ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

Lowetide
July 22 2012 07:59PM

The Edmonton Oilers began July 1st like a house on fire, but cooled off quickly. Oiler fans are thrilled with the summer so far (or most are) but there's work to be done. Is this the week something happens?

PROGRESS!

So far this summer, Steve Tambellini and the management group have done some nice things.

  • May 1: Signed Oil King winger Kristians Pelss. Speedy winger with a sneaky quick release, he's bound for the minors but has some nice things.
  • May 31: Signed Regina Pat defender Brandon Davidson. Another part of the watershed 2010 draft, Davidson is an overager and should be able to adjust quickly to pro hockey.
  • June 12: Signed Farjestads defender Oscar Klefbom. The most talented defensive prospect in the system, there's a chance he'll be here for training camp. He performed so well at the prospect camp I think there might be a plan to bring him to camp and start him in OKC this fall with an eye to getting playing time in Edmonton during the 12-13 season. Unlikely, but possible. The impending lockout could dash those hopes.
  • June 19: Signed Oiler Lennart Petrell to a one-year, $825,000 contract. Petrell's contract pays him the same in OKC or Edmonton so the plan must be to play him. Likely means one of Teemu Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi (or both) spends some or all of the season in the minors.
  • June 22: Selected Nail Yakupov #1 overall. The selection completes the "fab four" and gives Edmonton electric offense rolling out for the next decade or more.
  • June 27: Name Ralph Krueger head coach. Based on what has been said since that day, Krueger has great rapport with everyone and has a plan for success. Honestly, the verbal has been incredible since Krueger was hired as head coach.
  • June 30: Signed Vancouver Giant D David Musil. Musil will go back to junior unless he makes the Oilers and that's a long shot. Musil is an outstanding defensive defenseman in junior.
  • July 1: Signed D Justin Schultz as a free agent. The Edmonton Oilers rarely score big in free agency, and to get a young man who can grow with the cluster is phenomenal. A high water mark for this team in free agency.
  • July 1: Signed L Ryan Smyth to a 2-year, $4.5M deal. A solid deal for the veteran winger, makes it extremely likely he'll finish his career in Edmonton. His role may change this season, but the Oilers would be wise to make sure the kids earn it.
  • July 1: Signed G Yann Danis. He'll be the OKC starter and first callup, giving the club a third option for NHL goaltending.
  • July 1: Signed L Darcy Hordichuk to a 1-year, $850,000 contract. Oilers management wants that enforcer type and Hordichuk fits the bill. Oilers can play him 4 minutes a night and not hear a word of bitching.
  • July 5: Oilers sign G Devan Dubnyk to a 2-year, $7M contract. It seemed like a lot but is in line with other goaltenders of similar experience and quality. He'll be UFA at the end of the contract.
  • July 5: Oilers sign D Jeff Petry to a 2-year, $3.5M contract. This is insane value based on the role he played (and how well he filled it) in the second half of the season.
  • July 16: Oilers sign D Theo Peckham to a 1-year, $1,075M contract. Peckham offers the team a great deal of toughness and reports have him working hard this summer in preparation for 12-13.
  • July 20: Oilers sign C Sam Gagner to a 1-year, $3.2M contract. The two sides had discussed a longer term but both appear pleased with a shorter deal.

ARE WE THERE YET?

Steve Tambellini has a few more items on the list, like getting Nail Yakupov's entry level deal put away. There's also the matter of picking up another top 4 defender--Tambellini mentioned that early on in the process and some of us having good memories.

Jim Matheson's latest column offers us some good news on Yakupov:

  • Yakupov will be signed very shortly. While other teams are signing their first-rounders and people are getting antsy for the Oilers to sign the Russian-born winger, who is back in his homeland, it’s going to get done. Likely early next week. It’s a boiler-plate, entry-level contract with a big bonus structure as the Hall and RNH deals were.

Matheson--like our own Robin Brownlee and Jason Gregor--is money when he uses that kind of language. We've heard less about that top 4D, especially since Marc Methot left Columbus. However, this week should be important for several reasons, including Shea Weber's offer sheet closure.

