The Oilers Don’t Need A Stud Defenseman Now

Jonathan Willis
May 23 2012 11:09AM

It would be a great thing for the Edmonton Oilers if they could add a stud defenseman, a true number one who plays heavy minutes on the back end, contributes offensively and shuts down the opposition’s best players. But it’s not a necessity right now.

I say that for two reasons.

There’s Time

The Oilers are not going to win the Stanley Cup in 2012-13. Even if they could somehow trade two prospects and Nick Schultz to St. Louis for Chris Pronger, this coming season would in all probability not include a championship.

This is not a team that’s one player away. In all likelihood, this is not a team that’s three players away. This is a team that is a few players away, plus a few years for some of the young players they currently have away.

Therefore, if the Oilers want to address the defense through free agency, they don’t have to add the star guy right now. They can tinker, upgrade the top-four through trade or development or with lesser free agents (such as, for example, Matt Carle) and wait for that piece to become available.

As things currently stand, the Oilers should (assuming some positive strides are made) be in a better position to bargain in the summer of 2013. Free agents slated to become available that July definitely include Tobias Enstrom, Alex Edler, Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky. Assuming Shea Weber signs a one-year deal this summer, he’ll also be included on that list. The summer after – assuming no major changes in the CBA – will see Dion Phaneuf, Kris Letang, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Girardi, Dan Boyle, Joni Pitkanen and others eligible for UFA status.

If free agency is the route the Oilers opt for, this summer’s prospects are bleak. Ryan Suter is the only top defender available this July, and the Oilers – the league’s second-worst team last year – can sell the future, but there’s no way they can sell the present. A year from now, they should be on the upswing; two years from now, they might be able to pitch that they are a star defenseman away from contending for it all.

And hey, if everything falls apart, Seth Jones is a darn good prospect.

The By-Committee Apporach

Of course, the last time the Oilers went to the Stanley Cup Finals, they had a stud defenseman. Chris Pronger was (when healthy, he still is) one of the best in the game, a true difference-maker for any NHL franchise. The best defenseman on the team they lost to was Bret Hedican. Nothing against Bret Hedican, but if a 35-year old Hedican was Edmonton’s best defenseman today, I’m highly confident we’d be hearing lots of ‘the Oilers can’t win if Bret Hedican is their best defenseman’ in the comments section here. He was an excellent player, but not the star, number one defenseman people hope for.

As the Oilers try to build themselves into a team that can approach marquee free agents seriously, they could do worse than to pursue a by-committee approach to their own blue line. In Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry and Nick Schultz, they already have three very capable defenders. If Ryan Whitney returns to form – which is a long shot and not something I’d be comfortable betting on – they would have four. Andy Sutton will be a year older, but if there’s no degeneration in his play he’s an effective bottom-pairing option. The Oilers could add another defenseman in the same range – a player like Michal Roszival, Dennis Wideman, Barret Jackman, Johnny Oduya, Matt Carle, Carlo Colaiacovo, or one of half a dozen other names – and be improved over where they were a year ago. If they were able to do that and reel in Justin Schultz (far from guaranteed, given that virtually every team is going to want him) they could be vastly improved.

Over the long haul, the ideal situation would see the Oilers add that true, number-one rearguard, either through free agency (as Boston did with Zdeno Chara), via trade (as both the Oilers and Ducks did with Chris Pronger) or by way of development (as the Blackhawks did Duncan Keith). If that’s not possible over the short term, upgrading the defense to a respectable level in the meantime is a good alternative.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 23 2012, 01:49PM
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@oldhippy

I'm just conducting a brainwashing experiment here. Progress is being made, fear not OH.

The Oilers don't develope players as much as people think. They distribute minutes played but there's little progress on the developement front. I don't think Taylor Hall was a year better than he was last yr, he's still making the same mistakes that he made in his first yr. Paajarvi stagnated,Dubnyk stagnated as well as Lander. Who else was given a position on this team without having to earn it. 3 first overall selections in a row must say otherwise.

I was saying, taking Galchenyuk in that one spot, it isn't as much a reach as taking Murray in that same spot. I don't trust the Oilers amatuer staff are capable of deviating from this Hockey for Dummies(BPA) format.

