Reasonable Expectations: The Rookies

Lowetide
July 31 2010 10:40AM

This post begins my annual "reasonable expectations" series. Since there are several wrtiers on Oilers Nation, I'm going to condense all of the players into 5 articles. We begin with the sensational rookies.

I'll post my projected boxcars, but it is more important to discuss possible roles for each player. If a prospect has only one role (Schremp skillset) then there's every chance said player will have a season filled with stops and starts. It's like a freeway at rush hour: 120 clicks one minute, dead stop the next. It is also important to factor in draft position, age, and the previous level for each player. The heralded rookies (Hall, Pääjärvi, Eberle) give us a nice range of age and experience (or lack thereof), and we'll have to see which of them responds to specific roles.

A note about "reasonable" expectations. Below, you will read my estimates on what is reasoonable for each player to deliver. Every year I've done this, there are a few comments that go like this: "you're a dummy, (X player) is way better than that and I talked to Kevin Lowe at Costco and he said that he's a strong candidate for the top line." Okay, deep breath. This is not an attempt to find the outer marker, this is not an attempt to ruin your day or your summer; it is an attempt to draw a line in the sand that we can agree is reasonable in terms of role, approx. minutes and boxcars. Why do it? Well, sometimes a player exceeds expectations and it is nice to have a starting point to refer to after the fact. And sometimes, a player delivers exactly what you think he will and still gets bought out, leaving you wondering about life.

