Penner deal with LA there could well be interest in Forbort.

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#20 John Chambers
November 21 2010, 09:32AM
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There's certainly an opportunity for someone to make a deal with LA. They're guaranteed to want to ramp up their lineup as this is the beginning of their 3-5 year window to go for it.

I'll be astounded if they were actually prepared to trade Brayden Schenn in a deal for Iginla. I don't care if we had to trade Hemsky, Schenn's a strong 2-way centre who you focus a re-build around.

Schenn, Hickey, Teubert, Forbort ... LA will be dealing one or two of those guys and we have the vets (Hemsky and Penner) to acquire them ... if the right deal comes along.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2010, 09:33AM
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@ Oilcruzer:

Marc Pouliot was drafted in 2003, after his 2002-03 season. Sidney Crosby started playing for Rimouski in 2003-04, after Pouliot was already drafted.

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#23 Woodguy
November 21 2010, 09:33AM
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Lowetide wrote:

LA is an interesting team. They COULD send us a pick, a strong prospect or a quality young roster player (or any combination of the three).

How's Hickey doing in the AHL?

I'm the type who needs to see a Dman who is under 6'0 dominate at then lower levels and Hickey isn't there yet.

His boxcars are ok with 1-5-6 +6 (tied for team lead with +6)

With Petry being groomed I' not sure Hickey would be the Oilers 1st choice.

If they are looking for immediate help, it makes more sense as Forbort is 3-4 years away, but has top pairing potential.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2010, 09:39AM
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@ John Chambers:

For all the love Hickey and Teubert get (thanks to being first round picks/WJC guys) the most interesting Kings defence prospect might be Vyacheslav Voynov.

Not that any of the three are a sure thing; after an impressive AHL debut Hickey has had injury trouble and hasn't delivered much offence, Teubert's mostly been an ECHL'er in his professional cameos to date, and Voynov fell off the pace after an impressive start last season.

Also worth mentioning is college-trained defenceman Alec Martinez, currently leading their farm team in scoring.

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#26 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2010, 09:48AM
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And of course, Forbort's early NCAA results are highly positive.

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#27 DSF
November 21 2010, 09:48AM
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Lowetide wrote:

LA is an interesting team. They COULD send us a pick, a strong prospect or a quality young roster player (or any combination of the three).

How's Hickey doing in the AHL?

LT:

I follow the Kings closely in the absence of an NHL team in Edmonton.

Hickey very nearly made the Kings roster out of camp but has since been surpassed by Jake Muzzin (6'3" 215) and in Manchester by Alex Martinez (6'0" 205) who leads the Monarchs in scoring (19 GP 5G 11A 16P +6).

The Kings have developed a "defenseman factory" equal to the Predators with Muzzin, Hickey, Teubert, Martinez, Forbert and Voynov all in Double A.

As someone posted, Steady Steve needs to spend the holidays camped out in the lobby of the Staples Centre until Lombardi takes Penner and/or Hemsky off his hands.

The Kings really don't need another first round pick since they've outdone your MB by a country mile so perhaps a defenseman and that pick might be headed back.

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#29 Woodguy
November 21 2010, 10:13AM
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LT,

As both DSF and JW mentioned, Hickey is moving the wrong way on the depth chart and I think Teubert is/was over-rated.

You can trade Penner once, and I think that Forbort + pick/roster player is the best return long term.

I know it's only 2 assets and not 3 (or five. FIVE!!), but 6'5 top pairing Dman who can play both sides of the puck is the gem that might be available.

Speeds, I actually missed that in the Oilers home movie. Makes it more probable.

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#30 DSF
November 21 2010, 10:14AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I doubt the Oilers will deal both Hemsky and Penner. A better plan would be to deal one at the deadline and one suspects it's Penner.

Sounds like the Kings have a plethora of good young D. Question: which one is the better bet long term? Is anyone in the minors on a level prospect wise with Forbort?

As you know, it's virtually impossible to determine which prospect (especially defensemen) will ripen when you need him to.

I expect the Oilers could have pried Jack Johnson out of LA last season but Steady was too busy evaluating that that ship has left the station.

If the biggest need is for a big shutdown D with top pairing potential (as I think it is) Forbort is likely the best bet and he has some offense too. Teubert seems to have gone sideways.

However, it's quite likely that Tambellini will wait too long, dither and someone else will provide Lombardi with the LW he needs.

The time to do it is right now, not at the deadline.

