Looking to the future...

Jason Gregor
March 12 2010 09:59AM

IIHF World Junior Championship - Canada v USA - Gold Medal Game

When your team is worst in the league, looking towards the future is sometimes the only solace you have. Earlier this week The Hockey News hit the newsstands with their always-anticipated Future Watch edition. It ranks the top 75 prospects in the NHL, and for the first time ever the Oilers had two guys in the top eleven.

The Hockey News gathers info from every NHL head scout and some other scouts and then compiles the rankings. Here are the top eleven across the NHL:

  1. Alex Pietrangelo, (4th, 2008) D-man, St. Louis Blues
  2. Jacob Markstrom (31st, 2008) Goalie, Florida Panters
  3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th, 2009) D-man, Phoenix Coyotes
  4. Cody Hodgson, (10th, 2008) Centre, Vancouver Canucks
  5. John Carlson (27th, 2008) Defence Washington Capitals
  6. Jordan Eberle (22nd, 2008) Winger, Edmonton Oilers
  7. Nikita Filatov (6th, 2008) LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Colin Wilson (7th, 2008) Centre, Nashville Predators
  9. Luca Sbisa (19th, 2008) D-man, Anaheim Ducks
  10. Brayden Schenn (5th, 2009) Centre, Los Angeles Kings
  11. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (10th, 2009) LW, Edmonton Oilers

The only other Oiler prospect in the top-75 was D-man Jeff Petry who was ranked 56th. I put winger beside Eberle’s name because he is comfortable playing either wing. Colin Wilson is ranked 8th, but is currently playing in Nashville. The surprise in the top ten has to be Ekman-Larsson. Many people were shocked when Phoenix took him 6th last year, but clearly he continues to progress. The Coyotes have lots of good young players in their organization.

The THN also ranks the top ten players in each organization and it is interesting to see that Linus Omark is ranked 9th within the Oiler organization.

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
  3. Jeff Petry
  4. Taylor Chorney
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Teemu Hartikainen
  7. Alex Plante
  8. Riley Nash
  9. Linus Omark
  10. Johan Motin

Hartikainen is a name to look for in the future. I know the Oiler scouts like his skating, grit and he has some decent finish. The 6th rounder in 2008 is currently playing for KalPa Kuopio in Finland, and he has 12 goals and 28 points in 49 games. He is 6’1” and 200 pounds and he plays with a bit of “crust”. You might see him come over here this upcoming season, but it isn’t guaranteed yet.

Omark’s ranking should calm some of those who have been calling for him to come here and be a lock in the top-six. If he expects a guarantee to play in Edmonton then I can’t see him coming over here. He does have an out-clause in his KHL contract that would allow him to come over next year, and maybe he comes, goes to camp and if he doesn’t make the team he goes back to the KHL and collect $1.2 million rather than $75,000 in the AHL.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 10:06AM
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More than half of those guys dont play in the AHL. The Oilers really need to play up the fact that by choosing to play on the Falcons (whatever name they end up with next year) these prospects are 1 injury away (on a team that gets injured more than anyone) from playing in the NHL.

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#2 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 10:07AM
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Throw in Hall/Seguin and the Oil likely have 3 of the top 15 prospects. Now there's something to be positive about (fack me, tho).

I agree on Omark, btw. I don't understand how he's been as talked about as much as he has. Perhaps I'm wrong. Without youtube, do we even know the guy?

Eberle, Paajarvi-Svensson, Petry & Lander are guys I'd be excited about. Down in Calgary, there's... ahh... umm... well... they have 3 guys in the top 70, too. So there~

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Guys like Lander or Hartikainen I can see getting a shot before someone like Omark, simply because the game they play doesn't require as much skill and they are something this team needs now.

I've been impressed with Motin and hope he one day is a regular on this team. Making the jump from the Sel to the AHL at such a young age shows some maturity to me.

Is Omark someone you move simply because you have so many similar players in the system?

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RossCreekNation wrote:

Throw in Hall/Seguin and the Oil likely have 3 of the top 15 prospects. Now there's something to be positive about (fack me, tho).