  1. L Taylor Hall: All of his arrows are pointing in the right direction. 1st overall pick means he's going to get a major boost from the hockey club (Hall isn't going to Team Canada's world junior camp this summer, making him ineligible for the Christmas team. How would it look for Hall to be playing in Windsor and not attending the World Juniors? He's an NHL player now on paper, and only because the games haven't started yet). I think we can reasonably expect him to see more minutes than Steven Stamkos did as a rookie (15 minues a night) because the Oilers are so weak on LW. Hall's Desjardins' NHLE projections are in lock step with Stamkos, but I've nicked him a little. Why? He'll probably end up with lesser numbers (9 PP markers for the Lightning star as a rookie). I believe the last Oiler rookie to score 9 powerplay goals in a season was David Oliver (10 in half a season, 95-96), and although Hall is obviously the best Oiler prospect in ages it isn't likely he's going to spend the season on the 1PP. If he does, then bump this projection. As it is, I suspect he'll play on the 1line, 2line, 3line, 4line and even spend a night or two in the pressbox. It takes time. Reasonable boxcars: 74gp, 20-20-40, 16 minutes a night and he plays on every line. He will get more PP minutes than the other two rookies and because of it will lead the group on scoring. Confidence is a huge deal for any #1 pick, and this kid seems to have a lot of it. He'll need it.
  2. W Magnus Pääjärvi. He has some advantages over the other two high end prospects. He played in the SEL at age 18 (17:25 a night), took 160 shots and enjoyed a +14 (38-24) plus minus. Before last season, defenseman Victor Hedmann said of him: "He can play physical, he's big and strong. I don't see anything that can stop him from playing on the smaller rinks." His splits are interesting (first 25gp: 7-9-16 -1; last 24gp, 5-8-13 +15) and he is often mentioned as being a "man" already in terms of physical development. Redline Report suggested he might have been ready a year ago, I think he not only makes the team but spends extended time on the top 2 lines and even gets some PP minutes. Reasonable boxcars: 66gp, 13-18-31 on 14 minutes per game. Although he is more physically mature than Hall, there's going to be a gap in terms of where he should be on the ice and where he'll be drawn to; I think he might earn the trust of the coaching staff down the line, but this season will be a learning curve much like the one described above (in regard to Hall). I don't think he'll approach Hall's boxcars, but should say most of the shortfall will come due to different opportunities. Hall is extremely likely to get the push.
  3. C-R Jordan Eberle. I confess: when Craig MacTavish speaks, I listen. MacT: "he's just a playmaking machine, and he's going to be very good." For his part Eberle flourished when given yet another chance on the world stage (WHC's). He's 20 years old and arriving in the NHL with a lot of hype (a tremendous amount considering draft pedigree). He has an advantage over the other fine prospects in terms of age and leadership role. He's also a cerebral offensive talent, you can see it pretty much every time he's on the ice. Reasonable boxcars: 72gp, 12-17-29 on 15 minutes a night (with several on the PK). Jordan Eberle sees the game extremely well, and I think it might end up landing him a job as an NHL center down the line. For now, he'll be on the same NHL rollercoaster as Hall and Pääjärvi, although it is possible he sees extended time on the PK (depending on whether or not ST signs someone in August or September).
  4. D Theo Peckham. Wreckum is waiver eligible, and on a rebuilding team that needs grit and a mean spirited sort, he should find an NHL home if he performs well in camp. Injuries are a concern, and all rookie defensemen look overwhelmed at times. Peckham has those issues, but I think there's a player here. This should be his season to make the grade. Reasonable boxcars: 51gp, 0-8-8 with 5-6D minutes. With most defensemen the boxcars don't tell half of the story, and in Peckham's case it wll be less than that. If he's reading plays and reacting at speed by Valentine's Day, we'll have a player.
  5. L Linus Omark. He'll play in the NHL this season (is my guess), but it is hard to get him onto the opening night roster. Omark's age and skills suggest he's probably close to being able to help at the NHL level, but his skill range means a top 6 role on the big club is the goal (and the only real role). Tough to do. If he makes it, Omark could trump the kids offensively. He looks unreal. Reasonable boxcars: 46gp, 10-8-18. He could win the Calder. Seriously.
  6. C Ryan O'Marra. I wouldn't have him on the list, but the Oilers remain high on him. He has size and has expressed a willingness to play a checking role, but I don't see him bringing enough offense to the NHL. I doubt he'll survive, but do believe O'Marra will be given a chance this season. Reasonable boxcars: 30gp, 2-2-4. Lots of time on the penalty-kill and plenty of minutes in his own zone. Anton Lander can't get here fast enough.  
  7. G Devan Dubnyk. In his final 10 NHL games last season, Devan Dubnyk's save percentage was .912. The Oilers goaltending situation is up in the air currently and Dubnyk is well positioned to take advantage of it. Lacking JDD's acrobatic (and inconsistent) style, Dubnyk showed very well in those final 10 games and a strong training camp may move him up the depth chart. Reasonable boxcars: 20gp, 3.12 .901, and if Khabibulin's case blows up then double the starts.
  8. D Alex Plante. Plante begins a group of 5 names on this list who should be "cup of coffee/injury callup" options. Plante looked good in his brief appearance last season and that probably earned him another look sometime in 2010-11. Reasonable boxcars: 10gp, 0-1-1. I like his progress and his calm feet, and he is the one defender who could arrive quickly on the rookie list.
  9. C Chris Vande Velde. A nice range of skills married to size make Vande Velde a candidate for NHL playing time. He is also a little older than most on the list and will be an everyday player in Oklahoma City. His position (Center) is among the weakest on the big league roster, so the tumblers could break right for him Reasonable boxcars: 6gp, 0-1-1 and it'll be interesting to see how much PK time he gets in pre-season.
  10. D Jeff Petry. I may have him too low on the list, but the train wreck that has been Taylor Chorney's adjustment to pro hockey serves as fair warning to the organization. Petry does have a wider range of skills and the Oilers have always been very high on him. Reasonable boxcars: 4gp, 0-1-1, and if he has a strong training camp you never know.
  11. L Teemu Hartikainen. Big Finn has progressed very well, and should he continue to do so I can see him getting some time in the NHL. Is unique on this list due to size and grit, and his ability to drive to high traffic areas will show well with the coaches. Reasonable boxcars: 1gp, 0-0-0 and a strong season in Oklahoma City.
  12. R Colin McDonald. Not strictly speaking an Oiler player at this time (he signed a minor league deal), I can see the Oilers calling him up because they don't have a lot of players with his skills (checking). Should they sign a Pisani type then McDonald's door to the NHL closes (barring injury). Reasonable boxcars: 1gp, 0-0-0 and he'll need to improve offensively to avoid a European vacation in 2011-12.

