The Edmonton Oilers and the window to win

Jonathan Willis
June 19 2012 01:16PM

The last few days have seen an explosion of trade rumours (as well as some actual moves) and the expectation is that the Edmonton Oilers will be very busy over the next two weeks. Once again, they enter the NHL Entry Draft with a first overall pick, and once again the next two weeks project as critical in the long-term future of the franchise.

On thing that Steve Tambellini and the rest of the Oilers’ brain-trust should keep in mind throughout this period is the Oilers’ window to win.

Two trades stand out to me over the last few years, trades where the Oilers got really good value but still didn’t clearly win the day. We talked about the Chris Pronger trade late last month, and the collection of assets the Oilers walked away from that deal with was impressive. In terms of value, the Oilers got a lot of it from the Ducks. The Dustin Penner trade is a similar story, though to a lesser extent.

When Steve Tambellini dealt Dustin Penner at the 2011 trade deadline, he got fair value in return. He got the first round pick that turned into Oscar Klefbom, defenseive prospect Colten Teubert, as well as the third round pick in this year’s draft (note: that third-round pick would have been a second-round selection had the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2011, but because they won in 2012 it remains a third rounder).

That’s a fair package in exchange for Penner, in terms of value. The only problem with a deal like that is what it means for a team’s window to win – the package Edmonton received had no major impact in 2010-11, no major impact in 2011-12 (Teubert played some games in the NHL but was clearly overmatched) and is unlikely to have a major impact in 2012-13. So, the value will eventually be good but the immediate impact is minimal.

That’s why rebuilding teams make those sorts of trades: pain now in exchange for benefit later.

As a team exits the teardown phase of a conventional NHL rebuild, that’s a harder trade to make, for a few reasons. The first is that the rebuilding club is now trying to take strides forward – a team that perpetually trades assets now for assets later never gets anywhere, and all rebuilds need to have a timeframe for transitioning from a terrible team to a competitive team.

The second reason is that the assets accumulated at the start of the rebuilding window start getting a) expensive and b) antsy for wins. The Oilers have one more season in which Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall will be in their entry-level deals. The year after that, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be on his second contract. A team doesn’t need their best players to be on entry-level deals, but it makes it easier to put a winner together – Chicago, for example, won five playoff series in the last two years of Kane and Toews' entry-level deals. They haven’t won a playoff series since those players started getting paid full value, in no small part because they have had to jettison strong supporting pieces like Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Brian Campbell and Antti Niemi.

The Oilers have a short period of time to make the jump from rebuilding to being competitive. At this point it seems likely that they won’t make the playoffs during the Hall and Eberle entry-level contracts; they need to improve greatly to manage a playoff appearance during the Nugent-Hopkins deal.

It is of course worth remembering that these sorts of teams can rise in a hurry if things are done right – Chicago went from missing the playoffs in 2007-08 to losing in the conference finals in 2008-09 to winning it all in 2009-10; Pittsburgh went from 58 points in 2005-06 to 105 points in 2006-07 to the Finals in 2007-08 to a Cup win in 2008-09. The talent available at the top of the draft can trigger a rapid and dramatic turnaround.

To manage such a turnaround, however, teams need to stop tearing down and start building up.

A case in point is the current Sam Gagner rumour making the rounds. According to the rumour, the Carolina Hurricanes would trade Edmonton the eighth overall pick straight across for Gagner.

That eighth overall pick is a valuable piece; a piece I would argue represents fair value for Gagner. Additionally, it would allow the Oilers to pick Nail Yakupov at the top of the draft and supplement him with either a strong centre (perhaps Mikahial Grigorenko) or to land one of the draft’s top defenders – not Ryan Murray, but a Reinhart or a Dumba or a Rielly or a Trouba. The appeal to that deal is obvious.

The problem is what it does to the Oilers’ window to win. For all the criticism he gets, right now Sam Gagner is a very useful centre of a secondary scoring line. He contributes at a high level in the NHL right now – and his two-way game has improved leaps and bounds since he entered the league after being the sixth overall selection the summer before. If Grigorenko were to fall to eighth and the Oilers made that trade, maybe the impact isn’t that bad, but if the Oilers opt to address their defense how long is it until that defender contributes?

The point is that somewhere along the line, the Oilers have to shift their primary focus from the future to the present. I’d argue the time to do that is now.