I agree on Omark, btw. I don't understand how he's been as talked about as much as he has. Perhaps I'm wrong. Without youtube, do we even know the guy?

Eberle, Paajarvi-Svensson, Petry & Lander are guys I'd be excited about. Down in Calgary, there's... ahh... umm... well... they have 3 guys in the top 70, too. So there~

You answered your own question with the mention of youtude.

Who was that guy years ago that was oiler property that flipped the puck on his stick and wrapped the puck around topself? I beat he would've been talked about just as much if we had youtube back then.

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#5 Ender
March 12 2010, 10:13AM
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@RossCreekNation

Without youtube, Omark does not enter Oilers conversation.

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#6 Bucknuck
March 12 2010, 10:24AM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

You answered your own question with the mention of youtude.

Who was that guy years ago that was oiler property that flipped the puck on his stick and wrapped the puck around topself? I beat he would've been talked about just as much if we had youtube back then.

I think his name was Schremp and he has 25 points in 44 games. That equates to 0.57 PPG.

The oil only have three guys better than that: Gagner, Hemsky, and Penner.

It makes me kind of sad.

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#7 Vic
March 12 2010, 10:25AM
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Eberle Hall and Paarjavi could likely all make this team next year.Even if the team does not make the playoffs again it would still be exciting hockey to watch the youth grow and improve. Hartikainen will replace Penner within a year or two. i believe this because he just will not resign here.

Could Omark get us a top 5 pick???? 2010 that is.

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Bucknuck wrote:

I think his name was Schremp and he has 25 points in 44 games. That equates to 0.57 PPG.

The oil only have three guys better than that: Gagner, Hemsky, and Penner.

It makes me kind of sad.

No before Schremp back in the 90's.

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I'd like to say Mike Watt.

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#10 rubbertrout
March 12 2010, 10:33AM
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Bucknuck wrote:

I think his name was Schremp and he has 25 points in 44 games. That equates to 0.57 PPG.

The oil only have three guys better than that: Gagner, Hemsky, and Penner.

It makes me kind of sad.

How many of those are on the PP though? A small undersized no defence playing PP specialist with delusions of grandeur? No thanks. Would have been nice to see if they could have picked up something for him though instead of losing him to waivers.

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#11 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
March 12 2010, 10:33AM
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Riley Nash... With the forwards we have coming up ahead of him on the depth chart does this make him expendable? Or do we push him in the AHL for a couple of years before he quits to work in a Scranton office with fellow Cornell alum Andy Bernard.

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#12 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 10:36AM
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@rubbertrout

Ya, the Oilers surely couldn't use a PP specialst... especially with Hemsky injured~

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#13 Cameron
March 12 2010, 10:39AM
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Hall or Seguin, the debate rages, but what this team really needs is the Hanson brothers...

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#14 Jonathan Willis
March 12 2010, 10:46AM
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Just for the record, without YouTube we would be talking about Linus Omark. His point totals in both Sweden and Russia have been exceptional.

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#15 No Clue
March 12 2010, 10:52AM
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Vic wrote:

Eberle Hall and Paarjavi could likely all make this team next year.Even if the team does not make the playoffs again it would still be exciting hockey to watch the youth grow and improve. Hartikainen will replace Penner within a year or two. i believe this because he just will not resign here.

Could Omark get us a top 5 pick???? 2010 that is.

Omark for a top five in 2010! You are either joking or retarded (No offense intended to any other retarded readers of this site)!

Next years training camp will be more exciting then the rest of this year.

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#16 jason scott
March 12 2010, 11:02AM
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I'm just wondering how long the hockey news has done their rankings this way and if there are archives. I'd like to look back 5 years and see how accurate they are. Also I keep wondering how hall and Seguin rank in terms of previous drafts. Meaning if you ask scouts only to use the scouting reports from junior, who would be the top prospects of the past 6 years. Obviously Crosby and Ovie would rule, but how do Hall and Seguin rank that way, historically. If anyone can point me towards anything like that it would be appreciated.

