These Dreams of You

Lowetide
February 20 2011 07:28AM

I dreamed you paid your dues in Canada, and left me to come through

I headed there right away, I knew exactly just what to do

These dreams of you, so real and so true

-Van Morrison
 

This is Teemu Hartikainen. He's among the very best rookies in the American Hockey League. His 15 goals and 34 points rank him 7th among AHL rookies, and several of the men ranked ahead of him are older prospects (college men like Colin Greening). I don't know if playing in the NHL has been a lifelong dream for Hartikainen, but every athlete wants to play at the highest level and the young Finn is right on the cusp of being called to the show.

With the NHL trade deadline approaching, several OKC Barons might be getting a phonecall next Monday (28th is the deadline). Here are the likely candidates for a post-deadline recall:

  • D Jeff Petry: Lost his confidence with the Oilers after a fine run, he's been splendid since being sent out (2gp, 0-1-1 +3) and is extremely likely to be get a phonecall.
  • C Ryan O'Marra: The current group at center in the NHL is Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano and Reddox (with Fraser a recent HS). If the Oilers make a move here and need a center for a depth line, O'Marra could get the call.
  • D Shawn Belle: He's not scoring at all now, suspect Belle is no longer a big PP option (a large percentage of  a defenseman's offense comes from time on the PP). If the Oilers are considering him for next season they may want to get a look at him in the last 15 games.
  • C Milan Kytnar: A long shot (what with O'Marra in the way and the NHL team 5 deep at C) but he's played well and moved up the depth chart in a big way. The organization may want to reward him with a cup of Joe.
  • C Chris Vande Velde: A long season enters the stretch run and there are some encouraging signs for the big man. In the last 3 AHL games for OKC, VV is 2-0-2 +2 (although one of those goals was an EN). The organization may feel a quick look-see for the older prospect might ignite something for next season. He's too old to be struggling in the AHL.
  • D Alex Plante: One gets the feeling that Plante has not impressed the coach at times this season, but he's a big man learning a tough trade. In his last 9 games he's 0-2-2 +3 and anecdotal evidence (Geowal liked him at the Heat game in CGY) tells us he's playing well. Plante got a 4 game cup of coffee a year ago, he might get a similar look this season.

Candidates for trade from the big club include Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Jim Vandermeer, Ladislav Smid and others. The return in many cases will be picks and in others not-ready-for-NHL prospects. For the 6 men I've listed here, it might be a chance to have their dream come true.

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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 OilFan
February 20 2011, 07:35AM
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FIST thing this morning. Good job LT

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#2 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 07:45AM
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Great post as always LT.

I was at the Barons Heat game the other night and just have a few comments.

Petry is a beast. He's above the competition down there, and it's really not close. He was calm, made NHL caliber first passes, and was throwing his body around. Loved his game.

Belle didn't play. Not sure why he wasn't there, but he wasn't.

Plante is a big kid. Played solid D. The guy isn't going to put up numbers, but we desperately need a kid like him to develope into a top 4 shutdown guy.

Arcobello. Who? The guy is a '88 birthday so still very young. He's a small winger who has wheels. Looked outstanding and should be watched for the remainder of the season to see what he can do now that he's up in the AHL.

Giroux, the guy just isn't at the NHL level. He needs to work on a lot of aspects in his game.

Stortini seemed to be getting into the middle of scrums. Not sure if he was the one trying to start it, or if members of the Heat wanted to prove themselves against an NHLer, but I would suspect the later.

Last but not least Kotalik. What happened to this guy? Not even the great Gordon Bombay could teach him how to receive a pass right now, even if he had 100 eggs. He was downright brutal and deserves to be in the AHL. Sad to see.

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#3 The Hall Way
February 20 2011, 07:49AM
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Do you think Management, will be hesitant to make too many call ups and spoil OKC's chance of making the playoffs?

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#5 Bryzarro World
February 20 2011, 08:08AM
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This is off topic Lowetide but have you heard anything of Gary Buttman going to NY and telling the islanders the same thing about their arena?

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#6 Hemmertime
February 20 2011, 08:10AM
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@lowetide My god, get creative. It didnt bother me until a few articles ago when that douche pointed it out. Opening all your articles with "This is..." is starting to grate my nerves too now. It sounds like you are introducing a poor African child you want me to sponsor.