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#52 TigerUnderGlass
May 23 2012, 02:06PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

@TUG

Had Forsberg over Lindros, Eric Staal over MA Fleury and Richards/Datsyuk over Lecavilier. I'm sure that this is where the differing opinion rests.

Nope. If you read my comment you'll note that I said no goalies are the best in their class. The only two forwards drafted #1 with no argument in their favor were Daigle and Stefan.

I didn't go back to Lindros, I just counted the last 20 drafts and he was 21 ago.

I did have Lecavalier, and although I agree that he may not have been the best, there is still a case to make for him.

I'd like to add that if you think I consider Fleury a better player than Staal then you have clearly never read any opinion I have ever given on this site.

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#53 DieHard
May 23 2012, 02:12PM
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Timing is better next off-season. If Weber signs a 1 year contract with Nashville and becomes a UFA, Oilers should offer a 7YR/50M contract or something similar. Nashville will be in a pickle at the trade deadline with Weber and hard to say what they would do. As for Justin Schultz, if he doesn't sign with Anaheim on July 1st then decent possibility he wants to play in Western Canada. Calgary is in decline so not there. Vancouver is possible but they have ebb'd and are an older team that will start to fall in the next 2-4 years. The Oilers are young, dynamic (with Yak) and movin' on up. He could join this crew and fit right in. With our D prospects and these 2, defense should be solved. I can dream, but hey, I didn't make the impossible trade.

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#54 Oilcan
May 23 2012, 02:30PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Nope. If you read my comment you'll note that I said no goalies are the best in their class. The only two forwards drafted #1 with no argument in their favor were Daigle and Stefan.

I didn't go back to Lindros, I just counted the last 20 drafts and he was 21 ago.

I did have Lecavalier, and although I agree that he may not have been the best, there is still a case to make for him.

I'd like to add that if you think I consider Fleury a better player than Staal then you have clearly never read any opinion I have ever given on this site.

Daigle was pretty solid when he first came in just something happened. Was he the best player from that draft for the first couple years? But still he was a bust and so was Stefan.

When you guys looked up the last 20 years at first overall when did teams draft for "need"? I am assuming Diepetro and Fleury weren't consensus number ones? So what might be a better guide is the highest rated prospect being the best overall player in the draft.

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#55 russ99
May 23 2012, 02:31PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ Tony Montana

"blowing our wad on a free agent stud d-man before we have the team to ice around him is the wrong way to go."

I'd love to hear how we would be WORSE OFF pursuing a stud defensemen now rather then in 2 years.

Easy - look at Buffalo last offseason.

Everyone wanted to hand them first place before they played real games, and they missed the playoffs.

Would prefer a steady build-up with actual contention 2-3 years down the road to a "go grab it now" mentality and be a perennial borderline 8 seed.

Contrary to popular thought, Florida had some quality pieces in place before Tallon's signings this year. Something along those lines may do next offseason...

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#56 The Soup Fascist
May 23 2012, 02:33PM
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Good article JW. My only comment would be not to minimize the effect of a minute eating effective stud defenceman.

Pronger made significant improvement to a 2006 Oiler team that was arguable far less talented than this group. He had a similar effect in Anaheim when he got there. Chelios going to Chicago in his prime, Chara going to Boston, Phaneuf going to Toron ...... OK maybe it doesn't always work out .... but there are numerous examples of top end D-men making pretenders into contenders over the years.

If you can get a stud and start building confidence and a winning attitude, NOW is not soon enough.

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#57 D-Man
May 23 2012, 02:39PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ JW

We will always have to "overpay" if we go the FA route (almost all free agents are overpaid)

If we go the trade route we would have to give up quality assets now, just the same as in 2 years.

We will have to rob Peter to pay Paul no matter when we do it.

Not necessarily... I do sincerely believe we're going to get better from last year without making one single change... Instead of 32 wins, I'm thinking on the improvement of RNH, Hall and Ebs, we'll win 37/38 games - roughly a 10 point improvement... Granted - that puts us (with the loser points) in a situation where we're 12-13th overall in the west, but my point is we're going to improve.

The key now is for Tambo to make a couple short-term bandaids to shore up our back end... There are some upgrades on the FA like Jackman and Coliaicovo out there... As much as I'm losing faith in his abilities or lack there of - if he brings in another quality FA to replace/upgrade Peckham/Barker - you're seeing 39-40 wins instead of 37-38 wins... We're now starting to play meaningful games later in the season... Keep in mind - I haven't even taken the improvement of the top six with Yakupov into the equation.

