Goalie In, Young Gun Out?

Jonathan Willis
October 16 2013 08:21AM

 

If TSN's top duo of Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger are to be believed, Craig MacTavish is taking measured action in response to the Oilers' troubles early: assessing the trade market for goalies but not on the verge of making a deal. 

In the TSN story, McKenzie says that MacTavish has been working the phones since at least the weekend, scouring the league for available goaltenders and determining the cost of them. He also indicates that a deal likely isn't imminent, because teams don't like making moves this early. Dreger adds that Buffalo probably doesn't want to move Miller before Christmas and opines that "the Oilers are getting to the point where they realize they're going to have to give up one of their young guns."

The Goalies

There really isn't much surprise on the goaltending angle. 

First, MacTavish trying to get a read on who is available and what it might take to land them is an intelligent response to what has happened in Edmonton's net so far. Both NHL goalies have struggled. The third-stringer, Richard Bachman, has been impressive in Oklahoma City but his prior career makes him an uncertain option long-term. There's a decent chance that Devan Dubnyk responds if given a little more rope, particularly since this kind of four-game stretch isn't unheard of - even for good goaltenders. But the preparatory work needs to be done so that if the struggles continue a move can be made with no time lost.

Second, it isn't shocking that NHL teams are reluctant to deal goalies right now. What applies to Dubnyk (that he's been bad, but over too short a span to write him off) applies broadly across the league. Even teams getting strong performances early need to be wary; they might find themselves making a trade and then having nowhere to go when a hot streak ends.

The Young Gun

The question with Dreger's comment is how much of it is informed by knowledge of the inner workings of the Oilers' brain-trust and how much is his own read on the situation. 

As I see it, there is no pressing salary cap need for Edmonton to dump one of its young stars, and despite the strength at right wing there is no real place where positional constraints are going to force a move. Where it might make sense is if the price of acquiring a desperately needed piece at another position (read: a top defenceman in the prime of his career) is the trade of a young forward. Depending on the specifics, that might be a trade that makes the Oilers a better team, a case of moving strength for weakness rather than hastily mortgaging the future. 

The math on that trade always works out the same way. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out; without him the Oilers don't have a top centre. Taylor Hall is out; without him the Oilers' left wing depth chart looks terrible. Sam Gagner is out; he just signed a deal with a no-trade understanding and he's hurt anyway. Justin Schultz is likely out, because defence is the position the Oilers need the most help at and there's still reason to hope Schultz can evolve into a player effective at both ends of the rink (he's 23 years old and has yet to play his 100th professional game).

If one of the young forwards is out, the position to move is right wing; that's the only place where there are two guys currently/likely to evolve into first line players. As a secondary point, it's also the only place where the number three man on the depth chart looks like he could be a pretty nice fit in the second slot for the next few years. If the Oilers are making a top forward for top defenceman swap, it's almost certainly Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov leaving town.

But nothing in the TSN report indicates such a move is imminent; McKenzie doesn't talk about it at all and it's a sure thing that Edmonton isn't moving an Eberle or a Yakupov for a mediocre goaltender or a pending UFA, the two descriptors that fit all the players actually mentioned by name in the report.

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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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#101 Serous Gord
October 16 2013, 01:08PM
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ed in edmonton wrote:

As usual you bring up a number of interesting points, however.

1. Cicra 2010 the Oil has both Penner and Hemsky as underperforming assets that both likely had trade value. Hemsky injured his shoulder (as usual) just before the trade deadline and Penner ended up being traded. I often wonder if Hmesky had done the unexpected and not get injured, if a different result may have occurred. I said at the time that 5$million for Hemsky was a gross overpay and have seen nothing to change my mind. Having said all that I don't see how buying him out last summer would have helped the Oil this year. You are taking a huge risk in buying him out on speculation that you will find something better to do with the money, there are no guarantees when signing FAs.

2. Its hard to fault Eakins. Other than in goal the Oil are playing much better this year. I grant that the jury is still out on the swarm defence, but other than in goal the Oil are playing better than they did last year.

3. Every journey starts with a single step, so if they can address a need one at a time why not? Isn't that how the Leafs rebuild has progressed far outpacing the Oil?

They should hav traded hemsky rather than signing him. Failing that MacT should have bought him out and used the free cap room to have more freedom to trade for a player who has a higher cap hit than what he sends back.

