NOT THE RIGHT MIX....

Jason Gregor
October 18 2013 02:00PM

A 1-6-1 start for the Oilers doesn't inspire much confidence in Oilesnation. Why should it? Are the Oilers as bad as their record? I don't think so. Are they a playoff calibre team? I didn't think they were before the season, and they don't look like one now.

I recognize it is only eight games, but until Craig MacTavish makes a few more changes this team won't be a true contender. I don't expect him to be able to make all these moves instantly, but hopefully the Oilers recognize their deficiencies. This team isn't built to be a winner, and even if some fans or members or the team don't want to hear it, this team is still four of five key pieces away from being a legitimate contender.

I've said it for three years that this team isn't hard to play against, and four years later they still aren't hard to play against. They are getting better, mainly because Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle invoke fear in the opposition.

But you can't win with all young, skilled players who lack size.

MacTavish clearly won the David Perron for Magnus Paajarvi trade. Not just because Perron has more skill, but because he competes harder shift to shift. The Oilers need more of that. Perron is an upgrade over Paajarvi. You can't expect MacTavish to win every trade outright, however, so his next moves will need to be about making the overall makeup of his team better.

Last March I wrote, 

The way I see it the Oilers will end up moving two, likely three players amongst Hemsky, Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and Nail Yakupov in the next 18-14 months. You might not like that reality, but I don't see any other way this team will be able to improve and afford their lineup if they don't make those types of moves. 

There is a good chance that the Oilers trade those guys and they put up decent numbers on another team, and likely more than the players coming to Edmonton, but that doesn't mean the Oilers will lose those trades. If they acquire a strong, steady top-pairing defenceman that should make them more competitive.

If they acquire a skilled forward who plays physical, scores, is a good puck retriever and goes to the net that will make them better. The Oilers will still have three very good skilled players remaining, in Hall, RNH and Eberle and one of 64, 89, 91 and 83. 

Paajarvi has already been moved, and I honestly believe that deal was for two reasons. First off, because Perron is better, but also because he gives them another skilled-winger, and that would allow MacTavish to deal one of his skilled right wingers for either a solid D-man, or big, skilled forward.

All of you are emotionally invested in the Oilers. You watch every game, read as much info on the Oilers as you can, comment on this site and you call in or listen to TSN 1260 regularly. You are extremely passionate about the Oilers. The past four years you've watched the Oilers tank it, and the only hope you were given was that Hall, RNH, Yakupov and Eberle would eventually lead this team to the playoffs.

You believed it, and when someone mentions trading one of the young forwards, I completely understand the instinct to say, "shut the hell up."

How could the Oilers deal one of the key pieces, a player you've been told would help the Oilers return to the playoffs?

It's natural to not want to move them.

Most will say trade Hemsky or Gagner before moving any of the Fab Four. That makes sense, but neither of those two will garner the type of player the Oilers need to become a top contender.

The only way the Oilers can acquire a significant piece is to trade one of their key kids. It sucks, but I believe that is the reality that MacTavish faces.

NO NEED TO RUSH...

I'm not suggesting MacTavish make this move next week in an attempt to salvage this season. The last thing he should do is make a move from a position of weakness or from desperation. However, he has to recognize this type of trade is necessary if the Oilers ever plan on returning to the postseason.

The Oilers will start winning, maybe not as often as you'd hope, but I'd be willing to bet they don't go 1-6-1 during any other 8-game stretch this season.

This team has talent, but they have too much similar talent.

They need some reliable, veteran forwards who are skilled enough to play in their top-six. You can't expect the kids to learn from each other.

Boyd Gordon has been a solid addition. He plays hard and he knows his role. His offensive outburst has been a major bonus, but I don't expect him to score 20 goals this season, or next. He's never been that type of player. They need to find a reliable, cagey veteran like Gordon, but who has the skills to play top-six minutes.

The Oilers need a true top-pairing defender, a player who is 24-27 years of age with at least four years of NHL experience.

The Oilers can't expect Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom to jump into the NHL and be that guy. They need to have a guy who those two can learn from; a guy who can make their transition to the NHL easier. The only way I see the Oilers acquiring said player is by moving Yakupov or Eberle. I don't see them moving Hall or Nugent-Hopkins.

If I had to choose I'd move Yakupov.

He's a former first overall pick who has only played 54 NHL games. He's only 20 years of age. Of course there will be a risk in moving him, but he'd also garner a solid return. He very likely could become a 40-goal scorer on another team, but the Oilers don't need more offence. They need different types of offence. The Oilers skilled players are all similar, and they need to add a different element into their top-six.

They need more solid two-way players. They need a solid top-pairing defender. They need some skilled size in their top-six. Until they acquire that, I don't see them winning regularly.