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#17 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 11:09AM
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@jason scott

They've been doing it for years. I have every issue of The Hockey News since probably 1993 ish. Like most scouts/teams, they've got some hits & some misses.

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#18 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 11:10AM
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rubbertrout wrote:

How many of those are on the PP though? A small undersized no defence playing PP specialist with delusions of grandeur? No thanks. Would have been nice to see if they could have picked up something for him though instead of losing him to waivers.

Did the NHL dis-allow PP goals this year? Do PP goals only count as half a goal?

They probably could have got something for him if they let him play and he put up 25 points in 44 games here. Too bad that was just another black mark on Tambellini's record of asset management.

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#19 skoalpatrol
March 12 2010, 11:20AM
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i would love to see seguin in oiler silks next year...but something tells me that were gonna draft hall. either way both players would be a great acquisition

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#20 Vic
March 12 2010, 11:29AM
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@No Clue

just add another tiny player... that'swhat we really need.. oh and a one way contract.. he is top 20 in the KHL so he could yield a high pick... Not such a bad idea, especially if he is not all that excited about coming here. Pick players who actually want to be here.

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#21 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 11:40AM
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@Vic

Ask yourself a question: would the 5 guys immediately ahead of Omark on the Oilers prospect depth chart yield a high 1st rounder? Answer: Not a flunkin chance.

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#22 Vic
March 12 2010, 11:45AM
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@RossCreekNation

2 of those 5 were 1st rounders... hello

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#23 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 11:51AM
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@Vic

Negative props... helloooo... McFly...

@ everyone else

True or false:

Without saying a negative thing about any one of these guys, NONE of them will get you a 1st round pick this June: Taylor Chorney, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Alex Plante, Riley Nash, Linus Omark.

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#24 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 11:53AM
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@RossCreekNation

I cant see how they could. True.

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#25 Bucknuck
March 12 2010, 11:54AM
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@RossCreekNation

True.

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#26 Scott in Grande Prairie
March 12 2010, 11:56AM
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Aha yes. The good ol' Future Watch rankings.

I've been waiting for years for a chance for an Oiler prospect to be ranked No. 1 and, I gotta admit, I was foolish enough to think that the Hockey News might have actually picked Eberle.

In fairness to the Hockey News, the magazine doesn't rank the prospects - a group of scouts does but, still ...

When Eberle scored those two goals in the last minute of the WJC final in January, I can remember saying two things to myself. One, the Oilers gotta call this guy up next week. Two, if this doesn't make him No. 1 in the Future Watch rankings, nothing will.

Well, I guess nothing will.

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#27 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 12 2010, 11:58AM
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Vic wrote:

Eberle Hall and Paarjavi could likely all make this team next year.Even if the team does not make the playoffs again it would still be exciting hockey to watch the youth grow and improve. Hartikainen will replace Penner within a year or two. i believe this because he just will not resign here.

Could Omark get us a top 5 pick???? 2010 that is.

did you forget the ~ to indicate sarcasm?

omark for a top 5 pick? in the 1st round?

honestly?

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#28 roughneck
March 12 2010, 12:00PM
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So if a person renews are they optimistic or masochistic?

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#29 BUCK75
March 12 2010, 12:13PM
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I don't know if Omark will come here, but the guy on twitter who goes by @oilers_insider figures he will.

I think Omark will be with the oilers next season for sure! why? just saw glimpses of promo proofs with him on it.

Now just some disclosure before everyone starts ripping the info as false & here say this particular person had some pretty good info on deadline day. Before the Whitney & the Staios deals were announced he was tweeting there were deals to come.

So I guess take it with a grain of salt.

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#30 OILERSORDEATH
March 12 2010, 12:25PM
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Seriously come on! If Colorado can take a bunch of young f__ks, throw em on the ice to see what they can do. I dont see why we just cant do the same! If Quinn can get these kids all on the same page and buy into his system next traing camp, why the hell not. Its not like Colorado's ooozing whth talent other than Duchene.

