SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE

Lowetide
October 26 2013 07:29PM

The Edmonton Oilers farm system is developing players, but most of the top end Barons prospects currently are defensemen. With today's injury to Tyler Pitlick, the club's minor league system is perhaps primed for a 'defenseman traded for a forward' deal that addresses the club's need for more skill forwards. Who should it be?

In last night's Oklahoma City Barons game, the club lined up like this:

  1. L1: Anton Lander (prospect) between Linus Omark (former NHLer trying to get back) and Matt Ford (29-year old career AHLer).
  2. L2: Joel Broda (minor league prospect) between Andrew Miller (new college signing) and Derek Nesbitt (31-year old quality AHL veteran)
  3. L3: CJ Stretch (24-year old pro trying to get a foothold in AHL), Austin Fyten (22-year old new pro) and Justin Maylan (just signed ECHL player)
  4. L4: Travis Ewanyk (prospect in 1st pro season) between Kale Kessy (same as Ewanyk) and Erick Lizon (minor league enforcer).

The Oilers have several Barons on their roster due to injury (among them Pitlick, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and Ryan Hamilton) and of course Curtis Hamilton remains on the injured list.

THE DEFENSE IS LOADED

(Phil Larsen. Larsen and Gernat photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

All the while, the blueline boasts impressive quality and depth. Phil Larsen and Taylor Fedun are callups at the ready, and Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin and Brandon Davidson (who was in fact recalled earlier this season) are all working toward their NHL dream (Jon Willis talked about Klefbom being close earlier today).

Beyond that, first year pro's Martin Gernat and David Musil are developing in the AHL, and men like Dillon Simpson and Erik Gustafsson may turn pro this fall.

On the blue, it's a helluva pipeline.

OMG, ANOTHER LOWETIDE TRADE!

Hold on for a second. The Oilers have too many defensemen, we've talked about that in the past and it remains true. We saw evidence the other night when Phil Larsen played forward, and at some point the Barons are going to need their players back--or a trade could happen.

Legit prospects do get traded for each other in the minor leagues--the Oilers have dealt Cody Wild, Danny Syvret and others in this manner--and I do think we might see that kind of trade in the near future.

Defenseman for forward. It just makes sense.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Probably nothing--I predict about 100 trades a year that don't happen--but the Oilers organization is running on empty for depth at the forward positions.

Something's gotta give.

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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 TSN 1260.
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#51 Smokey
October 27 2013, 08:48AM
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Yesterday Willis suggested Marincin and a second for Reimer and I scoffed. After watching yesterday and seeing Reimer shut down Crybaby and the smelly birds, I think we'd be lucky to get him for that. Don't see TO trading either tender right now, unless Nonis decides to sell high which he might. We are not a team that can afford to trade a first for such a guy, but we should be able to put a package together for Reimer. What about Lander and a 2nd. Frankly think Lander is tweener anyways.

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#52 Smokey
October 27 2013, 08:53AM
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Harry wrote:

Secondary is goaltending!!

Give your head a shake man!!

Any team giving up 3.5 goals a game, goaltending is the problem period. Special teams are the secondary issue, and the third is injuries.

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#53 Serious Gord
October 27 2013, 09:06AM
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Smokey wrote:

Yesterday Willis suggested Marincin and a second for Reimer and I scoffed. After watching yesterday and seeing Reimer shut down Crybaby and the smelly birds, I think we'd be lucky to get him for that. Don't see TO trading either tender right now, unless Nonis decides to sell high which he might. We are not a team that can afford to trade a first for such a guy, but we should be able to put a package together for Reimer. What about Lander and a 2nd. Frankly think Lander is tweener anyways.

Can't do that trade - don't have the cap room.

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#54 Rheal1
October 27 2013, 09:11AM
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In any case if this team - with both Nurse & Klefbom as 2nd pairing in two more years (while J Schultz & ? in 1st D pairing) as well as the kids on best top 6 in NHL will do average without a dependable goalie. We need a great goalie to close the loop IMHO. Then we will play post April regularly.

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#55 Serious Gord
October 27 2013, 09:15AM
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Smokey wrote:

Any team giving up 3.5 goals a game, goaltending is the problem period. Special teams are the secondary issue, and the third is injuries.

Goaltending - as always the most important position. And the oil is arguably the weakest in the league at that position.

Special teams - especially PK is reliant on coaching. We are the worst in the league at both. What does that tell you about our coaching?

Injuries are both an issue and a symptom for the oil. Over the last seven years th oil has had one of the highest injury rates in the league. The cause is hard to pin down but I'm pretty sure that team size/physicality, training and coaching are the big three. And we are at the bottom rungs in the league at all three.

All three of the above issues are not solved by one or two player moves or coaching changes. It will require massive, long term change to this roster and organization. But in light of the contract window with the star players, by the time the repairs are made and the team is ready to be truly competitive trading of the stars to stay with the cap limit will be about to happen. And back into the cellar the oil will go.

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