My guess is that some of the tumblers click after Weber finds out his final address, and the defenders like Andrej Meszaros, Fedor Tyutin, Jay Bouwmeester, Keith Yandle and Cody Franson could come available. Obviously those names range in price and quality but there are still teams with business left to do and a team like Edmonton--with plenty of forwards, cap room, prospects and draft picks--should be a player.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Keep your twitter on, have Oilers Nation on your iphone and if you're in the office check the ticker. It's a long summer and business has been slower than usual. The Weber decision might jump start some activity and Edmonton might be involved.

And we could see Nail Yakupov signed this week. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 REALNate88
July 22 2012, 08:07PM
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Fist!!

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#2 Wanyes bastard child
July 22 2012, 08:11PM
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I've got ON on my blackberry, is that OK?

Also are you competing with Willis for number of articles LT :P

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#4 Spartacus
July 22 2012, 08:27PM
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I don't see anything to be thrilled about. It's not like Tambellini has done anything aside from re-assembling the exact same team that finished 29th.

I see the same roster as last year and I want to cry. So I do. It's not good to keep it all bottled up, it leads to Unabombing and such.

Sure, I give credit for signing Schultz, that was a great day for the Oilers.

Promoting Krueger was a fine move.

Drafting Yakupov was the sensible thing to do, so I was thrilled when the Oilers called his name.

Two rookies and an assistant coach. Teachers do more during the summer.

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#5 Stocc
July 22 2012, 08:28PM
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Writing things out to think them through is a fantastic idea. When it comes time for a conclusion and to figure out "what does it all mean" I think there's a likelihood that you'll forget all the reasoning you've done to that point. Having it written down is the way to go.

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#6 Wanyes bastard child
July 22 2012, 08:28PM
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@Lowetide

It's only insanity when you answer yourself... thats what the voices tell me at least...

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#8 Oiler Al
July 22 2012, 08:46PM
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PS.. Oiler nation " Best site in my books" keep the cards and letters coming... -long hot summer-.

The one thing that I didnt agree from your recap, was the re-upping of Hordichuk. This guy didnt realy defend the young, and is a bit of a side show, and makes the odd chase for the other teams goon. There has to be bigger and better young guys who can do the job.

Stevie boy, is still short a top 4 D-man and a biggish Cntr. man. These two commodities are a rare find this summer,especially at the center postion. Definitely the UFA cupboard is bare of A/B list players.

There has been some conversation about switching Hall to Ctr[ not sure I agree with the move], but for a wild moment if that was for real, why not go wild and sign Semin and let him play LW with is countryman [ Yakapov]. Just maybe this guy could turn his game around,playing with the high flying younsters. One year deal , for a test drive. I know its out there, but so is signing Weber to a zillion dollars.

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#9 Indy Edmonton
July 22 2012, 08:49PM
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Weber decision should have a trickle down effect. If one of the Philly defenseman are available I hope the Oilers are all over that opportunity. However, the one player that may be available due to his contract is Scott Hartnell. I know he had a amazing year last year goal wise but he is entering his final contract year before UFA status, could be possibly be shaken loose in Philly? $4.2M cap hit.

Wasn't he once rumoured to be coming to Edmonton for Souray and the Oiler bulked at the years remaining on his contract? Hartnell would be an amazing addition on LW on the second line.

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#10 nuge2nail
July 22 2012, 08:53PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

The Oilers finished 29th last year. We need a top 6 forward who isnt a rookie, and a top 4 dman who isnt a rookie.

The Oilers have over 11 Million in Cap Space - if they truly want to change the culture and want to win now they should overpay for Semin and Sign Roszival. This would finally give us the depth needed to fight for a playoff spot.

Semin 2 years 12 Million - Roszival 2 years 8 Million. Semin, Hemsky, and Smyths contracts expire in time to sign Hopkins so the signing would not put us in future cap jail. Roszival for two years would allow the kids (Teubert, Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat) time to develop, and Sutton to come in when injuries occur.

Than if a trade opens up to get another top 4 D- we can package Peckham or Sutton back the other way.

|Hall Gagner Eberle| |Semin Hopkins Yakupov| |Smyth Horcoff Hemsky| |Jones Belanger Petrell|

Injuries occur on the left, Smyth moves up. Injuries occur on the right, Hemsky moves up. Callups; Paarajvi, Hartkainen.