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#31 Yakman
March 12 2010, 12:39PM
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Remember Schremp was sent down to the minors and benched by the Islanders when he arrived... it was only at that point did he start to listen to the coaches... "oh hey, the Oilers weren't totally full of it" he would never have gotten the point here... Diva!

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#33 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 12 2010, 12:53PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Negative props... helloooo... McFly...

@ everyone else

True or false:

Without saying a negative thing about any one of these guys, NONE of them will get you a 1st round pick this June: Taylor Chorney, Anton Lander, Teemu Hartikainen, Alex Plante, Riley Nash, Linus Omark.

I always find this interesting. Is the completly unknown more valuable then something a little more known?

Are guys picked in the mid first round last year less valuable then a shot to grab a guy 10 spots later this year?

I get the feelings GM's value a 25th overall pick over a guy chosen 15th overall last year that has had average development... Not sure if that's the way it should be though.

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#34 Arby
March 12 2010, 01:00PM
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Hall (or TS), Eberle, and MPS will all have a tough time making the team at the same time. And the only way they possibly could, is if Moreau, POS, and Nils are gone. And even if that happens, they would then have to subject another 2-3 forwards to waivers (most of whom they will just have renewed).

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for it. I even just made up this last night (It has been said lately that Hall CAN play center so he could replace Seguin in this mock):

Fun to watch, but still bad enough to compete for a lotto pick.

Penner – Seguin – Hemsky Paajarvi – Gagner – Eberle Brule – Horcoff – Cogliano Potulny – Pouliot – Stortini (Jones, Stone)

Souray – Chorny Whitney – Gilbert Peckham – Smid (Plante)

Khabibulin Deslauriers

2010-2011 Edmonton Oilers PLAYER BONUS CAP HIT FORWARDS Shawn Horcoff — $5,500,000 Dustin Penner — $4,250,000 Ales Hemsky — $4,100,000 * Sam Gagner — $3,500,000 * Tyler Seguin — $3,500,000 * Magnus Paajarvi Svensson — $2,250,000 * Gilbert Brule — $1,500,000 * Andrew Cogliano — $1,250,000 Jordan Eberle ($312,500) $1,187,500 Ryan Jones — $975,000 * Marc-Antoine Pouliot — $825,000 * Ryan Potulny — $750,000 * Ryan Stone — $750,000 Zack Stortini — $700,000 DEFENSEMEN Sheldon Souray — $5,400,000 Ryan Whitney — $4,000,000 Tom Gilbert — $4,000,000 Ladislav Smid — $1,300,000 Alex Plante ($200,000) $1,075,000 Taylor Chorney ($190,000) $941,666 * Theo Peckham — $750,000 GOALTENDERS Nikolai Khabibulin — $3,750,000 * Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers — $1,000,000 BUYOUTS Robert Nilsson --- $83,333 (credit) Pat O’Sullivan --- $ 935,417 Ethan Moreau --- $ 666,667 LOST VIA REENTRY WAIVERS NONE CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS ROSTER SIZE 23 SALARY CAP $56,800,000 PAYROLL $54,772,917 BONUSES $702,500 CAP SPACE $2,027,083

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#35 Robin Brownlee
March 12 2010, 01:02PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Just for the record, without YouTube we would be talking about Linus Omark. His point totals in both Sweden and Russia have been exceptional.

Jon: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how Omark's point totals rate as exceptional.

At 20-16-36 in 53 games with Dynamo Moscow, Omark is 27th in KHL scoring. Leader Sergei Mozyakin has 27-37-64.

I don't know Mozyakin, but I do know that several players ahead of Omark in the scoring race -- Mattias Weinhandl (58 points), Marcel Hossa (54), Patrick Thoresen (52), Branko Radivojevic (51), Maxim Spirodonov (47), who came to training camp with the Oilers -- were fringe NHL players or minor leaguers.

To be fair, Omark isn't far off a couple of fossils who used to be Jaromir Jagr (42 points) or Sergei Zubov (40) and is tied with serial-sulker Nikolai Zherdev.