FA's will eventually want to come here and not for significant overpays.. We don't need an $8 million dollar defencemen right now to do that... Granted - my theory is putting everything in the hands of Tambo - but this is his last year to prove he's worth his salt. I can't see any GM lasting much longer after going through two coaches..

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#58 TigerUnderGlass
May 23 2012, 02:40PM
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Oilcan wrote:

Daigle was pretty solid when he first came in just something happened. Was he the best player from that draft for the first couple years? But still he was a bust and so was Stefan.

When you guys looked up the last 20 years at first overall when did teams draft for "need"? I am assuming Diepetro and Fleury weren't consensus number ones? So what might be a better guide is the highest rated prospect being the best overall player in the draft.

Did you read the conversation?

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#59 Tony Montana
May 23 2012, 02:43PM
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@ OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F There is only one "stud d-man" available this year via free agency, and I would argue that he is not really a stud d-man, and that is Ryan Sutter. Over paying for the right player is not a bad idea, but over paying for the wrong player is a terrible idea.

In the past 5 years we have over paid for Khabby and Horcs, how has that worked out for the Oilers?

If the Oilers want to over pay next off season for Shae Weber, I admit (assuming he is the same player next offseason as he is this) that I would probably be in favor of that. I am not in favor of over paying for Ryam Suter. Rather I would over pay for a Jason Garrison (#2/#3 D-man), because we are talking 12 to 15 million over 3 or 4 years instead of 30 million over 5 for Suter.

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#60 Lochenzo
May 23 2012, 02:48PM
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Oilers might be able to pull this off because they have a decent shutdown pairing with Smid and Petry. You can build your blueline around that. Adding another mobile D would go a long way tho. Pair him with Schultz and you'd have two solid pair. The Rangers get by with 4 guys, but I think this is coming back to haunt them in the playoffs as wear and tear may be started to get to them. But if the Oilers just make the playoffs next year, I think everyone is happy. As far as taking the next step after that, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
May 23 2012, 03:07PM
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@D-Man

What happens if anybody on the Oilers gets injuried? What happens if anybody in the top 6 regresses?

What happens if Dubnyk can't handle more games?

What makes you think Tambellini and Lowe, are capable of assessing what players are needed to shore up our back end?

We have all witnessed Tambellini's excellent Player eveluations from such bold moves as Bellanger or Hordichuk, that amazing MVP Khabibulin or those stud's Potter and Barker.

When is it time to stop looking for band-aid solutions and start to make significant moves forward? The Oilers will be lucky to gain 12 points..lucky!

How much longer as fans are we going to put up with not being in the playoffs!

I say go after Suter, go after Schultz, go after Garrison and Jackman maybe we get one, maybe we get two.

Who's going to want to come here when Hall, Eberle and RNH want out after 5 years of sucking shiznit!

Does Ryan Suter make your team better...Yes he does!

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#62 Sliderule
May 23 2012, 03:07PM
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The oil don't have enough cap space to go whale hunting.

If you assume they cut loose from Barker Hordichuk and Omark and sign and play Yakupov and resign the other rfa and Smyth they will have four to six million left to stay under the cap.If they bring MPS back that will eat up another 1.5 million .

That would leave between 2.5 and 4.5 million to sign a defencemen and a grit forward.

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#63 etownman
May 23 2012, 03:12PM
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Also, as I've said before Jonathan I could easily see the Oilers making a deal something like Gagner for the Hawks Leddy! That's an upgrade & in the same age group as the core group of players now! I don't see Oduyo etc. coming on board and upgrading the defence!!

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#64 db7db7db7
May 23 2012, 03:18PM
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I would settle for anyone who can actually make a pass or teach our current players how to pass. The fact is our run and gun game will never work if we don't make some serious improvements to our systems play. We need to nail (no pun intended) down our basic plays so we can get the puck into an area where the run and gun play is effective. It's pretty hard to score when the other team always has the puck.

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#65 Oilcan
May 23 2012, 03:20PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Did you read the conversation?

Yep I was just curious if those number ones taken were also ranked number 1 by scouting agencies, I was just wondering if you guys knew. I don't feel like looking it up and I was curious so I didn't know if that was something you guys knew.