This week 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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FIST?

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#2 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 01:23PM
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Hemsky to Yakupov, back to Horc for the onetimer, Whiff. Repeat..For 82 miserable games.

Say no to trading Gagner for magic beans.

The Oilers have absolutely no depth at C in their organization. There isnt a soul in the organization under 25 who looks like they could play in the top 6 that isnt already playing there. Especially so at C.

The last thing I want to see is an Oilers squad featuring Shawn Freaking Horcoff at the 2C position between Hemsky and our latest 1st overall selection.

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#3 YoungOil
June 19 2012, 01:24PM
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"The point is that somewhere along the line, the Oilers have to shift their primary focus from the future to the present. I’d argue the time to do that is now."

Completely agree. Hall, Eberle have been itching to win and now with Nuge, Yakupov(probably), the top 6 is there to win. With a little boost in the defence and Dubnyk continuing his rise in the second half of the season, the Oilers could actually make it this year.

Looks good on paper but they have to perform on the ice.

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#4 Tha Legion
June 19 2012, 01:26PM
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Phasing to winning leads me to believe somehow our 2nd won't be picked by oil but packaged for better talent

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#5 speeds
June 19 2012, 01:26PM
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JW, how much, in your mind, does the signability of Gagner play into things?

I would also probably prefer to keep Gagner, but if the Oilers don't think they can get him signed longer term (Gagner being a UFA after 2 more seasons), don't you have to consider your options?

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#6 TBaggins
June 19 2012, 01:31PM
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Unless Hall is our 2C as he stated he wouldnt mind giving it a shot from the beginning of training camp

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#8 Toro
June 19 2012, 01:32PM
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Its time to move forward and quit worrying about getting more draft picks that some take years to pan out, Its time to move our draft picks and bodies for players that can play on next years team.

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@Archaeologuy

If strength up the middle wins playoff series, Gagner isn't what we need. He's a supporting 2nd line C. Not the anchor.

Make the trade and push further. We don't have to stop at 8.

Also, I'm not sold on Gagner being more of a contributor than any of these guys at 22 y.o.

Yakupov Murray Forsberg Reinhart Dumba Galchenyuk Rielly Grigorenko

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#11 vetinari
June 19 2012, 01:35PM
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My preference is to see if Carolina would take some other players in return for the 8th overall pick unless the Oil can be guaranteed to snatch Grigerenko at that spot and the powers that be (i.e. Lowe, MacT, Tambi and MacGregor) believe that Grigerenko could play in the league next year.

In that case, you're swapping a centre for a centre-- however, one who may have greater upside with your core in 2-3 years, projects to be a bigger physical presence than Gagner, and is more cap friendly than Gagner over the next three years. Otherwise, keep Gagner, sign him to a 2 or 3 year deal, and let him continue to develop into a second line centre and anchor Yakupov and Hemsky for 2012-13.

Development takes time and defencemen are usually 3-5 year projects (see: Smid) while first round forwards are usually on 1-3 year timelines (Hall, Eberle, RNH).

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#12 Ryan2
June 19 2012, 01:38PM
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"The point is that somewhere along the line, the Oilers have to shift their primary focus from the future to the present. I’d argue the time to do that is now."

I think this is a bit premature. As we have all noted, the Oilers still lack the depth needed to be a consistent playoff team. There is a huge difference in the way the Hawks were build and what we are seeing with the Oilers now. The Hawks already had two anchors on D (Seabrook and Keith) + Campblle and most of the solid secondary scorers and role players in place when Toews and Kane were added. Basically, they had the depth in place but needed two (or three if you include Hossa) high end forward to put it all together.

The Oilers, on the other hand, have high end talent but lack the anchors on D and the depth forwards that were the key to the Hawks' success. Up front, the Oilers do not have anyone close to Ladd, Sharp, Versteeg or Byfuglien.

My guess is that at some point in the near future the Oilers are going to have to trade one of the top guns for some better quality depth players in order to win the Cup.

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#13 CDean
June 19 2012, 01:40PM
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I would also prefer to keep Gagner too. This all boils down to other factors, what can we sign Gagner for, what are were able to do to boost the defense, and who is available at 8th spot? If they are going to draft a defenseman at 8th after trading away Gagner, then that is a definite step backward as noted by Arch that we don't have depth prospects at C. Our defensive help has to come from our current prospects, free agency or another trade.