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#33 Dennis
November 21 2010, 10:19AM
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27 would be a good fit on the Kings for all the reasons mentioned here but the only way I deal off 83 is if he goes to MGMT and tells them he's sick of the rebuild and there's not a chance he'll resign here

On 13: that was a nice comparison with Reasoner but the difference is - though I'm sure someone can check - is we don't know how long it took Marty to turn into a dependable faceoff guy: did he always have the aptitude or did he have to come as far in that regard as would 13. And how many guys can do that?

On 91 and the overall plan: I think it made the most sense to go with the 10-83 and 27-89 combos and slot in a rookie apiece on those lines and put the other guy back in junior or the AHL. We all suspected that 14 would be the best suited and that as the case so it was either 4 or 91 who really wouldn't have a place to play that suited them. Right now it's 91 who's absolutely drowing in ineffectiveness.

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#35 DSF
November 21 2010, 10:30AM
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Lowetide wrote:

How far away is Forbort? If the Oilers pull the trigger now and the kid gets hurt then that's a really poor trade. As I mentioned above, a prospect closer to NHL ready makes more sense imo.

Well, if the possibility of injury is a determining factor, you would never make any trade.

Forbort is 6'5" and 200 at the age of 18 and could be ready for the NHL as soon as next season.

Here's a scouting report:

http://www.hockeypolls.com/content/nhl-2010-top-draft-prospects-derek-forbort

If LA ends up keeping him, they end up with Doughty, Johnson and Forbort as their top 3 with Hickey, Voynov, Martinez and Teubert to fill in the blanks.

Jeebus.

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#37 DSF
November 21 2010, 10:42AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Well I love prospects but trading away actual NHL players from the current Edmonton Oilers should be punishable by firing squad unless you're getting an impact player (guaranteed) in return.

I'd keep Penner. If you can get this Forbort fellow AND an actual player in return?

Is that possible?

Sure it's possible.

Penner AND Hemsky for Schenn, Forbort and LA's first.

Oilers get what they need and LA wins a cup.

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#38 Killing Joke
November 21 2010, 11:04AM
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On the other hand, the Cam Abney pick is still an unqualified bust.

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#39 Benjammin
November 21 2010, 11:06AM
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I agree. Any prospect coming the other way should be a year away form making the team. We'd want him coming up with the present boys on the bus, so he should be very nearly ready to go.

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#40 Spartacus
November 21 2010, 11:11AM
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Woodguy wrote:

If the Oilers can get Forbort and a pick (not sure you can get a first with Forbort) from LA for Penner, I would be thrilled. With Francis stating that the Sutterite Colony has promised Iginla not to trade him, Tambellini should sleep in the Kings' front office foyer until it happens.

Sutterite Colony! That's f*&%in' brilliant, Woodguy.

I hope you don't mind if I use that from time to time.

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#41 commonfan13
November 21 2010, 11:19AM
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Who says no to an MPS for Luke Schenn trade?

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#42 Spartacus
November 21 2010, 11:20AM
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DSF wrote:

Sure it's possible.

Penner AND Hemsky for Schenn, Forbort and LA's first.

Oilers get what they need and LA wins a cup.

I'm of the opinion that what the Oilers need is more actual NHL calibre players, not less.

It's hard to imagine how bad the Oilers would become without our two best forwards. Yikes! I don't even want to think about it.

And let's not forget what we gave up just to get Penner... it's pretty hard to replace a guy with Penner's size, skill and hockey sense.

I know he pisses off a lot of people (Brownlee) with his apparent lack of effort, but he is far and away the most effective forward on this team. I say keep him unless there is an offer tabled which is simply unrefusable, not trade him for someone who may or may not make an NHL roster.

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#43 Bak04
November 21 2010, 11:21AM
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@LOWETIDE

I may have a slight bias considering I have been stating the oilers should trade ONE of Penner or Hemsky since draft day 2010. My thought process being; the oil are in rebuild mode and they are missing a top-end defensive prospect (captain obvious strikes again), the oil needs to make top six room for the big three (right now MPS is suffering from this issue)/coupled with this point the assets of pen or hem is not being maximized if their minutes are being reduced, and by trading one of pen or hem it would open-up a roster spot for a pen. killer or grittier forward (this could be a call up or a vet signing or come over in the trade package). If they are going to rebuild, they put the best possible foundation in place for five years from now. On side note: I am not just preaching but believe in the rebuild. I am a relatively poor University student but still bought half season tickets in the nose bleeds, go to every game, refuse to leave early, cheer when they deserve it, and will never boo. Three more years of no playoffs, okay Steve but get it right.