So, to reiterate, I'm not saying Jordan Eberle won't score 20 goals in 2010-11. I'm saying it is reasonable to expect--considering all things including the competition both old and new--that he will play most of the season in the NHL and score one dozen goals. If he passes that total, we can agree that Jordan Eberle exceeded expectations. Again.

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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 Rogue
July 31 2010, 10:54AM
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Great job, LT. I am hoping that some players exceed their limits. Surprises and disappointments abound with young players. My dark horse is VV, if we do not pick-up another center.

By the way........FIST!!!

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#3 Acumen
July 31 2010, 11:19AM
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Great post LT, I'd place Hall SLIGHTLY higher (I think under 45 points if he gets significant top line time would be a little disappointing for me), but it all looks great.

It's important for us to make note of the growing pains to be expected. Assuming Hall is part of the top 6 (I see it as Hall, Penner, Horcoff, Gagner, Hemsky and either Brule or Cogliano at first blush), Eberle or Paajarvi getting more than 30 points at the NHL level is very impressive, if not likely.

I'm hoping for a couple vet signings (Halpern and Fedotenko please!) to compose a 3rd line with Eberle as he learns the ropes MacT style (learning his own end of the NHL ice first), while Paajarvi can get used to North American ice in Oklahoma. He IS still only 19, it won't hurt in the least.

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#4 Rogue
July 31 2010, 11:23AM
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LT...I am actually excited about this season! This reminds me of the first 2 years in the NHL, when we had a bunch of unknown kids coming to play here. Lots of mistakes, but enthusiasm and speed all around. Now if it can turn out to be half as good as that crew.....( Mild wood at the memory)

Who are the 2 fastest of the kids? Hall and MP?

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#5 Reijo Ruotsalainen's wicked slapper
July 31 2010, 11:24AM
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LT:

What do you think of the chance they move Hall to C to allow MPS and Eberle to get more premium time on the wings? Seeing as it is a rebuild/low expectation year might it be wise to see if he can? Also, am I incorrect or did Hall play C on the WJ team?

Where do you see the lines ending up?

I know it's unreasonable, but I'd really like to see Hall/Horcoff split time in the #1 C line (depending on strength of opposition, starting zone...)

Also, how do you see the PP and PK units ending up?

Great read as always!

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#6 SumOil
July 31 2010, 11:25AM
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Oilers will have to sign Mcdonald for him to be able to play in the NHL no? If he doesnt have a Linglet-lite season, i doubt oil call him up!

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#7 SumOil
July 31 2010, 11:28AM
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@Reijo Ruotsalainen's wicked slapper

I dont think Oilers should do that. Its hard for a player to go from juniors to NHL, and then to make him switch in his rookie season is foolhardy.

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#8 Pilgor09
July 31 2010, 11:30AM
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Lt, i really think your lowballing Eberle, and highballing O'mark. I believe O'mark doesn't play a single game in the NHL this year, and Eberle gets the Calder and ends up with 58 points. I could also see O'marra playing about 50 games this year because Horcoff's shoulder is made of pussy. And i do hope Renney play all the rookies on one line so they can gel. I know people are thinking that they need some vets on their lines because they are so young and inexpereiced but these guys are special. They seem so mature for their age and suceed at every level.

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#9 Ducey
July 31 2010, 11:32AM
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Picking some nits:

I would say O'Marra gets 15 gamnes. They like him, and he has embraced the checking role, but he nees to learn it more.

DD gets 30 games. He is either the backup to Bulin or shares with JDD. Any three headed monster will be slayed by Christmas.

