OKLAHOMA BLUE

Lowetide
December 11 2011 11:44AM

When it comes to minor league teams, Oiler history is a "mixed bag." Some seasons delivered quality prospects while the minor league team was a loser or also-ran, and some teams were winners without sending much to the show. This year's OKC Barons have a lot of interesting stories.

Many of the "name" prospects on the Barons are along the blue. Jeff Petry (2, 0-1-1 +1) is in the NHL--maybe to stay. Young Colten Teubert (13, 2-3-5 +3) played so well in OKC he's now the first callup option (10, 0-1-1 E with the Oilers) and one of these days he'll be an Oiler to stay--he's currently playing for Edmonton in place of the suspended Andy Sutton. Alex Plante (24, 1-9-10 +13) is one of the defenders passed by Teubert this winter but Plante--another former first round pick--is having his best AHL season and could be playing his way back into the NHL mix with his first half performance. Plante was recalled earlier in the season by Edmonton, owing mostly to Teubert leaving his passport at home. Taylor Chorney (12, 1-4-5 E) has had an interesting season, including a short stint on NHL bluelines in Edmonton and St. Louis. The collegian from UND has settled in as a solid AHL level defenseman.

Veteran AHLer Bryan Helmer (24, 0-9-9 +2) is a quality minor league veteran and mentor for the baby Oilers.I am guessing, but suspect the presence of Chorney has made PP time less a factor this season for Helmer. Kevin Montgomery (18, 1-4-5 +10) was re-acquired early in the season after a couple of recalls from the big club and has been an effective member of the defensive rotation in OKC. Ryan Lowery (22, 1-6-7 +4) is somewhat unknown to Oiler fans but the Colorado College grad has enjoyed a smooth transition to pro hockey. Lowery has been so effecitive there's a chance Edmonton signs him to an NHL 2-way deal in the summer. The same can be said for giant Russian Kirill Tulupov (15, 0-4-4 +4) who gained some attention during training camp for a hit on Ben Eager.

Dan Ringwald (7, 0-2-2 E) is a 25-year old ECHL callup and would be considered a depth defender for the Barons. Dylan Yeo (8, 0-1-1 -2) is a similar prospect to Ringwald and isn't likely to emerge as a legit AHL option. Johan Motin (10, 0-2-2 +4) is back in Europe (Timra, SEL) and his status in the Oiler organization should be considered "fluid."

HOW DO WE IDENTIFY THE REAL PROSPECTS?

At the top end, it's very easy. When injuries, slumps and suspensions hit the big league team calls up the best available option. Here are the NHL games played for this Barons D so far this season:

  1. Jeff Petry 23, 1-4-5
  2. Colten Teubert 10, 0-1-1
  3. Taylor Chorney 4, 0-0-0
  4. Alex Plante 2, 0-1-1

Ater that, it becomes a little bit grey. Ordinarily, we could just list the defenders on the Oilers 50-man list (Petry, Teubert, Plante, Chorney, Taylor Fedun) but in this case it doesn't work because Fedun is injured and some of the "AHL contracts" have impressed enough to be in the mix for NHL/AHL contracts in the summer.

SO, WHAT'S YOUR GUESS?

Based on how they're being used and their on-ice results, I think we're going to see two AHL contracts make the grade and sign Oiler contracts in the summertime. Here's my depth chart based on all the facts available:

  1. Jeff Petry may not play in the AHL again.
  2. Colten Teubert has passed Plante and is the obvious "first callup" at this point.
  3. Alex Plante is gaining ground as a prospect via a strong first half in OKC.
  4. Taylor Fedun is a massive wild card, but if he recovers he'll get every chance.
  5. Taylor Chorney appears to be a quality AHL defender who struggles with NHL size/speed.
  6. Ryan Lowery is showing a nice range of skills and has adjusted well. He'll get a contract.
  7. Kirill Tulupov, like Lowery, has shown enough during his audtion with AHL contract to move up the line.
  8. Bryan Helmer seems to have a reduced role--at least a little--and that may impact his return next year.
  9. Kevin Montgomery has played well enough to win AHL veteran contract next season.

The rest--including Johan Motin--are unlikely to change their status next season based on results.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It is unlikely that anyone beyond Jeff Petry and Colten Teubert finds a quality NHL career (and they are certainly not guaranteed that status, injuries and other things can interfere). However, Alex Plante's solid year and the performances of Tulupov and Lowery gives this group some potential. Taylor Chorney is now established as a defenseman who can move the puck but lacks the size and strength to win battles. His career had already started to meander when Edmonton reclaimed him on waivers. The Oilers procurement department is hiring prospects who could emerge as NHL calibre talents, and in that way fans should be pleased with the progress.Taylor Fedun could be another NHL defensemen, but we'll have to wait until 2012 fall to discuss it.

