PF 2011

Lowetide
April 24 2011 08:56AM

The day Boston drafted Milan Lucic, it was not obvious to all the Bruins had selected a future impact forward. He had size--6.02, 204 according to Central Scouting--but he wasn't at the top of the scoring charts (9 goals all season) and his PIMS (149) suggested long stretches in the sin bin for feeling shame. The Edmonton Oilers need a "Milan Lucic" and right soon--where is he? 

At this point in time the Edmonton Oilers sadly lack big men with a wide range of skills. Steve MacIntyre is one of the best enforcers in the NHL currently, JF Jacques can skate extremely well for a big man but in both cases these men are mostly "stick optional" types. Jacques fit the PF bill quite well coming out of junior but lost an enormous portion of his fine motor skills when his back injuries began to take their toll.

So, along with grabbing the right guy at #1 overall and not blowing the LAK pick later in the first round when he takes a defenseman, Stu MacGregor and the scouting staff need to find a Lucic among the youngsters available this summer.

ANYONE ON THE HORIZON?

The Oilers current group of roster players doesn't boast anyone who fits the bill (I believe Taylor Hall will be able to take care of himself, but no one in their right mind wants #4 dictating the physical tone of an NHL game), but there are some bubbling under candidates:

  • Tyler Pitlick turns 20 in November and is 6.02, 188. However, he had only one fighting major with Medicine Hat this season and 31 PIMS overall. His goal/pim numbers (27/31) don't really have that Lucic feel.
  • Drew Czerwonka turns 19 in July and is 6.02 197. He would be my choice for strongest PF candidate of the bubbling under group as he clearly is a game rooster (6 fights in the WHL) and his goal/pim ratio (14/78) more closely resembles the player we're looking for at this spot. Czerwonka has played some with skilled men on the Kootenay Ice roster and I think he's a player of great interest moving forward.

WHAT'S AVAILABLE IN THE DRAFT POOL?

Anyone hoping Travis Ewanyk would slip through the cracks unnoticed is sol this morning as his performance at the U18's turned some heads and got people talking about his range of skills. Jim Matheson talks about Ewanyk in his Sunday morning column here and will no doubt be reading about him more this spring. The Pipeline guys have Ewanyk blogging for them here. I count 10 fighting majors on his resume this past season.

Austen Brassard of the OHL's Belleville Bulls is also getting some notice. He's 6.02, 191 had 5 majors in the OHL and has good footspeed for this player type. There are some questions about his hockey sense but he's definitely a player to follow in this category.

Stefan Noesen is from Plano, Texas and is 6.01, 195. Although he didn't fight that much, his reputation is as a hard working, physical forward who won't back away from the rough stuff. He scored 34 goals for Plymouth (OHL) this season so there's a lot of skill with this player.

ANY DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH?

By the time we start talking about a player as a potential draft pick, one imagines NHL teams have a bunch of foolscap on said prospect. I think Medicine Hat winger Kale Kessy might be just what the doctor ordered for the Edmonton Oilers. He's 6.03, 185 and scored 65gp, 10-14-24 129pims for the Tigers this season. 9 majors. There are several youtube highlights including this one.

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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 Team 1260.
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#1 BaconWrapped
April 24 2011, 09:04AM
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Maybe the Oil should trade for Penner?

BWAHAHAHAAHAHAA...ah, thats rich!

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#2 gongshow
April 24 2011, 09:05AM
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I would guess that finding a PF that turns out to be an NHL regular is about the same odds as turning a drafted goalie into an NHL starter

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#3 Adam D
April 24 2011, 09:10AM
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What about Teemu?

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#4 Joel
April 24 2011, 09:15AM
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Martin Hanzal

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#6 CurtisS
April 24 2011, 09:18AM
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What did you think of Woodlief's newest ranking LT? Hard to argue it?

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#7 buttermilk buscuits
April 24 2011, 09:21AM
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I think the next coming of Milan Lucic will be Zach Kassian, too bad hes already a member of the Sabres, maybe somehow the Oil can trade for him? How about Cogliano and a 3rd round pick?