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#7 a lg dubl dubl
February 20 2011, 08:18AM
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I really hope Tambby signs Hemsky long term, because right now he IS the Oilers best player IMO, and as a die hard fan of the team im tired of seein the likes of Gretzky, Messier,Weight, Guerin,Smyth leave for lack of bling or whatever reason management shoves down our throats. It would be nice to see a guy get drafted as a OILER, have a pretty good career as a OILER, AND RETIRE AN OILER, yes the cap era does hinder that to a point but when a team has 13mil in cap space and a bunch of dead weight soon to be off the books in the next couple yrs Id rather resign Hemsky to a Horcoff contract than trade him for an "up and comer" and a pick, why? because we KNOW what we get in Hemsky, with a prospect and a pick we dont. Penner on the other hand im not sold on keeping him long term sure he can net 30 goals/season but he can disapear just as easily, if the Oilers can get what the Lafs got for Versteeg Id trade Penner in a second. Besides keeping Hemsky til he's in his mid 30s or retires an Oiler might just go a long way in retaining the likes of Hall, Eberle, and PRV til they're in their mid 30's too. KEEP HEMSKY!!!!

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#8 Bi-Curious Gord
February 20 2011, 08:21AM
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Souray placed on Re-entry waivers.

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#11 Senator Theo
February 20 2011, 08:34AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

@lowetide My god, get creative. It didnt bother me until a few articles ago when that douche pointed it out. Opening all your articles with "This is..." is starting to grate my nerves too now. It sounds like you are introducing a poor African child you want me to sponsor.

LOL - are you thinking it happens by accident? Every writer has a style - if it bothers you that much, skip the article and we'll all be better off.

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#12 Hemmertime
February 20 2011, 08:43AM
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Senator Theo wrote:

LOL - are you thinking it happens by accident? Every writer has a style - if it bothers you that much, skip the article and we'll all be better off.

Don't get how me not reading it would make you better off... unless now that his openings have been pointed out to you they start to annoy you. I had no problem with them until the comment a few articles ago, now I can't not notice it. It's something any grade 6 english teacher wouldn't allow.

I know its not creative writing 101 but just seems to lack effort.

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#13 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 08:48AM
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Lowetide: Anytime. I wish it were easier to get live viewings of OKC. Does anybody know why Belle was out?

Also, maybe the best part of the game was telling a Flames fan about Petry. The Flames fan was blown away by how good he was and asked if I knew anything about him. I can't say enough great things about his game the other night.

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#14 the tikk
February 20 2011, 08:52AM
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LT - I love the "This is...". It's a great framing device (or 'induction', as Hemmertime's lousy grade 6 English teacher perhaps would not have known).

Between you and Stauffer I'm torn in half about RNH: Bob seems to think that anyone but the Rebel would be a catastrophic miss, while you've consistently got him at the bottom of the first rung.

I understand that his numbers are PP heavy, but PP help is one of the (many) things that this team desperately needs. Does success on a junior PP not translate well to the bigs? What gives?

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#16 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 08:59AM
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Lowetide: Damn, thanks for the info. I thought he must be injured.

the tikk: This team needs a lot of things. I am of the party that says do not draft for needs. Your needs change all the time, and if you are drafting to try to fill them, by the time your propect is in the line up, and ready to make an impact, you'll likely have new needs and old ones will be filled in other ways. Draft the BPA, and if we're number one, Larsson is that guy.

If you have two players tied, that's when you go with needs.

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#18 the tikk
February 20 2011, 09:12AM
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@m_kennedy13

Agreed, LT, but it seems that your evaluation of the player does not fairly consider his PP production - whether or not PP production is a team need. He's been absolutely on fire for the last couple of months.

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#20 @NateInVegas
February 20 2011, 09:28AM
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RNH won't help the Oilers next year and Tambellini can't afford to be bottom 5 again.

He wants the puck, makes great plays, and shows up at the start of each period.

I see him more like Pavel Datsyuk by the time he's 22-23 than Joe Sakic...

Probably the best player in the draft but the 1 guy Edmonton can't take a chance on.

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#21 stevezie
February 20 2011, 09:40AM
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Giroux has no hope?

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#22 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 09:52AM
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Giroux is not an NHL player. He will be an AHL lifer, and can make a good living doing that, but he has a ways to go before he will be an NHLer.

He needs to think the game better and quicker if he ever wants to make the jump. The guy has a boat load of goals in the past few seasons, which shows he has a nice shot, unfortunately he wouldn't get a lot those shots off at the NHL level. If people around here want to bitch and moan about O'marks D ability, Giroux would make them sick. The guy is an AHL vet, and he's damn good at it.