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#10 knee deep in it
July 31 2010, 11:45AM
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Omark is the one I am excited about. He reminds me of a more physical Comrie and that is not a bad thing. I think he will have a career.

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#12 Shawn Mullin
July 31 2010, 12:18PM
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I really think Hall's numbers will top the Stamkos/Tavares comparisons. First of all I think they will because he'll be put in a position to play top 6 minutes with better players than Tavares played with, and I think he's more physically mature than Stamkos was as a rookie. Of course Stamkos made a giant leap in his second season and it's too far ahead to predict if Hall will be at that level by then.

I just expect something more like 55 points. 65 wouldn't even shock me.

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#13 Devon
July 31 2010, 12:26PM
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I like your picks there LT I don't really think your putting much emphasis's on the numbers. Your putting more emphasis on there ability to contribute, but one thing. For Eberle and Paajarvi they either earn a top 6 role over players like Horcoff, and Brule or get sent to the minors. They could both benefit a bit more getting top line minutes down in the AHL with Giroux. Let them dominate with him in Okalahoma and bring them up when injuries arise, or some bodies are moved at the deadline. I don't see any point to putting Eberle or Paajarvi on the 3rd or 4th line. But that's just me I could be totally wrong I'm sure someone will clue me in if I am.

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#14 Robin Brownlee
July 31 2010, 12:37PM
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ESKIMOS UPDATE . . . . .

I know this is Oilersnation, but the Eskimos have called a news conference for 1 p.m. where it's expected they will announce a significant firing. TEAM 1260 will be covering the event live with Jason Gregor and Corey Graham, so tune in then to get all the details.

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#15 madjam
July 31 2010, 12:47PM
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I expect Hall, Omark, Svensson and Eberle to way exceed your expectations . Don't lowball them when only Hall is the only rookie thats come out of junior this season . The other three have already shown proficiency at higher levels than junior elite to begin with lets remember !! My expectations for the four of them is much higher , and i believe for good reasons .

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@Robin Brownlee

So nice to see Maciocia finally fired.

Gregor and company have confirmed this.

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#18 Dave
July 31 2010, 01:08PM
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I can't wait to see how Paajarvi looks this season. IMO he is going to be better then Hall or Eberle.

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#19 Daman
July 31 2010, 01:15PM
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I think eberle will shred it up on the new kid line (2nd line)

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#20 Oil_Loc8or
July 31 2010, 01:44PM
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This is great.... Wait I can throw out random numbers and predictions. Paajarvi is probably more ready for the NHL since he has played against men but he played on Euro ice. If Hall doesn't play first line power play, what are the numbers going to look like playing second power play with less talented team mates ? Whom ever gets the chances to play with Penner and Hemsky will get the points ( WOW). @Robin Thanks for the tip Eskimos. I wish they were all fired, god they suck. I was hoping they were going to announce a forfeit of the season! First the Oil not the Esks!!!!!!!!!!

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#21 @NateInVegas
July 31 2010, 02:03PM
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@ LT,

At the risk of splitting hairs, isn't 40 points setting the bar low for Taylor Hall?

Tavares, Duchene, Ryan, and several other top rookies since the lockout have posted significantly higher totals than you've projected for Hall.

My expectations for Hall are 26G 29A & 1 K.O

Who's a better skater Gagner or Eberle? And can someone tell me who owns Northlands?

Great read, keep up the good work!

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#23 PabstBR55
July 31 2010, 02:45PM
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Whatever happens this season, it should prove to have the best crop of rookies since MIKE GRIER, REM MURRAY, and TODD MARCHANT.

What, did you think I was going to say GAGNER, COGS, and NILSSON.

Come to think of it, the 2010 crop will be challenged to compete with the 1997 Star Killers.

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#25 jake
July 31 2010, 03:50PM
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Interesting tidbit. Georges Laraque named deputy leader of The Green Party of Canada. As per their website.