The Oilers might eventually win with Hall, Eberle, Yakupov and Nugent-Hopkins as their four key forwards, but how long will it take to fill in the other key holes on the blueline and within the forward group? Two years, four years or five years?

MacTavish shouldn't rush into a trade, but I believe the organization has to look at the big picture and face reality that one of those four, likely a right winger, will need to be moved in order for this team to acquire the other key pieces that are lacking to achieve a winning formula.

QUICK HITS...

  • Mark Arcobello is making the most of his NHL opportunity. He has eight assists in eight games. The points are great, but I've been most impressed by his hockey sense. He makes a lot of smart plays with and without the puck. It is only eight games, so we'll need to see him play more to get an accurate assessment, but he's been very impressive.
     
  • Sam Gagner got the green light to take part in contact drills. He joined the Oilers in Ottawa and could return to the lineup within a week. When he comes back, I'm curious to see what Eakins does with Arcobello. It is hard to imagine he'll come out of the lineup.
     
  • The Corsi crowd has quieted down significantly. If I'm calculating this correctly, and I easily could not be, the Oilers as a team are around -30 in Corsi. (Updated correct number.) Only Eberle and Arcobello are above 50%. This team still has lots of work to do at ES. They are improving, but they have a ways to go.

     
  • The Oilers might have won the game if their PP was able to convert on one of the three consecutive PP chances in the 2nd period. They had excellent puck movement, but couldn't finish. It's been that type of year so far for the Oilers. When PP is going, the goaltending struggles. Last night it was the opposite.
     
  • Denis Grebeshkov has been recalled after playing three games in OKC. I suspect you will see him in the lineup tomorrow vs. the Sens. The Oilers have lost five in a row, and resting/sitting one of the D-men would make sense.
     
  • Eakins will try Yakupov on the left wing and put Perron on the right side. His reasoning for moving Yakupov is that he'll get more pucks to the net instead of always having puck exposed to middle on his off wing, and I'm guessing it is the same for Perron. Both of them were playing on their off wings.  So the top two lines for tomorrow will be:

    Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-Arcobello-Perron
     
  • The Oilers PK continues to give up too many great chances. The Oilers have allowed a PP goal in every game this season. Their franchise record is 14 consecutive games set between November 20th to December18th, 2003. Thanks to Elias Sports Bureau for getting me that answer. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#51 Papamike
October 18 2013, 04:55PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't believe they can win with all the same type of offence. They don't have the right balance. I too loved the run and gun days, but today's game isn't like that. Sadly.

I know, it is just that I want exciting hockey to watch. I really enjoyed the TO game because of that. Of course I wish we won that one but it doesn't always work that way. I want the Oilers to change the ways of todays hockey, like how they changed the 4 on 4 because we dominated the opposition. Sigh

Avatar
#52 27Ginge
October 18 2013, 05:00PM
Trash it!
52
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Yak, Gagner, Klefbom for Richards and Clifford.

Avatar
#53 **
October 18 2013, 05:01PM
Trash it!
17
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

If Arcobello is capable of playing with consistency, then Gagner becomes redundant. The love affair with Gagner has to end at some point. Arcobello isbetter defensively and on the faceoff and like Gregor wrote, the Oilers have way too much firepower. Arcobello seems to play more physical too, despite is small size. Between keeping Yakupov and keeping Hemsky, I think the choice is pretty easy.

Hemsky plus Gagner plus a D man prospect plus one or two draft picks should be enough to bring back a solid D man, or a top goalie or a top 6 veteran forward with size and skill.

This way you don't give away a an asset like Yakupov or Eberle, players for which the team paid a very punitive price and who are poised to be if not better, at least just as good as Hemsky and Gagner.

Avatar
#54 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 18 2013, 05:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
31
cheers
27Ginge wrote:

Yak, Gagner, Klefbom for Richards and Clifford.

Good God man what are you drinking?!?

Avatar
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
27Ginge wrote:

Yak, Gagner, Klefbom for Richards and Clifford.

Siyet man, thanks for the laugh. I'm either getting older or you made a really good funny, cause I peed a little too.

Avatar
#56 Spydyr
October 18 2013, 05:14PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
LOIL99 wrote:

I like the mixup coming in the lineup. Can't hurt. But I don't like Eberle and Arc being split up. They look AWESOME together.

Yes so awesome!!!The team has won one game no one or anything is awesome.

Avatar
#57 Spydyr
October 18 2013, 05:18PM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

I agree with all your points Jason and Mac-T MUST see them also.The only way I would go different is perhaps trade Eberle instead of Yak.He has more value right now and is yet another small skilled forward on this team.I could see Yak maturing into a tank on the ice.That being said the return better be mind blowing.

