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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#1 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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#2 I'm a Scientist!
June 19 2012, 04:32PM
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Siiiiigh. All this focus on the draft really leads to people over valuing draft picks they have NEVER EVER seen playing.

Trade Gagner for a player, sure. Trade Gagner for a top five pick...sure. Trade Gagner for an unknown at 8? No. I don't trade a #6 with 5 years experience for a #8 with none.

Don't get swept away in the hype.

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#3 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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#4 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 03:29PM
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@DSF

Gagner as a whiff? Too harsh. Even if you dont like him, he isnt a whiff at all.

Cogliano? There was 1 other NHLer drafted behind him in the 1st round. Hardly a whiff.

Paajarvi? A little quick to condemn on that one, but I must admit I wanted Ellis that year.

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#5 David S
June 19 2012, 05:33PM
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@Jonathan:

So Penner for magic beans was a good trade?

Gagner for magic beans is also a good trade?

Whatever the hell happened to trading good players you don't need for good players you do need? You know, real, bonafide NHL'ers???

The fact so many people are actually OK with this sort of thing is why we won't be playing meaningful games after Halloween in the foreseeable future.

Every time you give up a developed asset for a potential asset, you reduce the possibility of that return working out. You also retard the development curve by continually diluting the pool of real players needed to support the shiny new "magic bean" guys. How is this such a mystery? HOW???

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#6 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 19 2012, 01:22PM
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FIST?

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#7 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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#9 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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#10 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 19 2012, 06:30PM
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@ Blacque Jacque

Fairly sure he's referring to DSF Blaque. WBC is into the all too common fantasy type Oiler thinking, and DSF is more into the reality type of criticism when he levels it towards the Oilers.

DSF makes some valid points, and he's right, Edmonton would be much better off with a Dale Tallon type GM at the helm rather than Steve Tambellini.

100% of the traffic here supports the rebuild but fewer than 50% here think Steve is even capable of doing what needs to be done.

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#11 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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#12 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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#13 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 01:46PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! 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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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 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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#18 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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#19 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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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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#21 LoDog
June 19 2012, 03:23PM
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This magic beans thing is getting to me.

Trading a player for a first round pick is magic beans.

Trading Gagner right now for the 8th could also be considered magic beans but less so because they have a good idea of who they can get.

Trading Gagner after the 7th selection and Grigorenko is still available is far from it.

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#22 Cody anderson
June 19 2012, 03:24PM
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John Chambers: Unless it is Galchenyuk or grigorenko we get killed trading Gagner. I think Dumba is 3 years from being in the NHL and proably 5 years before he reaches his potential. he would be a nice piece to add, but would be outside our window to win.

Only D available at this draft that I feel would be a signifigant piece in the next 3 years is Murray, and I would not take him 1st.

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#23 Bucknuck
June 19 2012, 03:33PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Gagner as a whiff? Too harsh. Even if you dont like him, he isnt a whiff at all.

Cogliano? There was 1 other NHLer drafted behind him in the 1st round. Hardly a whiff.

Paajarvi? A little quick to condemn on that one, but I must admit I wanted Ellis that year.

Neither is Cogliano (at 25th overall), and the jury is still out on Paajarvi & Plante.

However, Nash, Pouliot and Ninimakki were epic whiffs. EDIT - Hey you added the cogliano and Pajaarvi lines after the fact and rendered my comment obsolete.

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#24 Cody anderson
June 19 2012, 03:42PM
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DSF: I like a lot of their pick unfortunately i agree they drafted too many players in the same mould. Cogliano was a descent prosepct and playing 1st or 2nd line and power play was even a pretty good producer ant the NHL level. the fact is we did not need any more small players in our top 6. He did a pretty good job of transorming himself into a defensive froward and PK option, but most teams reserve those roles for bigger players.

