FTHM PART I: WITH THE FIRST PICK . . .

Robin Brownlee
May 03 2011 08:42AM

Edmonton Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor knows whose name he wants to call with the team's second consecutive first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota June 24.

Of course, MacGregor isn't about to tell me who he has in mind, and he's not above letting people try to sway his opinion when he and his scouting staff, along with GM Steve Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, open four days of meetings in Phoenix May 15.

Regardless of who MacGregor has in mind, it won't be a two-horse race (one that soon turned into a runaway for Taylor Hall over Tyler Seguin) like it was a year ago at this time when he and his scouts compared a season worth of notes and put together a final list heading into Los Angeles.

My guess is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels is the player MacGregor has pegged for the top pick. Then again, it could just as well be smooth Swedish defenseman Adam Larsson. And what about big Sean Couturier of Drummondville, red-hot Jonathan Huberdeau of Saint John or Gabriel Landeskog of Kitchener?

If you look at the rankings of all the different scouting services and talk to hockey people, you can make a case that any one of the above players should be part of the conversation. Does that diversity of opinion exist on MacGregor's staff?

That's what the meeting is for.

MACGREGOR HAS HIS GUY

"I'm pretty good on one, yes," said MacGregor, when I asked him if he's leaning toward any one player at this point. "I feel pretty good about my guy, yes."

A lot of people would be willing to wager that the gifted but undersized Nugent-Hopkins is the player MacGregor likes with the first overall pick. The slight centre obviously has talent and he plays a position the Oilers didn't fill last summer when they took Hall over Seguin.

After all, MacGregor and a rotating series of Edmonton scouts, along with Lowe and Tambellini among other team brass, have had eyes on the kid, as you'd expect, several times this season.

Then again, MacGregor just got back from the east coast where he was following Huberdeau, who has been tearing it up of late. And he was just over in Europe to see Larsson. Eyes on Couturier. Eyes on Landeskog. He's been living out of a suitcase, making only occasional stops back home in Kamloops.

"There's a lot more players in the mix this year than there was last year," said MacGregor, who was completely sold on Hall by the time the staff met at Predator Ridge a year ago. "Probably four or five . . . I would think that you could hear, probably, four."

THE PROCESS

By the time Hall and Windsor rolled through the playoffs and Memorial Cup a year ago, it was obvious to MacGregor who the Oilers had to pick. It's not nearly as cut-and-dried this time, and that's why there's bound to be plenty of lively debate in Arizona.

"This is where we put our final list together," MacGregor said. "We make some major decisions on positioning and how it all fits together."

If there isn't a clear and concise consensus with his staff, MacGregor gets the deciding vote. It's a standard part of a process in which a year or more of travelling, drinking bad coffee and taking notes culminates with everybody making a case for the player they have in mind.

"If you watched Oil Change, this is where everybody was talking about each player (a year ago)," MacGregor said. "This is where most of your major discussions go on. We'll have more at the draft and so on, but this is where the majority of your work gets done."

Is Nugent-Hopkins the player MacGregor has in mind? He isn't saying. Might he be swayed if one or two or more of his scouts insist Couturier, Larsson, Landeskog or Huberdeau is the way to go? Maybe. By the way, who is the one you're "pretty good on," Stu?

"That's a good one," he laughed. "I knew that was coming."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Oilcruzer
May 03 2011, 09:10AM
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Two things.

Doesn't sound like Oil are trading down.

Stu leaked a fact when he said "my guy". The first pick won't be a woman.

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#2 brodie
May 03 2011, 11:41AM
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Wait a minute I smell another scandal brewing here. You say Stu lives in Kamloops. Is that in Mexico?

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#3 brodie
May 03 2011, 02:00PM
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Why would Shea Weber want to sign with the Oiler's. He's at the point in his career where he wants to contend for a Cup not wonder whom his teams lottery pick is going to be.

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#4 Bruce
May 03 2011, 03:44PM
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Hold the phone with these ridicuolous front-loaded contracts. RFA compensation is determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the contract by the number of years in it OR by five, whichever is LESS. So a ten-year, $60 MM offer sheet may have an average cap hit of $6 MM, but for compensation purposes would be caluclated as $60 MM / 5 = $12 MM and a boatload of draft picks (four first rounders). Doesn't matter how front or backloaded it is. The idea is to circumvent the kind of ridiculous contracts being proposed above.