Avatar
#58 madjam
October 18 2013, 05:20PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

They should restart and reassess the rebuild . I'd like to start with Ristolainen and Seth Jones to compliment Nurse for next season . A goalie will come by trade deadline or UFA for next season . I'd currently explore options on J.Schultz , Hemsky and even possibly Gagner and Yakupov . Hall, Hopkins and Eberle are doing worse than diminutive Arcobello at 1/6th the price . Maybe entertain offers for them as well ? Lots we can move , but what do Oilers want is the question in return . We are an early seller , which is good/preferable in a lot of cases .

Avatar
#59 **
October 18 2013, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
madjam wrote:

They should restart and reassess the rebuild . I'd like to start with Ristolainen and Seth Jones to compliment Nurse for next season . A goalie will come by trade deadline or UFA for next season . I'd currently explore options on J.Schultz , Hemsky and even possibly Gagner and Yakupov . Hall, Hopkins and Eberle are doing worse than diminutive Arcobello at 1/6th the price . Maybe entertain offers for them as well ? Lots we can move , but what do Oilers want is the question in return . We are an early seller , which is good/preferable in a lot of cases .

add a unicorn on the 4th line and the team's all set!!!

Avatar
#60 pkam
October 18 2013, 05:33PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Good God man what are you drinking?!?

The LA Kings koolaid.

Avatar
#61 TonyT
October 18 2013, 05:37PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I love Yakupov and Eberle but I would strongly consider trading whichever has the highest value. Also, it's arguable what the return on Gagner would be but I don't believe RNH and Gagner as your top 2 gets you deep into the playoffs.

Avatar
#62 Spoils
October 18 2013, 05:40PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
MessyEH! wrote:

I think Eberle brings you the biggest return, with the lowest risk.

He's Hemsky 5 years ago. Highly hyped, has produced enough for people to believe the hype. And would sell alot of tickets and jerseys.

But he is not going to improve from where he is now.

Now Eberle is only the 3rd or 4th best player on the Oilers, but would be heralded as the saviour of whatever east coast team he was traded to.

My gut says 27 yr old Eberle will be better.

Avatar
#63 mike
October 18 2013, 05:41PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Yakupov for Coutourier and Coburn.

They get best player long term and we fill needs now

Avatar
#64 FSD
October 18 2013, 05:42PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Alright its safe to say i'm one the aforementioned fans who would cry and sulk if they traded one of Eberle, Hall , Nugent-Hopkins or Yakupov. I do think having these players will bring us to the playoffs, but more so 4-5 years down the road. At the age they are now with the limited experience they have its hard to see them competing with teams that have players who single handed have more GP than all four combined.

As I said i think they could make the playoffs with these four on the team, but that means another 3-5 years out of the playoffs, until they obtain more experience of the game. So its safe to say 7 years is quite enough of a wait to experience playoff hockey, and that it is time we part with one of the four

After reading previous articles, I agree that Hall is a lock as he is proven and shows he can be a Top LW in the league. Nugent-Hopkins is a Datsyuk like Center that has sublime passing and two way game so hes a lock as well.

That leaves the two RW's to be chosen. I am from Regina and loved watching eberle play while he was here, and my dream came true when the Oilers drafted him and he proceeded to impress on the ice. Yakupov on the other hand is the newest and has the least emotional attachment to the team for me personally. However, i think he might be the one that should stay.

After reading J. Willis' post on first 53 games played by #1 Overalls, Yakupovs numbers are impressive, although somewhat inflated by the last game on the shortened season. The most significant comparison i see on that list is with Stamkos. They both played in Sarnia, meaning they played the same system and both managed impressive numbers in junior. Yakupov with 0.75 GPG and Stamkos with 0.80 GPG. Also comparing their first NHL seasons Stamkos managed 23 goals in 79 games, where as Yakupov managed 17 goals in 48 games. I'm not saying Yakupov will become Stamkos, but the numbers project a real talent here. In the end, i think eberle should be the one to be traded.

Avatar
#65 DSF
October 18 2013, 05:46PM
Trash it!
24
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
FSD wrote:

Alright its safe to say i'm one the aforementioned fans who would cry and sulk if they traded one of Eberle, Hall , Nugent-Hopkins or Yakupov. I do think having these players will bring us to the playoffs, but more so 4-5 years down the road. At the age they are now with the limited experience they have its hard to see them competing with teams that have players who single handed have more GP than all four combined.

As I said i think they could make the playoffs with these four on the team, but that means another 3-5 years out of the playoffs, until they obtain more experience of the game. So its safe to say 7 years is quite enough of a wait to experience playoff hockey, and that it is time we part with one of the four

After reading previous articles, I agree that Hall is a lock as he is proven and shows he can be a Top LW in the league. Nugent-Hopkins is a Datsyuk like Center that has sublime passing and two way game so hes a lock as well.

That leaves the two RW's to be chosen. I am from Regina and loved watching eberle play while he was here, and my dream came true when the Oilers drafted him and he proceeded to impress on the ice. Yakupov on the other hand is the newest and has the least emotional attachment to the team for me personally. However, i think he might be the one that should stay.