Next: OKC's forward and the possibility that the real star of this team is wearing a suit.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Stocc
December 11 2011, 11:56AM
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..-. .. ... -

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#2 ItsTheBGB
December 11 2011, 11:57AM
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@Stocc

That doesn't look like a fist, bro.

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#3 Stocc
December 11 2011, 12:02PM
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That's a morse code FIST, my brother.

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#4 Walter Sobchak
December 11 2011, 12:25PM
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I'm not sold on Petry or Teubert. After last game I’m certainly not sold on Petry.

The Flames proved that just even a little forward pressure on the defense was enough to show glaring weaknesses all over, but those two were awful!

Petry himself to me seems to be in over his head on most nights. I’m a patient guy but it’s getting hard to watch the defense side of the game, its ugly most nights with the exception of Smid and Gilbert………I wonder how Musil is doing?

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#5 common sense
December 11 2011, 12:32PM
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I'd like to see one big mean defenseman in the mix. Sutton's pretty mean but too many suspensions. I'm interested to see how Tulupov develops. He appears to be one helluva motivated guy---could be another Ulanov. Man that guy kept the opposing forwards on their toes. Maybe Teubert could develop into one. Other than these guys, the Oilers backend look like pussycats.If I was an opposing forward, even I wouldn't mind playing a puck along the Oiler's back boards or situating myself in front of their goal.

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#6 speeds
December 11 2011, 12:47PM
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It'll be interesting to see what Tambellini does this summer, I think you're probably right LT and the team, at this point, might be looking at 5 guys as part of the 7 for next season, in Gilbert, Whitney, Smid, Petry, and Teubert. I'm sure they'd love to add another top 4 guy, and then maybe a guy like Peckham hangs around as the 7th?

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#7 speeds
December 11 2011, 12:51PM
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Oops, I forgot Potter, throw him in there somewhere as well perhaps.

FWIW, I would probably look to carry 8 D next year, and might also look to start Teubert in the AHL depending how things go from here unitl next October in terms of progression, other players added/subtracted, etc.

If memory serves, Petry has to clear waivers next fall (I believe, could be mistaken there, haven't actually checked that in awhile), so barring a trade I'd be stunned if he isn't in the NHL next year.

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#9 Al Davis
December 11 2011, 01:10PM
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I never get tired of seeing that Oklahoma shirt...

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#10 Shane
December 11 2011, 01:15PM
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@Lowetide

When do you think they would start chasing a big deal?(if they feel Whitney won't cut it) I suppose it depends on where we're sitting in the standings but do you feel we'll see a player coming to our backend at the trade deadline or during the off season?

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#11 sizedoesmatter
December 11 2011, 01:24PM
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Certain players like Sutton can be a hindrance to the team.Hits that are good hits by most dmen are a penalty for guys like Andy.With him in the line up we can count on being short handed at least once a game. We need to be able to have tough hard hitting defense-men to help with our smaller forwards but the refs seem to have it out for guys like Sutton and Peckham.Also I too am a big fan of the Oklahoma sweater kittens

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#12 a lg dubl dubl
December 11 2011, 01:24PM
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Lowetide wrote:

speeds: The key wild card is Whitney. If he's a guy they can't count on then imo they go balls to the wall for a big time defenseman. shea weber sign and trade, to borrow a phrase from the nba

If the Oil do go out and get a Weber/Suter type,do you think the Preds would be willing to take Whitney who's often injury prone or Gilbert just to off set the contract of Weber or Suter.

I just worry bout the day Hall, Eberle, and RNH will want Stamkos money and the Oil not having enough cap space to resign all 3.

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#13 speeds
December 11 2011, 01:33PM
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Lowetide wrote:

speeds: The key wild card is Whitney. If he's a guy they can't count on then imo they go balls to the wall for a big time defenseman. shea weber sign and trade, to borrow a phrase from the nba

I'm not sure how much Whitney affects things, because I think if the Oilers could sign a Suter this summer, or trade for a Weber at an acceptable price (whatever that is?), they would/will do that no matter what the deal is with Whitney.