I'm not suggesting Omark's numbers are poor, and he clearly has ridiculous skills with the puck (as does a Rob Schremp or a Robert Nilsson), but I'm not sure his numbers suggest he's going to be anything special.

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#36 quicksilver ballet
March 12 2010, 01:19PM
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What benifit is there having Eberle play out the string in Spingfield rather than here in Edmonton?

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#37 Scott in Grande Prairie
March 12 2010, 01:29PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Jon: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how Omark's point totals rate as exceptional.

At 20-16-36 in 53 games with Dynamo Moscow, Omark is 27th in KHL scoring. Leader Sergei Mozyakin has 27-37-64.

I don't know Mozyakin, but I do know that several players ahead of Omark in the scoring race -- Mattias Weinhandl (58 points), Marcel Hossa (54), Patrick Thoresen (52), Branko Radivojevic (51), Maxim Spirodonov (47), who came to training camp with the Oilers -- were fringe NHL players or minor leaguers.

To be fair, Omark isn't far off a couple of fossils who used to be Jaromir Jagr (42 points) or Sergei Zubov (40) and is tied with serial-sulker Nikolai Zherdev.

I'm not suggesting Omark's numbers are poor, and he clearly has ridiculous skills with the puck (as does a Rob Schremp or a Robert Nilsson), but I'm not sure his numbers suggest he's going to be anything special.

Agreed, Robin.

I'd submit that Omark is what basketball scouts would call a great "playground player." He can do all kinds of tricks against OK competition in an informal environment but put him in a league and a system against other skill guys (who are close to a foot taller) and he might not shine.

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#38 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 01:32PM
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@Arby

I doubt the team would start Seguin/Hall on the 1st line right away.

They would probably want to shelter him on the 2nd line against weaker opposition, at least at first.

In a perfect world, I think that's what the Oil would want. I guess it all depends on what their roster looks like after the summer.

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#39 rubbertrout
March 12 2010, 01:32PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Did the NHL dis-allow PP goals this year? Do PP goals only count as half a goal?

They probably could have got something for him if they let him play and he put up 25 points in 44 games here. Too bad that was just another black mark on Tambellini's record of asset management.

My point is do you really want someone who is entirely a one trick pony on the squad? When a guy only contributes on the PP, is an egomaniac and a distraction, and serves no other purpose on the squad I think we're better off without him regardless of him putting hte puck in the net on the PP.

If he was here we'd be hearing about how Horc sucks because he can't pass the puck to Schremp.

I agree that it would have been nice to get something for him but part of that was Mac-T's disdain for the player.

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#40 Eric Johnson
March 12 2010, 01:34PM
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@quicksilver ballet

~cause with him in the line up the OIlers would surely win every game and play themselves out of the Hall/Seguin sweepstakes~

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#41 Bucknuck
March 12 2010, 01:35PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

My point is do you really want someone who is entirely a one trick pony on the squad? When a guy only contributes on the PP, is an egomaniac and a distraction, and serves no other purpose on the squad I think we're better off without him regardless of him putting hte puck in the net on the PP.

If he was here we'd be hearing about how Horc sucks because he can't pass the puck to Schremp.

I agree that it would have been nice to get something for him but part of that was Mac-T's disdain for the player.

Hey I wasn't saying I wanted him. We have enough smaller players. I was mainly pointing out the last Utube sensation is now an NHL regular getting more points per game than all the oilers except our top line (Penner, Gagner, Hemsky was a fun line to watch).

It would have been sweet to actually get something for him.

And by the way, I don't think the team could have done much worse than it has so who's to say he wouldn't have helped.

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#42 Crash
March 12 2010, 01:38PM
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quicksilver ballet wrote:

What benifit is there having Eberle play out the string in Spingfield rather than here in Edmonton?

It's probably simply because after Eberle plays more than 9 games it knocks off one year of his entry level contract...

So you may see him sometime in the last 9 games this year unless they wish to evaluate his 1st 9 games at the beginning of next season when the games mean something to the Oilers in the standings.

