Corey Potter, Denis Grebeshkov waived

Jonathan Willis
October 30 2013 05:05PM

The Edmonton Oilers placed defencemen Corey Potter and Denis Grebeshkov on waivers earlier today.

The Depth Chart Today

With the moves (and assuming both players are either demoted or claimed), the Oilers’ current healthy NHL roster looks something like this:

In the loss to Toronto last night, Edmonton dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen because David Perron was unable to go. They have a few days before Saturday’s game against Detroit, but they’re even more vulnerable to a sudden illness right now, with no spare forwards and no spare defencemen.

Grebeshkov

Grebeshkov’s $1.5 million cap hit is going to be a hard one for any team to pick up. He’s played three games, averaging 11:36 per night, and barely been given a chance to show whether he’s still up to NHL standards or not.

And that makes little sense. General manager Craig MacTavish added Grebeshkov over the summer to bolster the Oilers’ defensive depth. Edmonton could certainly use another option on the blueline; Justin Schultz has been terrible, Nick Schultz hasn’t been much better, Ladislav Smid and Andrew Ference have had their struggles and on a good NHL team a player like Anton Belov would have to fight for playing time. Schultz the elder has been given a few nights off, but Schultz the younger remains bulletproof for no apparent reason.

Yes, Grebeshkov’s pre-season injury put him behind the eight ball. Yes, maybe he’s a less than ideal option. But he hasn’t been bad in spot duty and a little internal competition wouldn’t hurt. It was one of the things Dallas Eakins emphasized at his first press conference as the Oilers’ head coach:

Foremost, the number one thing we are going to be committed to is competition. This team is going to compete. If you’re going to play for the Edmonton Oilers you are going to compete no matter if you’re a first-line guy, the sixth defenceman, the 23rd man on the roster, a player playing in the minors you are going to compete to play on this hockey team. That’s how you win hockey games in the NHL right now. It’s how you get your organization better. That is my commitment to this organization: to make that happen.

Denis Grebeshkov was once a pretty decent NHL defenceman. Maybe he still is, maybe he isn’t, but on a team with defencemen begging through their play to sit out a night or two, the coaches never bothered to find out. And unless Grebeshkov is still struggling with injury that’s inexplicable.

Potter

This move actually makes a good deal of sense, based on what we know today. Potter’s just back from injury and based on Jim Matheson’s comments a few days ago he needs a bit more time to ease his way back into the lineup. The Oilers could have left him in Oklahoma on a conditioning stint, but two things make a waiver placement a little more sensible:

  • 1. In the likely event that Potter clears, the Oilers can let him work his way back without him taking up an NHL roster spot.
  • 2. If Potter’s claimed, the Oilers have a very reasonable alternative on the farm in Philip Larsen.

If Potter were fully healthy, I would think his $775,000 cap hit might make him appealing to another NHL team; as it stands though he hasn’t played this season and would be a gamble.

The Other Possibility

It’s always possible that the Potter and Grebeshkov moves were mere preliminaries to a bigger transaction. Waiving the duo clears roughly $1.7 million in cap space, as well as opening up two roster spots (one or more of which might be claimed by one of the currently injured forwards coming off IR).

We’ll see.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 YFC Prez
October 30 2013, 05:12PM
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Please be the other possibility ...please be the other possibility....need a shake up badly

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#2 mlcsellil
October 30 2013, 05:16PM
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Good, bring in the broom and sweep. Housecleaning should start upstairs first.

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#3 Walter Sobchak
October 30 2013, 05:24PM
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Who seen this coming!!!

0- goals in two years in the KHL, like what was the first clue?

Good call on "depth" defensmen MacTavish.......Very bold indeed.

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#4 james_dean
October 30 2013, 05:33PM
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The only one happy about this is taylor halls forehead

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#5 Serious Gord
October 30 2013, 05:33PM
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So MacT wasted over one mill of cap room on greb. Was there no one else in the hockey world who he could have gotten that wouldn't have come th that issue? Another case of hiring friends...

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#6 godot10
October 30 2013, 05:54PM
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I don't see what the big deal is.