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#66 Wax Man Riley
May 23 2012, 03:32PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I count 11, but even if we disagree on 3 names you'd have to agree that all three could be argued to be the best player in their year.

The rest which are not the best player in their draft year are all defensemen and goalies except for Stefan and Daigle.

On other words, in 20 years no defenseman or goalie taken number one has been the best player in their draft year but only two forwards cannot be argued as the best player in their year.

Ppppppppppppprops

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#67 oldhippy
May 23 2012, 04:15PM
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Sliderule wrote:

The oil don't have enough cap space to go whale hunting.

If you assume they cut loose from Barker Hordichuk and Omark and sign and play Yakupov and resign the other rfa and Smyth they will have four to six million left to stay under the cap.If they bring MPS back that will eat up another 1.5 million .

That would leave between 2.5 and 4.5 million to sign a defencemen and a grit forward.

Wow, check your math. Oilers have $21.4m in cap space. They need to sign Smyth, Gagner, and Yak. That should be about $10m. According to Capgeek we have 6 D signed, if you include Teubert. We need to re-sign Petry and Peckham. Peckham is an RFA and will require a qualifying offer of just over $1.1m. Petry made $1m last year, and even allowing for a a merit raise, I don't see his contract at more than Smid's $2.25m. Dubnyk will likely see a contract in the $2 to $3m range. So allowing my top numbers, that is $16 to $17m of that $21.4m of cap space. That gives us 12 signed forwards, 2 goalies and 8 D. We won't carry 8 D in to the season, so if we sign someone, two of those salaries go to the minors. Teubert and either Peckham or Potter. So subtract $2m, there. We now have about $6-$7m to sign one D and 2 forwards. Assuming Petrell or MPS as on of those 2, we are at $5 to $6m to sign your grit forward and one 3/4 D.

Although a lot of Oil fans don't like Russians, I wonder if Oil fans, themselves are Russian, at least in spirit. Russians are reputed to be dark and pessemistic. Sounds like most Oilfan posters.

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#68 Brandon
May 23 2012, 04:35PM
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Don't agree with your article this time around. The reason? I don't really like those other options over Suter. Suter is that rare two-way D that does everything for you. Weber will probably go to Vancouver as a UFA, lets be honest, the Canucks would still be a contender and Weber is from BC. It's as wishful thinking that you can get Weber next year as trying to get Suter this year. There isn't one guy I'd consider over Suter in the upcoming UFA list. They probably will need to trade for one. Phaneuf, Girardi and Edler are the only three true "little risk, high reward" guys who can play two-ways. Girardi isn't a No.1, and Phaneuf and Edler in my opinion are lesser than Suter. Dion also would NEVER come to Edmonton after playing in Calgary, not to mention we have a history as fans of really hitting the homeboy hard. I doubt he'd come here. Edler maybe would come here, but he has back issues that worry me. In other words, it's Ryan Suter or Seth Jones unless some team makes us an offer we cannot refuse.

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#69 oldhippy
May 23 2012, 04:36PM
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@ Jonathan Willis

Off topic, but....Do you see Belanger having a bounce back year. All his metrics are off his career averages. His shooting % was a third of his career numbers. Do you think, at 34, that the wheels have fallen off? I give Tambo a mulligan here. He signed a guy who consistently produced 40 points, very sound defensively, and wins more face-offs than he loses.

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#70 John Chambers
May 23 2012, 04:40PM
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Willis,

There is no time like the present. Last year I wrote a fanpost on the C&B where I pointed out a number of UFA defensemen would would appear to become available July 1, 2012: http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/7/8/2266020/building-a-championship-blueline-an-oilers-management-imperative

From the time I wrote the piece on Jul 8, 2011 until now, the following Dmen with 1 season remaining on their were re-signed to longer terms:

Beauchemin, Boychuk, Burns, Coburn, Tyutin, & Liles.

Not always the best names, but enough good ones to make the remaining pool of UFA's shallow.

Waiting another year could mean waiting even another year, and another. I agree - we should somehow obtain a top-pair defenseman, even if it's not an elite defenseman, but someone who can log 25 mins is the team's highest priority.