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#5 NastyNate
May 03 2011, 04:38PM
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This RFA talk is ridiculous. ON seems to be home to large numbers of pipe dreamers/smokers. How many players have been signed to offer sheets since penner? One of the worst moves in this teams history and created alot of distaste for this city and franchise aruond the league. We are finally starting to shed tht negative by building an exciting young core. Must be 50+ posts on here arguing the RFAs and offer sheets. What a joke, get real oiler fans.

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#6 Cru Jones
May 03 2011, 09:12AM
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Is there any better indicator of Oiler fan's devotion to their team than the fact that their head scout is not only known by name, but has also become a THE person that most fans want to hear from?

I guess it also reflects the fact that we've had our collective hats handed to us for the last few years, but I can't recall a similar relationship between the fans and someone who isn't the GM, owner or coach anywhere else in sport.

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#7 YFC Prez
May 03 2011, 10:38AM
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4-3 Canada wins in OT. Eberle gets player of the Game.

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#8 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 03 2011, 12:52PM
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I really like that he "Knows who he wants" by now he should! it shows that he has a system and does not just feel his way along. I sure he has his own grading system so he can measure intangibles etc. I also know he would never share that system because if it keeps working there will be a ton of scouts scouting him. Trying to see what he sees. Another two drafts were he is finding late jewels and other teams will be after him in all forms. Trying to spy on him and sign him. Mimic what he does and whom he sees etc. Could be as good as any Bond film. It would sell only in Canada however too bad. Stu needs an Aston Martin snow mobile.

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#9 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2011, 04:46PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Where else is they're to go to escape the harsh reality of the last two years Nate?

Build from within. That is what they're going to do. It is their plan, and there is nothing you can say that will change it.

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#10 OilIsMyBlood
May 03 2011, 08:47AM
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Let me be the FIST to say that MBS has my complete and total confidence in whoever he picks

RNH RNH RNH RNH

Robin, hope you asked him about the chances of trading picks (which of course is more GM responsibility than Chief Scout's)

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#11 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 10:11AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

The fact that you have the combination of:

"SELL THE FARM! Move whatever is needed and earn the right to a second shot in that top 5. If it costs us a Hemsky or a Gagner, so be it. I'd even top that of with a Smid,Brule,Omark even Peckham"

and

"we're set for next yr."

Makes me laugh.... really hard.

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#12 Matt Henderson
May 03 2011, 10:42AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

I'm not sure if trading your most productive centre or winger, as well as packaging up one of your more reliable defenseman, AND possibly moving down in the draft in order to acquire a couple of draft picks constitutes "a committment to winning."

I'm also not sure if Taylor Hall would see it that way either.

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#13 Hemmertime
May 03 2011, 10:44AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

"I'm sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it."

"and starting two rookies down the middle isn't such a stretch."

--

Ummm... where to start?

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#14 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 10:56AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You can sit tight and watch yet another lottery season roll by your driver side window Obbie... your expectations obviously remain at curb height. I'll take my chances with Horcoff,Strome,Huberdeau,Cogliano,Brule over anything you have to offer up.

I'm sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it.

Take a shot at Glencross and Upshall and starting two rookies down the middle isn't such a stretch. Atleast Taylor Hall would start to see something that resembles a comittment to winning here.

It has nothing to do with "sitting tight" (in fact I want the exact opposite).

It has everything to do with the delusional mind set that adding two rookie centers (at the expense of multiple roster players) has the team "good to go" NEXT YEAR.

The contridiction between what you want and how you want to achieve it is mind boggling.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 11:20AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The Oilers started four rookies during the better part of last year. What's wrong with just having two rookies this coming year?

Keeping in mind two of those rookies led the team in scoring last yr. Doesn't say much for the non rookies on this steller squad does it Hemmer? Hall and Eberle did have their share of boo boos to eh.

Last years rookies are stiil very young, very inexperienced players. They aren't all of a sudden "proven vets" just because they have a year under there belts.

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#16 racsan2448
May 03 2011, 11:47AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Love reading all your posts and comments, but can we please do one thing on future posts? Lets give Huberdeau and his team credit by letting people know he plays in Saint John and not St John's.