Both were injured. Both have to play to get back into game form. With the current state of the OIlers, that has to be done in OKC rather than in Edmonton. It can't be on conditioning stints, because that takes roster spots, and the Oilers need the roster spots, or risk the stupidity of having to play a forward short.

Smyth or Hamilton may be ready by Saturday for the forward spots, and likely Larsen or Fedun get the call from OKC for Saturday.

If either Potter or Grebeshkov get waived, it is no big deal. Both Larsen and Fedun are younger and probably better, and OKC is overflowing with D at the moment.

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#7 Jerry
October 30 2013, 06:07PM
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Kevin Lowe do the right thing resign . Give Daryl a break , he does not want to fire his best friend.

Kevin won't do it because he knows nothing about being a man.

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#8 Zarny
October 30 2013, 06:09PM
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MacT shouldn't force a trade from a position of weakness. Unless it's a trade he was looking at in the off-season he shouldn't do anything.

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#9 james_dean
October 30 2013, 06:14PM
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Jerry wrote:

Kevin Lowe do the right thing resign . Give Daryl a break , he does not want to fire his best friend.

Kevin won't do it because he knows nothing about being a man.

If you want to call out who is and isnt a man dont do it behind a computer, son.

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#10 Jerry
October 30 2013, 06:21PM
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@james_dean

I'll meet him any time anywhere and tell him.

But since this is an internet site I hardly think he will be reading.

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#11 Gongshow
October 30 2013, 06:23PM
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Too bad Garbagekov wasn't waived before last nights game. That guy couldn't keep a puck in the O zone if he was the only guy on the ice.

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#12 DarkLinkCosplay
October 30 2013, 06:25PM
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james_dean wrote:

If you want to call out who is and isnt a man dont do it behind a computer, son.

I understand your point, but in reality, most people don't really have a chance to do that. What do we do, go to K.Lowe's doorstep, ring the buzzer, then tell him he needs to be a man? Go on a radio show and call out K. Lowe? Shout it on the streets? Most people already know K. Lowe's shortcomings; I don't think there's anything wrong with expressing frustration on a forum (in the form of calling him out as a wuss, anyways).

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#13 Jackson
October 30 2013, 06:27PM
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Do you think Kevin Lowe would have been able to keep his job if he was not Daryl's best friend?

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#14 Rotten Ron
October 30 2013, 06:29PM
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@Jonathan Willis

If Grebeshkov were to return to the KHL what becomes of his contract?

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#15 Rheal1
October 30 2013, 06:29PM
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How about Jose Theodore??????

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#16 Rama Lama
October 30 2013, 06:29PM
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Why get players that DE is not going to play? The time has come for DE to start making player personnel decisions so that MacT does not look like a idiot bringing in players that his coach does not believe in.

We need fitter players and I propose that we get tri-athletes and Ethiopian long distance runners .......... and get DE to teach them hockey.

Once DE gets more fit athletes, everything will be fine.

Memo to pudgy hockey players like Kessel, Byfuglien, Murray.......please do not apply you need to be able to see the puck in your skates!

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#17 Fresh Mess
October 30 2013, 06:30PM
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I see a different version of reality than you do JW RE: freakinGrebeshkov. Terrible player and a colossally stupid waste of money and contract by MacT.

Potter I have more time for.

Smyth should be ready to return soon, and Larsson, KBomb, and Fedun are at the ready.

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#18 Rheal1
October 30 2013, 06:30PM
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@Rotten Ron

If he leaves, he forfeits both money & contract term.

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#19 james_dean
October 30 2013, 06:41PM
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Jerry wrote:

I'll meet him any time anywhere and tell him.

But since this is an internet site I hardly think he will be reading.

Remember last year when gregor was talking compete, compete, compete?

What do you hear every 10 mins this year?

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#20 Jodan
October 30 2013, 06:49PM
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Completely unrelated question, anyone know why you have to be at the DJ Suitcase event before 7:30? do they not let you in after that or something? seems silly. someone please explain.

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#21 Bucknuck
October 30 2013, 06:51PM
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Grebs was a flyer to give depth and competition on D, and considering how bad the Oil have been hammered on injuries, I can't blame MacT for picking him up. Belov was a flyer that worked out pretty well, Grebs, not so much. Larson is a good option.