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#26 @NateInVegas
July 31 2010, 04:50PM
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@ LT,

Well put, In terms of reasonable expectations 40pts for Hall is about right. Stamkos is a good comparable also but I'd expect Edmonton to be more competitive than Tampa was if healthy.

My expectations/comparables lean towards the highest avg & a PP1 of Hall Penner Hemsky

40 reasonable

40-50 Good?

50-60 Above expectations?

60+ Calder!

Considering Hall's played 100 + games the last few seasons the Oilers shouldn't pile on his minutes, 15mpg is fair.

I do see him on the PK at times with Horcoff.

Hall 11PP/10EV/5PK&empty net (combined)

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#27 MSU_Spartan
July 31 2010, 05:34PM
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Why is it Oilers-related bloggers, who have never seen Petry play, rate him so low?

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#28 MSU_Spartan
July 31 2010, 05:36PM
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Then again, if he is American and played collegiate hockey, it's only fitting for him to be compared to Chorney, even though they are different players in skill and style.

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#30 Racki
July 31 2010, 06:43PM
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Jeff Petry is definitely a guy I've been excited about for a while. It's tough to rank him because, no, not many of us Oil fans would have seen him much, or at all. I've seen him a few games this year and was pretty impressed, although the College game is definitely a completely different one than the NHL (obviously). So I'm not sure how well some of what he does will translate, but I was particularly impressed with his puck carrying skills, as well as his meanness in front of the net (at least this was in the games that I saw).

I'm pretty anxious to see him in our line up. If we're talking about "right now" ranking, well, I don't think LT is far off at all... or at least off enough that an adjustment is required. But if we're talking long-term potential ranking, well I'd put Petry as high as #4 among our prospects, which is pretty damn good considering the 3 obvious choices above him.

I hope that is a good assessment on my part!

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#31 HardBoiledOil
July 31 2010, 07:23PM
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wow, Lowetide's "reasonable expectations" aren't very high are they? i hope to gawd that the numbers for Hall, MPS, and Eberle are better than that.

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#32 Matt Henderson
July 31 2010, 08:42PM
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Something tells me that Eberle is going to be the best of the bunch this year (not necessarily for the year after that). I just think that there's more in store than 12 goals for him this season. He's got the most experience, he's clutch, and he's got the most offensive IQ. My money is on Jordan.

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#33 Wanyes bastard child
July 31 2010, 09:51PM
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How much money did we sign gumby for? I see he got a one year deal.

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#34 Deece
August 01 2010, 01:11AM
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Hey LT,

I've been reading you for a while now, and while I'm not usually a big commenter, that douche calling you out prompted me to pipe up and tell you that I appreciate what you do. As an Oil fan in decidedly non-Oil country (Ottawa), I'm left with just the interwebs for my (almost) daily fix, and you're usually my first stop.

Thanks, man.

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#35 Deece
August 01 2010, 01:15AM
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Aaaand...I posted that in the wrong thread. Read that as "...that douche calling you out in THAT OTHER thread", and the gratitude still applies.

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#36 Scott
August 01 2010, 01:27AM
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LT,

If we're talking reasonable expectations, I think you're setting O'Marra's GP number a bit high.

I think most people(fans and in the org) would consider his season a success if he can get in 10 NHL games and some PB time. For him to get 31 games would be a coup considering how far back he is right now.

Unless that GP number is more of an indication on the Oilers 10/11 reasonable expectations (indicating a very low bar....)

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#37 madjam
August 01 2010, 07:43AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

ESKIMOS UPDATE . . . . .

I know this is Oilersnation, but the Eskimos have called a news conference for 1 p.m. where it's expected they will announce a significant firing. TEAM 1260 will be covering the event live with Jason Gregor and Corey Graham, so tune in then to get all the details.

LeLacheur next Oiler President and GM ? Rick has always been a better hockey man than football man to be honest . He has his pulse on Edmonton fans and will not be satisfied without making those at highest position in organization take full responsibility for failed results . Katz does not have to look far for a replacement if he chooses to do so . Needless to say Lelacheur would be beneficial on Katz side , when it comes to his arena project as well .