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#17 derrickhands
May 03 2011, 01:03PM
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If anyone saw the MH Tigers and RD rebels playoff series would know why the Oilers cannot afford to draft RNH. The Oilers biggest weaknesses were defense and in the face-off circle and RNH doesn't supply either and the Oilers do not have the big wingers to protect him like he had.

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#18 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 01:05PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'd gamble that Weber signs a one yr extension with the Preds, take a shot at him the next deadline (Paajarvi,Plante and 2012 first) Weber is my first choice, Yandle is plan B in my books. Your plan on the back end gets a thumbs up from me as long as we don't give up all those first rounders for Weber.

Like your idea on the goalie front, i'd take Holtby anyday, could be the future No.1 there. Holtby and Dubnyk could push each other for a couple yrs.

Feel the top 6/top 9 are every bit as important as the top 2 blueliners are, without guys pushing each other for those minutes all is lost as far as i'm concerned. Drafting 2 centers as well as Glencross and Upshall will fill some of those spots. Konopka/Rypien would help as well..... not sure Gagner has the stones for RW2, RW3 maybe.

The only high end guy (still in his prime) that I can think of that's gone the one year route is Semin.

Weber easily has a 50+ million contract waiting for him at the end of this year, maybe closer to 100 million.

Can't see him risking that to injury.

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#19 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2011, 01:09PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You can sit tight and watch yet another lottery season roll by your driver side window Obbie... your expectations obviously remain at curb height. I'll take my chances with Horcoff,Strome,Huberdeau,Cogliano,Brule over anything you have to offer up.

I'm sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it.

Take a shot at Glencross and Upshall and starting two rookies down the middle isn't such a stretch. Atleast Taylor Hall would start to see something that resembles a comittment to winning here.

I'll take Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano and Fraser over your hurting (Brule), and fresh-faced rookie lineup any day.

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#20 mayorpoop
May 03 2011, 01:10PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ya you can front load any deal.

Why on earth would 1+2+3 be a "maybe"? That would be the steal of the century for us and go down as a worse trade then the Thorton deal for them.

I'm sure Nashville wants to keep him, but are they willing/able to cut 11 million/year cheques for him for the next 4-5 years?

it would be a maybe because as you said "cut 11 million/yr cheques for for the 4-5 years".

the cost. possibly it is just me but i dont think webber is worth that much. crazy money for a guy that plays with such an under-rated partner. i think webber is great just not extraordinary like that kind of money would demand.

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#21 mayorpoop
May 03 2011, 01:25PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Unless you are Darryl Katz I don't see why you'd care how much $$ Weber actually put in his pocket.

i suppose i am just foolishly considering the end of entry level contracts, other player signings, cap issues....stupid me.

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#22 Dman09
May 03 2011, 01:54PM
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I don't think anyone is giving Gabriel Landeskog enough credit at this point. It would not surprise me to see the Oilers try and move Hemsky and the entry draft and take him first overall. Hall and him have played together before and work well together. Also I believe Hall has commented on the type of player and his work ethic and would also like to have him in the Oilers organisation. Chemistry is a key component of every team and I think that needs some attention. If the Oilers could pull off a Gabriel Landeskog and Sean Couterier while off loading Hemsky and maybe a low draft I'm okay with that. Hemsky's injuries and the ? of whether he resigns here and at what price makes me feel that he isn't part of the future here anymore.

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#23 mayorpoop
May 03 2011, 02:51PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I said 11 million for 4 or 5 years, the next 10 would be on a declining schedule.

you are blowing my mind here and i love it.

ok just to clarify pay him 11 mil p/yr for the first four years (but only a cap hit of seven tho, right because we are front loading here) then for the next ten years pay him on a declining schedule.

What is the total of your contract so i can understand the remaining years cap hits?

and...so we are signing a bruising big defenceman, who is very good, to a 14 or 15 year contract.

~perfectly logical solution to our defence problems to me~.

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#24 brodie
May 03 2011, 02:54PM
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On the Team 1260 show Oiler's Lunch Steve Tambellini said they are not going to try and sign any "whales". In other words they are not going after any A List free agents.

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#25 Dman09
May 03 2011, 03:00PM
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I think signing anyone to a 15 year contract is retarded. What if they get injuried and are nowhere near as affective once returning and you have say 10 years left on the contract. Do you think possibly that might hurt your team?