I like that MacT finally had a bit of depth in the organization, now if only that would translate to wins. So tired of losing...

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#22 cmoney
October 30 2013, 07:10PM
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Lets go Eskimos!!!.....next year

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#23 DSF
October 30 2013, 07:15PM
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Someone needs to tell the Streak Cred administrator that October has 31 days.

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#24 Spydyr
October 30 2013, 07:15PM
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cmoney wrote:

Lets go Eskimos!!!.....next year

Around these parts it is always next year.

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#25 DSF
October 30 2013, 07:27PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

Grebs was a flyer to give depth and competition on D, and considering how bad the Oil have been hammered on injuries, I can't blame MacT for picking him up. Belov was a flyer that worked out pretty well, Grebs, not so much. Larson is a good option.

I like that MacT finally had a bit of depth in the organization, now if only that would translate to wins. So tired of losing...

Why are you so high on Larsen?

He couldn't make one of the worst D corps in the league in Dallas last season and managed to post a -10 in the 32 games he did play.

Just another one of the 232 7-8 D MacT has amassed.

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#26 BLAKPOO
October 30 2013, 07:28PM
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We have too many 'cusp' players. Time to package some of these guys up with a prospect and/or a pick and bring in someone useful. Taylor Fedun's a great guy with a great story, but he's one horse in a race for the bottom pairing gig on a somewhat anemic 'D' corps. Maybe one day he'll make the show and play valuable minutes, but not before players like Nurse or Klefbom. This team doesn't have the luxury of standing pat. If we can get value for guys like this we should be moving them out as fast as we can. Also, Omark. Like Grandma used to say, "Sh!t or get off the pot."

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#27 Rod from Viking
October 30 2013, 07:33PM
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BLAKPOO wrote:

We have too many 'cusp' players. Time to package some of these guys up with a prospect and/or a pick and bring in someone useful. Taylor Fedun's a great guy with a great story, but he's one horse in a race for the bottom pairing gig on a somewhat anemic 'D' corps. Maybe one day he'll make the show and play valuable minutes, but not before players like Nurse or Klefbom. This team doesn't have the luxury of standing pat. If we can get value for guys like this we should be moving them out as fast as we can. Also, Omark. Like Grandma used to say, "Sh!t or get off the pot."

I still say that!

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#28 Al
October 30 2013, 07:36PM
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Perhaps they should have waived Ferrence while they were at it. Watching him this season, I don't see why he was such a heralded signing. On a small team that's too easy to play against, we decide to make an undersized dman our captain. Terrible signing. The only guy doing anything on the back end is Petry, who truly does look like he could be a top 2 dman. Smid and Belov are no 5-6 guys. Justin Schultz has potential to be a good 3-4 but he may be one of the most overrated players in the league. And, Nick Schultz doesn't belong in the NHL.

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#29 Oiler63
October 30 2013, 07:37PM
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Mr. Katz, your best friends just cost you $1.5M for pretty much nothing, ouch.

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#30 james_dean
October 30 2013, 07:38PM
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Also unrelated, wheres all the john farrell bashers now?

Eakins with the donoughuts

Farrrell with the wings and draught

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#31 Kevin L
October 30 2013, 07:44PM
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james_dean wrote:

If you want to call out who is and isnt a man dont do it behind a computer, son.

Only spydyr does that but he hides behind his computer and his vagina!

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#32 bwar
October 30 2013, 07:46PM
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Could be that this move is coming as a precursor for a trade or it could be that these guys aren't NHL defensemen.

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#33 Bucknuck
October 30 2013, 07:49PM
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DSF wrote:

Why are you so high on Larsen?

He couldn't make one of the worst D corps in the league in Dallas last season and managed to post a -10 in the 32 games he did play.

Just another one of the 232 7-8 D MacT has amassed.

I should have extended my sentence to say "a good CALL-UP option." He's a fringe player to be sure, but better than some of the pylons they had to call up in years past. I'm not really "high on him".

I'd rather have an NHL 7-8 D than AHL mid level D, which is what they had before.