Petry Smid Roszival Schultz Whitney Shultz Callups: Sutton, Peckham, Teubert, Potter

We would have the depth to handle the injuries that hit us every year. It makes logical sense for the 29th place team to add some quality players, and the signings would open up more trade options.

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#11 magisterrex
July 22 2012, 09:02PM
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Something tells me that whomever that Top 4 Dman is, he's probably got blonde hair. A real Blondie.

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#12 Spartacus
July 22 2012, 09:07PM
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LT, I agree, there were some improvements.

I don't mean to be overly negative, but most of the moves so far are maintaining of the status quo rather than actual improvements.

Reading McCurdy's recent article about Tambellini "building from within" doesn't give me any hope at all that there's anything coming in the way of a trade.

But's it's impossible to tell what's going on with Larry, Moe & Curly, and that's another thing that pisses me off.

Don't tell me one thing and then do another, or do nothing at all.

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#14 Dog Train
July 22 2012, 09:16PM
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There are still plenty of options out there for the Oilers. There are some solid free agents (Roszival, Jurcina) that are still available. We have plenty of bullets in our gun to make a trade. The off-season has been good but other than the Justin Schultz signing, everything has either been obvious or meh. Still work to do.

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#15 dougtheslug
July 22 2012, 09:18PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination to Follow

The Oilers finished 29th last year. We need a top 6 forward who isnt a rookie, and a top 4 dman who isnt a rookie.

The Oilers have over 11 Million in Cap Space - if they truly want to change the culture and want to win now they should overpay for Semin and Sign Roszival. This would finally give us the depth needed to fight for a playoff spot.

Semin 2 years 12 Million - Roszival 2 years 8 Million. Semin, Hemsky, and Smyths contracts expire in time to sign Hopkins so the signing would not put us in future cap jail. Roszival for two years would allow the kids (Teubert, Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat) time to develop, and Sutton to come in when injuries occur.

Than if a trade opens up to get another top 4 D- we can package Peckham or Sutton back the other way.

|Hall Gagner Eberle| |Semin Hopkins Yakupov| |Smyth Horcoff Hemsky| |Jones Belanger Petrell|

Injuries occur on the left, Smyth moves up. Injuries occur on the right, Hemsky moves up. Callups; Paarajvi, Hartkainen.

Petry Smid Roszival Schultz Whitney Shultz Callups: Sutton, Peckham, Teubert, Potter

We would have the depth to handle the injuries that hit us every year. It makes logical sense for the 29th place team to add some quality players, and the signings would open up more trade options.

Wouldn't you agree that a big part of the rebuild philosophy is the reconstruction of the team chemistry as well as team skill? The core of the team has been chosen for character as well as for skill and it is clear that the management is going to let them grow and mature into winners, adding spare parts later. So I think going for a Semin overpay is over reaching right now as is any speculative overpayment on a questionable star player. Premature. Would upset the locker room chemistry for too little upside, a la Radulov. I preach patience, let things grow organically and trust the process.

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#16 Lexi
July 22 2012, 09:35PM
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I am still hopeful there is a vet top 4 Dmen coming, unless they feel 90% certain Whitney will be healthy. I really don't want them to rush Klefbom as 1 rookie Dman is enough.

It's been a weird offseason. As teams like Detroit and Pitssvurgh haven't done much either. The Weber, Doan, Nash stuff has really back logged movement.

Cbus is basically on hold until Nash is traded, but once that happens, I've got to think Tyutin would be in play especially if they get a Dman.

One team I hope the Oilers keep their eye on is New Jersey. They have 7 Dmen and I think Tallender, if healthy could be a good pickup. Also Zajac, Zubrus and Clarkson are all in the last year of their contracts and NJ needs to upgrade their prospects. I could see them having a similar season next year that Tampa Bay had this year.

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#17 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 09:38PM
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Thanks for not posting a more current Debbie picture there LT. It might've ruined the effect.

Everybody seems to want the Oilers to move faster. Even Flames fans.

Moves made in haste with this group are as likely to backfire as improve.

The Heatley deal was arguably made in haste. Let's all take a moment to pray at the shrine of Hall that that one didn't go through. Ditto Nylander. And Hossa. And Jagr.

Maybe asking Steve Tambellini to go for player acquisitions isn't the best idea.