After reading J. Willis' post on first 53 games played by #1 Overalls, Yakupovs numbers are impressive, although somewhat inflated by the last game on the shortened season. The most significant comparison i see on that list is with Stamkos. They both played in Sarnia, meaning they played the same system and both managed impressive numbers in junior. Yakupov with 0.75 GPG and Stamkos with 0.80 GPG. Also comparing their first NHL seasons Stamkos managed 23 goals in 79 games, where as Yakupov managed 17 goals in 48 games. I'm not saying Yakupov will become Stamkos, but the numbers project a real talent here. In the end, i think eberle should be the one to be traded.

The issue with Eberle is his $6M contract.

He not worth anywhere near that.

Avatar
#66 FSD
October 18 2013, 05:54PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

@DSF

It's quite nice the new CBA allows teams to eat the cap of bad contracts. Yeah, i agree Eberle is not worth a $6M contract, and it would be a shame for the oilers to pay Eberle to score 70 points on a different team.

I wish the Oilers management wasn't so trigger happy with those $6M'ers. I think Eberle is worth $4.5-5M and not the $6M hes earning now.

Avatar
#67 Naky
October 18 2013, 06:02PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Would just like to remind the arm-chair GMs that Gagner has a NTC. It's not officially in place for this year, but there's a gentleman's agreement to uphold it and they will. There's a very good reason why he got it, which I will not get into since it's the players personal life, but he needed the two year minimum.

Avatar
#68 Soccer Steve
October 18 2013, 06:14PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Remember in NHL '98 when you could trade a 68 rated player for a 72 rated player for a 76 for an 80 for an 84 for an 88 and so on, all the way to Jagr?

So, why is Perron not a consideration to move? Eventually we'll have Crosby.

Avatar
#69 Rod from Viking
October 18 2013, 06:15PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Naky wrote:

Would just like to remind the arm-chair GMs that Gagner has a NTC. It's not officially in place for this year, but there's a gentleman's agreement to uphold it and they will. There's a very good reason why he got it, which I will not get into since it's the players personal life, but he needed the two year minimum.

That is very true but Sam might welcome a trade to a team in the east,they have to trade one of their small skilled players or I am going to have to keep living in the 80's when the Oilers, Eskimos and Blue Jays were great.

Avatar
#70 BLAKPOO
October 18 2013, 06:35PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

Yakupov moving to LW. You don't just offload a 1st overall pick 8 games into a season because he's having issues adjusting to the new system and linemates, and/or missing a few one-timers. This kid is gold. He wants to win.

Avatar
#71 Naky
October 18 2013, 06:43PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Rod from viking

No, I very much doubt he would welcome a trade to the east. He needed the two year NTC because he needed to stay here for at least two years and required the assurance that he would be. I even have my doubts that he would waive it even if he was guaranteed to go to the eventual Cup winner.

Avatar
#72 Kyle
October 18 2013, 06:44PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

The Oilers will not be trading any of the fab four. Schultz will be locked up this summer and Yak next summer. It may not be the right thing to do, but it's the safe thing to do. MacT will not allow his legacy to be trading the next Ovechkin (I know that's a big stretch, but I'm making a point). This year's UFA market looks promising for the Oilers. Hemsky and Smyth will be off the books and the cap is on the way up. I'd hate to see us miss the playoffs again this year, but realistically we weren't getting out of the first round anyways.

Avatar
#73 K_Mart
October 18 2013, 06:57PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Jason, you're right that this team doesn't have the right mix, and that all small offensive skilled players is not going to win.

A great example of how overvalued offense can be is found in Tampa. They had the #1 and #2 point producers in the entire league last year and still missed the playoffs, by a large margin.

But I'm still not a believer that we NEED more size and physicality in our top six. We just need more versatility. Our size is a little under the average, but not much. Hall, Hemsky, and Nuge are all 6ft+ and the younger two are still filling out. I'd actually say hall pretty damn big right now. Yak looks like his build will be similar to that of Crosby's and I don't think his size is an issue either. Ebs is also slippery enough that his size really doesn't hurt him offensively either.

My issue with our mix is how we play when the other team gains our zone with puck control.

I've heard you talk about playing a 200ft game, and that, to me, is the key. When our top guys get the puck in transition or in the neutral zone I have no issue with their size. They are effective and rarely seem to be at a disadvantage because of their size(by my eye). My issue is their inability to retrieve the puck when they don't have it, or shutdown pressure in their own end. Sure size can help a team get the puck back, but it is SOOO hard to acquire, and far from the most important part of puck retrieval. What about having a good stick and smart defensive play. Something the whole team lacks(except Gordon, Petry, Smid, Nultz, Belov,and Perron). Although none of those guys are marquee 200ft guys. It'd be nice if Belov becomes that, but he's already pretty developed and I don't see that happening.