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#45 DSF
November 21 2010, 11:31AM
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Spartacus wrote:

I'm of the opinion that what the Oilers need is more actual NHL calibre players, not less.

It's hard to imagine how bad the Oilers would become without our two best forwards. Yikes! I don't even want to think about it.

And let's not forget what we gave up just to get Penner... it's pretty hard to replace a guy with Penner's size, skill and hockey sense.

I know he pisses off a lot of people (Brownlee) with his apparent lack of effort, but he is far and away the most effective forward on this team. I say keep him unless there is an offer tabled which is simply unrefusable, not trade him for someone who may or may not make an NHL roster.

The Oilers need actual NHL calibre players to do what exactly?

Finish 28th instead of 30th?

As long as they lack a #1C and a #1D and a #1G, they won't accomplish anything important.

If you think Penner, or for that matter Hemsky, are more critical to the long term future of the team, you'll be stuck in no mans land forever.

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#46 John Chambers
November 21 2010, 11:35AM
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@DSF

I agree that LA has a lot of young talent that they're going to have to mortgage to go-for-it. I also think that Brayden Schenn is a 1st or 2nd line Centre akin to Patrick Sharp.

But we'd be giving up our two best players for unproven youngsters. The Oilers might be better served doing a deal with LA that look something like (Penner + Cogliano or Brule + a 2nd rounder) for Forbort and Schenn. Then making a deal with Washington that looks something like Hemsky and Dubnyk for Alzner and Varlamov.

I don't mind the concept behind your proposed trade, but giving away two top-75 NHL players for prospects could be a real nut-stomp. If LA threw Simmonds into the mix as well it would look feasible.

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#47 Woodguy
November 21 2010, 11:35AM
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Sure it is, just don't set your sights too high on the roster player.

Simmonds is probably the highest end you can get. If you want a D then Drewiske might be the ceiling.

What are you looking for in return LT?

Matt Greene is getting 5th 5v5 minutes, might be available, but not sure if you get Forbort with him for only 1 1/2 of Penner.

I know you are afraid of magic beans, but Forbort looks to be the real deal.

I'd like to see him play in the A for a year. While forwards can learn on the job in the NHL with some success, its usually near impossible for D to do it unless they are a special talent.

I understand you wanting a guy who ready right away for Penner, but the right guy on the Kings isn't ready right away.

Spartacus,

Sure. Its not mine. I got it from a friend in Calgary where there are a lot of fans more sick of their NHL hockey GM than most Oilers fans are of theirs.

Not kidding. Revolt is coming down there.

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#48 DSF
November 21 2010, 11:42AM
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@Lowetide

LT.

This year's team is worse than last year's team.

Hard to imagine I know but....

09/10 62 points 10/11 55 point pace.

Goal differential

09/10 -70 10/11 - 136 pace

Wait til injuries hit.

Only question is, who get's the Green Jacket...Hall or Cogliano.

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#49 John Chambers
November 21 2010, 11:42AM
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@Lowetide

In this league timing is everything. Having prospects and good young players aged 18, 20, 23, 24, and 26 is a poor dynasty-building strategy as your older players will either a) cost too much or, b) leave, right when your younger guys start to develop. This is essentially the problem with the re-builds in Columbus, Atlanta, and Florida (ie. Jay Bouw, and Kovalchuk).

My vision for the team would be dealing our older starts (Penner and Hemmer) in exch for guys who are in the 18- 21- year old age range so that they develop co-terminus with our young core.

This is a long-winded way of saying that dealing for guys who are 23 and 24 years old doesn't serve the Oilers long-term interest. As many have pointed out on the forum, you can sign guys like Matt Lombardi, Kristian Huselius or similar to disgusting 3- and 4- year contracts to make your team look not-so-ugly in the short term while you still suck enough to draft high then have all the chickens hatch at the same time.

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#50 Matt Henderson
November 21 2010, 11:43AM
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Penner could be that final piece to a puzzle for a potential contender. He is more than skilled enough to be a perrenial 30+ goal scorer. He knows how to go to the front of the net. Most importantly though, he has always been an incredibly effective player in terms of providing offence vs providing defense. Teams like Pittsburgh and LA should be targets 1 and 2 for the Oilers. At the deadline when teams only need a little more than 1 million in cap space to afford him he SHOULD be a hot commodity.

In a perfect world the Oilers wouldnt be 3-5 years away from really contending for anything and Penner would be worth more here than traded for future players. If it doesnt happen by the end of this year then I imagine he goes at the Draft.

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