ROSTER REVIEW

Jason Gregor
April 18 2010 10:03PM

A week has passed since the Oilers finished their worst season ever. I know statistically they had more points than the 1993 team, but there was no shootouts then, so let’s not argue semantics. This season sucked worse than any other, plain and simple.

So let’s now look ahead to next season. If I had asked these questions last week I think most of you would have said something to the effect of "unload all of these mother *&(&(*)@ piece of &*)*(@ players and take the management with them"

While that might have been valid, we know it isn’t realistic. In the short term the Oilers need to look at the next steps of what amounts to a complete overhaul of the team.

The Summer of Steve officially began last Wednesday when Tambellini said he wouldn’t put up with whiny, selfish, non-courageous and anti-Edmonton players. It’s one thing to say it, now we need to see him implement this new found outlook. I don’t expect him to call me this summer to ask for my advice, but I’m sure the OilersNation is saved on his browser so here’s what I think the Oilers will do this off-season.

(Note: Steve feel free to call or text me if I’m way off-base, you have my number.)

Many of you would love to buy out 19 players, four coaches, eight scouts and all the managers; hell someone even emailed me stating it’s time Paul Lorieau gets the boot, but we know Tambellini can’t gut the entire team in one five-month span. Here’s what the Oilers will do, okay should do, this summer.

GOALTENDING

 

Many think Nikolai Khabibulin was a brutal signing last summer, and coupled with his back surgery and drunk driving charge, it looks even worse, but buying him out would cripple the team even more, so the only option is to stick with him for the time being.

The real question here is who do you keep as the back up, Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk?

Neither has proven they can be a consistent NHL goalie, but both have shown they can win a game by themselves. Deslauriers is more athletic, Dubnyk is more technical and that’s why I’d go with Dubnyk. He’s a bit younger and Deslauriers will probably fetch you more in a trade. Not a lot more, but maybe a 4th or 5th rounder instead of just losing him to the waiver wire in October.

Tambellini could wait and hope that every team will have two goalies they like coming out of training camp and Deslauriers might slide through waivers, but I don’t see that happening. Tambellini’s best option is to move him during the summer and get a mid to late round pick in return.

OUT OF THE GATE: Khabibulin and Dubnyk

DEFENCE

Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid are obvious keepers at this point, but after that it gets difficult to think you will return. Taylor Chorney needs to get stronger and another half-season in the AHL won’t hurt him. Theo Peckham is close, but if he is here he is a number six at best. Tambellini will try to get a number four D-man in return for Sheldon Souray and if he gets one that doesn’t come with a $4 million cap hit, he’ll be happy.

The tough decision will be deciding on who they keep between Jason Strudwick and Aaron Johnson. If it was just an on ice decision they’d go with Johnson, but Strudwick is much respected and in tune with the younger players, and they need a veteran like that for at least one more year. Ideally Strudwick would only play around 40 games, but his value will come more in the dressing room than on the ice. Anyone who doesn’t think that element (professionalism) is necessary for this team moving forward hasn’t been paying attention.

OUT OF THE GATE: I see Smid, Whitney, Gilbert, Strudwick and Peckham returning for sure along with a stay-at-home defenceman from the Souray deal. Then Tambellini will try to bring in a number five and if he can’t they might have to settle for Johnson for one year.

CENTRE

Shawn Horcoff and Sam Gagner are locks to return, but they other positions will be debated heavily. If management chooses Tyler Seguin (which I think they will) he rounds out the top three and that leaves Marc Pouliot and Ryan Potulny to battle for the 4th line spot. Or does it? The Oilers could use a 4th line centre with some intensity, but I still think still need one of Potulny or Pouliot, just not both.

Even if they draft Taylor Hall, they still shouldn’t keep both. They need more of an identity in their bottom six, and having Potulny and Pouliot doesn’t solve that. Potulny had a great start, and no one saw him scoring 15 goals, but his play dipped drastically in the final 30 games and I don’t see him matching those goal totals, because he won’t get close to the same amount of PP time. The Oilers can’t keep both moving forward, because they are essentially the same player. Pouliot skates better, Potulny finishes better, but neither is overly physical, but Pouliot has learned to at least use his size to rub the odd guy off the puck.