So yes this team needs a different mix, but it doesn't have to be an injection of size and physicality. That would be nice, but is so difficult to acquire, i wouldn't count on it. The oilers need to be better when the puck is on the stick of the opposition. Hall, Ebs, Gags, Jultz, Nuge, and Yak all need to take notes from guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, Toews, Crosby, Backes, P.Bergeron, O'Reilly etc... All top two way forwards.

I think that Dallas has put a ton of emphasis on puck retrieval, especially in our own end. It's clear right now that most of our players are lost and really struggling to figure out the ins and outs of the system. Heck, I doubt many fans can tell what the coach is asking of the players based on the chaos that has taken place in our end. Regardless, I'm hopeful that he can teach these kids how to get the puck back quickly, and I'm hopeful that they can learn it.

As an Oiler fan, I'm tired of watching our team set a league record every year for defensive breakdowns. It's time we started making it difficult for opposing teams to sustain pressure against us.

GETTING THE PUCK BACK AFTER LOSING IT. THAT IS THE BIGGEST ELEMENT MISSING IN THIS TEAM'S GAME RIGHT NOW.

I'm not sure the current roster is capable of fixing that problem on their own, all from within the dressing room, but I'm hopeful.

Avatar
#74 morgie
October 18 2013, 07:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
** wrote:

add a unicorn on the 4th line and the team's all set!!!

THAT was sweet LOL

Avatar
#75 morgie
October 18 2013, 07:12PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
DSF wrote:

The issue with Eberle is his $6M contract.

He not worth anywhere near that.

Whether he is or isn't, it's definitely a factor considering any trade, compared to YAk

Avatar
#76 morgie
October 18 2013, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Kyle wrote:

The Oilers will not be trading any of the fab four. Schultz will be locked up this summer and Yak next summer. It may not be the right thing to do, but it's the safe thing to do. MacT will not allow his legacy to be trading the next Ovechkin (I know that's a big stretch, but I'm making a point). This year's UFA market looks promising for the Oilers. Hemsky and Smyth will be off the books and the cap is on the way up. I'd hate to see us miss the playoffs again this year, but realistically we weren't getting out of the first round anyways.

Probably the best course considering our start, what's the rush there's only next year LOL

but seriously unless they hit a home run with a trade now they're most likely not making playoffs, let alone going far in them (dreaming)

Avatar
#77 Copper
October 18 2013, 07:53PM
Trash it!
16
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Yet again more Jason Negative.

Mix not right you bet. Oliers have no NHL players on the 4th line and lack 2?? 3rd liners. That is FAR more of an issue than 6ft 200 lbs forwards they have now. No support.

Yes Perron is a better player than Paaravi but, McT over paid. Blues had cap issues and they could have done an offer sheet for Stewart for a 1st + 3rd. Peron wasn't wanted by the organization, fans or local media. How is that a win?

You spew about Oilers being to small but never give an example of an opposing player 1 inch taller cost the goal against. You've had former players tell you the Oilers issue is bottom 6 but, your blinded by size. Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov & Perron are all different players, only thing in common are they the approx size.

Avatar
#78 morgie
October 18 2013, 07:59PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
K_Mart wrote:

Jason, you're right that this team doesn't have the right mix, and that all small offensive skilled players is not going to win.

A great example of how overvalued offense can be is found in Tampa. They had the #1 and #2 point producers in the entire league last year and still missed the playoffs, by a large margin.

But I'm still not a believer that we NEED more size and physicality in our top six. We just need more versatility. Our size is a little under the average, but not much. Hall, Hemsky, and Nuge are all 6ft+ and the younger two are still filling out. I'd actually say hall pretty damn big right now. Yak looks like his build will be similar to that of Crosby's and I don't think his size is an issue either. Ebs is also slippery enough that his size really doesn't hurt him offensively either.

My issue with our mix is how we play when the other team gains our zone with puck control.

I've heard you talk about playing a 200ft game, and that, to me, is the key. When our top guys get the puck in transition or in the neutral zone I have no issue with their size. They are effective and rarely seem to be at a disadvantage because of their size(by my eye). My issue is their inability to retrieve the puck when they don't have it, or shutdown pressure in their own end. Sure size can help a team get the puck back, but it is SOOO hard to acquire, and far from the most important part of puck retrieval. What about having a good stick and smart defensive play. Something the whole team lacks(except Gordon, Petry, Smid, Nultz, Belov,and Perron). Although none of those guys are marquee 200ft guys. It'd be nice if Belov becomes that, but he's already pretty developed and I don't see that happening.