It's hard to find any positives right now, though. Someone put a big lump of you-know-what in my kool-aid last night. I hate the LEAFS, and now I gotta listen to a whole year of trash talk.

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#34 Oilcruzer
October 30 2013, 08:02PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So MacT wasted over one mill of cap room on greb. Was there no one else in the hockey world who he could have gotten that wouldn't have come th that issue? Another case of hiring friends...

What?

So, is it like you are paying him or a big D man didn't get moved here because of that?

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#35 Dave
October 30 2013, 08:12PM
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DarkLinkCosplay wrote:

I understand your point, but in reality, most people don't really have a chance to do that. What do we do, go to K.Lowe's doorstep, ring the buzzer, then tell him he needs to be a man? Go on a radio show and call out K. Lowe? Shout it on the streets? Most people already know K. Lowe's shortcomings; I don't think there's anything wrong with expressing frustration on a forum (in the form of calling him out as a wuss, anyways).

You can't call out Kevin Lowe, just ask Brian Burke, OH wait, you can't do that either, or I.

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#36 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
October 30 2013, 08:22PM
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Does anyone else feel that the headline: "Oilers Rearrange 2 Deck Chairs on Titanic Season" would have been just as appropriate?

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#37 Lawndemon
October 30 2013, 08:28PM
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Oiler63 wrote:

Mr. Katz, your best friends just cost you $1.5M for pretty much nothing, ouch.

Actually, Lowe didn't cost Katz a dime. Even ignoring the fact that MacT brought in Grebs it is actually the fans that are paying for it. The Oilers are not a team bleeding money. They sell out every game and post a profit every year.

It's the fans who are spending 1.5 mil on Grebs by buying tickets, merchandise, and hojilion dollar beers at the games.

We aren't part owners but we indirectly write all of the cheques. Makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever I think about it...

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#38 Stack Pad Save
October 30 2013, 08:29PM
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Mo Playoffs Mo Problems wrote:

Does anyone else feel that the headline: "Oilers Rearrange 2 Deck Chairs on Titanic Season" would have been just as appropriate?

HA, now that is funny.

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#39 Katzhater
October 30 2013, 09:12PM
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The Oilers captain fought SIDNEY CROSBY. Sounds like a real physical leader. Whoever scrapped Gretzky must have been a real tough guy to play against.

PS I suspect J Schultz and Jake Gardiner are not going to contribute to winning NHL teams at any point in their careers.

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#40 Smokey
October 30 2013, 09:16PM
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I wish we could do a Yakupov for Trouba + type deal. I'm huge on Yak, but we need to exchange certain pieces for others. I know its rare to see Heatley for Hossa type deals or a Schenn for Van Reimsdyk type deal where teams trade strengths to fill voids, but that's the kinda trade that turns around players and teams.

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#41 Serious Gord
October 30 2013, 09:33PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

What?

So, is it like you are paying him or a big D man didn't get moved here because of that?

Cap room is absolutely critical in this year like no other.

Every bit helps - especially if you are trying to bring in a player with a higher cap hit than you are sending out - a very likely thing if the oil is moving prospects/picks for immediate help.

MacT had other options besides greb who had two way contracts and thus could be sent down and their salary would be greatly reduced and the cap hit virtually nullified.

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#42 AbsolutelyNot
October 30 2013, 09:49PM
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@Zarny

What are you talking about??? The Oilers are once again at the bottom of the league and you are suggesting MacT shouldnt do anything about it? You Oilers fans are all the same. You axe tambellini for doing nothing and now that mact is looking to make "bold moves" (still pending..) you think it would be the wrong move? Youre not very bright are you? THE OILERS CURRENT ROSTER IS NOT WORKING Isnt this clear from watching the games? Or do we need to be patient because its "a process"? Youre pathetic, that cliche "do not trade from a position of weakness" DOES NOT APPLY with the edmonton oilers because its exactly what they need. These players need their cages rattled.

FYI 6 oilers players were seen last night at the bar including Hall & Eberle after they get shut out by the Leafs. Irrelevant to what we are talking about but, these players do not care enough.