Eakins may one day be a fine nhl coach. But the oil has enough unproven elements to deal with already - adding an unproven coach using unproven tactics was a big mistake. And I think they are playing worse than they would under a proven conventional coach. I am arguing that Klowe and company were loath to get one - hence the chirade of interviewing proven nhl coaches for an ASSISTANT coaching role answering to a rookie coach in Krueger (only 48 games experience) - because they don't want anyone of stature in the league inside asking questions...

I am all for making steps to progress - as long as it doesn't retard our progress towards winning the cup. Trading now - when we have no cap room - when in another year we will have plenty - would require the unloading of one of the stars - gagner and hemsky are not going to work. So let's sit and wait.

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#102 Mikey
October 16 2013, 01:15PM
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ed in edmonton wrote:

As usual you bring up a number of interesting points, however.

1. Cicra 2010 the Oil has both Penner and Hemsky as underperforming assets that both likely had trade value. Hemsky injured his shoulder (as usual) just before the trade deadline and Penner ended up being traded. I often wonder if Hmesky had done the unexpected and not get injured, if a different result may have occurred. I said at the time that 5$million for Hemsky was a gross overpay and have seen nothing to change my mind. Having said all that I don't see how buying him out last summer would have helped the Oil this year. You are taking a huge risk in buying him out on speculation that you will find something better to do with the money, there are no guarantees when signing FAs.

2. Its hard to fault Eakins. Other than in goal the Oil are playing much better this year. I grant that the jury is still out on the swarm defence, but other than in goal the Oil are playing better than they did last year.

3. Every journey starts with a single step, so if they can address a need one at a time why not? Isn't that how the Leafs rebuild has progressed far outpacing the Oil?

I wouldn't say the leafs rebuild out paced the oilers. Didn't they go something like 10 years out of the playoffs?

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#103 2004Z06
October 16 2013, 01:15PM
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David S wrote:

If I had to bet between the two I'd pick Yak. Eberle and Hall work together as a unit and are best of friends. Getting rid of Ebs would significantly affect Hall. Don't disregard Hall's opinion here. If he wants Ebs to stay it'll have alot of sway in the conversation.

Too bad because I truly believe Yakupov and Gagner could be our second dynamic pair if they were just able to spend some time together.

Yeah we wouldn't want to hurt Hall's feelings. This is a business. All players know and expect to be traded at some point.

As was stated earlier, Eberle has to be the logical choice because of his cap hit. If you bring back salary and trade Yak out on his ELC, we are way over the cap. In Eberle, you are removing 6 mil in cap space.

It's dollars and cents.

And it won't be either of them for a goalie. Very few goalies in the league are worth a Yak or Eberle.

It will be for a top 2 D unless it is a package deal.

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#104 ed in edmonton
October 16 2013, 01:15PM
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Serous Gord wrote:

They should hav traded hemsky rather than signing him. Failing that MacT should have bought him out and used the free cap room to have more freedom to trade for a player who has a higher cap hit than what he sends back.

Eakins may one day be a fine nhl coach. But the oil has enough unproven elements to deal with already - adding an unproven coach using unproven tactics was a big mistake. And I think they are playing worse than they would under a proven conventional coach. I am arguing that Klowe and company were loath to get one - hence the chirade of interviewing proven nhl coaches for an ASSISTANT coaching role answering to a rookie coach in Krueger (only 48 games experience) - because they don't want anyone of stature in the league inside asking questions...

I am all for making steps to progress - as long as it doesn't retard our progress towards winning the cup. Trading now - when we have no cap room - when in another year we will have plenty - would require the unloading of one of the stars - gagner and hemsky are not going to work. So let's sit and wait.

The only thing we agree on in that Klowe should go.

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#105 Todd
October 16 2013, 01:35PM
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Serous Gord wrote:

They should hav traded hemsky rather than signing him. Failing that MacT should have bought him out and used the free cap room to have more freedom to trade for a player who has a higher cap hit than what he sends back.

Eakins may one day be a fine nhl coach. But the oil has enough unproven elements to deal with already - adding an unproven coach using unproven tactics was a big mistake. And I think they are playing worse than they would under a proven conventional coach. I am arguing that Klowe and company were loath to get one - hence the chirade of interviewing proven nhl coaches for an ASSISTANT coaching role answering to a rookie coach in Krueger (only 48 games experience) - because they don't want anyone of stature in the league inside asking questions...

I am all for making steps to progress - as long as it doesn't retard our progress towards winning the cup. Trading now - when we have no cap room - when in another year we will have plenty - would require the unloading of one of the stars - gagner and hemsky are not going to work. So let's sit and wait.