So yes this team needs a different mix, but it doesn't have to be an injection of size and physicality. That would be nice, but is so difficult to acquire, i wouldn't count on it. The oilers need to be better when the puck is on the stick of the opposition. Hall, Ebs, Gags, Jultz, Nuge, and Yak all need to take notes from guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, Toews, Crosby, Backes, P.Bergeron, O'Reilly etc... All top two way forwards.

I think that Dallas has put a ton of emphasis on puck retrieval, especially in our own end. It's clear right now that most of our players are lost and really struggling to figure out the ins and outs of the system. Heck, I doubt many fans can tell what the coach is asking of the players based on the chaos that has taken place in our end. Regardless, I'm hopeful that he can teach these kids how to get the puck back quickly, and I'm hopeful that they can learn it.

As an Oiler fan, I'm tired of watching our team set a league record every year for defensive breakdowns. It's time we started making it difficult for opposing teams to sustain pressure against us.

GETTING THE PUCK BACK AFTER LOSING IT. THAT IS THE BIGGEST ELEMENT MISSING IN THIS TEAM'S GAME RIGHT NOW.

I'm not sure the current roster is capable of fixing that problem on their own, all from within the dressing room, but I'm hopeful.

Hopeful is right!

Great premise, and some have the skill to be so effective with their stick, but few players can do it, size is superior with skill

Take a look at these players you listed:

take notes from guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Hossa, Toews, Crosby, Backes, P.Bergeron, O'Reilly etc... All top two way forwards.

Well Datsyuk and Zetterberg are borderline size with incredible skill and determination so maybe some oilers can duplicate, but don't they assume they can

Hossa, Toews, Backes, those are big men dude!

Crosby plays big and p bergeron is borderline

size doesn't matter? you mentioned 3 big guys as comparable?

Avatar
#79 Copper
October 18 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Jeff wrote:

COACHING.....

COACHING.....

COACHING........

This is poor that we are pointed every other direction and not even having a coversation about the coaching.

Again cannot stress this enough, the coach is responsible for the PK, defense, the line up, the offense, the forecheck.

I agree the players must execute, however their needs to be a synergy between them and right now there is common ground on anything.

I am not asking to run the coach out of town, however not to have a discussion about the methods right now is poor.

Agree. AHL coach v NHL coach.

Avatar
#80 madjam
October 18 2013, 08:25PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

I think I'm enebriated in Kool-Aid . First you tell me Tams and Kreuger are replaced because of a bad team performance and you want to go a different direction with second stage of rebuild . Now you tell me we are a better club even though results are worse . We're better , but we're worse ? Was it deliberate to make us worse in this second stage ? I'm so confused . I wonder if season ticket holders were given about a dozen paper bags to use this season ?

Avatar
#81 madjam
October 18 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

How many of us would give a crap about the Oilers if our Football team was victorious the last few seasons ? I think Oilers fortunate our Eskimos are equally bad during these last several years . It should be noticed Eskimo attendance plummeting .

Avatar
#82 Cynic
October 18 2013, 08:49PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

A well-argued point of view, Jason. Therefore, it will sail over the heads of most of the numnutzes who hang around here.

Avatar
#83 6 ring circus
October 18 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

I would include K Lowe and Buchberger as not being part of the right mix to.How 6 cups still has a job and Bucky has survived 4 head coaching changes is mind boggling.I hate to say this, but the Oiler's organization is a Joke,the brain trust has had 7 years to get it right and now we are supposed to give them more time? F_CK THAT!!! bring in some upper management from winning organizations, its time that Katz cleans house at management level, the clowns he has running his circus have had enough time , Oilers fans deserve better than this SH*T Show!!!

Avatar
#84 spliff
October 18 2013, 09:02PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Maybe KLoser should hit the "reset button."

Avatar
#85 Zarny
October 18 2013, 09:04PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Great article. 100% bang on. I've been saying this for awhile. Who doesn't see it?

Winning is about the right mix of players. You have to be able to win the dirty games. To win the Cup, you need players who can physically match-up against guys like Chara, Weber, Suter, Getzlaf, Thornton, Perry etc over four 7 game series.

Hall-Nuge-Eberle Perron-Gagner-Yakupov

By far the smallest top 6 F in the league. Two need to be up-sized; which means two need to be moved.

I'm sure Perron and Gagner top most lists. Hall is the only name I wouldn't move. Yakupov has merit but I think you have to explore all options. The players the Oilers need is a very short list. And with big C like Getzlaf, Perry, Toews etc in the West Nuge might be the guy I move.

Avatar
#86 Quicksilver ballet
October 18 2013, 10:27PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

I'm sure they mentioned very similar concerns about Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson and Gretzky back in the day as well. Large(Terry Jones) called the whole works of them weak kneed whimps back in 81 or 82.

Maybe we should wait a couple more years before we decide to write 4,14,19,64 and 93 off. It could be worth the wait like it was the last time. Who has the wisdom to prove this isn't the case?