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#23 a lg dubl dubl
February 20 2011, 09:52AM
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IMO i wouldn't mind if ST traded away this years 1st round pick for a #1c or dman because unlike last year there is no game changer ala Hall in this years draft. The Oilers have enough "up and comers" right now get a NHL player( or 2) that can support the likes of Hall and Eberle for the next couple years.

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#24 Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!!
February 20 2011, 10:11AM
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Where can I listen to "Nation Radio" pod-casts? Forgive me if you posted this and I am the only one who missed it.

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#26 I tried it at home
February 20 2011, 10:20AM
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Interesting article, and Ive noticed Lowetide's "this is" opener a while ago, I just thought of it as a personal quirk, no prob with it. m_kennedy13, your post at #2 was well written and showed you actually thought it out before rushing it in. Any justice in the world and you'll be first next time so the goofs sitting around in thier underwear hitting the refresh button cant do the f-word with no reference to the article which they dont bother to read first anyway. Thanks for mentioning Stortini BTW, he was a personal favorite while he was here and I still hope he finds a way back.

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#27 Oilerdiehard
February 20 2011, 10:26AM
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Speaking of prospects and Oiler prospects. It sort ties in with a current call up and a former Oil prospect.

Remember Cody Wild?

Many of the blogger / stat guys seemed to think the Oilers were idiots for not using him well and then made the mistake of letting him go. Once used right he would take off for the Bruins etc... Not to mention he was apparently clearly the better prospect by the numbers than Taylor Chorney.

Currently Chorney is in the NHL and playing pretty well lately. Meanwhile Cody Wild is currently in the ECHL (23 games strong now). Neither are sure things at the moment of course. But I took a little heat from some of the bloggers at the time for backing Chorney over Wild in comparisons. So I am pretty pleased with how Chorney has progressed recently.

With the deadline if we do deal away a D for a pick ala Vandermeer. I guess Chorney could potentially be up for the balance of the season. Hope he can keep up his solid play.

On a side note. It has been a pleasure this season watching each game and seeing Hartikainen progress. He has really come along and especially with his mental focus getting sharper as things go along. I think playing so many games and travel wore on him early. But he has adjusted nicely. The one knock I have on him is he has a habit of entering the O zone and trying to go 1 on 3 and deke everyone. He could use his teammates a bit more at times and lacks the speed at times to try a deke through everyone. Otherwise he is great along the boards, fearless, physical, good at protecting the puck and loves the dirty areas of the ice.

Vande Velde has been a disappointment for me. He shows good stretches. But for a rookie as old as he is he is with his resume and size / skill set. He should have been better IMO.

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#28 Suntory Hanzo
February 20 2011, 10:27AM
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I was at the Heat game last night. Here some of my observations in short form:

JDD lets out the worst rebounds. The whole night pucks were bouncing off his pads right into the slot. Made some cross the crease slides for some good saves.

Hartikainen was one of the, if not the best player on the ice. Good hands speed and grit. Wokrs really hard on the boards

VV was good too. Decent speed and hands

Huggy Bear did almost nothing. Didn't seem like he got much ice. The Heat are a small wimpy team, so there wasn't too much mixing up.

Petry is probably the best skater on both teams, but his hands are pretty terrible. I didn't really notice this when he was up with the Oil. Maybe an off night, but pucks were deflecting off his stick like questions off Gordon Campbell at an HST debate.

Moran is fast.

Ondrus - a sherwood park boy. Nice to see that, but didn't do much out there.

Plante looks like a giant out there even though he didnlt have the biggest stats. I kept waiting for him to throw some body, but he doesn't. I think it's tough for him because his lack of speed is very obvious. Maybe time will help this, but if he can't pick up the pace, I can't see any NHL in this kid. Regardless of speed. Mcintyre looks like Peter Bondra compared to Plante. Big shot was used effectively.

Giroux. Seems like one of the smartest plays, but never really did much. The Heat vastly outshot them, but the Barons missed the net tons of time.

Fun game with a good result, although the Heat were robbed of a goal early when the puck hit the middle bar at the back of the net and came back out. Lucky for us!

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#29 Dennis
February 20 2011, 10:51AM
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LT: did your read the Barons coverage on the Oilers site yesterday? They were at the game on Friday night - I'm disappointed they didn't send someone down there last night as well - and there were some interviews and a couple of interesting things to note.