Not sure what you base your "they are playing worse" statement. Impossible to prove (either way). I agree, if they had another coach the results would be different. Better, worse, who knows. But different. Your baseless impossible to prove opinion is just an opinion so quit acting like your feelings are fact.

In terms of facts... Last year this team outshot the other team 8 times all year (19%). And that was flagged by many as the root cause of all problems. So far this year in 7 games we have outshot the opponent 4 times (58%). Dooby single handedly gave away the Jets game and the Leafs game. Would 3-3-1 with massive statistical improvements be a reason for 10 alarm panic, fire the coach, Eakins is a loser talk.

Small sample size? Yes. Stupid to draw conclusions from? Yes. If we had even marginal AHL goal tending this team would be .500 at worst and everyone would be talking about how the systems are starting to work and be patient.

I'm sure people will dig up all sorts of irrelevant ridiculously small sample size stats about how much worse we are doing under Eakins. Stats over 6-7 games are pointless. Unless you think Lundqvist is actually worse than Dooby and that the Flames are a lock for the presients trophy.

PS - I don't think there is 1 person on here who doesn't agree about firing Lowe. But whats the point. Its not happeneing. Why not just rant and rave about Katz firing himself. Get over it. Maybe next summer, but this year b1tching and moaning again over Kevin Lowe is wasted air.

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#106 Randaman
October 16 2013, 01:42PM
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Racki wrote:

Don't see it happening, but would love to see the Oilers move their 1st plus Yak (sorry) in a package that nets them a solid starter and all around D. Wishful thinking though. In that kinda of deal I also imagine a lot of salary would come this way.

funny that when a trade gets mentioned the trash button goes ballistic. Do you all actually think that all of a sudden this small team is going to make a 180deg turnaround? I don't get it. A trade at some point of one of the so called fab five or six has to happen. Everyone says Pittsburgh did it and Chicago did it but they had the luxury of drafting WAY better players than Hall, Eberle, RNH or Yak. No disrespect but those are the facts.

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#107 james_dean
October 16 2013, 01:50PM
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@Serous Gord

Dont you have anything better to do than bash k lowe every day?

its the same as working for the bosses' kid

Neither of them are going anywhere so might as well get another job ( in this case find another team to spend money on/ cheer for)

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#108 dangilitis
October 16 2013, 01:58PM
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DSF wrote:

I'm sure he knows a thing or two about hockey.

His assessment of Yak's game sounds pretty accurate to me and, based on him being benched for two games, it appears his NHL coach agrees.

Do you disagree?

Hey DSF. How's Nichushkin working out? Looks like he has as many NHL points so far as Nurse...

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#109 DSF
October 16 2013, 02:02PM
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Mikey wrote:

I wouldn't say the leafs rebuild out paced the oilers. Didn't they go something like 10 years out of the playoffs?

The Leafs didn't "rebuild" at all.

Burke refused to burn it to the ground.

And they missed the playoffs 7 years in a row after losing in the conference semi finals in 2003-04.

Since Lowe was promoted to GM 13 years ago, the Oilers have made the playoffs 3 times.

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#110 Racki
October 16 2013, 02:03PM
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Randaman wrote:

funny that when a trade gets mentioned the trash button goes ballistic. Do you all actually think that all of a sudden this small team is going to make a 180deg turnaround? I don't get it. A trade at some point of one of the so called fab five or six has to happen. Everyone says Pittsburgh did it and Chicago did it but they had the luxury of drafting WAY better players than Hall, Eberle, RNH or Yak. No disrespect but those are the facts.

Lol I got hammered on that one I see. But ya, we need to give to get and are in a position where we could deal a position of great strength and significantly improve the club. I get that fans really attach to players. I do too.. But this is to make this hockey team way better. If ridiculous ideas like Hemsky and n Schultz got us what we really needed, I wouldn't suggest moving Yakupov. But we have to be realistic here. I'm going to guess I was thumbs downed by 11 high school girls. Lol

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#111 DSF
October 16 2013, 02:08PM
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dangilitis wrote:

Hey DSF. How's Nichushkin working out? Looks like he has as many NHL points so far as Nurse...

Haven't watched a Dallas game yet but he seems to be struggling a bit after a great pre-season:

"He’s managed just one shot on goal through his first four contests despite averaging more than 14 minutes of ice time per game. Lane MacDermid will take Nichushkin’s place int he lineup.

This is the second big-name youngster to get the press box here in the third week of NHL action. The Edmonton Oilers created a bit of controversy for themselves by scratching Nail Yakupov for two games. Nichushkin’s benching seems like an honest attempt to give the rookie a fresh start though, as opposed to a coach trying to shock him team to a victory or two.