Tsk Tsk Jason. They are building a new facility to accommodate all the new banners that will go up because of these kids you know.

Avatar
#87 HOFFFF
October 18 2013, 10:37PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'm sure they mentioned very similar concerns about Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson and Gretzky back in the day as well. Large(Terry Jones) called the whole works of them weak kneed whimps back in 81 or 82.

Maybe we should wait a couple more years before we decide to write 4,14,19,64 and 93 off. It could be worth the wait like it was the last time. Who has the wisdom to prove this isn't the case?

Tsk Tsk Jason. They are building a new facility to accommodate all the new banners that will go up because of these kids you know.

I agree! Amazing....we only have these guys for a couple years and we are ready to ship them out? We don't even know what we have yet.

Avatar
#88 Dan
October 18 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

makes you wonder why they drafted Yakupov knowing he would be redundant with all the skill they have...they should have drafted a D man like Murray or even better, a big slick centremen like Galyenchuk. typical oilers drafting....they have had seven years to correct this and they still can't get it right. Saying the same thing about this team every year...sad

Avatar
#89 madjam
October 18 2013, 11:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'm sure they mentioned very similar concerns about Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson and Gretzky back in the day as well. Large(Terry Jones) called the whole works of them weak kneed whimps back in 81 or 82.

Maybe we should wait a couple more years before we decide to write 4,14,19,64 and 93 off. It could be worth the wait like it was the last time. Who has the wisdom to prove this isn't the case?

Tsk Tsk Jason. They are building a new facility to accommodate all the new banners that will go up because of these kids you know.

Your talking a new franchise with talents like Gretzky never seen before in NHL . We got to see the preview in WHL . With Fuhr and Messier from Spruce Grove days you had no slouch , and Anderson was a terror even on Team Canada before joining us . Kurri was no slouch either in physical game . Coffey was an offensive phenom with blazing speed but no defensive gem . K.Lowe was no slouch . Did not take long to see them progress fast and rapidly toward success . Our current club is no where near that sort of progression and very unlikely to duplicate what former Oilers did . Jones ,if he did say it , was errored , as most of us felt otherwise !They excelled far better each subsequent year . Bad comparison model tying to tie this team to our dynasty team .

Avatar
#90 andrewmk20
October 18 2013, 11:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Racki

Agreed on that. I hate the fact that it's becoming clear that the Oilers need to make a major move and lose one of their five elite kids. But Eberle plays better with his teammates and while Yakupov will very likely become an elite finisher the Oilers don't have another 2 to 3 years to wait for that. Not to mention that Gregor's article brought up a very valid point. This team does not have veteran talent surrounding the kids. Giroux had Richards, Carter, Pronger, etc. Datsyuk and Zetterberg had a wealth of veteran talent surrounding them, Stamkos, Crosby, and Tavares also had that benefit. Seth Jones has Shea Weber as a resource. The list goes on. Only the Oilers have left their elite young talent on their own.

Avatar
#91 Geoff
October 18 2013, 11:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Zarny wrote:

Great article. 100% bang on. I've been saying this for awhile. Who doesn't see it?

Winning is about the right mix of players. You have to be able to win the dirty games. To win the Cup, you need players who can physically match-up against guys like Chara, Weber, Suter, Getzlaf, Thornton, Perry etc over four 7 game series.

Hall-Nuge-Eberle Perron-Gagner-Yakupov

By far the smallest top 6 F in the league. Two need to be up-sized; which means two need to be moved.

I'm sure Perron and Gagner top most lists. Hall is the only name I wouldn't move. Yakupov has merit but I think you have to explore all options. The players the Oilers need is a very short list. And with big C like Getzlaf, Perry, Toews etc in the West Nuge might be the guy I move.

The problem with our top is isn't that they are the smallest its that they PLAY like the smallest in the NHL. They are getting better though.

Avatar
#92 TonyT
October 19 2013, 12:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The mix on this team does not and will not work (not necessarily because of size) but because a lack of willingness to engage and finish checks. If you've watched the Oilers for the most part of this decade they don't finish checks and they easily are defeated by any sort of forecheck.

Avatar
#93 Danger Pay
October 19 2013, 02:00AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Whoah...Gregor, you just like, ...blowed up mind bro.

Avatar
#94 Danger Pay
October 19 2013, 02:31AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Make a move at the deadline, draft or free agency.

Avatar
#95 TonyT
October 19 2013, 03:00AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

What would it take to pickup Giroux fr PHI does Gagner + Eberle/Yakupov (obviously fill in the rest) get that done? Don't crucify just thinking out loud. He has no goals and some how the Flyers are worse than the Oilers.

Avatar
#96 Veritas
October 19 2013, 06:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'm sure they mentioned very similar concerns about Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson and Gretzky back in the day as well. Large(Terry Jones) called the whole works of them weak kneed whimps back in 81 or 82.