Can Stu MacGregor pro scout in his spare time?

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#18 nuge2nail
July 22 2012, 09:38PM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

@DougtheDlug

I believe in Team Chemistry and being patient. That being said, I also think we have all been patient enough in the rebuild.

I think the media has assinated Semins character because he is Russian. He is a +95 last 4 seasons, 5th best in the entire NHL(Behind Chara, Sedin, Sedin, Burrows) - thats elite company.

I dont think he could be as lazy as the media makes it seem. Nash was -19 last year, if he was Russian I honestly believe he would have little to zero trade value with a 7.8 million dollar cap hit. I dont think he had a negative influence on Ovechkin, I dont think he will have a negative impact on Yakupov. I dont believe he can impact the character and passion Hall plays with. Hes a 30/30 if he has a subpar season, we can use more of those type of players.

This locker room is used to losing, Semin has helped his team make the playoffs every year - Once he helps us get in - Captain Clutch(Ebs) will take over. I look forward to seeing Eberle play in meaningful games and show us he is the most clutch player of this decade. At the end of the day, Its not our money - Katz can spend it on bringing in players that will get us out of yearly lottery picks, or keep it. Our bonus cushion leaves us with over 20 million in cap space - I for one believe we should use it on two year deals - so we can keep the core together later and improve now and change the culture.

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#19 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 09:43PM
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@Lexi

Pittsburgh made all of their moves at the draft, I believe.

Detroit has had a bridesmaid summer. Always close, never picked.

Tyutin may be offered up. But everything I've read suggests that Howson wants to get the train back on the tracks as soon as possible.

New Jersey is in a really bad spot. They have to waive their first round pick this year, a really deep year, and one wherein they are not heavily favoured to make the playoffs at this point. That means that Lamoriello ought to be buying to buoy the team and try for another playoff run.

The flip side of that is that they are a hair's breadth away from bankruptcy, or there already, and can't take on any more money.

So they may be looking to trade a high-priced defenseman for a lower-priced defenseman of equal talents. But then who isn't?

Could be a real shame if the Devils bomb this season and don't get a pick out of it. Not the best way for someone with Lamoriello's track record to go out (I'm assuming he's near the end of his career there).

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#20 Cervantes
July 22 2012, 09:46PM
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Lowetide, the only tangible difference between this upcoming team and the one that has bottomed out the league for three years is the addition of a guy who has never played an NHL game in his life. I love this team, but come on, this hardly qualifies as fantastic, good, or even mediocre work. The only way to put a shine on it is to note that it's almost August and Tambo has yet to sign an aging, injury prone, declining keeper to a ridiculous and unmovable contract.

And, come to think of it, a big part of our getting Schultz was getting Gretzky and Coffey to call him. Our position was so weak that we needed to get some HOFers who haven't played here in twenty years to sweet talk a kid into coming here for a few years. Yes, I hear Kruegers pitch was good too, but really, this wasn't an inspired effort by Tambo that made this happen.

He got a few decent dollar value contracts signed, but that's it. There is no way anyone should rightfully call this a successful summer for the Oilers so far. I love em, I really do, but you just can't.

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#22 Clarence Oveur
July 22 2012, 10:01PM
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Lowetide wrote:

No, lol. I had some time today and my brain had to get all this stuff out. It's kind of therapeutic, like settling an argument in my brain. I'll say "the Oilers haven't done one damn thing" and then the voice in my brain will say "Justin Schultz, Nail, Smyth, you forget a lot you know."

So this is just so I can settle arguments in my head. lol. Maybe I shouldn't tell people this?

I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I.

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#23 Reg Dunlop
July 22 2012, 10:09PM
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Scott Hartnell- Buy low, sell high. Comming off his best season, a play for him is likely to be a disappointment. Same thing for trading Hemsky now. We would be disappointed if he had a 60 pt season elsewhere.

Semin- The entire league avoiding him because he's Russian? For no other reason? Come on, man, give your toque a spin. If Souray was to be kept far away from the kids then Semin must be kept even furthur away.

Debbie Harry- What can I say, she was on my to do list but I must agree with Rex; no recent photos please.