How long would it take for Lelacheur to wield the axe if Tams and company fail to fill the voids left for this years team if they are left unfilled again going into this year ? I doubt Rick would have waited this long to be honest . We have voids yet to be filled adequately ,like last season , with a cast who have not done an admiral job taking advantage of the marketplace . Under Rick's direction i believe that scenario would change rapidly !

Just my sentiments , but i believe Rick would be perfect as the next GM and President for the Oilers .

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#38 @NateInVegas
August 01 2010, 08:16AM
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Gotta say I had a double take @ Omark

"46gp, 10-8-18. He could win the Calder. Seriously."

The Oilers finially have options so who knows...

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#39 Cheesenaka
August 01 2010, 08:27AM
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Not sure if anyone already posted this but the Oilers have signed Jeff Deslauriers to a 1.05M/ 1 year contract. According to Ryan Rishaug

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#40 Milli
August 01 2010, 09:04AM
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Love the post LT!!! And wow isn't it nice to have a bunch of top flight prospects!!! My money's on Eberle, but that Hall kid is gonna be good to. The only thing I hate about summer, can we get on with hockey yet?

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#41 RossCreekNation
August 01 2010, 09:46AM
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@Wanyes bastard child

How much money did we sign gumby for? I see he got a one year deal.

The Deslauriers contract terms... 1 yr, $1.05M

...via Ryan Rishaug

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#42 madjam
August 01 2010, 09:59AM
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Oilers once again, with more firepower, are set up for three offensive lines and a makeshift(one) checking line . It's not going to be two offensive and two shutdown lines . Each offensive line will have to be responsible defensively on their own accords .

With that top nine in mind might we see twosomes develop like : OMark and Svensson . Eberle and Hall . Penner and Hemsky . Now who will be the fillins to those three twosomes ? Now where does that leave Gagner , Brule and Cogliano - certainy not a fourth line shutdown role . Where does Horcoff, etc . fit in ?

How much longer can we continuously ignor the backend problems ? We have remarkable talent on the front end and very limited ,just the opposit on back end . Plenty of work to be done yet on backend if we hope to avoid the basement again ! In fact , i'd say we are far worse on backend than even last year if Souray is to go and no new upgrated acquisitions acquired .

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#43 PerryK
August 01 2010, 10:12AM
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@madjam

"How much longer can we continuously ignor the backend problems ? We have remarkable talent on the front end and very limited ,just the opposit on back end . Plenty of work to be done yet on backend if we hope to avoid the basement again ! In fact , i'd say we are far worse on backend than even last year if Souray is to go and no new upgrated acquisitions acquired ."

I think our rear guards would look just fine if the TambLoweKatz can get past their issues with Souray! Why does every one on the Oiligoshere think that is a non-starter?

I, for one, think that we have a very good defensive corps if we aren't forced to do some thing stupid like pay Souray to leave (in one form or another).

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#44 madjam
August 01 2010, 10:39AM
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PerryK wrote:

"How much longer can we continuously ignor the backend problems ? We have remarkable talent on the front end and very limited ,just the opposit on back end . Plenty of work to be done yet on backend if we hope to avoid the basement again ! In fact , i'd say we are far worse on backend than even last year if Souray is to go and no new upgrated acquisitions acquired ."

I think our rear guards would look just fine if the TambLoweKatz can get past their issues with Souray! Why does every one on the Oiligoshere think that is a non-starter?

I, for one, think that we have a very good defensive corps if we aren't forced to do some thing stupid like pay Souray to leave (in one form or another).

Maybe biggest stumbling block to Oilers moving forward is Horcoff and his cap hit compared to his real value now and in the future ? Maybe a valuable buyout might be more advantageous in the long and short run ? Souray at trade deadline might also be advantageous come deadline time as well . Hopefully, we are not going to wait for those contracts to expire before moving forward with our young guns and prospects . They need help now , not two or more years from now . Although, i feel, if any might be worth his contract figure it would be a happy , healthy Souray .