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#71 Brandon
May 23 2012, 04:41PM
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I should add, that if the Ryan Suter doesn't want to go to Canada rumors are true (it's certainly not confirmed yet), then we should at least try to dangle some prospects and/or Gagner (Hemsky maybe but we just signed him) to try and get some D help inside of signing turnover machine Matt Carle or one-hit wonder Jason Garrison. If the rumors aren't true, I think Edmonton could vastly improve by getting Suter and Jordan Staal. Staal would be less likely, but maybe dealing Paajarvi, Gagner and our early 2nd maybe lands him. Just rambling, because I know already that it's incredibly unlikely we land either of Suter/Staal, and I also know this won't be a very productive offseason.

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#72 oldhippy
May 23 2012, 04:46PM
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@Brandon

Weber is making $7.5m, NOW. I'm trying to see a way the 'nucks could shoe in an $8m contract in to their cap structure. Sure he's from B.C. and the Vancouver fans are such gosh darn nice people, but I still don't see him taking a huge home town dicount, even allowing a Luongo style contract. Even burying Ballard in the minors...? No, Weber may not be in Nashville after next season, but he is even less likely to be in Van. I don't see him in Edmonton either. It would upset the salary structure more than he would benefit the team.

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#73 TigerUnderGlass
May 23 2012, 04:52PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

@ TUG

Everyone has the democratic right to be wrong Tiger. I put a whole 7 minutes into that reseach. Lock those babies down and throw away the key, my assessments are as solid as the scriptures.

Is this the first time you've ever been incorrect?

Can you tell me what I was wrong about first? I feel like you're responding randomly rather than reading my comments.

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#74 TigerUnderGlass
May 23 2012, 04:53PM
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Brandon wrote:

I should add, that if the Ryan Suter doesn't want to go to Canada rumors are true (it's certainly not confirmed yet), then we should at least try to dangle some prospects and/or Gagner (Hemsky maybe but we just signed him) to try and get some D help inside of signing turnover machine Matt Carle or one-hit wonder Jason Garrison. If the rumors aren't true, I think Edmonton could vastly improve by getting Suter and Jordan Staal. Staal would be less likely, but maybe dealing Paajarvi, Gagner and our early 2nd maybe lands him. Just rambling, because I know already that it's incredibly unlikely we land either of Suter/Staal, and I also know this won't be a very productive offseason.

Garrison has been a very good defenseman for longer than one year.

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#75 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 23 2012, 05:11PM
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@TUG

I liked it alot at the start. There were parts at the beginning of your argument that made sense Tiger. The middle portion of your argument could've been a little better. I didn't agree at all with the last portion. Come to think of it, i didn't like it at all. I totally disagree with your opinion......BOOOOOOO!

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#76 Wax Man Riley
May 23 2012, 05:15PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

@TUG

I liked it alot at the start. There were parts at the beginning of your argument that made sense Tiger. The middle portion of your argument could've been a little better. I didn't agree at all with the last portion. Come to think of it, i didn't like it at all. I totally disagree with your opinion......BOOOOOOO!

I kinda liked the 6/17th part of it, but the 19/23 WAS pretty disagreeable.

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#77 Wax Man Riley
May 23 2012, 05:16PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Can you tell me what I was wrong about first? I feel like you're responding randomly rather than reading my comments.

*Wipes sleep out of eyes, checks breath*

Horcoff has a big contract.

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#78 TigerUnderGlass
May 23 2012, 05:22PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

@TUG

I liked it alot at the start. There were parts at the beginning of your argument that made sense Tiger. The middle portion of your argument could've been a little better. I didn't agree at all with the last portion. Come to think of it, i didn't like it at all. I totally disagree with your opinion......BOOOOOOO!

Did I make an argument?

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#79 Dave Lumley
May 23 2012, 05:23PM
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I agree that we should not sign any big names right now, mostly because there is few to none to sign. Also I would like to see the developmental progression of some of the players we have.

Two years ago everybody wanted to get rid of Smid and everyone was high on Peckham. Last year everything flipped around. Now we want to run Peckham out of town instead of Smid. Potter started off well and then got injured and did not return to form. With what is coming down the pipe, prudence would suggest that we see how things develop before committing large parts of our cap space in term and money. The Chicago lesson comes to mind. Worst case scenario the progression is a little slower. Since it is not likely a playoff year, does it really matter where we finish?

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#80 Sliderule
May 23 2012, 05:25PM
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@old hippy My figures for resigning were slightly higher but the point I was making a whale like Suter is going to get 7 million .