46 had a great attitude about being down there and talked about how he was jacked about being able to kill penalties. I hope this kid has a career somewhere.

58 didn't seem all that disappointed or crestfallen about being down there and once again a great attitude.

ROM talked about how impressed he was with Malholtra's FO acumen and how it inspired him to be better once he was sent down.

Hartikainen mentioned his draft slot and hinted towards how guys down the rung don't always get the first shot. But at the end he stated how everyone else has gotten a call so he's sure he will as well. I wonder if he'll get a shot out of camp next year or if a guy like Hamilton can pass him because of his size advantage and the fact he kills penalties.

BTW, TH got off the snide last night with a goal and an assist in a nice comeback win for OKC. They were down 2-0 on the road right off the bat but came back to win in OT.

Anyone here manage to take in the game?

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#30 DDP
February 20 2011, 10:53AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Hi Sheldon,

Still working on it. Wanye has us waiting, so I expect he's got something special planned.

Good to hear. I caught about a 1/2 hr on Sat and was impressed...great job LT!

I'll wait patiently for the podcasts.

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#31 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 11:15AM
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I walk amok: Thanks. I like when the fist crew posts fist but get the #2 post. Always makes me laugh.

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#32 oilers2k11
February 20 2011, 11:16AM
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I wonder what the attendance at OKC has been like, was watching a little bit of Oil Change yesterday during Oilers on Sportsnet commercials..(loving Oil Change-they should continue that every season) they showed a bit of OKC, seems like the fans are pretty hardcore, I hope their Oiler fans as well down there so they dont get too dissapointed when all the Baron stars get called up to the big team.

I have been to OKC seven times..mostly just driven through it..very beautiful city..Love the atmosphere there..

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#33 m_kennedy13
February 20 2011, 11:22AM
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oilers2k11: OKC has been a bit below average for attendance. But that is to expected as they start building a fan base around our prospects.

http://theahl.com/stats/schedule.php?view=attendance

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#34 RossCreekNation
February 20 2011, 11:40AM
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Souray to the Devils?

Apparently, that's the word going around the press box at MSG. Find out tomorrow at noon.

http://twitter.com/#!/JimCerny/status/39392641011556352

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#35 Mike76
February 20 2011, 11:57AM
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While we are waiting for the team to be a contender Katz should have new beer dispensers installed at all recall beer stands. Google "canadas fastest beer" to check it out. Pours a beer with no spill in 2 seconds.

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#36 stratedge
February 20 2011, 01:01PM
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"Geowal liked him at the Heat game in CGY"

Say what? I was at that game and what stood out for me was how *horrible* Plante was.

I went to key in on a few prospects... Hartikainen, Kytnar, VV, Plante, and Belle who wasn't there.

Plante couldn't complete a break out pass to save his life, and he wasn't the only one so it seemed like the Barons were perpetually regrouping and trying again to make it through the neutral zone. But I was really focused on Plante and he made some really bad passes, both decision-wise, and execution-wise (meaning the pass was there but he was off target).

Hartikainen was good, what really stands out his how tenacious he is, but he clearly has skills and just wasn't able to pot one. I think he'll benefit from NHL line mates.

Kytnar was fairly noticeable at times but didn't seem to be having an eventful game, didn't see him participate in creating any good offence.

VV was good but showed very little in the way of offence (I don't really count the EN much, it was a great setup by his team mate to spring him. But he got it done on the PK quite well.

Overall the things that jumped out were that Giroux and Gerber make this team. Gerber was excellent and his ability to handle the puck covers up for a lot of the flaws on the team (#6, I forget his name, was a HORRIBLE D man). Also the PP was having a really bad day. But the Barons play a really good puck possession game and are really good defensively as a team, particularly in the neutral zone.

It was only 1 game so that's about all I took from it. But Plante? Boy was he disappointing.

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#37 mdf
February 20 2011, 01:12PM
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Lt with so many of the draft prospects being in a similar range what do you think the odds of tamby pulling a burke and finding some way to trade our first for the second and third picks or even third and forth?

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#39 mdf
February 20 2011, 01:28PM
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Lowetide wrote:

My hope is that Tambellini finds out if the scouting department has a clear preference. If they do, then take the guy.

If not--if there's three players right in a row and they're close--take the guy you like best anyway. No piddling around.

Anyway, Matheson had an item in the EJ the other day saying the Oilers were leaning toward Larsson. So if they have the first pick I doubt they'd risk letting him fall even one spot.