Tambellini chose Pouliot over Brodziak last year, but he can’t make the same mistake this season. I’d keep Potulny and move Pouliot at the draft.

OUT OF THE GATE: Horcoff, Gagner, Seguin, Potulny and veteran UFA signing.

WINGERS

 

Trading Ales Hemsky for the 2nd pick is a pipe dream for Oiler fans, and while I’m not convinced Hemsky will be here long-term, he’ll be here next September. Dustin Penner is a no-brainer to return and Gilbert Brule is the other winger I’d keep on a supposed scoring line. After those three it gets really interesting.

If the Oilers surprise me (not that it would be bad to select Hall, I just don’t think they will at this point) and take Hall then the decision is easy. But since I don’t think he’ll be here, they still need another scorer and the options look to be one of Jordan Eberle, MPS, Andrew Cogliano, Linus Omark, Robert Nilsson, Jaromir Jagr or other.

You’ll notice I didn’t even mention Patrick O’Sullivan, because I don’t see any way he returns to Edmonton. They will either trade him or buy him out. They’d keep Nilsson over him at this point. It might cause uproar in the Oil-blogosphere, but Eberle is not a lock to make this team coming out of camp. If he earns it they will find a spot for him, but if he is just average in the preseason, they won’t hesitate to give him 40 games in the AHL to hone is game.

There is no way the Oilers want to rush any of their top offensive prospects next season, despite the barrage of hate mail they will receive from over-zealous fans wearing Eberle jerseys next season. MPS and Omark are the most difficult to gauge at this point. Many feel both are ready to play next year, but there is only room for one of them to start the season. Omark has committed to playing in North America next season, while as of today there is no guarantee MPS will choose the AHL over the SEL.

I threw in Jagr because I’m still not 100% sold that this team will go completely with youth, and the allure of Jagr teaching showing their young offensive guys some tricks-of-the-trade might be too much for Tambellini and company to resist. My head tells me no, but like that annoying buddy who buys you two shots at last call, sometimes guys make impulsive decisions that seem good at the time but ultimately don’t pan out. I think Jagr coming here is about a 30/70 chance. Prove me wrong Steve. Nilsson just doesn’t fit in moving forward, and while buy outs aren't the best option all the time, in this case it probably makes sense.

I don’t see Andrew Cogliano playing here next season. No one has told me this flat out, but when Pat Quinn was talking about players worrying about who they play with, Cogliano’s name popped into my head. Cogliano could easily become a 20-25 goal scorer with another organization, and that’s why he has value on the trade market, but they have too many small, soft, supposedly-skilled forwards and someone has to go. Cogliano will be that guy, and I think they’ll address their lack of size by sending Cogliano packing.

GRIT, ATTITUDE, GRIT and NASTINESS

The Oilers biggest void is an identity in their bottom six forwards. For the past four years they haven’t had enough guys willing to be puck-hounds every shift, and that’s exactly what they need. Until the young talent, becomes proven scoring talent the Oilers need their bottom four wingers to make life difficult for the opposition. The problem is these types of wingers are a rarity so realistically Tambellini might only be able to nab one this summer.

Zach Stortini is limited in his game, but his game has slowly improved over the years, he’ll continue that over the summer. If he could gain even a quarter step of foot speed he’d be able to finish more hits and make life harder on opposing D-men. He knows his role and is under contract for another year.

J.F Jacques led the Oilers in hits, 158, despite playing only 49 games. His back is a question mark, but he proved this season that he finally understands the need to be physical every game. He skates well for a big-man, and if he can stay healthy he could morph into a 3rd liner. Of course that is a big if, and that’s why they will need another forward who can fill in for Jacques when he misses the odd game. Tambellini has to find some depth amongst his physical wingers.