We have the cap space to sign a decent UFA defender and a grit forward just not a whale.

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#81 Lexi
May 23 2012, 05:46PM
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For the record my expectation for next year is Top 10 in the West or else ST needs to be gone.

That said I look at LA and they went from 79 pts to 101 pts from 2009 to 2010, with adding Scuderi as a FA, Doughty having an incredible 19 yr old season and a fairly Vanilla coach in Murray. Statistically Quick had a pretty mediocre year and they definitely had holes on their roster.

So I ask myself why can't the Oil take the leap this year. 90% of us agree they need two legit NHL Dmen. I see 14 serviceable UFA (Carle, Garrison, Wideman, Oduya, Salvador, Zanon, Kuba, Allen, Stuart, Colovacio, Jackman, Salo, Rosival, Aucoin), 6 guys who I think they can get with picks and prospects (Tyutin, Martin, Michalek, Gunnerson, Schenn, Methot) plus 12 guys who I think they could get for some combo of Hemsky, Gagner and PRV (Sekera, Harmonic, Del Zotto, Gardiner, Green, Bogosian, Seabrook, Leddy, Nikitin, Ellis, Rundblad, Gormley). If ST is competent at all, we should have two of those guys by the end of July if not also Justin Schultz also signed and I will be okay going into next year.

I think the rebuild is over after this year in terms of getting a top 5 pick, so they might as well start shooting for the playoffs. The sooner they start contending the sooner the young guys can become winners and the sooner we can start evaluating who really are part of the long term.

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#82 DieHard
May 23 2012, 05:49PM
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Brandon wrote:

Don't agree with your article this time around. The reason? I don't really like those other options over Suter. Suter is that rare two-way D that does everything for you. Weber will probably go to Vancouver as a UFA, lets be honest, the Canucks would still be a contender and Weber is from BC. It's as wishful thinking that you can get Weber next year as trying to get Suter this year. There isn't one guy I'd consider over Suter in the upcoming UFA list. They probably will need to trade for one. Phaneuf, Girardi and Edler are the only three true "little risk, high reward" guys who can play two-ways. Girardi isn't a No.1, and Phaneuf and Edler in my opinion are lesser than Suter. Dion also would NEVER come to Edmonton after playing in Calgary, not to mention we have a history as fans of really hitting the homeboy hard. I doubt he'd come here. Edler maybe would come here, but he has back issues that worry me. In other words, it's Ryan Suter or Seth Jones unless some team makes us an offer we cannot refuse.

Could not agree less.

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#83 Rama Lama
May 23 2012, 06:01PM
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We do not have a creative GM who can "wheel and deal", so I am certain we will need to do this through the draft.

In some ways having a totally incompetent and over rated GM who is afraid to make deals, may actually benefit us in the long run. I say this because it forces the amature draft department to be very careful and judicious in their picks.

I hope that we have two top draft choices for Stu to work with by the upcoming draft.

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#84 Wanyes bastard child
May 23 2012, 06:35PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

*Wipes sleep out of eyes, checks breath*

Horcoff has a big contract.

Gagner is to small.

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#85 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 23 2012, 07:14PM
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russ99 wrote:

Easy - look at Buffalo last offseason.

Everyone wanted to hand them first place before they played real games, and they missed the playoffs.

Would prefer a steady build-up with actual contention 2-3 years down the road to a "go grab it now" mentality and be a perennial borderline 8 seed.

Contrary to popular thought, Florida had some quality pieces in place before Tallon's signings this year. Something along those lines may do next offseason...

Unfortunately your post doesnt address mine at all. I asked why we'd be better off signing a star in 2 years vs signing one now.

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#86 BlacqueJacque
May 23 2012, 07:23PM
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I'm surprised there isn't an article about Renney's comments yet.

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#87 DSF
May 23 2012, 07:30PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I agree. I'd be all for landing a stud defender if I thought it was a realistic possibility, but it isn't - and the fact is, the Oilers aren't burning a year in their victory window by not picking up one this summer.

What they should be doing is addressing the blue line substantially but in more realistic ways.

Why bother?

Putting lipstick on the pig accomplishes exactly nothing.

Every team in the league needs to go into the season with aspirations of winning a Stanley Cup.

Anything else is an admission of failure.