We’ll see Nichushkin back out on the ice soon enough. He’s impressed with his work ethic and commitment so far, and he’s not likely to let this drag him down too badly."

http://fansided.com/2013/10/15/dallas-stars-to-scratch-valeri-nichushkin-against-colorado-avalanche/

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#112 Racki
October 16 2013, 02:08PM
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DSF wrote:

The Leafs didn't "rebuild" at all.

Burke refused to burn it to the ground.

And they missed the playoffs 7 years in a row after losing in the conference semi finals in 2003-04.

Since Lowe was promoted to GM 13 years ago, the Oilers have made the playoffs 3 times.

Did we forget the work that Cliff "the cleaner" Fletcher did before the Leafs brought Burke in?

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#113 MessyEH!
October 16 2013, 02:14PM
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DSF wrote:

The Leafs didn't "rebuild" at all.

Burke refused to burn it to the ground.

And they missed the playoffs 7 years in a row after losing in the conference semi finals in 2003-04.

Since Lowe was promoted to GM 13 years ago, the Oilers have made the playoffs 3 times.

Everyone together now!

Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go. Lowes gotta go...

Yup, your insight of the obvious, is always appreciated!

Yadda yadda yadda Oilers are not as good as (insert team.) Yadda yadda yadda I'm a big ,slanted, misleading, troll. Who cherry picks stats to humiliate, an already disenchanted fan base.

Enjoy your stealing candy from babies and your general tom foolery.

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#114 DSF
October 16 2013, 02:16PM
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Racki wrote:

Did we forget the work that Cliff "the cleaner" Fletcher did before the Leafs brought Burke in?

Yeah, no doubt.

11 months of trading assets for nothing and signing Jeff Finger.

Tambelliniesque in its effectiveness.

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#115 Quintana
October 16 2013, 02:16PM
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Get Hiller out of California.........a 2nd and Marincin should do it.....I think thats a good trade for the Oilers.

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#116 @TACOcurt
October 16 2013, 02:24PM
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what top 2 d are you expecting to get back for ebs? what team is so deep in defensemen that they are willing to trade their best defense man ?

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#117 Racki
October 16 2013, 02:28PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, no doubt.

11 months of trading assets for nothing and signing Jeff Finger.

Tambelliniesque in its effectiveness.

He was brought in for the "burn it to the ground" phase.

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#118 Racki
October 16 2013, 02:29PM
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@TACOcurt wrote:

what top 2 d are you expecting to get back for ebs? what team is so deep in defensemen that they are willing to trade their best defense man ?

Just answering the d depth question.. Not saying we should trade them Eberle... But Nashville would be the most obvious answer.

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#119 pkam
October 16 2013, 02:36PM
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DSF wrote:

Haven't watched a Dallas game yet but he seems to be struggling a bit after a great pre-season:

"He’s managed just one shot on goal through his first four contests despite averaging more than 14 minutes of ice time per game. Lane MacDermid will take Nichushkin’s place int he lineup.

This is the second big-name youngster to get the press box here in the third week of NHL action. The Edmonton Oilers created a bit of controversy for themselves by scratching Nail Yakupov for two games. Nichushkin’s benching seems like an honest attempt to give the rookie a fresh start though, as opposed to a coach trying to shock him team to a victory or two.

We’ll see Nichushkin back out on the ice soon enough. He’s impressed with his work ethic and commitment so far, and he’s not likely to let this drag him down too badly."

http://fansided.com/2013/10/15/dallas-stars-to-scratch-valeri-nichushkin-against-colorado-avalanche/

Nichushkin must be extremely thankful that MacT didn't draft him. Now instead of trashing him, DSF actually tries very hard to defend him.

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#120 Gordie Wayne
October 16 2013, 02:38PM
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Forget about Yak or Eberle for a goalie, we need both long term. Future 40 goal snipers don't come along every day.

How about we trade some defence prospects and/or draft picks for a legitimate goalie prospect.

At worst: We get a top goaltender for our AHL team At best: We get an immediate replacement for Dubnyk if all goes right

Here are 3 top prospects that I would be aggressively targetting if I were MacT:

Robin Lehner (Senators - .938 in 31 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 213 lbs. Age: 22

Frederik Andersen (Anaheim - .929 SP in 47 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 230 lbs - Age: 24

Niklas Svedberg (Bruins - .925 SP in 48 GP in AHL last year) - 6'1 176 lbs. Age: 24

Lehner is likely untouchable (although for the right price, you never know), but the other 2 goalies should be trade-able as Anaheim and Boston have tremendous goalie depth in their system.