On the durface Tambo has not done everything we want to see done. He has done some good things, however, and the raging upside of our youth could lead ANYWHERE including the post-season(or the draft lottery). If we now stand pat, I am happy, sort of.

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#24 Tim in Kelowna
July 22 2012, 10:38PM
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I am thrilled that we landed J Schultz, but aside from that Tambellini has done nothing. I refuse to give him credit for drafting Yakupov or resigning RFAs- those aren't accomplishments. Sign Yakupov, acquire a top4 dman and add some quality grit to the top 9 and I will be happy with the off-season.

For now I am concerned that Tambellini's 'wait and see; approach is backfiring. Once you get into August, GMs are generally pretty content with their rosters. We are going to need a dance partner to land a top4 dman.

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#25 David S
July 22 2012, 11:36PM
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REALNate88 wrote:

Fist!!

That's quite an accomplishment!

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#26 David S
July 22 2012, 11:45PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Spartacus: I think the team could improve a lot just by figuring out the black hole 4th line and having Whitney healthy (or dealing for another top 4D).

Dubnyk playing 55 games will also help a lot. His EV SP was terrific. The Oilers will improve just because their cluster is younger and getting better each season.

I do agree that they could quicken the move up the conference with an addition, though.

LT, you keep talking about Whitney getting healthy. He already is.

From all accounts his ankle is as good as it's going to get. The only thing he's got going for him is experience and a year of figuring out how to play at far less than 100%.

No offense, but anybody here who thinks Whitney isn't going to get pyloned alot this season is either willingly fooling themselves or borderline delusional. I'm hoping he can be a reasonable third pairing D, but anything more than that would be a gift from the gods.

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#27 David S
July 22 2012, 11:51PM
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One last thing.

Any management group that willingly keeps Eager, Belanger and Hordichik on the roster cannot be said to have made a fair effort to improve their team over the summer.

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#28 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 11:59PM
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So, I kind of understand people wanting Tambellini to have done more thus far. However, having taken a very close look recently at the Oilers rebuild, and comparing it to the details of other recent rebuilds, there is one thing that stands out like a sore thumb.

The Oilers didn't, and arguably still don't, have any veteran talent with which to part in order to accommodate the kind of trade we are all clamoring for.

Smyth just re-signed. Horcoff is contractually obligated to the Oilers until sometime after the Cubs win the World Series. And trading Hemsky now would only get us a 2nd round pick that had a 1/1,000,000 chance of becoming the next Duncan Keith.

Trading anything now would be subtracting from all the work (read: sucking really bad and drafting really high) that has been done to date.

I would have liked for Tambellini to channel 1993 Glen Sather and convince someone to take Omark and give up Gardiner or Enstrom or McDonagh, but that just isn't going to happen. This is Steve Tambellini we're talking about here. Nice guy, probably pretty good at his job. Not the best card shark in the game, though.

By my count this is year four. That means the team takes some steps forward, falls on it's face less often, makes us all start to get a little giddy on more nights, and probably either makes or misses the playoffs by the collectively developing hairs on their post-pubescent chinny chin chins.

I'm just looking for one thing: double-digit scores against the Flames. And the Canucks.

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#29 a lg dubl dubl
July 23 2012, 12:09AM
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I keep thinking the Oilers should try and sign Subban to an offer sheet. Nothin crazy (Weber) just say 4mil per. Could be an upgrade over Whitney.

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#30 Oilcan
July 23 2012, 12:24AM
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Cervantes wrote:

Lowetide, the only tangible difference between this upcoming team and the one that has bottomed out the league for three years is the addition of a guy who has never played an NHL game in his life. I love this team, but come on, this hardly qualifies as fantastic, good, or even mediocre work. The only way to put a shine on it is to note that it's almost August and Tambo has yet to sign an aging, injury prone, declining keeper to a ridiculous and unmovable contract.

And, come to think of it, a big part of our getting Schultz was getting Gretzky and Coffey to call him. Our position was so weak that we needed to get some HOFers who haven't played here in twenty years to sweet talk a kid into coming here for a few years. Yes, I hear Kruegers pitch was good too, but really, this wasn't an inspired effort by Tambo that made this happen.

He got a few decent dollar value contracts signed, but that's it. There is no way anyone should rightfully call this a successful summer for the Oilers so far. I love em, I really do, but you just can't.