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#14 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 01:46PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

If strength up the middle wins playoff series, Gagner isn't what we need. He's a supporting 2nd line C. Not the anchor.

Make the trade and push further. We don't have to stop at 8.

Also, I'm not sold on Gagner being more of a contributor than any of these guys at 22 y.o.

Yakupov Murray Forsberg Reinhart Dumba Galchenyuk Rielly Grigorenko

1) He doesnt need to be the Anchor. Nuge is the anchor. That much should be obvious.

2) Push further? We are talking about the Oilers here. The thought of making 1 trade on Friday is giving Tambellini Vertigo. Thinking 2 trades could go down is pie in the sky.

3) All those kids you mentioned wont be 22 for 4 more years. Would you like to wait another 4 years? I like the thought of making this 4 Firsts in a row but isnt that a little much? Isnt 3 a little much?

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#17 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 01:50PM
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Gagner is a second line centre and he's nowhere near his prime yet. He has drive and ambition and soft hands and he's only getting stronger. They keep talking about "the kids" and forget that Gagner is only a few months older than Eberle.

His faceoff percentage keeps getting better and he seems stronger on the puck every year. I can only see him getting better, and if he is 37th in centre scoring then that is in the top half of 2nd line NHL centre's in scoring at 22 years old. That's great.

BUT if he wants Hemsky money he can just take a hike. 8th pick sounds OK in that case.

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#18 Dunnonuttin
June 19 2012, 01:55PM
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I agree trading Gagner for picks screws the rebuild over.

As much as I hate to concur with Pierre "Crosby's Pumping Thighs" McGuire, his suggestion that the Oil should investigate trading the #1 + (say Pajjarvi?) for Subban and the #3 is the only suggestion/rumour I've heard that actually makes sense.

As much as people say he's a "cancer in the room" or whatever, a comination of Subban and Galchenyuk has the potential to solve alot of problems for the Oilers within the window to win as described here...

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#19 Lexi
June 19 2012, 01:57PM
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Excellent post JW,

My feeling is the Oilers have to be in the playoffs by 2013-14 or the rebuild will collapse. That means significant progress this year which should be the focus of this offseason.

Gagner for the 8th, only makes sense if they either think Hall really can be centre or Galchynyuk or Grigerenko fall to that spot. We have the D prospects already in the pipeline and one or two years closer to top 4 NHL duty then any of this year's guys. I'm hoping they are artificially pumping Reinhart's tires to get someone in the top 7 to take him and leave one of the C at 8.

My preference is trade Hemsky for a dman like Tyutin or Enstrom, keep Gagner and maybe try him with Hall and Eberle to get him more points and make him more marketable and put RNH and Yak together.

The other key to this year is figure out if Dubnyk a top 20 goalie.

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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@Bicepus Maximus @Archaeologuy

The four years thing is terrifying. You're talking about the same point in time when Eberle and Hall are eligible for UFA status and all the kids are out of their ELC's.

Not only is Gagner not the anchor at C on the Oil, he's not even the anchor at C on the second line. He's just there for the (soon to be more) talented wingers to bounce give-and-go passes off him.

And let's pretend the glass is actually half full for a minute, and assume every player doesn't take 4 years to make a contribution, especially at the top of the draft.

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#22 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 02:03PM
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@Lexi

Last year, in goaltenders who played over 40 games, Dubnyk was #20 in Save percentage. Not bad on a team with a terrible defence like Edmonton.

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#24 roll the dice
June 19 2012, 02:08PM
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You can afford to do gagner for 8th overall if you plan to go with Hall as your line 2 C.

Thats the gamble sometimes you take and hope things workout.

I would never do that trade for anything less than Reinhart or Dumba

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#25 Dunnonuttin
June 19 2012, 02:11PM
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Yeah. I'm not sure if I'd throw one of those two in the mix... but I'd definitely think long and hard about any potential trade that lands us Subban and the third overall...

(@JW)

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@Jonathan Willis

I think Rielly whispers "Doughty"... he's an offensive guy and for some reason I don't think they take as long to develop. Could be wrong here.

And we can safely assume Murray is worth more than Gagner to an NHL team right now. And he's not even 19.