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#43 Archaeologuy
March 12 2010, 01:41PM
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@rubbertrout

A one-trick pony will always be better than a no-trick pony. I think the character assassination of Schremp was pulled off miraculously by MacT. The fact that you go so far as to call the guy an "Egomaniac" and a "distraction" is proof enough.

What is the proof that he was a distraction while here in Edmonton? How about his egomania? Is it really just because he wanted to get back into playing "Rob Schremp Hockey"? Dustin Penner all but said he did the same thing when he said he needed to get back into Driving to the net the way he did in College and early Pro, is he an egomaniac?

Any argument that the club is better off not having anything instead of a slightly flawed asset is pure malarkey.

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#44 rubbertrout
March 12 2010, 01:41PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Ya, the Oilers surely couldn't use a PP specialst... especially with Hemsky injured~

I love how people look at Schremp with 20/20 hindsight. Given the number of smurfs the Oil had (and has) is keeping one more of them with a limited skill set a good idea?

~Yeah sure we should have known that Hemsky was going to hurt himself so we could use another body for the PP~

Give me a break.

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#45 Lofty
March 12 2010, 01:43PM
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quicksilver ballet wrote:

What benifit is there having Eberle play out the string in Spingfield rather than here in Edmonton?

He'll probably get hurt if he plays in Edmonton. Also dont want any of POS rubbing off on him? Maybe Gagner could teach POS to aim AND shoot with a purpose.

I would love to see Eberle play but it just isnt the right situation. Didnt Comrie get bumped up late in 2000? maybe not.

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#46 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 12 2010, 01:44PM
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Crash wrote:

It's probably simply because after Eberle plays more than 9 games it knocks off one year of his entry level contract...

So you may see him sometime in the last 9 games this year unless they wish to evaluate his 1st 9 games at the beginning of next season when the games mean something to the Oilers in the standings.

Gregor mentioned his entry level contract kicks in next year regardless of where he plays, so the team have to worry about a nine game evaluation next year, he can simply come up and go down as needed.

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#47 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 01:45PM
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ROB SCHREMP 44GP 7-18-25 -4 8PIM 5PPP

ROBERT NILSSON 49GP 8-15-23 -18 12PIM 3PPP

Only real difference I see is $$

I'm no expert, nor am I a Rob Scremp fan, but it seems to me that they could have waived Nilsson to keep Schremp and save the money without putting themselves in any worse of a situation, no?

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#48 RossCreekNation
March 12 2010, 01:47PM
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@rubbertrout

Look at my Schremp v. Nilsson post ^^

No hindsight needed for that one. I suggested as much in September. And that was about the only way I would've kept Schremp around. I may have opted to keep neither, but Nilsson was done in my eyes... at least in Edmonton. And maybe thats what Schremp needed too - a change of scenery. Maybe he stays and does nothing. Who knows?

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#49 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 12 2010, 01:49PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

A one-trick pony will always be better than a no-trick pony. I think the character assassination of Schremp was pulled off miraculously by MacT. The fact that you go so far as to call the guy an "Egomaniac" and a "distraction" is proof enough.

What is the proof that he was a distraction while here in Edmonton? How about his egomania? Is it really just because he wanted to get back into playing "Rob Schremp Hockey"? Dustin Penner all but said he did the same thing when he said he needed to get back into Driving to the net the way he did in College and early Pro, is he an egomaniac?

Any argument that the club is better off not having anything instead of a slightly flawed asset is pure malarkey.

MacT wasn't Schremps only coach with those concerns.

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#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 12 2010, 01:50PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

ROB SCHREMP 44GP 7-18-25 -4 8PIM 5PPP

ROBERT NILSSON 49GP 8-15-23 -18 12PIM 3PPP

Only real difference I see is $$

I'm no expert, nor am I a Rob Scremp fan, but it seems to me that they could have waived Nilsson to keep Schremp and save the money without putting themselves in any worse of a situation, no?

I agree, but what's the point? Why would the team waive Nilsson 1 to bring in Nilsson 2?

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