Lesson learned ? Don't overpay or suffer the consequences and inflexability of them far into the future . There is a lot of young talent we might once again destroy if they do not clear out some of those contracts that prevent us from moving adequately forward ! Bulin another albatross that might be subject to, buyout .

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#45 Mike Modano's Dog
August 01 2010, 10:49AM
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Very interesting article, Lowetide! To me, one of the great things of summer is being able to look at the future of your roster and think about where everyone is going to fit, and who will be the stars of the team in the future...and who might not work out. It's all speculation but I do thank you for your look into this. I want to offer up my look at this, as well.

I think Chris VandeVelde is going to win the battle for a spot at center right now. I know that we may bring in a veteran, or one of the other kids could beat him out for it, but I like his chances best. I do look forward to the day when Hartikainen plays here but to me he is going to need some more time developing in the AHL first, especially for his style of play. VV has 3 more years of development on him, at 23 years old, and just looks ready to me when I saw him at Development Camp. The reason I am comparing him to Hartikainen so much here is because I believe that he is the next best option for the position if Tyler Pitlick is given another year to develop in juniors.

Ryan O'Marra I just don't believe will do anything on the big club this year. I hope he proves me wrong and finally turns it all around but it has been a long, long fall for the former first round pick. I fully understand your reasoning for him getting time with the Oilers, but I don't believe that he will give enough even considering the Oilers' willingness for him to take a roster spot.

I'm actually looking forward to what VV can do on the big club this year and I hope that the Oilers do not bring in veteran help this year at his position for that reason. Now that said his development is NOT going to be hurt by spending this year on the farm, but if I was to guess right now then I will say that he makes it this year. My prediction: 56gp 5-7-12...in a checking line role with a respectable face-off percentage, too (but don't ask me to predict that!;)

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#46 Dooman
August 01 2010, 01:50PM
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Minor typo, 'imoportant', just thought I'd point it out LT.

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#47 Racki
August 01 2010, 05:35PM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

wow, Lowetide's "reasonable expectations" aren't very high are they? i hope to gawd that the numbers for Hall, MPS, and Eberle are better than that.

Thats why they're *reasonable* expectations... not overly-inflated, delusional fan expecations.

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#48 Knobby Robby
August 02 2010, 02:02AM
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I think that all this speculation is rather pointless at this point. These players will all develop in due course. It will be a function of how much preparation, maturity, talent and organizational development is in play. The bottom line is we'll see soon enough where everybody is at. At this point you can say anything about anybody but it proves nothing until the training camp and pre-season get under way. There is only one consensus 1st rounder overall in this organization and he will likely be the real deal. Everybody else has to make the team and we'll see who is who soon enough.

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#49 Mike Modano's Dog
August 02 2010, 08:36AM
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@Knobby Robby

Fair enough, but who wants to wait another two months for the season to start, or rather, AFTER the season to see how they did? For that matter, we could just wait until after they have all retired and then we'll know FOR SURE how good the players were. That way nobody will be wasting their time talking about something that might not happen. We could be checking out what's really happening right now around the world...and one can always be getting prepared for the upcoming tax season ahead of time, too.

However, some of us sports fans want to talk about it and think about what might be, yes, even without knowing how it will play out for sure. We want to talk about how the season might go - otherwise we wouldn't be here reading these articles, then commenting on them. And for the record, our first overall pick sure didn't look like he was ready when he was here for development camp. So one never knows for sure - that's what makes it so fun to predict what might be...you just never know!

So we'll see you after the Oilers have played their first game then?

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#50 OILERSORDEATH
August 02 2010, 10:07AM
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Here are the lines the way I'd like them to start the season with: Line#1 Pens, Hemmer, Gags

Line#2 Hall, Bru, Ebs

Line#3 MPS, Horc, Omark/O'mara

LIne#4 Storts, VV, Mac/JSJ

Any thoughts?

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