The Oilers had a measly three players with 100+ hits, which is why they rarely had the puck in the offensive zone for any extended period of time. Once they lost it, they didn’t have the ability to get it back via a check.

Many, including Ethan Moreau, thought the captain would be gone at the trade deadline, but that didn’t happen and his strong finish could see him start the year in Edmonton . Moreau was humbled at the deadline when no one was willing to trade for him, and he seemed to find the game that made him effective for the previous ten seasons in Edmonton . Moreau can only be effective playing one way; Tenacious. If he doesn’t play with emotion then he looks like he did for the first 60 games this year; Horrendous.

Three months ago I would have said there was no way he’d be here in September, but now I think you’ll see him start the season in Edmonton .

Ryan Jones and Ryan Stone will battle for one of the two extra forward spots. There isn’t room for both and they are essentially the same type of player. Both will come to camp, but only one will survive. The wild card in this equation is Mike Comrie.

Comrie wants to play here next year, and only Dustin Penner averaged more goals per game than Comrie last year. His competitive fire is what would make him valuable next season. This roster will have at least three and maybe four small, skilled forwards who could learn a lot from how Comrie plays. He goes to the tough areas to score goals, he doesn’t shy away and he stands up for himself. His biggest asset might be that he has proven he can produce with limited minutes.

He doesn’t need to play 18 minutes a night to score 20 goals. His presence would also push the young guys to produce; otherwise he might take their spot for a game here or there. His versatility, experience and reasonable salary should have him back in Oiler silks next season.

The debate will also rage on during the summer about Potulny and Pouliot. If I am making the call I would take the guy who blew through every single expectation he had going into the season registering15 goals and 17 assists for 32 in 64 games over a guy who has had four years to prove he wants to stay on this roster and has done little in this regard. 

But that's just me.

OUT OF THE GATE: Hemsky, Penner, Brule, Stortini, Moreau, Jacques, Eberle, Stone, Comrie and off-season UFA signing.

NET SUM GAME

If you are skipping to the end of this murder mystery novel all this means Sheldon Souray, Robert Nilsson, Patrick O’Sullivan, Fernando Pisani, Aaron Johnson and Andrew Cogliano won’t be back.

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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 David S
April 19 2010, 11:07AM
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Is there any way to arrange comments so that questions that have been asked a million times already get ranked in a special "redundant reading section"?

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#2 Robin Brownlee
April 18 2010, 11:57PM
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Somebody call EMS because I've fallen down the stairs (the ones that start at the Hotel MacDonald and go all the way into the river valley) and hit my head.

I think I just read that Strudwick keeps his job ahead of Johnson. That either means my brain is bleeding or there isn't a single defenceman on the planet who is available and willing to play for $600,000.

And I thought our poll said that most people here think LA will beat Vancouver in the first round. Help me. I must be slipping into a coma . . . nevermind, it's too late and I must be near death because I think I saw Jagr's name come up again.

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#3 Word
April 19 2010, 01:03PM
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Crash and Team Hall, though I somewhat agree on picking Hall, I'm having serious trouble subcribing to your newsletter.

Let me get this straight:

The Scouts were wrong before, so we should ignore what they say and go with #2 or #3, because that pick will pan out better since it's not what the scouts think is best, and since scouts are sometimes wrong, by doing the opposite you're always right..?

You guys should write a book and sell your fool proof theory. You can call it "The doctrine of if someone has ever been wrong, do the opposite of what they say and you'll always be right." Of course, if one of you ever end up being wrong, we'll be in quite the predicament of having no options left...

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#6 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 19 2010, 04:24PM
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dragon wrote:

his team(s) to the cup(gold)...

it's quite normal to see leadership being underrated around Hemskyland. ;-)

Shocking that you don't see how foolish you look bashing Hemsky after this year.

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#7 Ei8HTYSE7EN
April 19 2010, 03:40AM
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There is no way we can be letting Aaron Johnson go, the guy brought it every night for us.

It would be a mistake to let that guy go. Plus it must really piss off Calgary fans that he is doing so good here.