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#121 james_dean
October 16 2013, 02:40PM
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@Quintana

That pick went for perron, no?

Ah the hell with it throw in a 1st lol

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#122 james_dean
October 16 2013, 02:42PM
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@Racki

Cliff the cleaner... Golden!

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#123 Racki
October 16 2013, 02:53PM
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Yakupov scratched... Travesty.. What are these clowns thinking? They will ruin this kid, if he didn't already suck so bad...

Nichushkin scratched... What a good move by Dallas! This will help out this young, future star!

From the guy that brought you great insight like "Whitney is not an NHLer" until the Panthers made a great move signing this pp specialist for cheap.

DSF logic.

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#124 Chris
October 16 2013, 03:02PM
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Trade our first round pick if anything. I'd be pissed almost to the boycott level if either Eberle or yakupov get traded this year.

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#125 DSF
October 16 2013, 03:06PM
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Racki wrote:

Yakupov scratched... Travesty.. What are these clowns thinking? They will ruin this kid, if he didn't already suck so bad...

Nichushkin scratched... What a good move by Dallas! This will help out this young, future star!

From the guy that brought you great insight like "Whitney is not an NHLer" until the Panthers made a great move signing this pp specialist for cheap.

DSF logic.

You might want to drill a little deeper into why the players were scratched and, even more importantly, watch how they respond.

I wouldn't have signed Whitney for 5 bucks.

He's done and has only played 4 games for Florida.

Singing Gilbert fro cheap was pretty smart though.

He's second on the Panthers D in TOI.

How are Visnovsky and Nick Schultz working out?

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#126 Racki
October 16 2013, 03:10PM
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I'm referring to your trollery in another thread where you pointed out how integral of a pp guy Whitney was for the Oilers and how the Panthers got him for so cheap, yet with no games between that and your comment in April where you pointed out he wasn't an NHLer (correctly). You seem to adjust your argument to whatever pisses off the most Oilers fans.

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#127 rock-et
October 16 2013, 03:13PM
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oilerman53 wrote:

With teams like Nashville and St Louis practically rolling out starting goalies. You gotta wonder about the goalie development in Edmonton. Our last true blue number one in house starter was who? Bill Ranford? Odds are there should have been a gem in there somewhere like a Brian Elliott or Craig Anderson. Are we not seeing these potential prospects or not paying enough attention to the goalie development process?

Dubnyk was chosen over Deslauriers but hes clearly lost in the starting role. The Oilers should have found a diamond in the rough by now after all of these years. If there is another side to this tale its Edmonton needs to pay more attention to the goalie system right from draft to development.

Unfortunately, you'd have to go back even farther to Andy Moog. Moog is the last drafted Oilers goalie to turn into a legimate #1 goalie.

We acquired Ranford and Geoff Courtnall from Boston for Andy Moog.

Almost every Oilers #1 goalie since Moog (other than Dubynk) were acquired in a trade.

Ranford Cujo Salo

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#128 Ari Gold
October 16 2013, 03:14PM
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The DSF hate train is a bit too long. He's not wrong. Ease up fellow Oiler virtual-brass. There are very real reasons the Oil have been a garbage franchise for the past 20 years.

I think trading Yak & Ebs would be a poor idea as Hemmer is gone after this year. I'd trade picks of Minor Leaguers. I think the top 6 is agree at top 6 (with Gags). Unless you're grabbing a big tough power forward with hands, leave it alone.

As for goaltending, we just need an average tender, like Crawford.

This team is painful to watch right now....

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#129 Tim in Kelowna
October 16 2013, 03:46PM
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I think a lot of Oiler fans are overthinking this. The fact is the team sucks, mostly because they sucked last year and MacT didn't get enough done on the offseason.

Hypothetically, if you are starting an NHL team, it would make no sense to have your first 4 picks all be small/skilled forwards. Ideally you'd pick 2F 1D and 1G.

MacT needs to balance out the roster, it's as simple as that. Blockbuster trade is the only way to do it.

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#130 Smokey
October 16 2013, 03:58PM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

I wouldnt rule out Schultz, like you said the oilers need defence and Mr. Schultz provides none.

I'd have no problem moving Schultz. I like him and believe his production is replaceable. After 50 games watching him plus the half year in OKC you love the creativity, but you wonder if he will ever be good enough defensively. Talking about any young gun trades for a goalie seems sad to me. If it happens it shows a lack in ability for MacT to fill holes.