The reality is Whitney is a UFA after next season, and even if he shows himself healthy it's not like it's a guarantee he'd re-sign with EDM at a reasonable price/term - it's not like you'd sign a Suter as insurance for losing Whitney but one doesn't really affect the other, IMO.

If EDM could go into next season with a D something like:

Suter-Gilbert Whitney-???/Petry Smid-Petry/??? Peckham-Potter

why wouldn't they?

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#14 VK63
December 11 2011, 01:45PM
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Shea Webers not going anywhere but Detroit if he moves at all.

Babcock and Holland love the guy, if Lidstroms going to retire I would suspect that Hollmstroms going to get moved and given that he presents well on a statistical level (holmstrom).... he can ease the fallout in the preds fan base.

Then little mikey fisher can take on the C and those ever so predictable Underwood shots can be inserted with even more frequency to remind the preds fan base that their captain is married to a nashville darling.

~in case they were unaware~

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#17 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 11 2011, 01:57PM
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Still not seeing what the big deal is about Petry.

He looks like a (very) poor mans Gilbert to me.

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#18 Robin Brownlee
December 11 2011, 03:07PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Petry turned 24 on Friday. Gilbert is turning 29 in January.

At Petry's age, during the 2006-07 season, Gilbert had played 12 games with the Oilers after coming out of the U of Wisconsin. He's turned out OK.

Is suggesting Petry has potential saying he's a big deal? You might want to wait a little bit on Petry, no?

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#19 Rama Lama
December 11 2011, 03:18PM
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I'm willing to state .........emphatically, that unless the Oilers get a legit top two defenseman they ares essentially holding back our young skilled players.....especially on the special teams.

I like our defenders ( Smid, Gilbert, Peckham, Potter) but none of these players can run a PP. My question is do you see either Marcinin, Kefblom, Gernat as being capable of one day carrying this role ?

I think we need to change the focus of what type of player we are drafting and start looking for complimentary player to our current roster. No more small fast and skilled players.........ST needs to start looking for big mean players that can carry the puck, both for defense and offense.

For those who think these players do come easily, let me suggest you will never find what you are not looking for.

These players are available in the draft, but you need to focus on these types of players and then have the balls to draft them. Look at Pelly-smith playing in San Jose..........this guy is going to be a stud anD where did he go in the draft?

Rama speaks the truth.

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#20 Wanyes bastard child
December 11 2011, 03:27PM
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@Rama Lama

Umm, are you forgetting the Corey power Potter Play?

He was looking pretty good with the kids on the PP eh... truth shattered ;)

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#21 5 Cups
December 11 2011, 03:30PM
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The problem with developing a D-Man is that is takes a long time. Brownlee put is best:

"At Petry's age, during the 2006-07 season, Gilbert had played 12 games with the Oilers after coming out of the U of Wisconsin. He's turned out OK.

That too long for my liking. The problem with waiting, IMO, is that this team will continue to lose and who wants to stick with a team that is consistently losing all the time? Thank goodness for RFA restrictions.

I think the Oilers brass needs to start to look to get a couple D. Weber will be tough, but I would like to hope they are trying.

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#22 Rama Lama
December 11 2011, 03:32PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Umm, are you forgetting the Corey power Potter Play?

He was looking pretty good with the kids on the PP eh... truth shattered ;)

Yea he is very good.........second PP unit seems a better fit for him. Five on five he is solid.

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#23 Robin Brownlee
December 11 2011, 03:33PM
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@Rama Lama

Are you going to be the guy who tapes a "Kick Me" sign on his own back by referring to himself in the third-person?

Just let me know so I can loosen up my leg before we get after it.

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#24 speeds
December 11 2011, 03:44PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Could they fit that in AND sign 83 and 94? I don't think the Oilers make a big move until they know how they're going forward with what they have, and imo the Whitney health issue is a part of it.

Far less need on D if 6 can play 70 games a year.

I think so, but you tell me if these are reasonable estimates?

CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

FORWARDS Ryan Smyth ($4.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($1.158m) Taylor Hall ($3.750m) / Sam Gagner ($4.000m) / Ales Hemsky ($5.500m) Ben Eager ($1.100m) / Shawn Horcoff ($5.500m) / Ryan Jones ($1.500m) Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson ($1.525m) / Eric Belanger ($1.750m) / Linus Omark ($1.000m) / Anton Lander ($0.900m)

DEFENSEMEN Ryan Suter ($7.500m) / Ryan Whitney ($4.000m) Tom Gilbert ($4.000m) / Jeff Petry ($1.400m) Ladislav Smid ($2.250m) / Corey Potter ($0.525m) Theo Peckham ($0.800m) / Colten Teubert ($0.916m)

GOALTENDERS Nikolai Khabibulin ($3.750m) / Devan Dubnyk ($1.500m)

BUYOUTS: Sheldon Souray ($1.500m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter) (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion) SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $63,599,999; BONUSES: $6,712,500 CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $700,001

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#25 a lg dubl dubl
December 11 2011, 03:58PM
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@speeds

I like Hemsky but I don't see him in Oilers colors after the deadline, especially with the kids going into thier final yr of ELC and with your estimate on being that close to the cap .