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#8 CurtisS
April 24 2011, 09:22AM
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If only we could get Kyle Beach from Chicago some how, dam I wish!

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#9 buttermilk buscuits
April 24 2011, 09:24AM
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Nevermind, Cogs and a third rounder would never do it..Lets go with Gagner for Kassian straight up...I would even give Gags and Cogs for Kassian plus a 3rd rounder..

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#10 fuzzy muppet
April 24 2011, 09:25AM
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Ummmm, Gabriel Landeskog.

Oh, and he can play.

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#13 Zupaman
April 24 2011, 09:42AM
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The world juniors had a lot of these Sean couturier-probably more penner like but he could become a dominant force Zach kassian-possible to aquire skilled and big Marcus foligno-heard his name all tournement. Big hits combined with a scoring touch. I would target this player he's the next lucic. We must beg buffalo for him. How bout a third and brule Casey cisikas-finished his checks and scored but not many 'wow that was a big hit" moments. Probably will just end up a common third line player. Marcus johansen- next big skilled center but we cant get him

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#14 Joel
April 24 2011, 10:15AM
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Brandon Sutter

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#15 Dan the Man
April 24 2011, 10:51AM
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The ironic thing is that Lucic was picked with the 2nd round pick that the Bruins obtained from the Oilers in the Samsonov trade.

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#16 Horcsky
April 24 2011, 11:01AM
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Landeskog? An opposing GM on one of the many Team 1260 shows said that he runs around in games and often times no one is willing to fight him cuz he can chuck the knuckles too.

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#17 Dave
April 24 2011, 11:47AM
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I think the Big Finn is the Oilers PF of the future. Does he have to drop the mitts to fill that role? I dont think so.

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#18 jbh
April 24 2011, 12:27PM
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After watching this video I like Ewanyk over Kessy.Nice open ice hit on a guy with some serious wheels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGzbEEKV8Gw&feature=related

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#19 Antony Ta
April 24 2011, 12:31PM
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Hey LT, is there a video stream for the Barons game?

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#20 coco crisp
April 24 2011, 12:48PM
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Ewanyk in the second round? I think so, the guy is a beast...

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#21 Dizzle
April 24 2011, 12:51PM
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David Clarkson off the Devils should be our power forward target this summer.

He is making too much money (2.8 cap hit) for New Jersey and he has scored 20 goals in the past and is an absolute beast. He hits, fights, scores, blocks shots, and did I mention he fights. He could play 12 minutes a night and do the same job as macintyre's 3 minutes a night.

I don't know what it would cost but one has to think that the devils are still in cap trouble and do not have a tonne of draft picks over the next few years due to trades and the kovalchuk contract.

If he is available you make that trade.

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#22 Tyler
April 24 2011, 01:14PM
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First, I don't think anyone would be against having a Lucic on their team. However, as soon as looked at the title of this article I was already trying to ball park the number of comments calling for Gab Land. and before they continue, stop. Lucic on this team would be huge. However, Lucic over a Hall, Tavares, Stamkos, etc. is laughable. And before you say this draft doesn't have one those give your head a shake. First OV might not have had the game breaking Kane stats, but they will be a very good hockey player. And will produce more pts. than Lucic very early in their careers. Also, the Bruins could have just as easily ended up with JFJ or Cameron Abney with that pick than Milan Lucic production. In fact, it's far more likely. My pick for the next Lucic however is Tyler Biggs. Size and skill there. Plus i don't care if our Lucic fights. As long as he scores and bangs, we win.

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#23 Dutchscooter
April 24 2011, 01:34PM
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On a different topic, think we can offload Khabibulin on Philadelphia this summer? They're the home for washed-up and journeyman backup goalies, aren't they? Oh, wait. Khabby makes too much money for them. They pay FOUR goalies what Khabby makes.