I wouldn't say Gretzky and Coffey calling played a big part, it probably get Schultz a little excited but I am sure his agents were smart enough not to get fooled by a trick like that, I think he was deciding between the Oilers and the Canucks the whole time. Plus if Tambo asked those guys to call then good on him for being creative.

All his signings have been solid signings, Hordi and Petrell aside (not great not bad).

What else would you have a GM do? He got the 3rd best UFA this summer and in terms of value and age you could argue number 1. He signed Petry and Smyth to amazing contracts he didn't go whale hunting. Overall pretty solid off season.

If he makes a trade for a top 4 dman I would call this off season a massive success.

Souray, Bulin, Whitney off the books next summer and a better understanding of where they are long term with Hall and Ebs locked up and I think Tambno and CO get a little more aggressive with tweaking the roster.

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#31 Pouzar99
July 23 2012, 02:07AM
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And exactly who are we to trade for a Top 4 D man? So far the Oil has not traded a genuine young prospect until they are sure their potential is limited, like Cogliano. It is much too early to trade MP or Gagner, whose loss would leave us with an even bigger problem, no second line center.

The final answers to out D concerns are named Klefbom, Musil and Marcinin, with a couple of other prospects behind them. No trade scenarios will make us contenders this season. It would be crazy to dish off a high-end prospect to fill a hole that will soon be filled the natural way.

Signing a solid, veteran D man on a one-year, or at the most a 2-year deal makes so much more sense as a bridge to Klefbom than trading a promising kid for a Top 4 guy.

Our best hope of solving our biggest problem, adding size up front, is Hemsky, but ONLY after he re-establishes his elite status and proves his shoulders are healed. That will take a while, but it the one big move that awaits. Solve that, and time to develop and a little tinkering is all that remains,

Patience sucks, but a wise patience often wins and impatience and panic ALWAYS loses, and these miracle fantasy moves are a temptation that must be resisted. Ya gotta believe.

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#32 PandaBearJelly
July 23 2012, 02:14AM
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I feel that many of you fail to realize that this is not NHL 12 and you can't just make a trade at the drop of a hat to get what you need. Do you seriously think Tambi doesn't know exactly what is needed to help this team and that he hasn't been working like a dog to try and make it happen? Fact is the oil don't really have that many trading assets that we can afford to give away/other teams actually want.

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#33 AutoOiler
July 23 2012, 02:38AM
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Gentleman, the summer heat is getting to some of you. Mr Dithers is horrible at signing free agents. They tend to be overpaid and under performers. I think Lowe and MacT have locked Dithers in a room, with a ball of yarn and a whoppie cushion, for the reminder of the offseason. And I for one couldn't agree more.

The fertilizer has been spread, the grounds been tilled, and the seeds have been sawn. You now wait for nature to do it's thing.

We have loads of potential. Let's let it grow.

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#34 Pouzar99
July 23 2012, 02:50AM
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To clarify, when I speak of signing a solid, older, veteran D-man on a short term basis I mean a bottom pairing guy, a legitimate 6th D man. Sutton is a 7th D man, so better than that but clearly not as good as anyone in our top 5. There are a few left on the marker, like Spacek possibly, so it would not cost much or cause a cap problem. Maybe Spacek is no longer good enough, I don't know. I am just using him as an example. In fact, there may be no one who fits the bill, but if there is, signing one would make the most sense. If not, then it would be best to go with what we've got.

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#35 John Chambers
July 23 2012, 06:16AM
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LT - what's your take on Meszaros?

Big salary, indeed, but he played roughly 20 mins / game, and seemed to be about middle of the pack for Flyers defensemen based on advanced stats. He's got good size and a touch of offense which is a bonus.

He's not the top-pair guy we covet, but seems like a cut about the Colaiaccovo's and Roszival's out there. I doubt it would take much, maybe Peckham and a middle pick to get him.

If we added Meszaros I would be content, and Mr. Tambellini would get a B+ for this summer's efforts.

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#36 gcw_rocks
July 23 2012, 07:19AM
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I, for one, am not happy with the Oilers summer at all.

The draft was, from my perspective, a disaster outside of Yakupov. I don't think any of the other players drafted play beyond 4th line minutes, if they make the NHL at all.