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#131 Smokey
October 16 2013, 04:05PM
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braidonh wrote:

Hmm. If MacT is looking to make a deal... What would it take to pry Robin Lehner out of Ottawa? IMO, I think we'd be looking at a Petry-level player, a higher end prospect (Marancin, Fedun, ect), and a mid to high level pick (2nd or 3 and 4). Do you think that would be worth it? Lehner appears to be a stud in the making, and has experience (though limited) that offers numbers that suggest the same thing.

Bishop went for a second to Ottawa, and then TB for Conacher right. Lehner has similar value. Ottawa's not giving up their stud backup anyways because Anderson is a bandaid. A top four defensemen for Lehner? I dunno. Adding more pieces, Yikes.

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#132 Dave
October 16 2013, 04:17PM
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I did not see the game - How did Ryan Jones play ?

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#133 Old School G
October 16 2013, 04:18PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

Forget about Yak or Eberle for a goalie, we need both long term. Future 40 goal snipers don't come along every day.

How about we trade some defence prospects and/or draft picks for a legitimate goalie prospect.

At worst: We get a top goaltender for our AHL team At best: We get an immediate replacement for Dubnyk if all goes right

Here are 3 top prospects that I would be aggressively targetting if I were MacT:

Robin Lehner (Senators - .938 in 31 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 213 lbs. Age: 22

Frederik Andersen (Anaheim - .929 SP in 47 GP in AHL last year) - 6'4 230 lbs - Age: 24

Niklas Svedberg (Bruins - .925 SP in 48 GP in AHL last year) - 6'1 176 lbs. Age: 24

Lehner is likely untouchable (although for the right price, you never know), but the other 2 goalies should be trade-able as Anaheim and Boston have tremendous goalie depth in their system.

Absolutely agree with your logic here. Very similar to Suter poaching Kipper from the Sharks when he was their 3rd string goalie. Low risk and potentially a franchise goalie, it's happened before it will happen again, would sure be nice if MacT was the GM to pull it off.

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#134 Eddie Shore
October 16 2013, 04:18PM
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Todd wrote:

Not sure what you base your "they are playing worse" statement. Impossible to prove (either way). I agree, if they had another coach the results would be different. Better, worse, who knows. But different. Your baseless impossible to prove opinion is just an opinion so quit acting like your feelings are fact.

In terms of facts... Last year this team outshot the other team 8 times all year (19%). And that was flagged by many as the root cause of all problems. So far this year in 7 games we have outshot the opponent 4 times (58%). Dooby single handedly gave away the Jets game and the Leafs game. Would 3-3-1 with massive statistical improvements be a reason for 10 alarm panic, fire the coach, Eakins is a loser talk.

Small sample size? Yes. Stupid to draw conclusions from? Yes. If we had even marginal AHL goal tending this team would be .500 at worst and everyone would be talking about how the systems are starting to work and be patient.

I'm sure people will dig up all sorts of irrelevant ridiculously small sample size stats about how much worse we are doing under Eakins. Stats over 6-7 games are pointless. Unless you think Lundqvist is actually worse than Dooby and that the Flames are a lock for the presients trophy.

PS - I don't think there is 1 person on here who doesn't agree about firing Lowe. But whats the point. Its not happeneing. Why not just rant and rave about Katz firing himself. Get over it. Maybe next summer, but this year b1tching and moaning again over Kevin Lowe is wasted air.

THIS. All. Day. Long.

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#135 Quicksilver ballet
October 16 2013, 04:39PM
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You mean things aren't going well so far?

MacTavish addressed all the areas of concern last summer. It's obvious the best option is to ride out this season one loss at a time. Sashay our way to another lottery pick. Maybe we're bad enough to get a kid who can step into the lineup next season again. Combined with Darnell Nurse, that'll fill 2 more holes in this lineup.

30 games for the players to adjust to yet another new system. Injuries, and never have the Oilers been weaker at the center ice position than they have during this 2013-2014 campaign. Things are going exactly the way Lowe and MacT want it to. Lets not kid ourselves.

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#136 Quicksilver ballet
October 16 2013, 04:54PM
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I remember Matheiu Garon was playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens org). Many thought he was the best goaltender not in the NHL. Lowe waited 2 yrs patiently and got him for nothing one summer as a UFA. He came in and had one strong season and then faded like a candle in the wind.