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#24 a lg dubl dubl
April 24 2011, 01:36PM
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I wonder if the Bruins fail to make it past Montreal or the 2nd round, would the Bs GM want to tweek his roster abit and make Lucic available? He hasnt really been up to standards(feisty,agitator) in the 1st round from watching the series IMO, and have always liked Lucic and his game.

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#25 They're $hittie
April 24 2011, 01:37PM
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Tyler Biggs if he is still available at 31. 6'2" 210, 48gp, 17g, 11a, 28p, 118pims in US college would be a good fit.

or

seth ambroz, 6'2" 211 56gp 24g 89pims mid second round

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#26 Antony Ta
April 24 2011, 02:30PM
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I like Clarkson a lot. But he'd be a third line RW at best, and can only score 20 goals on a team with adequate depth so that he can produce that kind of secondary offense.

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#27 esa tikkanen
April 24 2011, 02:37PM
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Lowetide

How does the USHL compare to the various CHL leagues? This Tyler Biggs is getting half a point per game in that league and apparently is a real beast. RLR has ranked him as high as 12 but mostly he is pegged around 20. Seems too high if all he brings is a physical presence but no scoring.

Brandon Saad was projected to go in the top five then top ten now iss has him at 19. Apparenty he had a groin injury midseason that bothered him. 6'2, 210 power forward excellent skater and shot. Might be a good pick at 19 if Mcneil is gone.

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#28 spOILer
April 24 2011, 02:39PM
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A return to the Coke Machine Draft Daze, lol?

Try to pluck something from the Bill Guerin tree? ...Since we're drafting Doug Weight over Jason Arnott at first overall?

The Oil could use someone like that, but finding the right guy seems to depend on an awful lot of development luck, as the Lucic example shows. The odds go up the higher the draft pick used because there should be more skill in the mix. Do we use 18 or 31 on a guy like this or hope one of the guys mentioned make it to the 3rd round and pan? I don't know the best strategy, and the way the draft falls will have an effect, but I suspect we draft F, D, D, F, F in the first three rounds of this draft.

I've liked Czerwonka's game so far in the two games shown. That system play of the Ice can only do good things for his development.

As for a 4th liner right now who can do bang, fight and score, maybe MacDonald should get a 20 game look-see at the beginning of next season? Can't be any worse than JFJ.

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#29 ralph_u
April 24 2011, 02:39PM
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@They're $hittie

I agree Tyler Biggs even with LA's pick if no top D-men are left.

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#30 Antony Ta
April 24 2011, 02:47PM
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So the Oilers really don't send anyone to Stockton anymore, eh? Last I checked only Motin and Bendfeld there. Pitton too, if you still consider him a prospect.

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#31 Bank Shot
April 24 2011, 02:57PM
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I'd like to see the Oilers go after a guy that is already somewhat established. The Blackhawks are in cap trouble and Troy Brouwer is an RFA after this season. Maybe the Oilers could swap one of their kids or picks for him.

Brouwer isn't an absolute killer like Lucic, but he's physical and he's actually able to pick fights with NHL regulars.

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#32 buttermilk buscuits
April 24 2011, 03:10PM
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The big Finn on the Oilers seems like the closest in the Oilers org right now, havent seen this Czerwonka kid yet, but Heartz has Ok Speed, good finish around the net, good along the boards..we just have yet to see him fight.. Not saying this type of PF has to fight all the time, but what makes Lucic so Imposing is the fact that he drops the mitts time to time and when he does he usually comes out on top..he probably scares most Dmen in the league..he can probably get away with more because of his toughness.. Nobody is scared of Avery..why? Because when he does drop em he isnt as tough as his mouth would at first have you believe.

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#33 spOILer
April 24 2011, 03:24PM
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McNeill would be ideal, if he is still available.

He seems like a player on the rise though, and unlikely to fall past the likes of Calgary & Dallas.

I agree with LT, though, we're likely to take a Dman at 18. Jamie the Giant will likely be gone already. Murphy will likely fall because of his size, but probably not that far. Mayfield, Musil, and Joe Morrow should all still be available. Klefblom too.