An invisible player that comes here and plays well, damn that's something new for us. It's usually always the other way around.

It also puts a smile on my face knowing that Staios is no longer apart of this team in the trade for this guy.

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#10 Crash
April 19 2010, 11:05AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Get over the Barry Fraser era of draft picks. Stu MacGregor had nothing to do with those picks.

It's a hard job trying to "predict" how a player will pan out three to five years down the road, that's why it is so difficult.

And Seguin has been ranked high all year, it's just that over the course of the season, some scouts think his game has a potential higher ceiling than Hall at the NHL level.

Either player will help the team, but I'd bet Hall will have a better first NHL season, but in five years, that won't matter.

Compare Ovechkin to Crosby. Ovie won the Calder, and is a more dynamic goal scorer, but who has been to two Cups? Flashier doesn't always mean better.

My point had nothing to do with Barry Frasier and more to do with how quickly the opinions of the scouts changes over a very short period of time nevermind 3 yrs down the road...

My point is the same as you mention in your second paragraph about it's a hard job to "predict" how a player will pan out three to five years down the road.

Why would you bet that Hall will have a better first NHL season? That would be the reason for taking him. If he's better in his first season then why couldn't he be better in his 3rd season.

You're right, it may not matter and yes they'll both probably be great players but this notion of taking Seguin over Hall because the scouts "think" he will be better 3 yrs from now when they can't even figure out which one is better over 6 months is crazy.

As far as cups go you can't judge individual players based on the number of cups....cups take good teams not just a good individual...

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#11 Matt Henderson
April 19 2010, 12:58PM
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@Crash

You can accuse me of agreeing with the CSS scouts because that's their job (although you know I've been on the Seguin band wagon well before those rankings), but the only evidence you keep bringing up is Turris V Kane and 2006.

Turris/Kane is clearly wrong right now, but the draft of 2006 is a weak argument. It might even be an argument in my favor. Staal vs Toews, better now vs better later. Staal (who is very good) was a better player at 18. The kid played in the NHL, scored 29 goals in fact. Toews? Not so much. While Toews was playing in the WJHC Staal was busy in the NHL. Better now vs Better later. Since that initial season of 2006/2007 who has been better? Toews, IMO.

Better now or Better later? Hall/Staal or Seguin/Toews?

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#12 quicksilver ballet
April 19 2010, 01:17PM
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Any support for bringing in Carey Price?

If there was ever a time he may be available this could be it. The Habs have settled into Halak now that Gainey isn't there to defend Price. Carey could settle in at around 2.5 per, so having him and Habby, till he calls it quits may be tollerable.

....anyone else like this idea?

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#13 Matt Henderson
April 19 2010, 01:53PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Washington appears to be doing OK at the moment(goaltending notwithstanding). Most teams take a bit of time even with superstars before they gel and win something (Mario's Penguins, the 80's Oilers). Crosby did it quick but having drafts that got the team Staal, Malkin and Fleury helped.

And Backstrom's 4 playoff goals and 101 reg. season points didnt contribute?

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#14 Matt Henderson
April 19 2010, 01:59PM
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@Bucknuck

That's what I've been sayin. Washington didnt pull it together until Ovechkin found a Centre.

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#17 Chickenplucker
April 19 2010, 03:49PM
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@rubbertrout

When the Pens won the cup the Caaps had more regular season points, making them the better team? Therefore Crosby must be the better player.

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#18 Bombay
April 19 2010, 05:42PM
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And for those complaining about management doing a lot of talking but not actually making an changes, I guess you were in a coma before the trade deadline. ;)So just to fill you in, Tambo traded away half the Oilers defencemen, with the main aim getting younger and cheaper. And there's no way Souray is here next year.

I personally expect quite a few changes in the summer. Should be the most exciting off season we've had in a LONG time.

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#19 David S
April 19 2010, 09:26PM
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^ Sorry for the madjam-esque paragraph. Bullet points failed and so did spacing.