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 03:26PM
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Professor wrote:

@ OB1 Team RNH - F.S.T.N.F

Pronger $5 million Letang $3.5 million Lidstrom $6.2 million Boyle $6.6 million Keith $5.5 million

How is Weber worth $11 million? Once again I am so glad that you aren't the GM of the Oilers.

@ Professor

Read through the thread a little more closely.

Once again I am so glad that you aren't actually a professor.

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#27 Matt Henderson
May 03 2011, 03:51PM
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Bruce wrote:

Hold the phone with these ridicuolous front-loaded contracts. RFA compensation is determined by dividing the total dollar amount of the contract by the number of years in it OR by five, whichever is LESS. So a ten-year, $60 MM offer sheet may have an average cap hit of $6 MM, but for compensation purposes would be caluclated as $60 MM / 5 = $12 MM and a boatload of draft picks (four first rounders). Doesn't matter how front or backloaded it is. The idea is to circumvent the kind of ridiculous contracts being proposed above.

And extra points go to McCurdy for adding a healthy dose of reality.

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#28 Matt Henderson
May 03 2011, 04:06PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I'm sure they did consider it. But I wouldnt be surprised in the least if they took that option right off the table considering they have finished dead last 2 years in a row and next year's pick could easily be another lottery selection.

I wouldnt give up the 1st overall pick in any draft, and that's exactly what is at stake. Maybe Toronto takes a run at one of them, but not the Oil. The plan is already working. Changing it now would be silly.

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#29 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 04:08PM
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Dman09 wrote:

List these top teams?

Vancouver, Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Flyers.

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#30 Wax Man Riley
May 03 2011, 04:14PM
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Dman09 wrote:

List these top teams?

Well in all fairness:

Washington, Tampa, Van, Chicago, Det, Phi

All have deals or multiple deals with players for 8+ years

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#31 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 04:15PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Well in all fairness:

Washington, Tampa, Van, Chicago, Det, Phi

All have deals or multiple deals with players for 8+ years

~I'd hate to follow in there footsteps~

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#32 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 03 2011, 07:36PM
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NastyNate wrote:

Seeing as how we are 1 year into a re build, seems a little pre mature to start talking about offer sheeting a player that would cost us draft picks and wad of cash. A little patience is needed, if in a year or two when our young stars have blossomed into NHL players/stars and only then if we have glaring needs would i consider an offer sheet. Not when we have 4 offensive forwards coming back for a Sophomore season, 3 picks in the first 31 including first overall, and a goalie who has yet to play a full season.

1 year in? I guess we are all intitled to our own opinion.

I've got 2 straight 30th place finishes, top 10 picks in 4 of the last 5 years and no PO for 5 straight years that tell me it's been longer then that.

You can make a fair argument that we are a year too early to be looking to pluck a #1Dman, but it's also pretty rare you'll get 2 of them of this caliber up for RFA contracts with cash strapped teams in the same year.... when the "time is right" their might not be the guy we need available.

Besides, if Bruce is correct I'd have Webber off the table (4 first would be just too much for me)..... though something probably could be worked out for Yandle that would still fall in the 2x1st range.

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#33 Matt Henderson
May 04 2011, 06:40AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

This thought process makes 0 sense.

Adding great players makes teams better. When you have an oppertunity to add one without giving up the farm you do it.

Almost any offer sheet of significance results in giving up the farm, or a good chunk of it.

Making an Offer Sheet is ludicrous at this stage of the rebuild.

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#34 Matt Henderson
May 04 2011, 09:13AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

And it's a bad bet to gamble that the Oilers will finish out of the bottom 3. And I recognize your numbers regarding the odds of getting a good player after the lottery slots, but it's still true that both the players you mentioned were selected after the 1st round.

The Webers and Yandles of the world are out there to be drafted and developed by the Oilers themselves.

It's also a bad bet to think that the Webers and Yandles of the world want to leave their homes and come play in Edmonton, even with large wads of cash being thrown at them.

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#35 Matt Henderson
May 04 2011, 09:46AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'm talking trade and RFA method here, lets get off the "no one will come here" attitude, I am fully aware that we are at distinct competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting players, but just instantly assuming no good players would ever come here is loser mentality.

Also, with 2-3 smart additions theirs no reason this team couldnt start to at least become competitive as soon as next year.