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#34 Coco Crsip
April 24 2011, 03:50PM
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@spOILer

Musil would be an awesome fit here though,

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#35 esa tikkanen
April 24 2011, 03:51PM
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I think the Oilers should go for a forward with the LA pick too. They develop faster , look at Plante. 5 years in the 15th pick , teubert will be another couple of years...Saad or Puempel to me could be ready 2 years faster than a dman.

I say draft all the forwards you can then trade one when a good dman is available for cap reasons or personality issues, rinse and repeat forever.

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#36 spOILer
April 24 2011, 04:19PM
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Esa, understood. I don't think the Oil will play it that way though. I get the sense that head office would like to try and find a couple of top end D prospects to go with all their forward talent.

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#37 rickithebear
April 24 2011, 04:31PM
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Drew Czerwanka is a young player. The end of the season he was 18Yr 5 months to 18 year 9 months.

I find it interesting that Martindale a top 20 points player in the Ohl and czerwanka have similiar point production at that age.

Czerwanka 41GM 7G 22A .71PPG Martindale 25GM 7G 12A .75PPG

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#38 Bigblue
April 24 2011, 08:55PM
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Landeskog - 6'1" 207. 53 GP, 36-30-66 +27 and 61 pim. Nuff said...

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#39 dougtheslug
April 24 2011, 09:11PM
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Off topic and unrelated again, but I just stuck my head out the back door, tilted my ear toward the setting sun and I swore I heard, wafting in on the western breeze, the unmistakeable sound of several million canuckleheads gagging on their Easter ham. What a sweet, sure sign of spring

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#40 Spartacus
April 24 2011, 09:29PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Off topic and unrelated again, but I just stuck my head out the back door, tilted my ear toward the setting sun and I swore I heard, wafting in on the western breeze, the unmistakeable sound of several million canuckleheads gagging on their Easter ham. What a sweet, sure sign of spring

It's a pretty good day, isn't it?

I think I'm gonna celebrate with a beer and a Dirty Burger.

P.S. Looouuu!!!

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#41 dougtheslug
April 24 2011, 09:33PM
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@Spartacus

The Canucks are missing and all you can think about are beers and effing cheeseburgers!

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#42 Mike Modano's Dog
April 24 2011, 09:40PM
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If the Oilers trade down, acquire extra assets they can get Landeskog, perhaps at 3 or 4.

Is Landeskog that tough?

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#43 Kevin
April 24 2011, 09:54PM
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Lowetide wrote:

The day they took Kassian I said to anyone who would listen that the Sabres had picked their Lucic. I still believe it.

Yes- the Sabres have something going on for sure when it comes to later round nice pick-ups. How about Marcus Foligno, this kid id 6'-3" 216lbs already. This kid plays with grit and fire and wouldn't he look good in an Oil jersey. To bad we don't have a GM that would target some of these kids and start filling some holes on this team. Dare to dream I guess. As long as ST and KL are running this team we will be for ever chasing our tails, talking about how good our future looks and all our great prospects on the farm. OKC, by the way is done. Beat by the Habs farm team.....Did someone say the future looks good ??? Folks- if those words are coming from ST and KL, please proceed with caution. The only thing we have going for us is Stu. We need someone to put together the pieces. Make the right tweeks, fill the obvious holes. With ST and KL running this team we are another NYL, year after year drafing in the top five and nothing to show for- only false hope. This false hope is starting to run thin !

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#44 6 ring circus
April 24 2011, 10:20PM
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Reading some of the blog's on the internet about the Canucks losing again tonight and how they are choking bigtime,most of the canuck fans are blaming the referee's how pathetic is that? If they lose on Tuesday, everytime they play next year they should start chanting looooosssseeeerrrsss!!!!!