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#21 Hemmertime
April 18 2010, 10:26PM
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I say keep Comrie, same salary range for 1 year. Stone over Jones

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#22 common sense
April 18 2010, 10:26PM
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JF Jacques has to be let go. Anyone with that kind of back history is gonna have back problems in the future.

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#23 DangerMan
April 18 2010, 10:42PM
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I have Souary, O'Sullivan, Nilsson and Cogliano gone. I think Moreau will be gone too, only because thats the way he wants it to be. If thats the case then I think you have to keep Pisani for veteran presence. Stone should by rights be back in the AHL, he hasnt shown anything to stay, other than he has some grit.

I think Johnson will stay as well. I don't know if the Oilers will be able to find a better bargain than him.

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#24 VK63
April 18 2010, 10:51PM
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U have Seguin making this team next fall? Why?

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#25 Nate Full of Hate
April 18 2010, 11:08PM
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VK63 wrote:

U have Seguin making this team next fall? Why?

#1 Overall players don't go back to JR.

Plymouth loses a ton of players as well...

He should play at the WJHC..

And he'll make the team because he's good on faceoffs ..

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 18 2010, 11:12PM
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@ I'd like to see this team aquire some proper depth leaving Johnson as the 7th dman and Strudwick as the 14th forward/8th dman for when the the inevetible injuries occure.

Common Tambo, lets hit 50% turnover. You've already moved half the starting defense, lets get 6 new bodies up front too.

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#27 TheGunnShow
April 18 2010, 11:13PM
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That is the worst chin I've ever seen. I can still see it when I shut my eyes.

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#28 Jimmer
April 18 2010, 11:38PM
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@ Gregor

Do you feel that Gagner would have been better off playing a year or two in the AHL and then come up and play with us rather than starting out on the big club?

I for one believe that 1st rounders coming out of the CHL are more ready to contribute at the NHL level than ever before. The coaching staffs on most CHL clubs have one or more recently retired NHL players. Most of these CHL teams are coaching physical, high tempo hockey.

I think MPS (who played with men in the Swedish Elite League), Seguin/Hall and Eberle would be better off with our coaching staff that includes a proven CHL coach in Tom Renney, and a recent World Junior coach in Pat Quinn.

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#29 David S
April 19 2010, 12:26AM
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Seriously. JFJ? Does he need more assessment or what? I'd rather have Strudwick in there over him.

I'm gonna have to carry an airline puke bag with me to the games if Moreau starts next year.

Oh, and Comrie for Captain.

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#30 OilCrazy
April 19 2010, 12:26AM
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I'm still on the Hall train, however if they pick Seguin, which is what they'll likely do, here's how I see things shaking up:

Penner - Gagner - Hemsky

Brule - Seguin - Eberle

Moreau - Horcoff - Comrie

Stone - Potulny - Stortini

Whitney - Gilbert

Smid - Rozsival (obtained from NYR for Souray)

Peckham - Johnson

Strudwick

Khabibulin

Dubnyk

They'll trade Moreau at the deadline next year when he'll actually be a true playoff rental, as he'll be a UFA after next season.

We also will have to take salary back when we trade Souray, the Rangers could use Souray's shot, and Rozsival and Smid would give the Oil an all Czech 2nd pairing behind the USA top pairing.

Comrie will be re-signed over Pisani as a 3rd line sparkplug who can move up to the top 2 lines WHEN an injury happens early next year.

Petry will also be called up mid-season to fill in WHEN one of our D-men also gets injured.

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#31 Big Dave Semenko
April 19 2010, 12:53AM
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Love the game play photos!

I'd pick Jones over Stone, if he has a good training camp, based on speed alone.

Jacques brings it physically, when healthy, which isn't saying a lot. I'd move him for picks at the draft. I'd maybe package Jacques and Pouliot for a solid, energy type player and a pick.

I'd make an effort to keep Johnson as he impressed me during his time. And I would definitely keep him above Strudwick. If Strudwick is such a benefit in the room, make him a defensive coach.