If the chance came up to get Suter hopefully he signs for closer to 6mil imo.

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#26 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
December 11 2011, 04:12PM
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@speeds

I dunno why I don't like Suter. I think he's kind of a better version of Gilbert but still doesn't give you top 5 in the league skills. If you're backin up the truck, do it for Weber. That would be unreal, I'd say he's a top 5 hitter in his position and of course, a top 5 shot.

I think you'd have to trade NSH Hemsky, one of Petry/Klefbom/Musil/MPS/maybe Pitlick and a 1st round pick for Weber. With NSH, they have such good D prospects, I'm not sure what they'd like back but I think NSH would be one of the few places that Hemsky would fit in

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#27 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
December 11 2011, 04:15PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

For caphit maybe Suter only gets $6M, but if that's the case, the deal will probably be 10-12 years.

PS - I love LT, OKC updates. Always get that fine young lady who has REALLY nice .......hair

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#28 speeds
December 11 2011, 04:35PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

I like Hemsky but I don't see him in Oilers colors after the deadline, especially with the kids going into thier final yr of ELC and with your estimate on being that close to the cap .

If the chance came up to get Suter hopefully he signs for closer to 6mil imo.

The estimate is close to the cap for next year, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

(1) This is with a 64.3 mil cap, I haven't heard any estimates for 2012/13 but it's gone up every year so far. And perhaps it'll go up even more the year after for 2013/14 when Eberle and Hall's contracts are up

(2) The Oilers get 1.5 mil in "free" cap space with Souray's buyout gone for 13/14.

(3) A decent chunk of money opens up come 13/14 between Jones, Khabi, and Whitney.

(4) the new CBA - we don't really know what effect this will have, but I would imagine some changes. Will they hurt/help the Oilers, who knows?

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#29 bazmagoo
December 11 2011, 04:35PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I couldn't agree more about Petry. He always seems to be ok at the start of these callups but wilts over time under the consistent pressure of the NHL game.

Overall I think Colten has a more likely shot at being an NHL'er. He looks like a good 5-6 option in the not too distant future.

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#30 Wanyes bastard child
December 11 2011, 04:37PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Are you going to be the guy who tapes a "Kick Me" sign on his own back by referring to himself in the third-person?

Just let me know so I can loosen up my leg before we get after it.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that found that annoying...

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#31 Wanyes bastard child
December 11 2011, 04:39PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Yea he is very good.........second PP unit seems a better fit for him. Five on five he is solid.

Only D-man on the team right now with a heavy accurate shot... yeah, second PP for sure *rolls eyes*

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#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 11 2011, 04:44PM
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30+ comments and no bible thumpers commenting about the picture choices?

it is a festivus miracle to be sure!

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#33 bazmagoo
December 11 2011, 04:45PM
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I've heard Weber might prefer to be closer to his family in Kelowna as his mother isn't well. Can't remember where I read that, so there's no source and it's complete speculation.

If there is ANY truth to that AND Nashville is considering dealing Weber, at this stage of the season's development I'd suggest offering Hemsky, Whitney, and a 2nd round pick in 2012 for him.

Is this enough? Should the Oil even bother unless they can sign Weber long term before inking this deal? It's risky, but I think it pays off and the Oil win a cup over the next 5 years if it happens.

Just my two bits.

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#34 common sense
December 11 2011, 04:52PM
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I want a dangerous defenseman or two. Someone along the likes of Craig Muni, or Ulanov or Marchment...I want someone who'll make opposing forwards cringe at getting a pass on open ice or chasing down a puck along the Oiler's endboards lest they get a hip check or some devastating low hit...cuz you know those high hits close to the head are so highly scrutinized these days. I want somone who'll derive some bizarre satisfaction in cruching or cross-checking a player like Iginla into boards.

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#36 bazmagoo
December 11 2011, 05:02PM
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There's no way the Oil are a playoff team with this blue line, it's been said by most since day 1. The team plays well against teams who sit back, but when pressured the d just wilts. Until this is addressed there will be no trips to the post season.