Paajarvi- Way to early to say he flopped. He is a skilled forward and needs to be in the top 2 lines to be succesful. Brining Smyth back last year stunted his development, and is one of the main reasons i hope they do not resign Smyth. If he plays on the 1st or 2nd line with powerplay time he is a big, fast, reasonably physical option that will get points. He, like a lot of Swedish players, is a finesse player and does not show well with grinders.

After watching Hall the last 2 years (other than potential injury concerns) I totally agree with this pick. He is the heart and soul of the team and a future captain. When he is not in the lineup there forecheck goes to hell and they look like a last place team.

No question that some of your other examples are flops and look like bad scouting. Since Stu took over the 1st round picks have all looked good. We will have to wait and see if a few of his lower selections pan out.

I do have a concern with the oilers development of young players. We had a long time without our own farm team. this made it impossible to develop our young players and may be a reason for a lot of those earlier flops. Now in order to make our farm teams competive we signed a lot of veteran players. While I agree it is important for the players to be competive and get used to winning and even to expect to win, if this happens by playing vets in key roles rather than exposing our prosects to those key roles we may, again, be stunting their development.

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#25 EricOG
June 19 2012, 04:24PM
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At some point the Oilers have to get bigger at centre. If they really want to compete this year, the time would be now. However, unless they already have another option, trading Gagner now, and specially for a pick that may or may not pan out is fool's gold.

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#26 OILER86
June 19 2012, 05:00PM
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Couldn't agree more Willis. The 8 point game from Gagner this season showed his upside and trading a former #6 for a #8 seems foolish. Not to mention all the hype Stoll just got here in Edmonton after the cup run. Hell, he was a center with less offensive upside than Gagner and we all start pining for him now that he's gone. I would see the same things happening for Sam if we move him.

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#27 Archaeologuy
June 19 2012, 06:39PM
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@Walter Sobchak

Grigorenko and Galchenyuk vs Seguin and Landeskog.

Seguin was billed as being a legit choice as #1. Landeskog was billed as being NHL ready.

Grigorenko is cast by some as being a mid rounder and Galchenyuk played 2 games this year.

It isnt a fair comparison at all. We know way less about this current duo and what we do know makes Scouts cringe.

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#28 Word
June 19 2012, 07:02PM
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Everyone who wants to trade Gagner has to be of the philosophy that you don't draft BPA, but rather draft for need - correct?

The only logic for making this trade is based on speculation that an (unproven) big center is a need of the club, and that the need can be filled by trading away a (proven) 45-point smallish center.

I wish I was smart enough to pull some of Lowetide's equivalency numbers out to make my point, but to me this is 100% drafting for need and trading away BPA (like it or not, Gagner at this time is BPA compared to Grigorenko, he just doesn't fill the need of a big center).

I'm wholly against it, but I also want them to draft Yak instead of Murray.

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#29 PaperDesigner
June 19 2012, 07:18PM
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@DSF

You are obviously from the future, since you happen to know a player that circumstances happens to point to being a good player down the road is a bust. Is there any useful information you can impart for betting purposes?

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#30 DSF
June 19 2012, 07:22PM
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PaperDesigner wrote:

You are obviously from the future, since you happen to know a player that circumstances happens to point to being a good player down the road is a bust. Is there any useful information you can impart for betting purposes?

I have an excellent track record.

Is there a particular player you would like to know about?

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#31 Walter Sobchak
June 19 2012, 07:47PM
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@ DSF

Agreed,I think they should explore every option to trade up to grab this kid.

although I think MTL takes him before TML

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#32 TigerUnderGlass
June 19 2012, 11:26PM
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@DSF

How lucky that you had a magical conversation with the greatest mind in hockey who coincidentally happens to agree with every opinion you hold. What are the odds?

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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#37 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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#39 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 19 2012, 01:34PM
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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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#40 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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#41 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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#43 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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#44 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 19 2012, 01:58PM
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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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#47 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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#48 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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#49 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
June 19 2012, 02:15PM
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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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#50 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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