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#32 mouthbreather
April 19 2010, 01:46AM
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Those pics are gold! Is Gregor in one of them? Wood sticks, CCM tacks! Jofa lid! Classic.

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#33 E-Mac
April 19 2010, 01:54AM
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Carey Price - starting goalie.

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#34 Pajamah
April 19 2010, 07:25AM
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I'd love to see the team add 2-3 veterans for depth, a la Phoenix Coyotes, than make too much room for every single top flight prospect we have

provided Eberle earns it, it should be him and Hall/Seguin who get the chance next season. MPS and Omark are making big boy money already, no need to rush

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#35 GSC
April 19 2010, 08:05AM
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Keep Comrie for another year on the cheap, couldn't hurt considering this team isn't going to compete for a playoff spot. He'll give you 15-20 goals and show the little guys how to play with some grit and purpose in the offensive zone. It's also a nice PR move considering the animosity between the two sides when they parted before. The fact that he'd re-sign in Edmonton helps to refute Souray's comments.

I'd keep Jones in the lineup, good skater who has more upside to his game than Stone or Jacques...but I'd keep all three on the roster if possible, that answers Gregor's concerns as to depth amongst the bottom six. All three of these players bring Quinn's crust night-in and night-out, but need to remain healthy (esp. #22). I agree that POS should be bought out or traded. Probably ditto for Nilsson, he's so damned inconsistent.

Pouliot or Potulny is damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'm inclined to agree with Gregor that Pots is the safer bet considering he vastly exceeded expectations last season whereas Pouls has failed time and time again to hold a roster spot. One is just as ineffective on faceoffs as the other and both are cheap RFAs, so it really doesn't matter which one stays. I bet the Oilers are more inclined to keep Pouls since Tambi openly admitted that they believed Marc would be their checking centre, not to mention he's a former 1st rounder. Either way, it doesn't really matter. I'd pick Potulny, but I bet the Oilers keep Pouliot.

As for the defence, I guess keeping Struds on board for the sh*tshow will only help the rebuild effort (this is to help this team continue to lose). I'd also keep Johnson for another year or so, he's a solid 5/6 DMan. Chorney definitely needs more time in the A and Peckham can split time with Struds. We'll see if Souray can be moved this summer, something tells me his remarks about possibility returning next year has some legs (they may not be able to move him for something worth while). Just my opinion.

I'd keep Deslauriers over Dubnyk, I think DD would clear waivers and could benefit from more time in OKC.

I'm sure I'd be keeping too many bodies around when it comes to making a lineup, so I won't even bother throwing out speculative lines...a lot of it would depend on the futures of #12, #16, #18, #19, #78, and #91. The only givens next season are as follows:

Penner, Hemsky, Seguin/Hall, Gagner, Brule, Horcoff, Stortini, Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Khabibulin...the rest is up in the air.

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#36 EricOG
April 19 2010, 08:05AM
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I read on some of the other blogs that MPS and his father (who happens to be his agent) where interested in coming over this year but that they have not heard from the Oilers. That's another player to consider. Hope it does'nt turn into this year's glenX.

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#37 BUCK75
April 19 2010, 08:24AM
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An interesting tidbit for the Taylor Hall bandwagon. From Coming down the pipe, Jeff Skinner is out scoring Taylor Hall in the Kitchner/Windsor Series. Windsor is up 2-0 & Skinner has 4 goals to Hall's 1.

http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.com/2010/04/skin-to-win.html

I am in the keep Comrie camp. He is cheap & has learned to play a different style of game. Gritty & opportunistic. Name him captain too.

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#38 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
April 19 2010, 08:32AM
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EricOG wrote:

I read on some of the other blogs that MPS and his father (who happens to be his agent) where interested in coming over this year but that they have not heard from the Oilers. That's another player to consider. Hope it does'nt turn into this year's glenX.

Call it a hunch, but I've got a funny feeling they don't just let MSP walk away .... at least for 7 years

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I'm kinda lost on this thread. I knew we had midgets for players, but I thought DD and JDD were big goalies.