Like D'men, goalies are a crapshoot. No way in Hello should the Oilers put up one of their finest for yet another possible Garon type. Edmonton has a difficult time assessing skaters, let alone goalie types. Unless it's a Weber type deal, we best tough out yet another difficult season. Sign that Ty Rimmer kid (they had at camp) and give him a shot. What do they have to lose...

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#137 madjam
October 16 2013, 05:29PM
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Multiple problems have festered , but the brunt falls on Gm and coaches . Lowe is nothing more than a liason to Katz now , and has little much else to do in the running of the club . If Katz is fed up , he just needs to tell Lowe to find others whom might replace them actually running club now . MacT. has failed to deliver so far , and thus Eakins looks like he is in same boat . Present on ice personnel unlikely to make either look to good this season . How long should we wait seeing as it's already going on for nearly 8 years with this campaign ? They make changes but nothing that spells positive results of any value . I guess they are waiting for us to be like Leaf fans , and just accept being continually bad , and fill the turnstiles ? Do we really need or want a contender here , or just the occasional star player to watch ?

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#138 Old School G
October 16 2013, 05:46PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Is too much skill actually a bad thing? I fondly remember the Oilers of the mid to late 90's and early 00's. They were rarely the most skilled team in the rink on any given night but they continually made the playoffs, and gave us all something to cheer about. With teams like Nashville and St. Lou consistently competitive might we learn something from how they have built their teams?

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#139 Bucknuck
October 16 2013, 05:57PM
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Todd wrote:

Not sure what you base your "they are playing worse" statement. Impossible to prove (either way). I agree, if they had another coach the results would be different. Better, worse, who knows. But different. Your baseless impossible to prove opinion is just an opinion so quit acting like your feelings are fact.

In terms of facts... Last year this team outshot the other team 8 times all year (19%). And that was flagged by many as the root cause of all problems. So far this year in 7 games we have outshot the opponent 4 times (58%). Dooby single handedly gave away the Jets game and the Leafs game. Would 3-3-1 with massive statistical improvements be a reason for 10 alarm panic, fire the coach, Eakins is a loser talk.

Small sample size? Yes. Stupid to draw conclusions from? Yes. If we had even marginal AHL goal tending this team would be .500 at worst and everyone would be talking about how the systems are starting to work and be patient.

I'm sure people will dig up all sorts of irrelevant ridiculously small sample size stats about how much worse we are doing under Eakins. Stats over 6-7 games are pointless. Unless you think Lundqvist is actually worse than Dooby and that the Flames are a lock for the presients trophy.

PS - I don't think there is 1 person on here who doesn't agree about firing Lowe. But whats the point. Its not happeneing. Why not just rant and rave about Katz firing himself. Get over it. Maybe next summer, but this year b1tching and moaning again over Kevin Lowe is wasted air.

This is pretty much the smartest thing I have seen written in the comments section for a while. Props.

It seems to be a perennial thing with Dubnyk, where he starts the year weak and then gets better. I sure as hell hope the "get's better" portion starts soon or the Oil are screwed. I am no longer part of the Dubnyk fan club.

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#140 DSF
October 16 2013, 05:59PM
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Old School G wrote:

Is too much skill actually a bad thing? I fondly remember the Oilers of the mid to late 90's and early 00's. They were rarely the most skilled team in the rink on any given night but they continually made the playoffs, and gave us all something to cheer about. With teams like Nashville and St. Lou consistently competitive might we learn something from how they have built their teams?

Yes we can.

They're both built from the back end out with strong goaltending and top flight defensemen.

STL top paid forward is David Backes at $4.5M and Nashville's is David Legwand also at $4.5M.

Nashville could use an upgrade at forward but Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson look like good ones.

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#141 DOUG WAIT!
October 16 2013, 06:00PM
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I wanna a golie becuz I am drunk, so get a golie

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#142 Old School G
October 16 2013, 06:30PM
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@DSF

Our D is looking to be on track very soon as our prospects mature. We traded away Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka, and Doug Lynch for Pronger. Who would we have to trade to land Shea Weber or an equivalent?

Goaltending is not a strength right now. But St Louis wins games with Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak working as a tandem. Dubby could work as a 1B goaltender splitting games. There are plenty of middle to bottom of the pack tenders we should be looking at to play 40ish games. This season could work out.

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#143 Oilcruzer
October 16 2013, 06:31PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You mean things aren't going well so far?

MacTavish addressed all the areas of concern last summer. It's obvious the best option is to ride out this season one loss at a time. Sashay our way to another lottery pick. Maybe we're bad enough to get a kid who can step into the lineup next season again. Combined with Darnell Nurse, that'll fill 2 more holes in this lineup.