Grabbing Schultz was a coup, and ditching Renney was good but:

1) Despite an excessive of bodies, the Oilers have not made a trade and so continue with an unbalanced roster

2) Did not bring in veteran Whitney insurance, and not the bottom pairing type either

3) Did not punt Khabibulin to the curb

Clearly adding Mactavish hasn't improve management decision making thus far, and if Lowe really is the one making the decisions, just reenforces the current groupthink.

The other alternative is Lowe has told macT to let Tambo hang himself and be ready when that happens. If that is the case, both Lowe and MacT should be fired tomorrow.

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#37 russ99
July 23 2012, 07:53AM
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I still believe the defenseman we need will be added before training camp (if there is one).

Also. it's not too late to bring in a low-cost FA forward or two to add some competition to the 3rd and 4th line groups - one which is sorely needed after the same underperfoming players are penciled into those lines.

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#38 madjam
July 23 2012, 08:16AM
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CAN WE AFFORD TO HAVE SUCCESS this year and next ? Could be devastating , as young guns market value will escalate wildly . Way to many costly increases forseen in next two years . Were going to have a real hard time holding on to just our first round elites . How many if any will we lose for success over next two seasons ? Prediction - were going to be the next Nashville if were not carefull .

DEJA-VUE : Last time we had success we had an exodus of players and more importantly -huge increses in salaries and longer contracts , etc.. AH, the price of success !

Can't rely on next CBA to help us, because no one knows what final deal will entail -all speculative at this point .

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#39 Sliderule
July 23 2012, 08:21AM
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I think on reflecting on all the moves they made on july1 2011 and how they have worked out they have decided to be patient. I don't see were the free agents they could possibly have a chance of signing will help the team . The signing of Schultz was handled well.We have to credit them for that. Yakupov will make the team and give them more scoring and energy. I would think they are trying to make trades for a defender but 29th place teams spare players don't attract a lot of interest. The oilers need to improve from within so that next season you can find trading partners that will take your discards. 15th to 20th place overall would do that.

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#40 John Chambers
July 23 2012, 09:02AM
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@ gcw_rocks

For me it's a kind of glass-half-full, glass-half-empty kind of thing

On the - side: We cannot compete with San Jose, Detroit, Minnesota, Anaheim, Dallas, and Chicago, or the teams who I think will round out the bottom-half of the West playoff, until we add a legit top-pair defenseman and boast a solid goaltending tandem. Adding Jason Garrison and Tomas Vokoun would've convinced me that we'd be there.

On the + side: The moves we have made will have terrific long-term impact. Yakupov is another super-stud, while Schultz might be a top-pair guy in 3-4 years right when we'll be in position to compete for Stanley. We also didn't do something stupid like sign anyone to a Wisniewski-type contract that will end up hurting us long-term.

Right now I think the Oilers roster puts them in 11th place in the West in '12-'13. If we add a top-4 D like Tyutin or Meszaros, I think we're a 9-10 team with an outside shot at the playoffs ... not quite there but it's definitely starting to turn the corner.

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#41 John Chambers
July 23 2012, 09:10AM
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Err, DP.

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#42 Truth
July 23 2012, 09:11AM
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LT,

I'm sorry if this has already been clarified, but is that correct that Musil must play Junior or NHL, no AHL? I thought that rule was only for Junior kids the year after they are drafted (18 yr old season). As such, Pitlick, Hamilton, etc. played in the AHL last year.

Reading it again you could be assuming the Oilers want Musil in Junior, which I know is plausible, but as you mention he is an oustanding Junior defenceman and I believe the AHL would do him good.

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#43 Rod The Viking
July 23 2012, 11:58AM
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Thanks for the Debra Harry pics, I never thought of her as hot but when she was popular I was in my early teens so it makes me feel young.Spent Sunday at the Sutter's with the Stanley Cup which is completely of topic except I hope it will be paraded down Jasper and by the new arena in the not too distant future. The Oilers will improve in leaps and bounds this season

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#44 DMan
July 23 2012, 12:07PM
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Truth wrote:

LT,

I'm sorry if this has already been clarified, but is that correct that Musil must play Junior or NHL, no AHL? I thought that rule was only for Junior kids the year after they are drafted (18 yr old season). As such, Pitlick, Hamilton, etc. played in the AHL last year.