That puts two/three (out of eight) guys in the long, rather than short(er), plan: Reinhart and Dumba.

I'm not convinced this would be a set back. In the worst case, we're getting rid of a piece that doesn't really help win to stock the cupboards. Window or no window.

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#27 Spydyr
June 19 2012, 02:17PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hemsky to Yakupov, back to Horc for the onetimer, Whiff. Repeat..For 82 miserable games.

Say no to trading Gagner for magic beans.

The Oilers have absolutely no depth at C in their organization. There isnt a soul in the organization under 25 who looks like they could play in the top 6 that isnt already playing there. Especially so at C.

The last thing I want to see is an Oilers squad featuring Shawn Freaking Horcoff at the 2C position between Hemsky and our latest 1st overall selection.

Gagner is one of the weakest players I have ever seen on the puck in the NHL.Scoring points in the regular season is not the same as playing hard and scoring points in the playoffs.

Move Hall to center.

The eighth overall pick is not "magic beans" pick up one of the good defenceman available in this draft.

Draft the Yak.

He more than replaces Gagner's points.

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#28 DSF
June 19 2012, 02:22PM
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Oh, how different things would be if the Oilers had drafted smarter

Voracek

Eberle

Kulikov

Seguin

Landeskog

Yakupov

Fantastic centre depth, three dynamic wingers and a young stud defenseman.

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#29 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 02:25PM
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@Spydyr

Not magic beans?

Would you trade Gagner straight up for Burmistrov, Glennie, Boedker, Hamill, or Mueller?

The 8th pick doesnt guarantee anything. Every year the team at 8 hopes they get Couturier but likely ends up with crap.

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#30 Ryan2
June 19 2012, 02:26PM
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@ JW

Your reply is exactly my biggest concern for the team. Unfortunately, looking at the stage of development for the d-prospects and lack of forward depth in the system, the timing for the Oilers is different than it was for the Hawks. They had the supporting cast in place, while the Oilers have the star forwards in place but the rest of the pieces are still developing. Sitting here right now, it looks like the team is still a year or two out from making the playoffs, but I would not be disappointed if they somehow squeaked in this year.

That being said, I do not think the cap will be an issue for re-signing the young guys through their RFA years, and even into UFA status. Even if Hall/Ebs/RNH are $5.0 - $6.0 million cap hits per season ($6.0 - $7.0 million per year salaries), that is the going rate for first lines now, isn't it? It does not look like any of them will be $7.0 million+ players right now, which works in the team's favor. Once the Oilers have Horcoff, Khabi, Hemsky and Whitney off the books there is plenty of cap space to retain the core and add pieces around it.

The key for avoiding the same fate as the Hawks will be having MBS stock the system with enough supporting talent AND developing those players to keep the ball rolling. In addition, if the team establishes itself as a perennial contender then it will be easier to land quality veteran UFAs to fill depth positions at a reasonable price.

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#31 billylikestodrinksoda
June 19 2012, 02:29PM
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Whoever suggests that we should trade gagner for a 8th ov (aka a prospect who is at best nhl ready 2 years from now) needs to figure their lives out. They are the same ones who would complain when tambo "forgets" to acquire a decent #2C to replace Sam and horcoff is once again playing above his head on the second line. Accept that not every team can be Pittsburgh and have tremendous depth at C.

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#32 K-UGER Industrial Smoothing
June 19 2012, 02:31PM
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I think its also worth noting that both Crosby and Malkin were on their second contracts when Pittsburgh won their cup in 2009, and Jordan Staal was in the last year of his deal. If we are making comparisons, the Oilers still are fine- I know you aren't saying its time to flip the panic switch, but it was in the first year of both Malkin and Crosby's new deals (Hall and Ebs), and Staal (Nuge) who was in the last of his entry level deal. (these all represent relative years in the NHL)

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#33 Cody anderson
June 19 2012, 02:32PM
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Would not touch Subban if he were free.

If Gagner will only sign for the 2 years until he is a UFA then I would play him this season between Hall and Yak and increase his trade value.

I don't consider the 2nd line centre to be one of our holes or one of our priorities or needs in order to be competitive. Obviously if skill and scoring is the same you always prefer someone with size and grit. (hell that even goes for Nuge) Gagner's point totals are higher than we need them for a second line centre in order to be competive.