30 games for the players to adjust to yet another new system. Injuries, and never have the Oilers been weaker at the center ice position than they have during this 2013-2014 campaign. Things are going exactly the way Lowe and MacT want it to. Lets not kid ourselves.

Lol. There might be something to that. New memories in the new barn.

Three more years? At least shoot for playoff experience.

Also DSF beat me to it. I still say the Jeff Finger signing was the most jaw dropping free agent announcement ever. The T O press were going... "Wait... What???!!!!!"

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#144 DSF
October 16 2013, 06:37PM
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Old School G wrote:

Our D is looking to be on track very soon as our prospects mature. We traded away Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka, and Doug Lynch for Pronger. Who would we have to trade to land Shea Weber or an equivalent?

Goaltending is not a strength right now. But St Louis wins games with Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak working as a tandem. Dubby could work as a 1B goaltender splitting games. There are plenty of middle to bottom of the pack tenders we should be looking at to play 40ish games. This season could work out.

There is not ONE #1D prospect in the Oilers system unless you think Nurse is that guy.

If you want to acquire one who could have an impact in the next 3-5 years, you're going to have to trade one of the "skill: forwards ++ to get one.

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#145 oilerman53
October 16 2013, 07:05PM
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pkam wrote:

Talking about development, do we even have a farm before 2010?

We had the Springfield Falcons and Hamilton Bulldogs for a few years. I was just pointing out that teams around the NHL have a pretty solid track record of training and developing their goalies, the Oilers have not an in house developed keeper since Moog(I stand corrected). We shoupd have accidentally found a decent goalie by then woupdnt you think?

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#146 Old School G
October 16 2013, 07:05PM
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@DSF

Brewer=Smid/NSchultz Woywitka=Marincin Lynch=Musil

Would Smid/NSchultz, Marincin, and Musil land us a #1D in todays market?

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#147 Greg the Hammer Valentine
October 16 2013, 07:09PM
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Olivier Roy: A career AHLer that might get a cup of tea at some point. That is the best case scenario now.

Tyler Bunz: A goalie that can't succeed in the ECHL. He wont stay past his current contract.

Samu Perhonen: Wasn't even good enough to get a pro contract.

Tuohimaa: I know little about him, but from what I read, I don't expect much.

The problem with the goaltending department is not just our current NHLers, we have nothing for the future either. How can this be after so many years of rebuilding?

Trading away one of the young guns for a pending UFA doesn't make sense. At best, make a minor trade for a goalie prospect (ex: Grubauer) and ride our current tandem through the $h!t storm 'till the end of the season. Start from scratch in that department next summer, starting with a new goalie's coach.

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#148 Tom
October 16 2013, 07:47PM
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How long will it take for someone to stand up and say it. These kids are partying hard, likely don't care. MacT and the coachs working their tails off, even considering trading Yak while the kids are out living it up. Pisses me off. It will only change when someone like ferrence kicks their Ass or when they just get sick of losing

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#149 Evilas
October 16 2013, 08:06PM
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rock-et wrote:

Unfortunately, you'd have to go back even farther to Andy Moog. Moog is the last drafted Oilers goalie to turn into a legimate #1 goalie.

We acquired Ranford and Geoff Courtnall from Boston for Andy Moog.

Almost every Oilers #1 goalie since Moog (other than Dubynk) were acquired in a trade.

Ranford Cujo Salo

Fuhr was drafted after Moog....

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#150 Reg Dunlop
October 16 2013, 08:06PM
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Patience? Oiler mgmt. unwisely forfeited that as an excuse when they stated that this season signalled the end of acquiring talent and the start of competing to win. Personally, I think they always intended to compete to win but were so incompetent that the media were used to spread the 're-build' and 'intentionally tanking' mantras.

Regarding tar-and-feathering Lowe, like madjam points out, does he really have any say in the on ice product anymore? Concentrate instead on Mac and coach Eakins. My take is that these 2 think they are smarter than everyone else and that an untried system will revolutionize the NHL. Didn't work with Mouse Davis' run and shoot in the NFL, hasn't worked with Chip Kelly, and likely won't work here.

Trading 1 or 2 'young guns'? First off, what have any of them done to warrant the epithet? If the deal brings balance and better chemistry to the room, DO IT. The argument that you can't have too much skill, well, there are numerous skill sets needed to make a successful hockey team. Skating fast with the puck is 1 but if backchecking, forchecking, and standing up for team mates are not included in the package... there is a serious deficiency that has to be addressed.

They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard, to Isengard.

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