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#88 oilers2k12
May 23 2012, 10:02PM
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Why chase something if its not there? Stay the course, whats wrong with having more than 3 players who know how to score more than once or twice a year?

The next J.Garrison could already be on the team, me just dont know it Yet..the next Keith Yandle could also be here..Weber, Chara, the list goes on and on, what do all those guys have in common? Not first round draft picks. How many of the top 20 forwards in the nhl were drafted in the top ten? A whole lot more than defencemen.

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#89 michael
May 24 2012, 07:57AM
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Vancouver is dead in the water. There is going to be a definite change in direction in Van City this off season. Lou will probably wind up in Columbus or Toronto. The Leafs will be looking to add a second line center at a cheap price. Would the Oilers consider next years first round pick from Toronto? Or Luke Shenn? There will definitly be teams looking to make some moves this summer. Tampa Bay? They need to add some depth up front to compliment Stamkos and St Louis. They have 4 picks in the 2cd round. They could use a Potter like dman. They pretty much ran out an AHL defence for the last 40 games last year.

my point is that the Oilers will continue to look for opportunities this off season to improve thier team. We have several salable assets that would interest other teams. with MP improved performance in the AHL playoffs and TH's steady play the Oilers have some ability to make moves that will help them now and in the near future.

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#90 D-Man
May 24 2012, 09:03AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

What happens if anybody on the Oilers gets injuried? What happens if anybody in the top 6 regresses?

What happens if Dubnyk can't handle more games?

What makes you think Tambellini and Lowe, are capable of assessing what players are needed to shore up our back end?

We have all witnessed Tambellini's excellent Player eveluations from such bold moves as Bellanger or Hordichuk, that amazing MVP Khabibulin or those stud's Potter and Barker.

When is it time to stop looking for band-aid solutions and start to make significant moves forward? The Oilers will be lucky to gain 12 points..lucky!

How much longer as fans are we going to put up with not being in the playoffs!

I say go after Suter, go after Schultz, go after Garrison and Jackman maybe we get one, maybe we get two.

Who's going to want to come here when Hall, Eberle and RNH want out after 5 years of sucking shiznit!

Does Ryan Suter make your team better...Yes he does!

I've never said the Ryan Suter wouldn't make the team better - he definitely would, and if you read my previous comments - you would have seen I'm beginning to question Tambo... He's made some really crappy moves, some questionable ones and some good ones... Personally, I'm really disgusted at the lack of professionalism he gave Tom Renney - Tambo has one year to show he's the right guy... If we don't improve by the 10 to 12 points that we should be able to - he's done...

Personally - I still think Hordichuk and Belanger were good signings. Belanger had an awful season - but you seem to forget that he was brought in to win faceoffs too... He was the only centremen on our team that won over 55% of his draws... Hordichuck knew his role and did well for the 3-5 minutes he played... Barker was a cheap flyer with minimal risk and I agree with you in regards to Potter, but he's making peanuts and can be waived at a moments notice...

I agree with you in regards to going after all of those D-man though... No way you're getting Suter, Schultz is a maybe and with the right term and $$, Garrison and Jackman are reasonable possibilities...

Unfortunately being a 29th place team creates a situation where significant moves are hard to come by... How many free agents will want to come to a team that's at least one to two years away from the playoffs?? You can try to trade for a big name, but you're then giving up either your 1st round draft picks or someone by the name of Hall, Eberle and RNH... There's not much that even an average GM could do with the talent base we have in our veteran core.

I certainly hope you can put up with no playoffs for at least this next upcoming season... We're not doing much better than 12th this year - even if Tambo can pull of two or three FA miracles (which I doubt he can).

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#91 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 24 2012, 09:45AM
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@ D-Man

You really need to look at crappy teams ability to attract free agents, and what solid roster players typically go for in trades.

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#92 D-Man
May 24 2012, 10:07AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ D-Man

You really need to look at crappy teams ability to attract free agents, and what solid roster players typically go for in trades.

I would argue that you need to as well...

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#93 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 24 2012, 11:43AM
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@ D-Man

Look through the transactions from the last 5 years (or more). Reality is only a few clicks of your mouse away.

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#94 D-Man
May 24 2012, 11:48AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ D-Man

Look through the transactions from the last 5 years (or more). Reality is only a few clicks of your mouse away.

I'd suggest the same to you...