If we did this trade we would need to replace him at centre. The only Dman that looks ready to play in the NHL next season is Murray. We are not getting Murray with a #8 selection, and even if we did the hole we would have at centre would murder us.

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#34 DSF
June 19 2012, 02:35PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Gagner is a second line centre and he's nowhere near his prime yet. He has drive and ambition and soft hands and he's only getting stronger. They keep talking about "the kids" and forget that Gagner is only a few months older than Eberle.

His faceoff percentage keeps getting better and he seems stronger on the puck every year. I can only see him getting better, and if he is 37th in centre scoring then that is in the top half of 2nd line NHL centre's in scoring at 22 years old. That's great.

BUT if he wants Hemsky money he can just take a hike. 8th pick sounds OK in that case.

Many, many of those 36 centres ahead of Gagner play tough opposition.

Gagner, 5 years into his career still needs sheltering.

And more than a few of those 36 other centres are also elite penalty killers while Gagner is not.

That Gagner is scoring as the 37th best centre in the league while being sheltered and getting oodles of PP time indicates indicates a one dimensional player.

And, had Chicago decided to show up for the game on Sam's magical night, we would be talking about a player who was about 50th in scoring.

Given his draft pedigree, Gagner should be much better than Adam Henrique (who, as a rookie, outscored Sam 51-47 and was a demon PK'er.

Henrique was a third round draft pick.

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#35 K-UGER Industrial Smoothing
June 19 2012, 02:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh, how different things would be if the Oilers had drafted smarter

Voracek

Eberle

Kulikov

Seguin

Landeskog

Yakupov

Fantastic centre depth, three dynamic wingers and a young stud defenseman.

every other team wishes they grabbed better players too. Its stupid to think that they regret drafting Eberle, Hall or RNH. Kulikov is far from stud.

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#36 Dman09
June 19 2012, 02:36PM
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Alright well I think this years playoffs were a very good indication of why you need to have bigger physical players in your top 6. The Oilers would get crushed with their current setup going against a team like LA in the playoffs.

If I were the GM, yes I know pipe dreaming. If Gregor is available at #8 I trade Gagner for the pick and take Gregor. Adding Gregor and Yakupov to a top 6 adds size and grit and offensive talent. Now I still think one more piece missing from the top 6 and hemsky and yakupov play the same position. I would be looking to trade Hemsky for a physical winger option and/or a defenseman.

I still see Pety as being a #2 option on defense. If Whitney can return to form then the second pairing of him and Schultz/Smid is a good second pairing. Now Smid is a very good defender but really isn't a Top pairing guy however he showed last season he can fill in there with Petry until the team finds a #1. If the Oilers can somehow sign Schultz I would start him on the third line with Sutton/UFA signing/trade and hope he can eventually move to the #1 spot.

There is still a possibility that a similar situation like Fedun shows up at training camp, might even be him again. If that does happen the defense doesn't look too bad at all.

Now we still need to do something about the Goalie situation. Dubnyk is good and probably a future #1 but there is no good backup for him. Bulin is not an option. Need to fill that role either UFA or trade.

Just my take

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#37 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2012, 02:37PM
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Never thought of Gagner as one of the kids who could ever do some of the heavy lifting on this club. One more center taken this week and it would seal Gagners fate here.

The Oilers have made their bed already. If Gags becomes that near point a game player we always hoped he'd be in the next two yrs, will the Oilers even be able to nestle him in there with the likes of Hall,Hopkins,Eberle and Yakupov as far as pay grade goes? Edmonton also needs a luxury blueliner to stabilize our back end. I don't see this ending well for Gagners future here as an Oiler.

He'll carve himself out a tidy 15 yr career in the NHL, but i don't think we'll ever see his name on the stanley cup as a first or second line center on any competitive hockey club.

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#38 Rama Lama
June 19 2012, 02:49PM
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As Gagner is a respectable second line centre, I would be sad to see him go before his prime.

Having said that the potential of landing Griegerenko is very appealing. Any one who can play through mono, should be moving up in the draft, not down IMHO! The fact that he put up points while having mono makes this guy as "tough as nails"!

If we have to give up a smaller centre to get a larger centre with more offensive upside, so be it! My only condition to this would be that he plays ahead of Horcoff no if, and,or buts. Horcoff will spoil any of these youngsters with his anti-offensive playing tactics.