Peckham, Petry, and to a lesser extent Teubert are all AHL level defencemen at this stage of their careers. Pretty much anyone would be an upgrade. Not saying they won't improve as they are all young, but they are not going to get us any where near the promised land.

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#37 MAC962
December 11 2011, 05:05PM
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Lowetide wrote:

speeds: Hmmm. It appears you are correct. Good work there, I can only hope ST does as well.

:-)

One thing last night proves: the Oilers are easy to plan a game against. Shoot the puck in and pressure the blue.

Chances everywhere.

I think the Oilers are going to have to make some decisions on defensemen this summer, and as you've shown it might be more than one.

Seems Like its always "This Summer" with the Oilers. And trust me , i understand. But perhaps as risky or not as it may be, they initiate something earlier. We the paying [ Hugely ] fans are tired of always waiting. Waiting for the Trade Deadline, waiting for July 1st.. Piss on it, Shake something up for a change, and nooo, not just for the sake of change but offer something to get something. The early bird gets the worm, See what the hell Nashville wants for Suter Now. They are not going anywhere contrary to what they think. Trades are not so easy to pull off nowadays, i do actually understand that part of the game. But be the aggressor for a change Edmonton. You sure as hell are not aggressor's on the ice and it's time to change that.

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#38 Rama Lama
December 11 2011, 05:07PM
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@Robin Brownlee

It worked for George Kastanza.........OK I get your point........just trying to have a little fun. Lol

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#39 MAC962
December 11 2011, 05:10PM
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In addition- I am sure the Taylor's and Ryan's and Jordans , the future of this team would appreciate it. These guys dont want to wait for umpteen years, they want to win now and they want to win here or i assure you they will go elsewhere as soon as they can. If that happen's so can this damn franchise. We are Edmonton, 5 TIME Stanley cup champions and we dont settle for crap. Do you read this Mr. Katz and Mr.Lowe.

WAKE UP !!!

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 11 2011, 05:21PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Petry turned 24 on Friday. Gilbert is turning 29 in January.

At Petry's age, during the 2006-07 season, Gilbert had played 12 games with the Oilers after coming out of the U of Wisconsin. He's turned out OK.

Is suggesting Petry has potential saying he's a big deal? You might want to wait a little bit on Petry, no?

Sure you can wait, I just don't see the potential for much more then a depth dman on good team.

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#41 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 11 2011, 05:53PM
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MAC962 wrote:

Seems Like its always "This Summer" with the Oilers. And trust me , i understand. But perhaps as risky or not as it may be, they initiate something earlier. We the paying [ Hugely ] fans are tired of always waiting. Waiting for the Trade Deadline, waiting for July 1st.. Piss on it, Shake something up for a change, and nooo, not just for the sake of change but offer something to get something. The early bird gets the worm, See what the hell Nashville wants for Suter Now. They are not going anywhere contrary to what they think. Trades are not so easy to pull off nowadays, i do actually understand that part of the game. But be the aggressor for a change Edmonton. You sure as hell are not aggressor's on the ice and it's time to change that.

Just curious to see how you know for sure that management just sits on their ass and don't do anything until the trade deadline or the off season as you suggests?

I'm just guessing here, but I don't think running an NHL team is as easy or as simplistic as you make it out to be. The early bird may get the worm, but most of the time the second mouse gets the cheese.

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#42 Dipstick
December 11 2011, 07:04PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

30+ comments and no bible thumpers commenting about the picture choices?

it is a festivus miracle to be sure!

When I look deep into her..........eyes, I am so mesmerized, I think that I can see Heaven.

Is that "biblical" enough for ya?

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#43 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 12 2011, 07:28AM
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LT,

Thanks for the OKC update.

What are the chances that one or both of Lowery and Tulupov make it up the chart to be call up worthy before the new breed coming up beats them to it?

I imagine close to nil. However, I really want to see Tulupov on the Oil. That would be a great jersey!

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#44 Mantastic
December 12 2011, 10:31AM
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how many D-men contracts are signed for next season? i think the only restictions we're looking at is farm blue-slots and contracts. assuming blain and davidson are signed and hopefully a quality NHL dman, we running out of room aren't we?

Gilbert, Whitney, Smid, Potter, Peckham, Petry, Teubert, Fedun, Plante, Helmer (A), Blain, Davidson, Marancin, Chorney, Tulipov(?) and Lowery(?)

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