Reading it again you could be assuming the Oilers want Musil in Junior, which I know is plausible, but as you mention he is an oustanding Junior defenceman and I believe the AHL would do him good.

I believe Musil could be sent down the AHL in the 2nd year of his ELC, but why would you want him to play in OKC this year (considering the log jam of defense we have)?? In OKC - I believe your top-4 would look something like Plante-Tuebert Chorney-Fedun... At this point, we also haven't mentioned Klefbom (who I believe is heading to the SEL for one more year), Marincin or Tulupov...

Musil will get a ton of ice time in Vancouver for at least another two years... Let him stay there - get ice-time in all situations and develop... Our biggest need on the back-end is another top four d-man... He's a long shot to make the big club at best, and would be a #6-7 at best...

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#45 Ashley Raabis
July 23 2012, 01:09PM
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Spartacus wrote:

I don't see anything to be thrilled about. It's not like Tambellini has done anything aside from re-assembling the exact same team that finished 29th.

I see the same roster as last year and I want to cry. So I do. It's not good to keep it all bottled up, it leads to Unabombing and such.

Sure, I give credit for signing Schultz, that was a great day for the Oilers.

Promoting Krueger was a fine move.

Drafting Yakupov was the sensible thing to do, so I was thrilled when the Oilers called his name.

Two rookies and an assistant coach. Teachers do more during the summer.

Spartacus you are probably that guy that kicks and screams when supper isn't ready when you want it either....Rome wasn't built in a day

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#46 DLS
July 23 2012, 01:35PM
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I believe for Musil its junior or NHL. I also believe that the rules are that they have played 4 years of junior or are 20 years of age to qualify for playing in the AHL.

But to comment on what we have been discussing I think Tambi gets a fail grade for this years recruitment. He spouted off during the spring that the Oil would acquire 2 top D. Well one walked into his lap, but he has done tweet to secure another D.

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#47 Truth
July 23 2012, 01:39PM
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@Dman,

Chorney signed with St.Louis as a UFA. I am of the understanding that Musil won't burn up a year of his ELC until he plays a year in the AHL or NHL. Pitlick and Hamilton both played 1 year of Junior after being drafted and then played last year in the AHL on year 1 of their ELC. Musil playing in the AHL this year would be on year one of his ELC. Not sure what would happen with his ELC if he gets sent back to Junior again.

I could see Musil playing in Junior this year but definitely not next. If that is the case I would say he is off track as a prospect. If he is a standout in Junior why keep him there? Playing far inferior competition would not help him develop and the AHL is the next step up. IMO

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#48 BlacqueJacque
July 23 2012, 10:00PM
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I don't understand how we can rate Klefbom as the most talented defensive prospect in the system. He did not much in his draft year and less this year, yet he's highly rated.

Meanwhile, the likes of Gernat and Marincin were tearing it up in junior. =/

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#49 DMan
July 24 2012, 11:14AM
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Truth wrote:

@Dman,

Chorney signed with St.Louis as a UFA. I am of the understanding that Musil won't burn up a year of his ELC until he plays a year in the AHL or NHL. Pitlick and Hamilton both played 1 year of Junior after being drafted and then played last year in the AHL on year 1 of their ELC. Musil playing in the AHL this year would be on year one of his ELC. Not sure what would happen with his ELC if he gets sent back to Junior again.

I could see Musil playing in Junior this year but definitely not next. If that is the case I would say he is off track as a prospect. If he is a standout in Junior why keep him there? Playing far inferior competition would not help him develop and the AHL is the next step up. IMO

You're right about his ELC - it doesn't kick in until he's playing pro hockey... Also - if he plays pro, he wouldn't be allowed to go back to junior... He'd just get demoted to the ECHL (if he were to take a step backwards after a year in the AHL)...

I don't see a problem if Musil were to play in the WHL as an over-ager... Defense historically need more time to develop and the only way one develops is by ice time... Now if Musil is ready to assume a regular shift role after this year on the AHL squad, then yes, have him play in the AHL.. If not - one more year of junior won't hurt his development... That additional time in the WHL would allow him to work on the areas he's lacking (like foot speed) and give him the time to grow into his already decent frame...

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