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#45 dougtheslug
April 24 2011, 10:31PM
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@6 ring circus

The level of hysteria is out of this world - I just read a thread where a whole slew of canuckleheads are blaming an NHL conspiracy to screw the 'nucks by rigging the refereeing, to help spread the game in the USA. (seriously) Man, this is so much fun, I think I'm going to go blind, or at least have to start shaving my palms, if I keep it up.

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#46 Oilfan00
April 24 2011, 11:03PM
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Kevin wrote:

Yes- the Sabres have something going on for sure when it comes to later round nice pick-ups. How about Marcus Foligno, this kid id 6'-3" 216lbs already. This kid plays with grit and fire and wouldn't he look good in an Oil jersey. To bad we don't have a GM that would target some of these kids and start filling some holes on this team. Dare to dream I guess. As long as ST and KL are running this team we will be for ever chasing our tails, talking about how good our future looks and all our great prospects on the farm. OKC, by the way is done. Beat by the Habs farm team.....Did someone say the future looks good ??? Folks- if those words are coming from ST and KL, please proceed with caution. The only thing we have going for us is Stu. We need someone to put together the pieces. Make the right tweeks, fill the obvious holes. With ST and KL running this team we are another NYL, year after year drafing in the top five and nothing to show for- only false hope. This false hope is starting to run thin !

Relax its been two years at number 1 if it happens again next year then you can complain, OKC went from being the worst team in the AHL last year to making playoffs this year while getting their team torn apart. Tambo has spent his time cleaning up Lowes mess his only bad move has been the Bulin signing and this year I honestly believe they just wanted to see what they had, if he does nothing over the offseason and we suck again next year then I will have a complaint against him but otherwise its been more so a cleanup of the roster. However the bulin signing was terrible and we are still stuck with Horcoffs contract (love what he brings to the Oilers hate the cap hit) but I think we will be sitting good he built up OKC and hopefully does that same with the Oil.

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#47 Wax Man Riley
April 24 2011, 11:53PM
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Just for sh!ts and giggles, check out the TSN play of the year coming up.... kind of ironic? or is it coincidental?

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#48 pelhem grenville
April 25 2011, 04:31AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Off topic and unrelated again, but I just stuck my head out the back door, tilted my ear toward the setting sun and I swore I heard, wafting in on the western breeze, the unmistakeable sound of several million canuckleheads gagging on their Easter ham. What a sweet, sure sign of spring

disarray of epic proportions...when fans walk into the arena tomorrow night they will see the drums full of kool-aid and wonder what might be in the offing...excitement like this is absolutely springlike...

doug you slug...this failure is written in stone

hawks led the series two games to three on resurrection sunday... hawks now take a commanding three games to three games lead and more hawks are coming !!!

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#49 Shapeman
April 25 2011, 08:44AM
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buttermilk buscuits wrote:

The big Finn on the Oilers seems like the closest in the Oilers org right now, havent seen this Czerwonka kid yet, but Heartz has Ok Speed, good finish around the net, good along the boards..we just have yet to see him fight.. Not saying this type of PF has to fight all the time, but what makes Lucic so Imposing is the fact that he drops the mitts time to time and when he does he usually comes out on top..he probably scares most Dmen in the league..he can probably get away with more because of his toughness.. Nobody is scared of Avery..why? Because when he does drop em he isnt as tough as his mouth would at first have you believe.

Well I know Lucic didn't scare Jim Vandermeer. Vandy won and he was smiling the whole time. Hell he smiles and laughs during every fight! I guess I'm saying we should resign him as a 6/7 d man for next year.

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#50 Peterborough
April 25 2011, 09:42AM
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Shapeman wrote:

Well I know Lucic didn't scare Jim Vandermeer. Vandy won and he was smiling the whole time. Hell he smiles and laughs during every fight! I guess I'm saying we should resign him as a 6/7 d man for next year.

Agreed we need some policemen to keep an eye on the kids and he fits the bill. A few more signed would be really nice. Guys like Rupp and Eager and bring Mac back too. Won't really help us win but will allow the kids to play and not have to worry about cheap shots all the time.

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