We can't be in the lottery for ever, looking at the tank teams that everyone likes to point to as our modle (Chicago/Pitsburg/Washington) of their current roster the Hawks and Caps have 2 guys taken in the top 5, the Pens have 4.

The time has come to start working our way out of the basement.

Even with that said, I'd say you'd still be batting at least 50% taking Weber over a top 3 pick.

OB1, get real for a minute. The Oil threw wads of cash at Hossa, he said no. They begged and pleaded at the feet of Danny Heatley, he said no. They signed Pronger to a multi year deal, and he flew the coop after a year. They went to game 7 with Spacek, Peca, and Samsonov; they all went away. They tried to sign Malhotra, he said no. That's a 3rd line centre OB1. A 3rd liner!

Until the team is winning, the Oilers will remain one of the least desired places to play in North America. The End.

It is not a loser mentality to assume big name players will not want to leave their established homes to come here unless they have enough incentive. Frankly, money isnt enough. These guys can get their money anywhere. It's not even an assumption, actually, because the most recent player polls rank Edmonton extremely low.

We also dont get to dictate when it's time for the Oilers to start winning. They will win when they have enough talent and desire to win, and not a minute before then. Washington was a joke for a few years after they took Ovie, Pitt was for years after taking Crosby, it took Chicago the better part of a decade to climb out of the basement. Why is anyone expecting the Oil to flip the switch this year?

There's still huge question marks in Net and on Defense, as well as the Centre position. Literally the entire middle of the ice is questionable. Not 1 truly top notch dependable player down the middle of the ice. Horc is hurting and aging, Gagner isnt producing like a #1, Cogliano's offence has dropped off the earth, Fraser is a lump, Whitney's feet are gimped, Gilbert is Jekyl/Hyde, Khabibulin just posted AHL numbers, and Dubnyk was a rookie last year.

This club is a miracle away from being competitive by next season.

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#36 Matt Henderson
May 04 2011, 10:28AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Yes it is loser mentality.

We might as well pack up the team and head south if things are that bad

The #2 least desirable team in the league with an equally inept record was able to sign a quality player like Mark Striet, surely the Oilers can at least attract talent like that

And I'm talking Columbus/Atlanta competitive next year, not Nashville/Tampa competitive

They thought they did attract Streit-like Talent in Foster. It didnt turn out so well for them.

Reality is not a loser mentality. The Oilers dont have better options than keeping their picks and prospects and developing them internally. The next best thing is targeting Tier-2 Free Agents to fill gaps until Oiler drafted players can fill the biggest holes. The other option is the trade route, and Tambellini hasnt shown a propensity for it.

Things are THAT bad. It doesnt mean they pack up and leave, it means they suck it up and take their beatings until they can get the talent. That is the plan, by all accounts (except for madjam) it is working.

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#37 TLaL
May 04 2011, 06:10PM
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All of these comparisons to Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are optimistic. The Oilers could just as easily be in the beginning of a long-term spell of mediocrity like the Islanders or Florida.

Until management, scouting and coaching have proven they can acquire and develop quality players, you can't assume that we'll repeat the success of Chicago or Pittsburgh. Using lottery picks to accumulate flashy one-dimensional players year after year is not a recipe for success. RNH may be an upgrade over Gagner, Cogliano, and Brule (wow what an awful bunch) but we'll still be bottom 3 with him.

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#38 Eberle14
May 03 2011, 09:16AM
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I was really hoping for Adam Larsson mid season, but I've become a big fan of RNH! I know he's on the "slight" side, but, good players find a way to play in the NHL! Martin St. Louis and Daniel Briere come to mind. I don't think we go wrong with either guy, but if we choose RNH, we need to size up the other lines! Maybe Hemsky and Gagner have to go to make way for someone bigger. I believe the article was titled, "runt in, runt out"......?

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#39 WheresYourTowel
May 03 2011, 09:19AM
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In MBS we trust. Because really, who else in the organization has performed on a consistant basis over the past 4 years?

If the Oilers are committed, as they should be, to taking the BPA, there's no one else I'd want deciding who that player is.

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#40 YFC Prez
May 03 2011, 09:45AM
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Yes in MBS we trust. Credit is definetly deserved and I will be lingering on this site every morning for Mr Brownlee's new pieces. I love hearing from Stu. Perhaps some of the love oiler fans have for MBS should be shared with Sillinger and Moores. Oilers have alot of picks trending up this year. Player development as a whole is pretty darn good.