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#43 Oiler Al
October 30 2013, 10:41PM
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Should have sent SMid down along with these two guys. In fact Smid, is not that much of an improvement over Potter. Ya Smid blocked a few shots, but a plyon could do that as well. His blocking hasn't made a difference to the G/A .

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#44 Fresh Mess
October 30 2013, 10:50PM
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@Serious Gord

Not just cap room. We have an owner claiming the Oilers can't be feasible in Edmonton without handouts from the public. It's not Canadian Tire money they just wasted there...

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#45 YFC Prez
October 30 2013, 10:51PM
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@AbsolutelyNot

Tell me what oiler fans axed Tambellini ? I didn't know we could do that. Hey Lowe you're fired! There done and done.

I agree that a major trade is needed. And one of the kids needs to go, but after watching the team suffer this long I don't mind waiting until the right deal is there to be made. I don't want to see a knee jerk reaction and lose one of the key players we all suffered through this crap hockey go at a rate of return any less than 100 percent fair value. No losing trades.

Ps. Why do you call someone pathetic cause you disagree with their opinion on an opinion comments section in a hockey blog? Kinda douche isn't it ? I think we're all the most wound up I've ever seen us oiler fans. That's great. Hopefully Katz is listening.

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#46 Dog Train
October 30 2013, 11:05PM
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Something must be up. I'm wondering if any of Larsen, Fedun or Klefbom might be on the way up. Or maybe something bigger in the form of a trade. I don't know, I just want something positive and interesting to happen for this team soon.

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#47 Zarny
October 30 2013, 11:06PM
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AbsolutelyNot wrote:

What are you talking about??? The Oilers are once again at the bottom of the league and you are suggesting MacT shouldnt do anything about it? You Oilers fans are all the same. You axe tambellini for doing nothing and now that mact is looking to make "bold moves" (still pending..) you think it would be the wrong move? Youre not very bright are you? THE OILERS CURRENT ROSTER IS NOT WORKING Isnt this clear from watching the games? Or do we need to be patient because its "a process"? Youre pathetic, that cliche "do not trade from a position of weakness" DOES NOT APPLY with the edmonton oilers because its exactly what they need. These players need their cages rattled.

FYI 6 oilers players were seen last night at the bar including Hall & Eberle after they get shut out by the Leafs. Irrelevant to what we are talking about but, these players do not care enough.

Umm no.

Learn to read.

I said MacT shouldn't make any trades he wasn't looking at before the season started.

Contrary to the dismay of some on here it was blatantly obvious the Oilers were going to struggle out of the gate.

They are a young team, their #1 C has played all of 112 NHL games and until last game was supported by Boyd Gordon and an AHLer.

While the young kids learn a new system that relies heavily on judgement they are supported on the 3rd and 4th line by a bunch of newbs with virtually no NHL experience.

Best case this year was for the Oilers to be in the mix for 7th or 8th but 9-12th was always realistic.

With injuries, a complete lack of depth and a heavy road schedule it was likely the Oilers would struggle to start the season.

What's pathetic are fans like you who wet their pants after 13 games when the likely outcome occurs. You don't make knee-jerk trades in a panic and from a position of weakness.

Yes, bold moves are required between now and 2 years from now when the core of the rebuild (Eberle, Hall, Nuge, Yak and Schultz) average more than a measly 123 NHL games of experience.

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#48 YFC Prez
October 30 2013, 11:19PM
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@Zarny

I figured they would struggle too. But not like this. What is it now 2 regulation wins in 14 games? That's way beyond struggling.

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#49 madjam
October 30 2013, 11:52PM
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Oilers have only a realistic shot at beating out Dallas and Calgary in the conference standings . This season is over as far as playoff hopes go . We have improved mildly , but rest of our conference has done more once again . Here's hoping next season will bring better fortunes . Hope they use rest of season to weed out the deadweight and fragility of this team . We need more than a new makeup , we need plastic surgery .

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#50 dougtheslug
October 31 2013, 12:06AM
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On a happier note Canada's Womans Soccer Team beat South Korea 3-0 at Commonwealth Stadium tonight.

Do you see what you have done to me, Kevin Lowe? You have me talking about women's soccer.

You are an evil man.

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