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Jason Gregor wrote:

Because I doubt they send him back to junior. He starts the season here, and if in the first nine games he plays he looks overwhelmed then they will have to decide to keep him or send him back.

AHL is not an option for him, so he's either in Edmonton or Plymouth. You can't compare him to Eberle or other first rounders, because none were the 1st pick overall. He is a better talent than all the other first rounders in recent years. The first nine games will decide if he stays all year, but I can't see any way he doesn't start the season here. Same with Hall.

I agree with you I just don't see us sending whoever we take down. I think I'm going to make a list because there is quite a few people saying if we draft Seguin he should go back to Junior, i'd be curious to see how the story changes over the next year.

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#43 Sammy D
April 19 2010, 08:47AM
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Paul Lorieau? He's the only one who brought it to the rink every night...

And for making all of us come together for one brief moment when he 'sang' that anthem. That video still gives me chills...

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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Call it a hunch, but I've got a funny feeling they don't just let MSP walk away .... at least for 7 years

It's interesting with all the talk of communication breakdown, you would think that someone from the Oilers would be talking to their top pick from a year ago on a steady basis. Something like once every month or two.

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#45 Ender
April 19 2010, 08:57AM
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With the Oilers being short on bottom-six type forwards, I wonder if Liam Reddox is invited to camp and if has a shot to play himself onto the roster if he does well there. While I realize that he had a less-than-stellar year in Springfield this season and that will certainly be counted against him, he has still shown the ability to be tenacious when he needs to be.

Skill-wise, I won't argue that there are better options. Still, if Tambellini is serious about this whole 'wants to bleed orange and blue every day of their damn life' idea, Reddox might be his guy. I haven't seen too many players that look like they want to be here as much as the Ginger.

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@Ender

There really is nothing to lose by having him at least attend camp. Even if he ends up playing or Oklahoma, we need depth players like him.

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#47 Ender
April 19 2010, 09:23AM
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Wow. You learn something new every day. While this may not come as a shock to some of you keeners out there, I have to admit it slipped by me . . .

Alexandre Daigle was an Edmonton Oiler.

I kid you not. A pretty short stay, granted; on January 29, 1999, we picked him up from Philly and then traded him again the same day to the Lightning. That might have been back before the days where no-trade clauses were popular, so if you didn't want to play here maybe you had to tell the coach and the GM to get bent on your introductory phone call. Whatever the reason, Edmonton fans never had much of a chance to get their Daigle jerseys dirty.

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#48 Ducey
April 19 2010, 09:35AM
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Gregor,

You old bias against Pouliot is coming out again. No way Potulny should get a spot ahead of him. The math says it all.

Pouliot had 14pts in 35 G. Of those, 1 was on the PP. Therefore even strength, Pou averaged .371 PP/G. He did that against mid range competition but with the 3rd worst teammates (-.350) of any Oiler. He had 34 hits and was -4. Using the Desjardins 5x5 rating he was 4th best (.86) on the team after Hemsky, Penner, Smid.

Potulny had 32 pts in 64 G. 10pts were on the PP. Even strength he was .343 PP/G. He faced the same level of competition as Pou but with a lot better teammates. He had 41 hits and was -21. Desjardins had him at -.67 which was in the lower third, below Nilsson (-.44), and Struds (-.43).

If you are looking for a 4th line C, Poliout gives you more points even strength, more hits, better defence, and all with lousy teammates.

Potulny is more of a 2/3 liner who can chip in on the PP. He is not suited for a fourth line role and doesn't play very good D. He doesn't have a place on this team.

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#49 Matt Henderson
April 19 2010, 09:36AM
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Comrie out and Cogliano in, unless he's part of a trade that actually brings in another young player.

Comrie has much more offensive consistency, but Cogliano is about 7 years his juniour. It's a youth movement, stick with youth.

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#50 In Hall We Trust
April 19 2010, 09:39AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Im glad im not the only one who thinks Johnson beats out Strudwick for a roster spot.

Why can't both stay ?

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