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#42 Matt Henderson
May 03 2011, 09:57AM
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Time for the Oil to draft the Centerman 1st Overall that they've been missing since Weight left the team. Then maybe add a couple d-men with the 19th and 31st picks, and then grab the out of nowhwere sleeper homerun with Calgary's Staios pick.

Between this year and last year's draft the Oil could have a real solid base of Youth to support the franchise for the better part of the next decade. It all depends on the Clairvoyance of one Stu Magnificent Bastard MacGregor.

In Stu We Trust.

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#43 Quicksilver ballet
May 03 2011, 09:58AM
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Didn't read the article for fear it would sway my own personal bias on this issue.

SELL THE FARM! Move whatever is needed and earn the right to a second shot in that top 5. If it costs us a Hemsky or a Gagner, so be it. I'd even top that of with a Smid,Brule,Omark even Peckham to go with 2nd/3rd rounders this summer as well as non first round 2012 selections. NuHo and Couturier or Strome and Huberdeau, get it done and fix the issue we have in the middle. Take whats left from that available basket and see what we can do for #2,#3 help on the back end. Bring back Ryan Smyth as well as a UFA and we're set for next yr.

With Stu MacGregor at the helm, do we really need Tambellini and Lowe?

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#44 madjam
May 03 2011, 10:16AM
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Until we show we are drafting better by drafting to get out of the basement of league , and also addressing our weakest voids then maybe our scouting is still bad ? Hopkins appears to be same type of forward we keep drafting and certainly does not fit the defence or power forward we still do not have -nor the goal tending . Just how many draftees make the team each year that quite honestly might be better than on a cellar dwellar ? One per year if we are lucky ?

We have so many top first round picks already that still has done little to get us out of the basement .We got to many Hopkins types already , and not nearly enough Larssons or Landeskop types to make choices from . How many of our incumbent first round choices are dependable enough to get a half season without major injury problems ? Players like Whitney , Smid and Foster also come to mind of players that might simply be to injury prone to rely on- yet all were first round picks at one time and were expected to be better than what they have shown so far in their careers . ? We don't need /want to keep drafting the same types of players that keep us firmly entrenched in the basement .

Last season we drafted some size , but just how many might turn out , if any , to be a decent NHL talent in a short space span ? Maybe none will turn out to take us out of basement . I'll reserve judgement on scouting until such time as we see our team start climbing back up in standings . Just how reliable is drafting at best of times to keep us acceptable and competitive ?

I have a feeling we are going to take Hopkins , and i think it is a mistake to keep taking the same types of players we continually seem to take .

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#45 TEAM- NuHo
May 03 2011, 10:18AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

TEAM NuHo 4 LIFE

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#46 SportsDad
May 03 2011, 10:19AM
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The more I watched Landeskog, the more I think he looks like a young Iginla. I would like to see the oilers draft him first instead of RNH. But I would be good either as the first overall.

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#47 Matt Henderson
May 03 2011, 10:21AM
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@madjam

I would like you to list all of the Centres that the team has drafted who have been of high enough calibre to be ranked #1 by multiple scouting services.

Name all of them, then tell me exactly how many players like RNH the Oilers have that fit the bill.

I will be patiently waiting.

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#48 Quicksilver ballet
May 03 2011, 10:37AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

You can sit tight and watch yet another lottery season roll by your driver side window Obbie... your expectations obviously remain at curb height. I'll take my chances with Horcoff,Strome,Huberdeau,Cogliano,Brule over anything you have to offer up.

I'm sure if you put your center ice preferences up it would have 30th place written all over it.

Take a shot at Glencross and Upshall and starting two rookies down the middle isn't such a stretch. Atleast Taylor Hall would start to see something that resembles a comittment to winning here.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
May 03 2011, 10:42AM
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TEAM- NuHo wrote:

TEAM NuHo 4 LIFE

Agreed, Nuho,Strome,Huberdeau or Couturier. Pick two, any two...but it must be two.

One of these kids isn't enough. Time to move out some bodies who have grown accustomed to losing here. (Hemsky,Gagner,Smid etc)

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#50 Hemmertime
May 03 2011, 10:42AM
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Wow Eberle is much smaller than Nash. He is a full head above him.

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