Maybe we should wait a couple more years before we decide to write 4,14,19,64 and 93 off. It could be worth the wait like it was the last time. Who has the wisdom to prove this isn't the case?

Tsk Tsk Jason. They are building a new facility to accommodate all the new banners that will go up because of these kids you know.

I was around in those early days and the assaults on Sather were vigorous. The team had some growing pains and made moves to address weaknesses. It was a different era, but I have to agree with this poster ... It is not time to panic. Lets see what happens to the theme of this site when the team wins two or three in a row, or thrashes somebody profoundly... Keep calm fan base.

Avatar
#97 MessyEH!
October 19 2013, 06:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Veritas wrote:

I was around in those early days and the assaults on Sather were vigorous. The team had some growing pains and made moves to address weaknesses. It was a different era, but I have to agree with this poster ... It is not time to panic. Lets see what happens to the theme of this site when the team wins two or three in a row, or thrashes somebody profoundly... Keep calm fan base.

At 20 games I am going into full panic mode. I am currently in need of a new panic hat.

Avatar
#98 oilabroad
October 19 2013, 08:21AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Dan wrote:

makes you wonder why they drafted Yakupov knowing he would be redundant with all the skill they have...they should have drafted a D man like Murray or even better, a big slick centremen like Galyenchuk. typical oilers drafting....they have had seven years to correct this and they still can't get it right. Saying the same thing about this team every year...sad

because you always draft bpa, you dont remember the panic in ON when they thought we were taking Murray? the thought process than was you take the bpa and trade them later as they will have more value and that is likely still the thought process

we dont know what Yak is like in the room, I do know some of his comments lately made my arse pucker (doesnt want to hit or backcheck, just score goals)...

I like the player but lets be honest, he is THE poster child for one dimensional players, these guys dont win you stanley cups, they fill seats in sun belt cities

Avatar
#99 Zarny
October 19 2013, 12:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Geoff wrote:

The problem with our top is isn't that they are the smallest its that they PLAY like the smallest in the NHL. They are getting better though.

They PLAY like the smallest in the NHL because they ARE the smallest in the NHL.

Yes, the current top 6 F can improve and do better; but none of them will ever provide the diversity in offense you get from guys like Lucic, Horton, Getzlaf, Perry.

Avatar
#100 Zarny
October 19 2013, 01:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

I'm sure they mentioned very similar concerns about Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Anderson and Gretzky back in the day as well. Large(Terry Jones) called the whole works of them weak kneed whimps back in 81 or 82.

Maybe we should wait a couple more years before we decide to write 4,14,19,64 and 93 off. It could be worth the wait like it was the last time. Who has the wisdom to prove this isn't the case?

Tsk Tsk Jason. They are building a new facility to accommodate all the new banners that will go up because of these kids you know.

No they didn't mention similar concerns; because as you mentioned they had Mark Messier.

Messier was probably the meanest player in the NHL. 6'2" 210lbs when the average player was 5'-10" and 180 lbs. He literally pounded the crap out of opposing F and D.

The '80s teams having Mark Messier is like swapping Sam Gagner for Eric Staal and having him play like Chris Pronger. If today's team had a Mark Messier there would be no problem. That is exactly the diversity the current Oilers lack and what the article is about.

They also always had guys like Krushelnyski or McSorely who could get some dirty goals. I'm a card carrying member of the Lowe Has To Go Club but he and Huddy were better defensively than anyone on this team. They also had guys like Jeff Beukeboom 6'-5" 230 lbs, Steve Smith 6'4" 215lbs, Randy Gregg 6'4" 215 lbs and Craig Muni 6'3" 210 lbs.

No one pushed those teams around. And what made them champions is they had everything this team lacks. Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson and Coffey didn't light it up every night but they could still win.

And that is the only way you win 16 games in the playoffs. Skill won't get it done every night. Just look at the recent list of Stanley Cup winners - Chi, LA, Bos, Chi, Pit, Det, Anh, Car.

Some nights, some rounds guys like Kane, Kopitar, Krejci, Crosby, Malkin, Datsyuk, Zetterberg didn't get it done. Those nights/rounds they had guys like Toews, Bickell, Byfuglien, Brown, Richards, Carter, Lucic, Horton, Guerin, Staal, Franzen who could find a different way to score.

The Oilers don't have that diversity. None of the top 6 F are capable of it. It's all speed and skill and that isn't enough. Not to win the Cup.

If MacT can turn Perron and Gagner into physical equivalents of Milan Lucic and Jonathan Toews that's best case. If he can pry a guy like Braydon Coburn out of Phi who can shutdown top F for 25 min every night without giving up Hall, Nuge, Eberle or Yakupov I'm all for it. But that's not an easy task and Gregor is 100% right...those moves need to be made.

Comments are closed for this article.