Understandable but wouldn't the oil be better off long term with two of landeskog and couterier or nugent than just larson? Or is there a huge drop off in talent in the other top ranked defencemen? If you could trade the first for the second and third would you and who would you take? I just cant help but feel a way to get 2 of the top 5 rather the just first would help the rebuild enormously

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#40 CJ
February 20 2011, 01:41PM
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There seems to be a lot of opinion about RNH. How many of you have seen him play. The rebels play a very defensively responsible game. They have given up 26 fewer goals than any other team. Their game is defense and PP. Just watch him play and you will see that he is usually the best player on the ice. By comparison Pitlick's skill set appeared to be significantly weaker. Check him out before you judge him.

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#41 Abunaylor
February 20 2011, 01:43PM
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Hey,

I was at the Barons game in Abbotsford last night, and I for what it is worth, Hartikainen was great. His goal was really impressive - on the pp, charged down the right wing, chipped the puck off the boards past the defencemen, then muscled around the d man and retrieved the puck. With the defenceman draped over his outside shoulder, he drove to the net, and chipped it over Leland Irving as Irving tried to come across the net. It was a great goal.

Other than Hartikainen, the Barons prospects who stood out I thought were Petry, who made some strange plays (giveaways, particularly) but was probably the best player on either team. And Colin McDonald. As someone above said about Giroux, he isn't a great player, and his linemates really have to do a lot of the grunt work for him. He plays with Brad Moran, who is as good as you would expect, and McDonald, who was much better than I expected.

Anyway, just my two cents.

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#42 Peterborough
February 20 2011, 03:06PM
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mdf wrote:

Understandable but wouldn't the oil be better off long term with two of landeskog and couterier or nugent than just larson? Or is there a huge drop off in talent in the other top ranked defencemen? If you could trade the first for the second and third would you and who would you take? I just cant help but feel a way to get 2 of the top 5 rather the just first would help the rebuild enormously

that's impossible you would need to find a team that had twp top five picks and really wanted #1 overall. Plus there is a very good chance Ottawa finished below us anyways. I'm all for giving Stu more bullets but lets try and deal with reasonable possiblities.

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#43 mdf
February 20 2011, 03:25PM
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Peterborough wrote:

that's impossible you would need to find a team that had twp top five picks and really wanted #1 overall. Plus there is a very good chance Ottawa finished below us anyways. I'm all for giving Stu more bullets but lets try and deal with reasonable possiblities.

Burke did it to get both Sedins so its not unprecedented. You would need to find a team in the top 5 that really wants Larson trade your first overall (if we get it) for their first and perhaps a prospect or playeror who another team in the top 5 values. You then trade the prospect and our second rounder (which is equal to a late first rounder) and perhaps a throw in like brule for their first round pick. That gives you 2 firsts in the top 5 and each team gets what they really want.

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#44 Peterborough
February 20 2011, 04:52PM
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mdf wrote:

Burke did it to get both Sedins so its not unprecedented. You would need to find a team in the top 5 that really wants Larson trade your first overall (if we get it) for their first and perhaps a prospect or playeror who another team in the top 5 values. You then trade the prospect and our second rounder (which is equal to a late first rounder) and perhaps a throw in like brule for their first round pick. That gives you 2 firsts in the top 5 and each team gets what they really want.

if they could do that they would.

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#45 CrudeOil
February 20 2011, 04:59PM
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I'm hoping we don't pick Larson with our first pick. Defencemen are too much of a crapshoot to pick 1st or 2nd in a draft, IMO. Drew Doughty being the exception.

I'd like to see us pick Coutourier & if per chance Tambi lands Schenn or Johansson in the next week ( not likely ) I'd go for Landeskog.

Let the Magnificent Bastard work his magic in the second & third rounds for defense prospects.

What's with the Flames uniforms? Looks like a bunch of Tiggers on skates with EEyore behind the bench.

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#46 Hungoverman
February 21 2011, 07:43AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if #27 has quietly asked for a trade behind the scenes and is talking the good tune to actually help Mr. Tambellini maximize any trade value that he can get. That apparently was rumored last season with Lubomir as well that a trade request was sent behind the scenes so he could return closer to his wife and children. And look how that was a good trade for both clubs and the involved players. Nothing wrong with that either. And I am sure if the rumors are true that if someone called Mr. Vishnovski for an interview he qould give a truthful and nice report of his playing time in Edmonton. Silence can be golden at times. Whew, sorry for the long entry. Still drunken from last night.

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