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#95 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 24 2012, 01:12PM
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@ D-man

Are you jerking me around here? Do you seriously believe what you are writing?? You think it's that hard to sign quality free agents when you are a bottom feeder and that you can't trade for quality players without moving elite young talent?

The length you'll go to, to give the team a free pass is hilarious.

Brent Burns was aquired for Seteguchi and a prospect

Phaneuf was aquired for Stajen/Hagman/White

Christian Erhoff was aquired for Daniel Rhahimi and Patrick White

Vishnosky for Stoll and Green

Pronger for Brewer/Woywitka/Lynch

Thorton for Sturm/Primo/Stuart

Luongo for Bertuzzi/Auld/Allen

Carter and Richards for 2nd/3rd liners and good but not great prospects/picks

Ladd for Vishnisky

Bufflien, Sopel and Eager for Reasoner and a couple draft picks

Those are good to great players traded for a basket of inferior players... not elite youg talent...dispite your refusal to admit it, these trades happen.

Chara signed in Boston when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Timonen, Hartnell and Brier signed in Philly when they were the worst team in the league

Flieschman, Jovanovski and Upshall signed in Florida when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Hejda signed in Colorado when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Streit signed with the NYI when they were terrible

TBay signed Ryan Malone when they were terrible

Beauchimen signed in TO when they were terrible

Scuderi signed in LA when they were terrible

Good players go to bad teams, good players are traded for baskets of inferior players. It happens. Their is no excuse for the Oilers to not bring in quality players this summer.

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#96 D-Man
May 24 2012, 02:37PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

@ D-man

Are you jerking me around here? Do you seriously believe what you are writing?? You think it's that hard to sign quality free agents when you are a bottom feeder and that you can't trade for quality players without moving elite young talent?

The length you'll go to, to give the team a free pass is hilarious.

Brent Burns was aquired for Seteguchi and a prospect

Phaneuf was aquired for Stajen/Hagman/White

Christian Erhoff was aquired for Daniel Rhahimi and Patrick White

Vishnosky for Stoll and Green

Pronger for Brewer/Woywitka/Lynch

Thorton for Sturm/Primo/Stuart

Luongo for Bertuzzi/Auld/Allen

Carter and Richards for 2nd/3rd liners and good but not great prospects/picks

Ladd for Vishnisky

Bufflien, Sopel and Eager for Reasoner and a couple draft picks

Those are good to great players traded for a basket of inferior players... not elite youg talent...dispite your refusal to admit it, these trades happen.

Chara signed in Boston when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Timonen, Hartnell and Brier signed in Philly when they were the worst team in the league

Flieschman, Jovanovski and Upshall signed in Florida when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Hejda signed in Colorado when they were one of the worst teams in the league

Streit signed with the NYI when they were terrible

TBay signed Ryan Malone when they were terrible

Beauchimen signed in TO when they were terrible

Scuderi signed in LA when they were terrible

Good players go to bad teams, good players are traded for baskets of inferior players. It happens. Their is no excuse for the Oilers to not bring in quality players this summer.

One - how many of those signings were significant overpays?? I would argue that most of them - especially your Florida, Colorado, Toronto, and Tampa Bay examples were significant.. Perhaps I should have clarified to you that we won't be able to get quality free agents as a 29th place team without significantly overpaying players... Otherwise, what other motivation would they have to come??

Second - your sample is skewed in the sense that Pronger, Phaneuf (and don't quote me on), Thorton and Luongo all wanted out of their current situations tying their respective GM's hands... Of course, when you're negotiating with an opposing team with a player that wants out - you're not going to get a fair return... You're also underestimating the value the return Philly got for Richards and Carter.

Some of the trades you've mentioned do add some merit to your argument - I must concede... Unfortunately, I would also say that Tambo doesn't really have many options in regards to trade pieces... For example, asides from the young elite talent we have - the only assets that other teams would ask for would be Hemsky, Gagner and (maybe) Whitney. Considering the holes we need to fill (mostly on the back end) would you as a GM dealing with the Oilers seriously consider giving up a legitimate #2-#3 defender for Hemsky/Whitney considering their injury issues and Gagner?? Even if you packaged all three??

You've proven your point (somewhat) that some GM's can get hosed for bad trades... I hope you're right and the Oilers are on the right end of a couple - as much as I doubt that.

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