If ther is a hockey god, please make some other desperate team take Horcoff and Belenger off our hands.......for anything, paper towels, stools, and garbage cans?

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#39 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 02:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh, how different things would be if the Oilers had drafted smarter

Voracek

Eberle

Kulikov

Seguin

Landeskog

Yakupov

Fantastic centre depth, three dynamic wingers and a young stud defenseman.

OOOH... this is fun. Let's go back and cherry pick all the picks that panned out after the Oilers picked. The team would be the BEST in the NHL.

They'd have Parise, Dasyuk, Pacioretty, Lucic, Neal, Green, Dubinsky, Perry, and Dennis Wideman!

~ No sweat. How come the scouts coudlnt' see into the future. What the heck is wrong with them. ~

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#40 LoDog
June 19 2012, 03:00PM
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If Grigorenko is sitting there at 8 you have to make the trade IMO. I like Gagner but he can be replaced fairly easily and Grigorenko could end up being the best player in this draft.

No to any dman, they need NHL dmen not prospects.

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#41 eastcoastoil
June 19 2012, 03:01PM
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John, I have heard this mentioned before, What about Paajarvi on d? From what I understand he played the position before and has good size?

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#42 Dman09
June 19 2012, 03:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

As Gagner is a respectable second line centre, I would be sad to see him go before his prime.

Having said that the potential of landing Griegerenko is very appealing. Any one who can play through mono, should be moving up in the draft, not down IMHO! The fact that he put up points while having mono makes this guy as "tough as nails"!

If we have to give up a smaller centre to get a larger centre with more offensive upside, so be it! My only condition to this would be that he plays ahead of Horcoff no if, and,or buts. Horcoff will spoil any of these youngsters with his anti-offensive playing tactics.

If ther is a hockey god, please make some other desperate team take Horcoff and Belenger off our hands.......for anything, paper towels, stools, and garbage cans?

I'd keep Horcoff as a third line center if he didn't get paid so much. But even then hes not a big hitter or a very physical guy. He wins draws and kills penalties so is still useful.

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#43 Kodiak
June 19 2012, 03:03PM
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Gagner scored 49 points his rookie season and hasn't passed that mark since. Is it really a stretch to think a Grigorenko could put up comparable numbers his first season or two with even greater upside and also be there to help Yakupov?

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#44 John Chambers
June 19 2012, 03:06PM
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If Grigorenko or Dumba are still available at 8 I would strongly consider making that deal.

You could go into July 1 willing to overpay Olli Jokinen on a 2 year deal to bridge the gap until Grigorenko was ready to play big minutes. Or better, we could work out a deal with Pittsburg to acquire Jordan Staal, thereby providing some serious shelter to RNH.

Hemsky and Klefbom for Staal? I'd be salivating.

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I agree with Arch. Don't trade Gagner for magic beans. I can only imagine how well he'll do playing behind Eric Staal, a dominant #1 center. Once RNH becomes that dominant 1st line C, everything gets easier for the second line. Gagner's got more to give.

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#46 Stocc
June 19 2012, 03:08PM
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The point is that somewhere along the line, the Oilers have to shift their primary focus from the future to the present. I’d argue the time to do that is now.

Mostly I just wanted to see those words written one more time. But there's also a chance Mr. Tambellini is poking around on the internets looking for advice and reading JW can only help.

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#47 Dman09
June 19 2012, 03:12PM
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Hemsky, Omark and a pick to the Jet for Enstrom.

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#48 eastcoastoil
June 19 2012, 03:12PM
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Any word on the off season training of our young guns?

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#49 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 03:17PM
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Kodiak wrote:

Gagner scored 49 points his rookie season and hasn't passed that mark since. Is it really a stretch to think a Grigorenko could put up comparable numbers his first season or two with even greater upside and also be there to help Yakupov?

It's possible he could be. It's also possible (and more likely) that he won't be. Gagner has been good for 40+ points every season of his career (5 seasons).

Grigorenko = Magic beans.

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
June 19 2012, 03:17PM
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Why not make that Gagner deal now? Why wait until you're on the clock. Get that eighth now and see what else can come from it. Somebody the Oilers love will be available weather they select 8th or improve on that 8th even further.

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